Your reckoning. And mine.
November 20, 2017 5:19 PM   Subscribe

Your Reckoning. And Mine. As stories about abuse, assault, and complicity come flooding out, how do we think about the culprits in our lives? Including, sometimes, ourselves. [content warning: sexual assault, harassment]
The anger window is open. For decades, centuries, it was closed: Something bad happened to you, you shoved it down, you maybe told someone but probably didn’t get much satisfaction — emotional or practical — from the confession. Maybe you even got blowback. No one really cared, and certainly no one was going to do anything about it...

...It’s wild and not entirely fun. Because the stories are awful, yes. And because the conditions that created this perfect storm of female rage — the suffocating ubiquity of harassment and abuse; the election of a multiply accused predator who now controls the courts and the agencies that are supposed to protect us from criminal and discriminatory acts — are so grim.

But it’s also harrowing because it’s confusing; because the wrath may be fierce, but it is not uncomplicated. In the shock of the house lights having been suddenly brought up — of being forced to stare at the ugly scaffolding on which so much of our professional lives has been built — we’ve had scant chance to parse what exactly is inflaming us and who. It’s our tormentors, obviously, but sometimes also our friends, our mentors, ourselves.
Note: this is a thread for everyone to participate and be treated respectfully. Thanks.
posted by triggerfinger (238 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
 
[Quick note, triggerfinger talked to us about putting this up and we're going with it. There's a Metatalk partly about how the site should deal with the recent proliferation of posts about this subject if anyone wants to talk about that meta- aspect.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:23 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


What do we do with the art of monstrous men?, an excellent essay by Claire Dederer:
[In "Manhattan"] Woody Allen’s date, seventeen-year-old high-school student Tracy, is played by Mariel Hemingway.

The really astonishing thing about watching this scene is its nonchalance. NBD, I’m fucking a high schooler. Sure, he knows the relationship can’t last, but he seems only casually troubled by its moral implications. Woody Allen’s character Isaac is fucking that high schooler with what my mother would call a hey-nonny-nonny. Allen is fascinated with moral shading, except when it comes to this particular issue—the issue of middle-aged men fucking teenage girls. In the face of this particular issue, one of our greatest observers of contemporary ethics—someone whose mid-career work can approach the Flaubertian—suddenly becomes a dummy (I always hear this word in Fred Sanford’s voice: “dummeh!”)
posted by Rumple at 5:34 PM on November 20 [21 favorites]


What are some good organizations or people working to help victims fight back against their harassers? (For example, working to make the law more accessible to victims, or reducing power imbalances at work.) I would like to donate to such.
posted by value of information at 5:56 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


This is an important read, thanks triggerfinger.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:02 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


Yeah, you know when I didn't think twice about Manhattan? When it came out. 1979. I was 19. I was in college, but I wasn't that much older than the character of Tracy. And I thought oh sure, if you're smart and together, you can be in a relationship with a much older man, so long as he's smart and together and takes you seriously.

But I was nineteen when I thought that. I look around me now and I see that young women are constantly being flattered by attention from older men, and it means exactly nothing about how together or smart they are or how much of an intellectual connection they have with the men in question, or how mature they are or anything except that they are young girls and men always hit on young girls. Everyone has their cutoff point, or so I suppose, but I've always had a pretty effective general rule of +/-5 when it comes to the age of the men I date, and men seem to have a cutoff of something like -5/-35 or something.
posted by janey47 at 6:06 PM on November 20 [36 favorites]


The grimmest and most worrisome lines in this essay for me were about the coming backlash.

Yet you can feel the backlash brewing. All it will take is one particularly lame allegation — and given the increasing depravity of the charges, the milder stuff looks lamer and lamer, no matter how awful the experience — to turn the tide from deep umbrage on behalf of women to pity for the poor, bullied men. Or one false accusation could do it. One man unfairly fired over a misinterpreted bump in the elevator could transform all of us women into the marauding aggressors, the men our hapless victims.
posted by cgc373 at 6:11 PM on November 20 [45 favorites]


Thanks for this.
This struck a chord with me:

Lots of us are on some level as incensed about the guy who looked down our shirt at a company retreat as we are about Weinstein, even if we can acknowledge that there’s something nuts about that, a weird overreaction. Part of it is the decades we’ve spent being pressured to underreact, our objections to the small stuff (and also to the big stuff!) bantered away, ignored, or attributed to our own lily-livered inability to cut it in the real world. Resentments accrete, mature into rage.

I think for me it's also knowing the stories of so many friends, many much worse than my own, which makes my own experiences feel more difficult... It's all mixed together...we have our own repressed rage and history, added to the feeling of collective secret knowledge and rage about the enormity of it all.

Some things I've experienced would have been much less significant or harmful if i had lived in a society that listened to us all.
posted by chapps at 6:37 PM on November 20 [29 favorites]


I really appreciated this article. It spoke to some of the weird feelings I've been having as a female person who is seldom directly harassed, but still affected by the toxicity of it within my wider environment. It's mostly dumb luck that I only get harassed about once a year on public transit, but I've still seen harassment and bad behavior shape a lot of the world around me. It just happens that most of the way that I feel gendered discrimination has to do with being invisible. (I was once in an elevator with a bunch of male professional colleagues as they had an entire conversation as if I wasn't there.) I like that Traister spoke that even women like me get the stink on them too, because it's so true.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 6:40 PM on November 20 [13 favorites]


A really excellent, clear-eyed, yet furious essay. This struck me, as a male person:

"Sure, good liberal thinkers will go to their sexual-harassment seminars and do all the things they should be doing. But ultimately, this is a cover-your-ass moment, not a change-the-rules moment."

