Tag Archives: sexual harassment

Getting a Handle on What Sexual Misconduct Actually Means

I think everyone except white-wing evangelicals agrees that a forcible sex act is rape.

But what about a coworker looking at another and saying “Damn, she’s fine”?

Stealing a kiss in what you think is a romantic moment to find out she/he isn’t that in to you? I mean, in the old movies, that always seemed infamously to lead to slap a la Cary Grant and Doris Day.

Trying to force a coworker into a sexual encounter? No question this is wrong.

Can a woman be accused of sexual misconduct in attempting to coerce an unwilling male?

So where exactly are the lines?

And what can we do as a society to make sure everyone is on the same page? What is and is not acceptable is rapidly changing. As well as out view of “who” is believable. Misconduct isn’t going to be swept under the rug (unless you are a Republican).


What Does ‘Sexual Misconduct’ Actually Mean?

The almost infinite shades of creepy misbehavior on display are challenging the legal and cultural categories used to describe them.

“Enough is enough,” proclaimed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at a December 6 press conference. Whatever the details of her colleague Al Franken’s sexual misbehavior, said Gillibrand, who has been aggressively pushing for Congress to tackle its harassment problem, he needed to step down. “I think when we start having to talk about the differences between sexual assault and sexual harassment and unwanted groping, you are having the wrong conversation. You need to draw a line in the sand and say: None of it is OK. None of it is acceptable.”

It most definitely is not. But as the public outrage over sexual misconduct gains force, it is swallowing up an increasingly diverse range of allegations, from the relatively petty (such as those lodged against Franken) to the truly monstrous (such as the claims regarding Harvey Weinstein and Roger Ailes). In between those poles exist almost infinite shades of creepy—which, sadly, will necessitate a great many discussions about how to deal with, and even talk about, the different types of offenses and offenders.

This is, in some ways, uncharted territory. In the past, questions of culpability were largely left to the legal realm: As long as a man didn’t get arrested or lose a lawsuit—and sometimes even if he did—he could get away with an awful lot while suffering little more than a bad-boy reputation. But the current reckoning is different, a rising tide of public shaming driven in part by shifting attitudes and expectations among younger women. Going forward, it’s hard to tell how the new lines will be drawn, much less where.

Women should be respected. Period. But not all offenders are created equal. The pattern of coercive harassment of employees allegedly perpetrated by chat show host Charlie Rose or former Representative John Conyers is not the same as the fumbling, drunken stupidity of which The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush stands accused. Thrush may or may not deserve to lose his current job for having made booze-fueled passes at, and subsequently talked smack about, female colleagues at his previous job. But his alleged offenses pale when compared to, say, ex-ABC pundit Mark Halperin’s alleged practice of groping, rubbing his erections against, and even masturbating in front of junior staffers—and then threatening to kill the careers of those who rebuffed him. (Like many of the men caught in this whirlwind, Halperin disputes at least some of the allegations against him.)

Some of the misbehavior being detailed is flat-out bizarre. Comedian Louis C.K. admitted to being a nonviolent but nevertheless intrusive exhibitionist-masturbator. It remains a public mystery precisely what Garrison Keillor did to get his radio show killed. (Something about touching a woman’s bare back when her shirt fluttered open?) Representative Joe Barton had every right to text naked pics of himself to one of his girlfriends, but threatening to use the Capitol Police to keep her quiet about their relationship was a no-no. As for former Representative Trent Franks, who felt it appropriate to pressure multiple young aides to serve as surrogate mothers for him and his wife: Someone needs to explain that The Handmaid’s Tale is dystopian fiction, not a how-to guide.

Then, of course, there are the many and varied accusations circling President Donald Trump, not to mention his own boasts in this area—none of which he has addressed in a remotely coherent, much less persuasive fashion. (The Access Hollywood tape is empty locker room talk! No, wait, it’s a fake! He has never met these women! Not even the ones he’s been photographed with! Or the one who was on his show!) But that, alas, is a special topic to be saved for another day.

It is precisely because this movement is so powerful that it’s important to avoid (through frustration or disgust, exhaustion or confusion) sweeping every bad act and actor into the same mushy heap. That kind of sloppiness breeds excess and backlash. Right now, even our language is inadequate to the moment. Shoving Weinstein and Ailes under the same umbrella of sexual “misconduct” or “misbehavior” as Franken or Thrush renders such terms all but meaningless. Weinstein terrorized scores of women—psychologically, professionally, and physically—for multiple decades and is currently under investigation for rape. That’s not “misconduct” or “harassment.” It’s an atrocity, possibly wrapped in multiple felonies. Both genders need to find a way to address some of these qualitative distinctions without sounding like anyone is being let off the hook.

This may sound obvious, until, for instance, you wander into an angry Twitter mob of John Conyers supporters demanding to know why the ex-congressman’s sins are seen by many to be worse than Franken’s. Well, for starters, Franken didn’t use tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to secretly settle an aide’s harassment claim. As for the underlying misconduct, if one believes the accusations, Conyers’s transgressions—committed repeatedly against his own employees in direct abuse of his power over them—were empirically more egregious and revolting. (Asking an aide to touch his junk or else find him another woman who would? Come on.) This isn’t to say that Franken didn’t behave like an entitled pig. But, until the drip, drip, drip of low-level grope-and-slobber stories accumulated, the case for his being pushed from office was not nearly as clear as the one against Conyers….More...


