[Trigger warning for rape culture.]
I'm glad that the sexual harassment allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain are getting a lot of attention, especially because Republicans tend to get be held to a different (lower) standard than Democrats with a different (lesser) level of scrutiny, and sexual harassment is too important to be casually elided with the "boys will be boys" shrug of indifference it's so frequently given in politics.
But that gladness is cut through with a bolt of suspicion that the focus on Cain is not indicative of an awakened seriousness about sexual harassment, as much as it is evidence that Herman Cain is seen as a weirdo buffoon and sexual abuse of all sorts still the exclusive purview of weirdo buffoons.
That is, these allegations have been given an unusual level of credibility because Herman Cain seems like the sort of guy who might harass women, according to our awful cultural narratives about there being discernible sorts of guys who might harass women—not aggressive, entitled, privileged, powerful men (of which Herman Cain is also one), but weirdo buffoons.
Herman Cain is, of course, also a Black weirdo buffoon, and I imagine that has rather something unfortunate to do with the uncommonly fervent attention given to sexual harassment allegations against an unserious candidate, too.
[Note: This is not an argument that allegations against Cain should receive less scrutiny. If there is an argument being made, it is that allegations against other politicos should receive more.]