I hope that's not the way this pans out, but I am afraid it may well be.
posted by Rumple at 6:49 PM on November 20 [14 favorites]


The backlash is already there if you look. Hacker News, facebook, newspaper comments - "what happened to innocent until proven guilty?" "Why do you believe her just because she's accusing him? Remember the Rolling Stone story?" A lot of these people probably never even hit the "deep umbrage on behalf of women" point.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 7:21 PM on November 20 [19 favorites]


There are a lot of principles people basically grasp unless the context is sexual abuse. Such as implicitly trusting testimony. When you tell your friend you bought and ate a donut, they won't expect to see a receipt (see Hedberg, Mitch). If Person A says that B punched them, C is likely to take A's side rather than call A a liar, absent good reason not to.

And even once there's a collective agreement that the abuse happened (often because of a confession), abusers get another pass in the form of society immediately trying to calculate their means of redemption and amends. The possibility that something can't be atoned for is treated as an unthinkable horror. "What, he has to be a pariah for the rest of his life?" Maybe, sure. Yet we kind of intuitively grasp this for other forms of wrongdoing, if they reach a threshold of sufficient awfulness. (Naturally, sexual boundary-crossing is almost never seen as reaching that threshold, because it's encoded as 'normal'.)
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:59 PM on November 20 [27 favorites]


Honestly, the comments about Franken on my state's Indivisible group are pretty horrifying. Lots and lots of minimizing groping, claiming that a strong woman would "kick him in the balls and move on with her life," etc. I think that people have the impulse to protect their own, and sadly that's not just Republicans, and it's not just men.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:01 PM on November 20 [11 favorites]


I have a lot of mixed feelings about this that I can't really figure out yet. On the one hand, yeah, guys who harass or assault women need to be called out and be held to account for what they've done. On the other hand, how far does this extend? I think we can all agree that there is, in some ways, a pretty bright line. A guy who rubs up against women, gropes them, pushes their head into their lap, grabs their ass - those are obvious cases. But what if there's a photo from 15 years ago where a guy was jokey pretending to grab my ass, but not touching - should he lose his job? Even if he's a different person now? What if I played along, because that's what was more or less expected at the time? Does it matter if I was uncomfortable or not? Like, say the person who took the photo was the one who reported the guy, not me, but I had no problem with it, either at the time or now? Does that matter?

A male friend I was texting with all day was taking a zero tolerance approach. And I'm pretty sure that I could find similar things in his past that would hurt him under this approach. In fact, I'm sure I could find things in the past of a majority of my male friends that would qualify, if we're casting a wide enough net.

And what about the too-numerous-to-count men who have done things in the workplace throughout my career that have made it feel like a genuinely hostile workplace to me, but don't have anything to do with sex? Like all the guys who have ever made a comment (general or specific, negative or positive) in the workplace about women's looks? And how that feels like a reminder that my only real value will ever be how I look, not how well I can do at my job. Does that count? How about when mediocre men 15 years younger than me talk slowly to me, like I am a f u c k i n g i d i o t, and not a woman who has been working in this industry since they were in junior high. I never see them talk to other guys like that, does that count? It makes me feel no less enraged and utterly powerless, given that if I say anything, no one will believe me, or say I'm overreacting. What about men who have blatantly taken full and visible credit for projects I did that they had nothing to do with? Can that be considered aggressive too? What matters here? Do degrees matter? What about effect or intent? Is it just a blanket condemnation of specific actions, regardless or anything else? I really don't know what to think, I haven't been able to sort this out in my mind yet. But, as I told my friend today, while I really like his advocacy for women, I just don't think he is grasping the nuances. And I'm not sure it's possible for him to fully understand. I mean, I can hardly understand. And it's really bothering me.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:01 PM on November 20 [60 favorites]


The backlash is already there if you look.

Conservatives are no doubt plotting this one out as a told-you-so, and it will bring back lifestyle politics, partly for revenge, and because they always controlled public discourse on morality as a legacy issue.
posted by Brian B. at 9:10 PM on November 20


This has really been useful, thanks for the post and links, especially the Woody Allen one. I am an aging Second Waver, and it's way past time to have this conversation again and clarify some things with myself as well as with others.
posted by kemrocken at 9:19 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


Conservatives are no doubt plotting this one out as a told-you-so, and it will bring back lifestyle politics, partly for revenge, and because they always controlled public discourse on morality as a legacy issue.

They're trying--I'm seeing a good amount of "if all men followed Mike Pence's rules for being around women, sexual assault wouldn't happen". I don't think its really taking though; the right wing of that particular culture war seems more like a futile rearguard action than anything. The American Right has pretty obviously ceded respectfulness as a tenable stance.
posted by The Horse You Rode In On at 10:09 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


Oh god, I forgot the new concern troll bullshit: "but if men can lose their careers by sexually assaulting women then they just won't hire any women out of fear of constant false accusations! You're attacking women's employment opportunities!"
posted by the agents of KAOS at 10:59 PM on November 20 [14 favorites]


[One deleted. This is a difficult enough topic, so let's not make it even murkier by pulling in jokey stuff that makes fun of people's bodies as an aspect of why assault/harassment should not be tolerated (ie: "you're not good-looking enough to be allowed to assault" isn't a productive conversational path here).]
posted by taz at 12:12 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Men Follow Me, Safia Elhillo
posted by sockermom at 5:19 AM on November 21 [8 favorites]


Everyday I find myself bringing this stuff up to my sons, who are 17 and 22. I mean, I hope I already had educated them not to do this kind of thing, but I reiterate. Consent, consent, consent. I think they think I’ve gone a bit loony lately, but them’s the breaks.
posted by Biblio at 5:57 AM on November 21 [6 favorites]


triggerfinger, those are a lot of really good questions, and part of the issue, it seems to me, is the legalism of sexual harassment discourse ...