Posted by on December 21, 2017 in and the Single Life, Men, The New Jim Crow, Women


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Tavis Smiley Fights Back

Appears that Tavis isn’t having any of it.


Posted by on December 19, 2017 in Men, Women


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Republican Financed Fake Sexual Harassment Claims Against Democrat Congressman

Not real surprised at this.

Democrats are absolute idiots for bending over to get rid of Franken.

He said – She said gets into some ambiguous territory at times. Doesn’t mean that sexual harassment in the workplace isn’t common. Just means there is a lot of room for misinterpretation of motives.  Invited a woman on my staff some years ago to a group happy hour where I bought a round of drinks for my staff.. Either I didn’t make the invitation clear enough, or she misunderstood my meaning. She responded saying she had a boyfriend. I was a bit taken aback, and felt it was necessary to explain it was an invitation to join the group of 30 or so staff. and my meaning wasn’t to suggest some sort of private get together.

So, it is possible to say something or do something which is misinterpreted. Sure there are jackasses out there…But firing of people without some sort of due process is getting way out of hand,

In this case the “accuser” turns out to be a paid Republican troll, with a history of false allegations…


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Conyers Exits…Stage Left

Conyers got away with this for a long, long, time…

Now it has caught up with him.

As for Congress…Conyers biting the dust is only the beginning.

Rep. John Conyers Jr., who faces allegations of sexual harassment, says he is retiring today, endorses son as his replacement

An attorney for Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) cast doubt Tuesday morning on reports the congressman won’t seek reelection following a slew of sexual harassment allegations.

Arnold Reed, a Detroit-area attorney, suggested on Twitter that a younger Conyers relative was not aware of his great-uncle’s plans when he told reporters he planned to run for his Michigan congressional seat next year.

The younger relative, Ian Conyers, told the Times his great-uncle would not seek reelection due to health concerns.

“The congressman will make his decision this morning consistent with my previous statements,” Reed tweeted. “I’m not responding to rumor and innuendo regarding Ian Conyers. I have not spoken to Ian Conyers and no one is aware of the congressman’s plans except he and I and his wife.”

Conyers, the longest-serving member of Congress, has been under pressure from Democratic leaders to resign since several former staffers alleged he made inappropriate advances toward them over the past two decades. He has denied wrongdoing.

The New York Times first reported Tuesday that Ian Conyers, the grandson of Conyers’s brother, plans to run for the seat.

“He is not resigning. He is going to retire,” the younger Conyers told the paper. “His doctor advised him that the rigor of another campaign would be too much for him just in terms of his health.”

Messages left with the younger Conyers were not immediately returned Tuesday morning.

The elder Conyers is expected to announce his plans at 10 a.m. Tuesday on a Detroit-area radio program.


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Since We are Cleaning House – Uncle Tommie Clarence Needs to Go as Well

The confirmation hearings on Clarence Thomas’ ascension to the Supreme Court featured what was probably the first nationwide coverage of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Uncle Tommie got a walk.

With the number of folks now losing their jobs and positions for acts like those of Thomas…Perhaps the ultimate test of whether the current flurry of sexual harassment punishments is a “fad” or something we will take seriously going forward is whether Thomas receives the same treatment. Whether he is punished or not has some rather serious implications relative to the Supreme Court’s already badly battered credibility.

Image result for clarence thomas anita hill

Clarence Thomas must resign

Utah Republican Orrin Hatch called “bullcrap” on Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown last week. The Senate Finance Committee lion tore into Brown for “spewing” that the Republican tax plan to transfer a trillion dollars to the rich was in reality a Republican tax plan to transfer a trillion dollars to the rich.

I got my first dose of Hatch during the wall-to-wall coverage of the confirmation of Clarence Thomas, George H.W. Bush’s Supreme Court nominee. Hatch was the Republicans’ designated questioner of Anita Hill. She was called to testify because she’d told the FBI that Thomas had sexually harassed her 10 years earlier, when he was her boss at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Education.

Sitting behind her were her mother, Erma (“who is going to be celebrating her 80th birthday”); her father, Albert; her sisters, Elreathea, Jo Ann, Coleen and Joyce; and her brother, Ray. No way she was going to lie to the committee, or to us, in front of them.

Hill testified that Thomas had repeatedly asked her out, and that she repeatedly refused. So he demeaned her. He told her someone had once “put a pubic hair” on his Coke can. He said porn star Long Dong Silver had nothing on him in the endowment department.

Hatch called her charges “contrived” and “sick.” He claimed she’d stolen them. The pubic hair, she’d taken from page 70 of “The Exorcist.” Long Dong Silver, she’d lifted from a Kansas sexual harassment case.

Hill agreed to a polygraph test, and passed. Thomas refused. He called the hearings a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.”

