Jessica: Kudos on a well written and insightful article, as always.
First reaction: Is tar and feathering out of the question? Okay, seriously.
I agree that issuing a sincere public apology should be a “no brainer” — especially for public figures, if for no other reason than crisis communication and reputation management (but that’s my PR hat talking).
I think most men don’t apologize, frankly, due to the intransigent and infamous male ego. Public figures know they can remain recalcitrant and refrain from repenting by obtain non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and/or admit no fault via a litigation settlement payouts. But that’s the morally reprehensible response.
You identify some effective potential solutions, among many, like community service work — rather than just opening one’s wallet. Male public officials can also become more involved in education, outreach and public information campaigns, in unison with women’s groups, to use their perceived influence in a positive manner and make amends for their wrongdoing. PSAs and PR campaigns are always helpful, in conjunction with advocacy organizations.
In the end, something — a sincere apology — is better than nothing in terms of male repentance and rehabilitation (even if such efforts are only superficial and cynically focused on repairing a tainted brand image).
What’s intolerable and unacceptable is doing nothing —or using litigation payouts as a cowardly way out.
FYI — Here’s something I previously wrote about men and #MeToo…