Like, in theory, the dudes who speak to you like an idiot, or police your expression, or whatever, are obviously creating a hostile work environment, and it is based on gender. But. The law has been focused on men, how do we put this? "taking liberties"? Touching, or acting like they will touch -- having unlimited access to women's bodies. Which on the one hand is assault, and can be a lot more traumatic than other sorts of gender-based discrimination.

On the other hand, I do think the law's preoccupation with sex and bodies probably is based in the old custom where sexual assault was seen as a crime against one's father or husband, and not against oneself. Because for hundreds of years women just didn't have any legal interests in their own right. (And I'm influenced here by Crenshaw's conception of "intersectionality", where the way we think of discrimination on the basis of race and gender is determined by the law's stupid limitations.)

I don't want anyone acting like my body is theirs for amusement or gratification or whatever. Full stop.

I also want to be treated like a fully human being. Full stop.

The former might be a necessary condition for the latter to happen? But I hate all of it.

Anyhow, thanks for the post, and the discussion.
posted by allthinky at 7:14 AM on November 21 [13 favorites]


This discussion made me think of Katherine Franke's"Theorizing Yes," which I believe is helpful. So much of the discussion has rightly been focused on cis-male supremacy, power and privilege.

In this Essay, Professor Franke observes that, unlike feminists from other disciplines, feminist legal theorists have neglected to formulate a positive theory of female sexuality. Instead, discussions of female sexuality have been framed as either a matter of dependency or danger. Professor Franke begins her challenge to this scheme by asking why legal feminism has accepted unquestionably the fact that most women reproduce in their lifetimes. Why have not social forces that incentivize motherhood—a dynamic she terms repronormativity—been exposed to as exacting a feminist critique as have heteronormative forces that normalize heterosexuality? Furthermore, she continues by noting that when feminist legal theory renders sex as dangerous, such analysis risks advancing the view that the only acceptable answer to any sexual proposition is “no.” Professor Franke cautions that the willingness of most legal feminists to maternalize uncritically the female subject or to conceptualize sex as the inevitable site of danger for women, effectively marginalizes, if not erases, the possibility of non-reproductive female sexual desire and pleasure...asure that are open to them.”

In this Essay I will ask a set of questions intended to highlight the degree to which legal feminism has, by and large, reduced questions of sexuality to two principal concerns for women: dependency, and the responsibilities that motherhood entails, and danger, such as sexual harassment, rape, incest, and domestic violence. This concentration on the elimination of sexual danger and dependency for women risks making “women’s actual experience with pleasure invisible, overstat[ing] danger until it monopolizes the entire frame, positions women solely as victims, and fails to empower our movement with women’s curiosity, desire, adventure and success.”

posted by anya32 at 7:54 AM on November 21 [12 favorites]


So many good quotes, I have seen this one so much:
Many men will absorb the lessons of late 2017 to be not about the threat they’ve posed to women but about the threat that women pose to them. So there will be more — perhaps unconscious — hesitancy about hiring women, less eagerness to invite them to lunch, or send them on work trips with men; men will be warier of mentoring women.
posted by saucysault at 7:59 AM on November 21 [13 favorites]


Caroline Framke, Vox: How Samantha Bee and Sarah Silverman outdid their late-night peers on sexual harassment in comedy
It’s tricky for comedians to joke about harassment within their own ranks. Samantha Bee and Sarah Silverman succeeded by acknowledging that uncomfortable reality.
...
On the one hand, yes, they’re both women; their perspectives on the situation are not only different but give them a certain advantage in understanding it that their male peers will never have.
...
But on the other, Bee and Silverman did something that no one else has: They straight up acknowledged that they’re a part of the community that has traditionally fostered men like C.K. and Franken.
...
Obviously, Bee and Silverman can comment on this whole mess from a much different place than any man in late night possibly could. But it was their choice to lean into that fact, and to speak specifically about their personal connections to the story, while their male peers’ more general condemnations of harassment did little to examine their own links to the problem going unchecked within the comedy community.

For any community touched by sexual harassment and abuse (read: all of them), this type of introspection and analysis will be crucial to moving forward. As more and more comedians are found to be at fault — and considering the way comedy has largely functioned as a boundary-less free-for-all for so long, that seems inevitable — those who make a concerted effort to confront and address their own experiences and connection to the problem are the ones who will be most worth listening to.
See also:

Samantha Bee to comedy creeps who don’t get women’s rage: “I invite you to go away”

Youtube: Sarah Silverman's Comments on Sexual Harassment
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:09 AM on November 21 [21 favorites]


Something I've been mulling over since 1991 is the "They're Both Good People" fallacy.