It was painful to watch Hatch slime Hill. Women who’d also been sexually harassed found in the hearings no reason to be less fearful of telling their stories. Nor, later, could they take comfort in how Bill Clinton’s accusers were reviled. Or Bill O’Reilly’s. Or Roger Ailes’s.

But something changed. The tipping point may have been Donald Trump bragging to Billy Bush about assaulting women. Sixteen of his victims had the courage to say he’d harassed or groped them.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump’s escape from accountability for that predation contributed to the decisions by Harvey Weinstein’s victims to talk on the record to Jodi Kantor and her New York Times colleagues and to Ronan Farrow at the New Yorker. Before long, more than 80 women attested to Weinstein’s assaults as far back as 1990.

Then nine women gave the Washington Post detailed accounts of Alabama Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore’s history of pedophilia and abuse. They knew the blowback would be brutal. They did it anyway.

Still, Moore won’t quit. Why would he? Kay Ivey, Alabama’s Republican governor, says she’ll vote for him even though she believes his accusers. Better to elect a pedophile than a Democrat who’d vote against a Supreme Court nominee who’d overturn Roe v Wade.

Now Senator Al Franken is in the crosshairs. The Minnesota Democrat offered an apology to Leann Tweeden for “completely inappropriate” behavior in 2006, which she accepted, and he asked for an ethics investigation of the incident. Calls for his resignation illustrate the fallacy of false equivalence; they’re the witch-hunt Trump claimed had victimized him.

Hill was a thoroughly credible witness. Thomas has no stronger case for his innocence than do Trump, Moore or Weinstein. Pressed to defend Trump’s sexual improprieties, his press secretary said the American people “spoke very loud and clear when they elected this president.” No to put too fine a point on it, but she’s spewing bullcrap. Elections don’t decide culpability.

In the wake of the Hill/Thomas hearings, a record-breaking 117 women made it onto the federal ticket in the 1992 election. The 24 women elected to the House that year was the largest number in any single House election, and the three elected to the Senate tripled the number of women senators.

That sharp uptick didn’t persist. If you think that today’s 80% male Congress isn’t good enough, check out Project 100, which is working to elect 100 progressive women to Congress by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. Full disclosure: my daughter is a co-founder. As her dad, and as the onetime speechwriter for the first presidential candidate to pick a woman as his running mate, you can imagine how proud of her I am. And how hopeful she and her young teammates make me feel.



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16 Women Describe Trump Sexual Assaults

Roy Moore is a pedophile, liking young girls. Donald Trump is just a straight up sexual molester according to these women.



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The Bodies Begin to Pile Up at Faux News

Got a “twofer” today, with Fox News President and his protege being cut loose…An Sean Hannity seeing his cover man and enabler leaving…Heads for the Fire Exit!

Fox co-president Bill Shine ousted in latest fallout from sexual harassment scandal

Image result for rats sinking shipAnother day, another major ouster at Fox News.

Two of Gabriel Sherman’s sources claim that Fox News co-president Bill Shine was relieved of his duties as of Monday morning.

Shortly after the New York Magazine reporter broke the news on Twitter, 21st Century Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch put out a statement confirming Shine’s resignation. In addition to Shine’s resignation, Murdoch also announced that Suzanne Scott would be taking over as the president of programming, while Jay Wallace would take over as president of news.

One source tells Sherman that several women at Fox in recent days started circulating a petition that called for Shine to be fired. Fox’s on-air talent is apparently stunned by the news, and one Fox host tells Sherman that they have “no idea what’s going on.”

Sherman also notes that Shine was former Fox News boss Roger Ailes’ “righthand guy,” who was “involved in carrying out Ailes’s attacks on enemies, including instructing Fox talent to go after me.”

Earlier this year, longtime Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky filed a lawsuit against the network that claimed Shine “aided and abetted” sexual harassment committed by former Fox News boss Roger Ailes.

Shine’s departure now marks the third major firing of longtime Fox personnel in the wake of the network’s multiple sexual harassment scandals, along with Roger Ailes and longtime star host Bill O’Reilly.

Last week, Fox host Sean Hannity reacted with alarm to news that Shine might soon be on his way out the door, and even claimed that his firing would be “the end of Fox News as we know it.”

Hannity looking to bail on Fox as early as this week after exit of Fox News’ Shine: report

Popular Fox News nighttime host Sean Hannity may leave the conservative news network as early as after this evening’s broadcast following Monday’s resignation of Fox News co-president Bill Shine, reports the Daily Beast.

According to the Beast, sources at the network state that negotiations between Hannity’s lawyers and the network could end this week with Hannity off the air by Friday. Another source said Hannity could say his farewells this evening.

Hannity is known to be very close to Shine, once saying the network ousting him would be the “end of FNC as we know it.”

According to New York Magazine editor Gabriel Sherman, Fox sources say Hannity has a “key man clause” in his Fox contract that would allow him to leave the network at any time.

The loss of headliner Hannity would be another blow to the network that recently dismissed popular hosts Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly.

According to a Fox spokesperson rumors of Hannity’s exit are “Completely untrue.”

SS Trump


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Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Faux News


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