Since men seem more predisposed to protect each other and
their organizations (see “Church, Roman Catholic”), I wondered if a powerful
woman might have reacted differently. Dr. Lubit says maybe. In Milgram’s
experiment, both men and women equally ignored the screams of the actor. But:
“In a sexual abuse situation, women are more likely than men to identify with
and protect the victim,” he says.
Also, female groups tend to connect around doing the right
thing. “When women get together,” says Pollack, “they assess what the right or
best thing is, and then decide as a group how to accomplish it.
“But male groups bond by suppressing shame and promoting the
idea that their group is invulnerable,” he continues. “So their focus is on one
another and not—in this case—the victim.”
As Edmund Burke once said: “All that is necessary for evil
to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Why do we have to keep learning that the hard way?