This morning I realized that I do hold Franken and Conyers and Bill Clinton to a higher standard, and I am more enraged by them than I am by the likes of Trump or Roy Moore or Clarence Thomas. Civil rights activists who successfully pretend to believe that all people are born with inalienable rights but then act to deprive certain people of their civil rights are simply worse, in my estimation, than bigots who behave like bigots and never pretend to believe in inalienable rights for all people. They're better liars and bigger hypocrites, and they do more harm because they're like Trump's snake--you believe the ruse, you invest in them, and they betray you.

So: in all the behavior Anita Hill described in the hearings in 1991, Clarence Thomas was simply acting his truth. Per Clarence Thomas, he was worthy and Anita Hill was not. He could be predicted to behave as he did and to declare it all a high tech lynching when it came out because really, according to his way of thinking, what had he done wrong? Nothing. He violated no one's rights because Anita Hill didn't have rights. Now Joe Biden, on the other hand. Joe Biden and all the measly weasly white liberal yackers I overheard on NPR or declaiming over their lattes in Minneapolis coffee shops spouting some permutation of "It's very painful and challenging and hard to know what to do. I believe that They're Both Good People." No, you're lying, you don't believe that, and you're a snake. Either he did all the stuff she said he did and he's lying, in which case he is not a good person, or he didn't do it, in which case she's lying and she is not a good person. If the word "person" means the same thing whether it's applied to a woman or a man, then there is no way that both Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill could be good people. The only way they could both be good people is if a woman person is different from a man person. If you believe that a man is a person with rights and a woman is a strange kind of corrupt, overgrown child with neither innocence nor rights nor capacity to speak truth, then I suppose you could say that she's a good person and so is he. But if you believe that rights and dignity are essential to personhood, then if he's a good person, she can't be a good person, and vice versa.

So that was my mulling in the nineties. Now it's 2017, and my mulling is faster-paced. It goes: "Hey, new millennium! Are women people, yet? Nooooot yeeeeeet! Ragescream mushroomcloud cuttoblack."
posted by Don Pepino at 8:14 AM on November 21 [26 favorites]


One of the things that keeps on coming up for me in these discussions here and elsewhere is that the obvious answer is to smash the patriarchy... but what does that actually look like in our day to day lives? And how do we do it equitably?

Franken is a good case study for this because of his political position. I think Kate Harding made some really good points, but I also completely see the side of the "resignation now" to send a message that the Democratic party is unwilling to throw women under the bus even for political expediency.

But Franken isn't the only case study. A black woman I know brought up that historically false accusations from white women have instigated violence against black men and how that really shifts her perspective on always believing women. I've seen a bunch of our mutual white women friends try to take her down on this... and that feels off to me as well.

I also wonder if I'm more detached from this because while I'm female, I'm not dealing with this on a day to day basis. Are my feelings unduly influenced by the fact that I haven't been overwhelmingly targeted by sexual harassment, where as if losing Franken's vote means that the tax bill passes, I'm in a really bad place. That doesn't even get into the weird guilt that I have been vocal about the non-sexual harassment gender discrimination I've faced when I know my colleagues have been outright assaulted. I have so many complicated feelings around this specifically, but it's hard to acknowledge them because I feel like I'm taking away space from those who have been more hurt and need to speak their truths... and yet I also feel pretty invisible.

I don't have answers. I'd just also like to be a full person.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 8:17 AM on November 21 [15 favorites]


I believe that They're Both Good People.

The Northwestern murder prof who practically sawed off a lover's head had 30+ character references letters written after he was on the lamb from the law.
posted by srboisvert at 8:54 AM on November 21


What "I remember it differently" says about the man who says it's estimation of the woman he says it about. This is the element of every "apology" that most enrages. That they all included that line--they could so easily have edited it out! Franken and Charlie Rose and Louis CK and Woody fucking Allen--everybody who as part of their explanation or apology or their nannyboo said, basically, "I believed that my wanting it meant that she/they wanted it." Nothing in the long and garrulous and multifaceted and erudite experiences these men had in their privileged lives--lives that we willingly gave them! With our pledge dollars and our movie-ticket money and our Act Blue contributions! Nothing in the vast lifelong education these people got thanks to all of us joyfully lifting them up caused them to extend their theory of mind to women.
posted by Don Pepino at 9:43 AM on November 21 [10 favorites]


Moore's lawyers are holding a press conference whose sole purpose is to smear a few of the victims. It's disgusting. Truly horrible. I hope these lawyers are sanctioned.
posted by Justinian at 12:08 PM on November 21 [9 favorites]


Traister's interview with Brooke Gladstone is worth listening to, too.
posted by lazuli at 12:12 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]




On Sexual Harassment in Science
Vindicating the experiences of many women scientists, studies across a variety of settings—from campuses to companies—confirm the prevalence of sexual harassment of all forms is high. Research presented at a two-day workshop of the National Academies’ Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine found that “somewhere in the range of 40 to 70 percent of women had experienced sexual harassment during their careers or as students. This range of prevalence was strikingly consistent across different studies.”
posted by ChuraChura at 12:49 PM on November 21 [11 favorites]


More from TV -

Variety: Mark Schwahn faces more accusation as showrunner of E!'s The Royals (cast and crew from One Tree Hill have already spoken out)

Variety: Greg Berlanti Meets With Casts & Crews Amid Andrew Kreisberg Harassment Claims
posted by Squeak Attack at 1:04 PM on November 21


"Traister's interview with Brooke Gladstone is worth listening to, too."
It's really good.
posted by Don Pepino at 1:21 PM on November 21


-There are a lot of principles people basically grasp unless the context is sexual abuse. Such as implicitly trusting testimony.
-[Conservatives are] trying [to stoke a backlash] --I'm seeing a good amount of "if all men followed Mike Pence's rules for being around women, sexual assault wouldn't happen".


