As I sit at this evening’s Academy New York viewing party in the magnificent Rainbow Room, a glass of scotch in my hand and a smile on my face, I will be watching to see what tortured and inadequate “me too” comments and jokes will pollute Oscar’s big night.

Why are nominee actors or other artists and technicians qualified to address this national obsession any more than accountants or bankers? They’re not. People listen to them because of their fame and glamour. But a fiery heart dressed in a plaid skirt beats just as hard as one in a gimme gown.

Will the exposure of predators in Hollywood and attendant lawsuits and chest beating make a difference? No.

The problem is that there are powerful trends and practices in society, most centuries old, that are the root of the problem.

First, religion. One organized religion excludes women from its priesthood, places women having a religious calling in a separate and unequal group, and is presided over by a hierarchy of men. Another–the world’s largest religion–requires the separation of men and women in religious ceremonies and imposes restrictions on the dress and activities of women not imposed on men.

Second, in Western societies that profess and prize gender neutrality, no such neutrality actually exists. Positions of authority and power are held by men. In fact, many feminists argue, the fear of now being branded a harasser in the workplace may deter the interaction of men holding power with women appropriately seeking it.

Third, Western educational standards emphasize male-dominated literature, music and art. Attempts at feminine deconstruction of these cultural icons after the fact have largely failed. In the sciences, turf-grabbing “studies” by men purport to show that there is a difference between male and female aptitudes with you-know-who having the upper hand.

Fourth, the law in this country has not caught up to gender neutrality because the legislatures and the courts continue in many instances to deprecate women in assault, divorce and custody cases.

I hope to enjoy this evening and to applaud the artists and technicians who edify and entertain us. I strongly believe that while it is right to condemn the unspeakable evil of the use of sex as a tool in the power armamentarium, the continued drumbeat of accusation, counter-accusation and misery-sharing will not achieve change while society’s championing of men over women continues.