Ya. We came a long way. Baybay.

Or something like that.

But that road is still a hundred million miles long. Wage disparity and discrimination are still daily battles.

And sexual harassment.

Often enough, even though sexual harassment is considered social pariah territory,  it still depends on who is being accused.

There is the rape blame game, and the sexual harassment limbo.

How low can they go?

Herman Cain, the most current frontrunner for the US GOP presidential nomination, has been exposed as a serial harasser. One allegation was exposed, Cain insisted it was not true. No one was paid any settlements, he said.

It has since gone from there, to more women coming forward, and the knowledge that lots of money was paid to settle out of court.

Two women have come forward,  full names.

The GOP and other "conservatives" have been smearing and making lots of accusations. 

But they are aiming their anger at the victims. 

They even tried to cite racial tensions. They insisted the only reason that Cain was being accused, was because he is black.

REMEMBER Clarence Thomas? They all point and yell.

Yup. I do. And I remember so many other Male politicians who have been accused. Many Politicians are involved in many kinds of sex scandals.... And guess what? They are often enough, white. And often Republican. Hmmmm.

They seem to have dropped that tactic mostly however, it wasn't flying too good. I saw Frum on CNN one day desperately attempting to raise sympathy for the poor black conservative man, and Donna Brazille was really trying not to laugh. 

With so many of the things conservatives like Anne Coulter say,  "they have better blacks". Calling racism is pretty hilarious.

No, what we have here, is yer general misogynist asshole problem. Power.

Men, of many colours and creeds accusing women of making up stories to harm poor Herman Cain.

These same men, often enough would react very differently if it was their own wives or daughters being groped and verbally harassed.  The believability of those they care about would probably not even be questioned.  Odd that. Hey?

The fact is, most women, as in many cases of rape, do not say anything.  There will be repercussions.

Retaliation.  Wiki has a great list.

Common effects on the victims

  • Common professional, academic, financial, and social effects of sexual harassment:
    Decreased work or school performance; increased absenteeism
  •  Loss of job or career, loss of income
    Having to drop courses, change academic plans, or leave school (loss of tuition)
  • Having one's personal life offered up for public scrutiny—the victim becomes the "accused," and his or her dress, lifestyle, and private life will often come under attack.
  • Being objectified and humiliated by scrutiny and gossip
  • Becoming publicly sexualized (i.e. groups of people "evaluate" the victim to establish if he or she is "worth" the sexual attention or the risk to the harasser's career)
  • Defamation of character and reputation
  • Loss of trust in environments similar to where the harassment occurred
  •  Loss of trust in the types of people that occupy similar positions as the harasser or his or her colleagues
  •  Extreme stress upon relationships with significant others, sometimes resulting in divorce; extreme stress on peer relationships, or relationships with colleagues
    Weakening of support network, or being ostracized from professional or academic circles (friends, colleagues, or family may distance themselves from the victim, or shun him or her altogether)
  • Having to relocate to another city, another job, or another school
    Loss of references/recommendations

And lookee at what is being done to these women by those who are willing to overlook anything to save their candidate. Classic.

There are also in fact men who are reporting harassment in the workplace. I imagine that they must find it hard to report, for many of the same reasons, and the added one of having their masculinity questioned.

I have a personal note here.  When I was 16, I worked at a local drugstore. (long ways from where I live now. )The Pharmacist made a pass and a grope for me behind the counter. He had the package of diapers stashed there to take home to his baby daughter that evening. Ain't that sweet? 

I told my Mum. I told my manager. 

I was fired. I couldn't use the reference on a job application. Oh no. I was persona non grata. 

Just start over.  And learn from that. At 16, it's a really scary reality and hard to deal with, but at least I didn't have a massive time investment in that job.

I have fended off many guys in my varied careers in customer service.  Lots of them just seemed to assume that the little blonde chick was a perk or something for them to play with....One boss told me that customers are always right, and just to suck it up when they wanted to have a grab or made sexist jokes.  Don't take it seriously. They don't mean it....Heh heh.

But they do mean it.  It's demoralizing when a customer does it, and completely destructive personally when an employer does it.

Food on the table or self respect and personal safety? Personal reputation or silence?  What a choice.

And just like the rape blame game, it keeps women quiet. 

The RCMP has just been experiencing some new revelations as well. Some of those who are supposed to uphold the law think that women on the force are there to play with. 

The same with the military.

So. To all those good ol'boyoz out there who think that  Women are making this stuff up? Ask the women in your life.

And then, imagine that they were working for Herman Cain.

Imagine that he grabbed your daughters head and poked it into his crotch.  Or that  he invited your wife to his corporate apartments, to discuss her job security.

It also appears that many males simply do not see anything wrong with making women feel objectified, threatened and fearful for their jobs and personal safety. It is not even that they don't believe that it happened in many cases. It means they think it is their right to do this to women.......

In other words, if you thought we'd seen the end of the '60s-era argument that being groped, leered at, and taunted with sexual insults is just the price women have to pay if they want to be in business, well, you were wrong. It's alive and well in conservative circles, though there is some evidence that it may be fading as more conservative women become prominent politicians. Which is why I don't think it's quite right to apply the "he said/she said" model to this story, where each side claims the other is lying and we all pretend not to have an opinion on that. The debate that's really springing from this Cain situation is not over whether or not sexual harassment happens; we're back to debating whether or not it's wrong.

Just biz as usual for the good ol boyoz. Ahhhhhhhhyup.

Final note: One thing that has come along with age and experience;  the surety that if I ever have to fend off a customer or employer again? They will not even dare try it again with anyone. I can make damned sure of that. 
And yes, it will be VERY loud.

You betcha.

Excellent post, pale!

Even the way these stories are covered is sickening. Both the Stauss-Kahn and Cain stories were treated as a "look who got caught with his hands in the cookie jar" story, demeaning the seriousness of the allegations.

That sense of entitlement was never erased by the women's movement, unfortunately.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.