I think the difference is that other crimes are seen as individual vs. individual, but sexual harassment has been seen in terms of gender tribalism, "the battle of the sexes." So that there is a shared sense of guilt and defensiveness among men, and even in some cases a transferred defensiveness by individual women towards men they love (sons, partners, etc.)

Hopefully that is slowly changing -- the Pence rules seems ridiculously feudal. But I'm not sure how to hasten the process.
posted by msalt at 1:24 PM on November 21


This is a good thread on Twitter about how this purge, which is very needed, is also reminding many of us of our own traumas, making us relive them.

I, for one, am waiting and wondering about whether my own abuser is going to be called out. I simultaneously crave and dread this.
posted by sockermom at 3:44 PM on November 21 [12 favorites]


Part of the fallout from Louis C.K. is the closing down of his primetime animated series The Cops. One of the artists posted an open letter to Louis C.K. via Facebook, which Cartoon Brew asked to and was allowed to share, and which I'll quote verbatim now.
My name is Francis Giglio and I am was the Art Director on your animated show “The Cops.”

I am writing to you today to give a voice to another group of people that have been affected by your actions. The amazingly talented crew on The Cops that has been tirelessly working hard to create a unique prime time animated show. We now find ourselves out of a job right before the holiday season. So many of us are frantically looking for a new project to jump on. Myself included as my wife stays home with our 3 year old daughter and I want to always make sure they are taken care of.

However here is the bigger point.

All of the stress and frustration that I find myself in now is nothing compared to the pain and distress you have caused those women. I will happily walk away from this project and any other project to fully support anyone that needs to come forward about sexual abuse or harassment.


Best Regards,
Francis Giglio
Art Director, The Cops
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:14 PM on November 21 [36 favorites]




Jeffrey Toobin went off on a bit of a tangent on CNN when they were talking about Conyers. He implied that reporters and other Congresspeople are basically complicit in hiding the fact that Conyers is senile and not all there. He said that nobody could spend 5 minutes in his presence and believe he has any business being in Congress and is a walking advertisement for term limits (though those are unconstitutional.)

Conyers isn't the only one. It's apparently an open secret along the lines of these sexual harassment allegations that a bunch of Congress is completely unfit to serve because of age-related degradation. Average age of Congress has pushed past 60.
posted by Justinian at 4:29 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


I'm three quarters through Rebecca Traister's article and What do we do with the art of monstrous men? by Claire Dederer is next, but judging by the title only, it will tackle something I have been thinking about (and discussing with friends) a lot.

While I have decided on boycotting works of men who are entirely expendable for me (say, for example, Louis CK's body of work), other pieces of media are difficult to ignore, especially if they are the product of many many people (say, for example, Pixar movies). For the latter I've decided to address the surrounding stories of assault/abuse in conversations with friends whenever they come up, but also donating to corresponding organisations when I really want to consume one of these movies/TV shows/records/etc.

The bigger issue for me has become losing track. Does anyone know of any good resources that collect stories and infos on every celebrity/media person outed post-Weinstein (and maybe also pre-Weinstein), or should I better get started on creating my own shitlist?

Thanks a lot.
posted by bigendian at 4:48 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Here's an incomplete list from the NYT. It's something to just ... keep .... scrolling ......
posted by sockermom at 4:52 PM on November 21 [16 favorites]


Thanks, sockermom!
posted by bigendian at 5:00 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


So this week's This American Life is a rerun about a woman who was trying to get catcallers to stop it. If you check the transcript, it didn't go well.
"And one thing that started to emerge in every single one of these conversations was they think that women enjoy it. So whatever the first reason they gave for catcalling, almost immediately, the follow-up would be, and I want women to have a good time. I'm trying to make you feel good. I'm trying to give you a compliment, or make you feel confident. Women enjoy this, and that's part of why I do it. And that was astounding to me."

"In the end, they just weren't buying it. They kept coming back at me with variations on the same theme. Not all girls feel like you do, and we don't mean any harm. I just couldn't talk them out of it."

" He was not budging on this. He came back to it over and over. He seemed to have this whole imagined world of women who were into this, and he wasn't ready to let it go."

"Zac
'Cause I try and put myself in their position, and I try and imagine what it would be like to just be walking and have some compliment thrown at me by whoever. I would get some type of compliment out of it. If they'd had enough balls, or had enough beers, or fucking whatever to be able to yell something out, I'd be like, yeah, fucking whatever. Yeah, that's the way I try and like, look at things. How would I feel?
Eleanor Gordon-smith
So how would you feel if someone did what you do and slapped you on the ass without warning and without asking?
Zac
I would feel a little bit special. If I was with a group of mates, I'd be like, ha, that's right. I've got a better ass than all you cunts."

