Because Sexual Abuse Is The customary commonplace
Bill O’Reilly — barely beyond settling a huge sexual harassment lawsuit — is negotiating for a job with the Sinclair Broadcast Group. Sinclair, in case you missed this, is the moment largest television station operator in the country, dominating markets in the South and Midwest. It has been involved with Fox Broadcasting since that company’s launch in 1986 and is consistently criticized for its conservative-only news reporting. There are entire regions of our country that catch no news beyond that which Sinclair provides — would that be undue political power? But I digress. So, despite Sinclair’s much-vaunted family values, sexual harassment is not a deal-breaker when it considers hiring. Does no one question this?
The reply is “no” because sexual harassment has been and remains commonplace. When women warn each other approximately certain men, it isn’t with a lot of shared surprise. Such things happen everywhere, utter the time: in corporations, in the armed forces, in churches, in colleges—there’s no set free from it.
Harvey Weinstein is the latest predator to be outed. Because it’s justify-biz and everyone loves a Hollywood scandal, there’s a lot of news coverage. film stars and other industry figures are coming forward saying, “Me too.” Their male counterparts who had long recognized what was going on are apologizing for not speaking up. Women, harassed years ago, are saying they are sorry for not speaking sooner. Back and forth. It’s a rush-to-regret Derby with only losers. Screenwriter Scott Rosenberg wrote a prose poem approximately Weinstein, his mentor of many years, and his sorrow that he got swept up in the moment, the parties, and the personal advantages. You might dismiss that as self-serving B.S. whether it were not for his recurring chorus, “Everybody fucking knew.” And there you bear it. Everyone does know. Weinstein’s rapacious appetite wasn’t strictly acceptable, but it was commonplace.
It’s less than 12 months since voters blew off Donald Trump’s boasts approximately groping random women as commonplace. Among this year’s celebrity lawsuits there’s Bill Cosby (for multiple rapes), and Harvey Weinstein for sofa-casting, exposing himself, and perhaps, possibly rape. label Halperin of CNN has just been accused of asking younger female colleagues not only to sit on his lap but to carry out so while he had an erection. George H.W. Bush must be surprised to find himself in the line-up of living presidential offenders alongside Bill Clinton. I bet Bush had no conception that the odd butt-pat/fondle was other than warmly received. Why? Because no matter how a woman experienced it, that behavior was typical of the men he grew up with. It was commonplace.
But also in 2017, the unique York Times reported that O’Reilly and Fox News had settled five lawsuits against O’Reilly since 2002. In fact there’s a tangle of charges from various women. O’Reilly left Fox final spring, as did Fox’s CEO, Roger Ailes, who was also accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment.
I don’t bear a problem with anyone else’s voracious sexual appetite or their capacity for one-night stands. I carry out care approximately consent. Someone may develop a near-on comment to a person they find appealing but they need to pull back quickly and gracefully whether the response is less than positive. That’s the inequity between sexual pursuit and predation.
I realize that people in elevated positions (generally,normally men but women too) expend their standing to pressure others to sleep with them. Many friends, male and female, homosexual or straight, bear stories of powerful people trying to intimidate them into sex. Sometimes it’s meaningless, other times it’s monstrous, but it’s not necessarily coercive, just opportunistic. How you select among life’s opportunities is personal and some of the effects catch muddled by subjectivity and hindsight. It may be the abuse of power, it may be sleazy, but it’s not necessarily sexual abuse. Sexual harassment is abuse when defined as an on-going tough push despite the other person’s disinterest. It’s very much abuse whether the victim has to face negative consequences for not acquiescing. Groping is abuse. Rape is rape.
whether such abuse won’t stop (as it probably won’t in this century) there bear to be consequences to at least late the offenders. Bill O’Reilly must never work again. Probably the same goes for label Halperin—it’s too soon to uncover. Bill Cosby should be in prison. George H.W. Bush needs to update his social skills. Bill Clinton’s wife has paid his price for him—which further disgusts me, but let’s not start on that. The boasts of sexual assault should bear been a deal breaker for the American electorate, but they weren’t, and thus we bear Donald Trump. He needs to be voted out. Abuse must stop being commonplace.
The Women’s Liberation movement of the late 1960s learned a lot from the Civil Rights movement that directly preceded it. We bear had some successes but many unresolved issues from that time are surfacing again. These days, we’ve had to state “Black Lives Matter” because that conception, that core principle, has yet to be established. It’s not commonplace. It is commonplace for a well-dressed black man driving an expensive car to catch pulled over by the police for no reason. A casually dressed black man may be considered to be “asking for it” when he pops out to buy sweet after dusky—much like a woman who finds herself stranded in the wrong set. “Black Lives Matter” demands a unique norm in which utter people are treated according to their individual actions—just as the huge majority of white people are. African Americans are fathers, sons, husbands, lovers, uncles, senators, doctors, artists, mailmen. Their lives are essential to themselves and others. They matter.
I can’t assist thinking that women are once more in debt to African Americans for their leadership in the struggle for personal and legal rights. White, black, or brown: women’s bodies matter. This is not one of those vapid or reactionary “utter Lives Matter” comments. This is approximately another group of people who are subject to violence because of how they present—not their color, but their gender.
Women cross the street to avoid uncertain-looking people. They don’t necessarily live in fright but they live with caution. Depending on where they are, they lock themselves in their cars or avoid certain parts of town. They throw the deadbolt in their hotel rooms. In cities, they carry pepper spray. In loney areas, they may sleep with a pistol under their pillow. Most find strength in numbers, leery of being alone in a subway car, a public elevator, or even a college restroom. Like most African Americans, women remain polite in order to evade a threatening situation, despite any inner rage. They understand that the consequences of losing self control can be dire. I know this—I’ve been beaten up in unique York City by a stranger, just for rejecting his advances.
For many women the abuse is not just occasional and random but daily. They bear to fright their male family members or their spouse—or their boss in a much-needed job. These may not be celebrities, more likely they are women whose names you will never know. They may be rich or poor. lesson, course doesn’t matter, it’s gender that does—that’s what makes it commonplace.
The right to develop admire or to bear sex just for fun must be left up to the individual woman. No one should touch someone else’s body intimately unless invited. We utter know this. Right now it’s a rule that is honored in the breach by many—boys will be boys! Now it’s time to stand up against that behavior and kick the rule-breakers to the curb.
Don’t let Bill O’Reilly dominate any section of our culture again.
This blog was previously published on The Sanity Papers, www.sanitypapers.com, October 28, 2017