'This was the most success I had with any of the guys I talked to. It took 120 minutes of conversation with one man to get him to commit to not literally assaulting women."
Here's what I thought reading this, besides the obvious, and I'd really like to get some other opinions on this train of thought: Is it just me reading this, or do (some) men really, really find this sort of thing complimentary? Is this how a man would like to get picked up on? Is this how men pick up on other men? Is this why they can't understand how women find this shit threatening, because they'd love it if a woman slapped their ass and screamed at them in public calling them a hot dick or whatever? They can't conceive of how a woman takes it as a potential indicator of rape if he decides to go further because this would never happen in their world. Is that the problem? Lost in translation between the genders as to what the other finds okay in a come-on?
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:18 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Honestly? I think they’re lying, and they know that it’s degrading and humiliating, and they do it because they feel powerful when they degrade and humiliate women.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:02 PM on November 21 [15 favorites]


[A couple of comments deleted. It seems like we are kind of wandering off into the weeds to argue about catcalling, which we've discussed many, many, many times before, and which is pulling this thread fairly well off course, so probably better to let that drop. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 7:09 AM on November 22


2017 in a nutshell: #DavidCassidy trending on Twitter and I was relieved to find out he hadn't raped anyone, he was just dead.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:27 AM on November 22 [9 favorites]


I'm angry. You're angry. All women are angry. But will that be enough? [Jean Hannah Edelstein; Guardian]
Now those men have returned, or the ghosts of them: with every new revelation of a prominent journalist’s abuse of women and power, I’m reminded of how they pretended to care about my work and then made me feel like an object.

Like a failure.

Like a pathetic little girl who was too fragile and unsophisticated to pass through the gauntlet of gropes and leers that lined my path to career advancement.

A ceiling made not of glass, but of grabbing hands.
Anita Hill and her 1991 congressional defenders to Joe Biden: You were part of the problem [Annys Shin and Libby Casey; Wapo]
On Nov. 16, Anita Hill sat down at The Washington Post offices with five current and former Democratic lawmakers: Nita M. Lowey (N.Y.), Barbara A. Mikulski (Md.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.), Pat Schroeder (Colo.) and Louise M. Slaughter (N.Y.) — all allies of Hill during her historic appearance at the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991. [...]

Over the course of a 90-minute conversation moderated by Post reporter Libby Casey, Hill spoke about her experiences testifying, and the lawmakers talked about their advocacy for Hill. What follows is a transcript — condensed, edited, annotated and reordered for clarity — of the exchange.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:37 AM on November 22 [12 favorites]


I started reading Dederer's essay (What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men?) but I ended up skimming a lot when I realized it was all about Woody Allen.

I don't need Woody Allen. I don't need him for one fucking thing. I have never needed Woody Allen. I found his stories and his sensibilities offensive and orthogonal to my existence as a girl and then a woman long before I found out he was fucking his wife's daughter.

So my answer to what we should do with the art of monstrous men is - interrogate the art much harder. Demand the art make more space for us. And if that doesn't work - decide you don't need the art.

There is more art in the world than you or I will ever have time to consume. Find art that doesn't exclude or deny your humanity on its face.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:06 AM on November 22 [11 favorites]


I'd love to find a good think piece on how we mourn for art that really had an impact on our lives, but later find out is made by monstrous men. Yes to interrogating the work. Yes to demanding it make more space for us. But what do we do with work we've already engaged with and loved?

It's really simple for me to say that I'm never going to go to another play by David Mamet. The only play of his that I liked was his children's play about Space Pandas. Every other one ground me into a ball of rage, without even getting into his politics outside of his work.

It's also really simple for me to say that I'm never going to engage with Louis CK. I had only ever really seen clips from his shows on the internet... and while it seemed like something I might engage with later, I'd hadn't gotten to it. Deleting it from the streaming queue is really simple.

It's a lot harder for me to not engage with Pixar. I'm not surprised that it's a boys club there, based on the fact that it took until Brave and Inside Out to have female protagonists... and Brave is one of their weaker efforts. However, when I was a really bad depression, Finding Nemo was one of the things that helped me get through it. My username here is a quote from that movie that I honestly kept saying to myself when things were really bad. I know that Lasseter didn't direct Finding Nemo, but his company made it. What do we do with the art that has already had an impact on our lives?
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 10:13 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


And to not abuse the edit window... that's what I was hoping Dederer's piece was going to be about, but it really wasn't.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 10:14 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]


Well, I think that is what her piece is about? Because Woody Allen movies have apparently been very significant to her in the past.

We all will have our own personal scales, of course. To me, a Woody Allen or a Louis CK is different than a John Lasseter appears to be, because the first two are auteurs whose works are direct expressions of their minds and ego, whereas John Lasseter appears to have been an executive who wrote or directed very few movies after Toy Story 2.

Also, a Pixar movie (to me) has always seemed like a movie made by a huge committee of writers/artists/directors in a highly corporate setting, which in the past has accounted for my personal lack of interest, but now also protects the individual works from really being fruit of the poisoned tree in any way. I think you're okay with still cherishing Finding Nemo, on my personal scale (which need not apply to anyone else of course.)

It is partly easy for me to say, "decide you don't need whichever works of art" partly because no one I value has been condemned. I have been interrogating male artists and their art for a very long time and discarding them for years. (I wrote an essay in my high school English in 1984 protesting being forced to watch Polanski's Macbeth because Polanski was a rapist who raped a girl my age.)

The one closest to home for me would probably be David Bowie. I don't hero worship anyone, because I'm not built for it, but I very much enjoy his music and his personas and it is something for me to read up on and think about.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:33 AM on November 22 [7 favorites]


Well, this is not particularly satisfying, but my method has been to dilute with other art. The example that comes to mind is when I realized that reading Booth Tarkington's Penrod books over and over again was breaking my brain. They were amusing and facile and I didn't want to work. I wanted harmlessfrivolous on the order of Wodehouse but hadn't run up on him, yet, and since I first read Tarkington's books-about-boys at the same time as Twain's and E. Nesbit's when I was a kid and not trying to subject my pleasure reading to any critical thought, I didn't quite realize that Tarkington was harmfulfrivolous (or that Twain and E. Nesbit were not just amusing but legit funny, and neither facile nor frivolous). At some point in my late teens I realized all that Tarkington had saturated my brain to such a degree that my own writing was sounding like his, and I didn't want that, one because a lot of Tarkington is dumb, corny, and unnecessarily ornate, and two because nearly all of it is ghastly--he wrote appallingly racist stuff on practically every page. And three the insufferable dialect he seems to think is so clever. So I swore off him forever and set about reading other stuff instead. It's not a satisfying answer because I didn't love Tarkington, so not reading him was easy. Reading other people vastly rewarded the dropping of Tarkington, though, because it led to my finding and reading and writers I did really love. So that might be some solace. I found Trollope and Austen and Eliot and Melville. And Anne Sexton! Of whom--yay, dystopean twentyteens!--I just learned truly terrible things! Gaaaah... Dilute, dilute, dilute.
posted by Don Pepino at 11:05 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


My method thus far has been to obtain art, at least the audiovisual kind, via methods that will very clearly not provide any financial benefit to the person in question. Generally my engagement with a show or movie doesn't extend much past me watching it, so it's not like I watch and then promote works by jerks. I figure that's OK.
posted by schroedinger at 12:54 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]




The one closest to home for me would probably be David Bowie. I don't hero worship anyone, because I'm not built for it, but I very much enjoy his music and his personas and it is something for me to read up on and think about.

It sounds like you already know this, but there is bad news on the sexual abuse front with Bowie. it hasn't received much if any publicity -- I had to google to find it. [1] [2]
posted by msalt at 3:54 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


Yes, msalt, that's what I meant. Sorry to not be more clear. The 70s rock n roll scene was terribly fraught with drugs, coercion, statutory rape, and sexual assault.
posted by Squeak Attack at 4:01 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


I didn't know about Bowie, ugh. And this was no secret, but everyone seems to have forgotten about Bill Wyman: The Day Bill Wyman Married 18-Year-Old Mandy Smith. (He started their relationship when she was 14 and he was 47.)
posted by Room 641-A at 4:16 PM on November 22


For people who are interested (and not aware of it), I would recommend the HBO movie Confirmation, about Anita Hill's testimony at Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearings.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:47 PM on November 22 [5 favorites]


I would also recommend this book containing the complete transcripts of the Thomas/Hill hearings. I read it while my then boyfriend was in the hospital for a week with kidney stones, and it is everything you fear and more. So crystal clear how they just didn't get it on a cellular level. I was in my twenties at the time, and even then, I couldn't believe it and was sadly unsurprised at the same time. I've had Confirmation on my watch list for a while. Waiting for the right moment.
posted by knitcrazybooknut at 9:47 PM on November 22 [5 favorites]


I had just moved and was unemployed at the time of the hearings, so I watched every second and it was horrible. The Blue Angels were practicing for a show in town so the sound of screaming jets is welded in my memory with that excruciating shitshow.
posted by msalt at 10:23 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


"I had just moved and was unemployed at the time of the hearings, so I watched every second and it was horrible." Me, too, except I listened on the radio. I don't remember details, just overwhelming fury at Joe Biden for not helping and I think for some terrible patronizing know-nothing thing he said.
posted by Don Pepino at 6:44 AM on November 23


Krista Vernoff takes down Brett Ratner's lawyer's response to the allegations.

The whole article is a thing of well-articulated rage, but I particularly liked this passage:
I remember being in my twenties with big screenwriting dreams and making friends with heterosexual male working screenwriters who would say things like, "We're all gonna go back to my house and watch this documentary my friend made." And you know what would happen next? We would go back to his house and ... watch the documentary! Y'know why? Because this town is full of good men who are artists and thinkers and who are not rapists and we were young and life was fun and we would take the party back to someone's house and talk about art.

I remember doing the same thing when I was in my early 20's in New York. I remember going with a group of young artists back to Ethan Hawke's apartment. Ethan Hawke was famous and by extension powerful even back then and so the invitation was thrilling. Did I pause and worry that this invitation might be loaded? No, I didn’t. Was I “naïve” to jump at this invitation? I don’t think I was. Because you know what happened when I got there? People drank wine and whiskey and sat around and talked about art and theater and poetry and music and life and possibility. And many of those young artists went on to work with each other on many fine projects. For many of us, those "social" gatherings were career building blocks. I remember meeting the playwright Jonathan Marc Sherman at one of those parties and realizing that people my age really did make a living writing. It was huge for me. Those moments, those revelations, those parties arguably changed the course of my career.
It's such a great push against victim blaming and Mike Pence worldview.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 8:30 AM on November 23 [29 favorites]


All this makes me wonder whether the many accusations of sexual assault against Trump will be revisited, and why less was made of them at the time - at least not enough of them to run him out of the primary or seriously hurt his campaign.
posted by thedarksideofprocyon at 11:54 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


No, I truly believe that we have no hope that somehow the topic of Trump and his assaults will be revisited. Having an abuser in chief is really terrible. It's hard to live in a world where you hear your president on the radio and also hear your abuser barking at you from the recesses of memory. It's a weird specific angle to the trauma of living in this place and time for many of us and part of me feels like that is why it is starting to leak out and take down less powerful men than the president. I feel that this is almost a kind of backlash in some ways, a small wave against the giant tide that is our political state.

As for why less was made of them at the time, it was "just locker room talk" but really, honestly, this country does not care about marginalized people being squashed by someone like him. "It's just a joke." Hurting people and especially women this way is practically an American tradition.
posted by sockermom at 11:32 AM on November 24 [4 favorites]




Australia's got a fairly big sexual assault story now: TV gardener Don Burke, who was a ratings juggernaut in the 80s and 90s but whose show was canned in 2004, was in fact a real piece of work. No word on how much of his manure is made out of his own shitty actions.
posted by Merus at 1:20 PM on November 26 [3 favorites]




Breaking: NBC News fires ‘Today’ anchor Matt Lauer after sexual misconduct review
In a memo to employees sent Wednesday morning, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said the complaint, which was made by a colleague of Lauer's, prompted a serious review and represented a "clear violation of our company's standards."

Lack said it was the first complaint lodged against Lauer, 59, for his behavior since he took over as anchor of the show in 1997, but there was "reason to believe" it may not have been an isolated incident.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:24 AM on November 29 [3 favorites]


Wow Lauer, that seems pretty huge.
posted by octothorpe at 5:30 AM on November 29 [2 favorites]


What's really surprising is they didn't even announce they were investigating, he's right out. his Today show co-hosts seemed genuinely shocked.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:42 AM on November 29 [1 favorite]


The only job still open for sexual harassers appears to be GOP politician.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:46 AM on November 29 [12 favorites]


I have always found Matt Lauer to be the world's creepiest human pile of mashed potatoes and I have never, ever understood his appeal, so I feel vindicated.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:18 AM on November 29 [14 favorites]


Lauer's another man I've heard rumors about for years and years. And since they fired him before Variety could publish the story they've been working on for ages about him, I'm gonna go ahead and guess that yet again, blind items in gossip columns and the whisper network are right as rain.
posted by palomar at 8:42 AM on November 29 [9 favorites]


The only job still open for sexual harassers appears to be GOP politician.

Isn't it more accurate to say that of the politicians of both parties recently accused of sexual harassment, the only one to face consequences is the Black man?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:50 AM on November 29 [9 favorites]


Because I have always found Matt Lauer intolerable, my primary exposure to him has always been during the Olympics, where it's easy to make comparisons with Bob Costas, who is a great interviewer (and please, universe and Bob Costas, do not ruin Bob Costas for me!), and where they're both doing athlete puff pieces. So like when there were changes to the beach volleyball uniforms for women and it was a thing, a typical Costas interview would go like:

Costas: "So there's been some controversy this past week about changes the international federation has made to your uniforms."
Athlete: "Yes."
Costas: "What are your thoughts?"
Athlete: blah blah blah, I'm used to wearing it, I'm comfortable in it, but I do worry about younger girls coming up through the system, and we've expressed some concerns to the international federation about teams from countries where women's clothing is much more constrained, we don't want those teams to lose the chance to compete, etc.

Lauer doing the same interview would be like:
Lauer: "So lots of complaints online this week that female beach volleyball players are balking at new rules requiring briefer bikini bottoms, saying they're too sexy and not comfortable for playing. Are they too sexy?"
Athlete: "I, uh ..."
Lauer: "Do you feel too sexy wearing them?"
Athlete: *laughs nervously* "I don't really think about that while I'm on the court, I'm just thinking about how we're going to beat Argentina in the next round."
Lauer: "I'm sure you will, and you'll certainly look great doing it! Back to you, Bob."

Lauer's the worrrrrrrrrrrrst and when he would interview female gymnasts or female skaters I would have to literally turn off my television. Those are always kind-of awkward interviews because it's an adult media professional interviewing 14-year-old girls, but Bob Costas at least manages an avuncular demeanor, while Lauer comes across as somewhere between prurient and downright lecherous.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:06 AM on November 29 [26 favorites]


Now I'm curious if there was more to the story of Ann Curry's ouster from the Today Show a few years back. At the time, there was talk that Lauer had secretly been lobbying the NBC execs to fire her, and it was assumed that it was either a personality clash or a power play. But now I'm wondering if it was something more odious.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:08 AM on November 29 [3 favorites]


If you want more insight into the Ann Curry firing, and many other aspects of morning TV including how Matt Lauer has managed to hang onto his job for so long, read Top of the Morning by Brian Stelter.
posted by palomar at 9:12 AM on November 29 [1 favorite]


(Operation Bambi, one of the section titles, is what they called the movement within NBC devoted to getting Ann Curry out.)
posted by palomar at 9:14 AM on November 29


Ugh, Matt Lauer is terrible but I hate Bob Costas's Olympics persona with a fiery heat, Eyebrows. He is not an improvement.

My morning radio station was saying that back when Katie Couric left and was asked what she *wouldn't* miss, the answer was something like "Matt Lauer pinching my ass every morning." And course, everyone just laughed it off as a huge joke, because sexual assualt is so funny, amirite. I hope that she and Ann Curry teamed up for this.
posted by TwoStride at 9:19 AM on November 29 [4 favorites]


Jezebel has video of that Couric quote:
A damning installment of the segment, from 2012, has been making the rounds in light of Matt Lauer’s Wednesday morning firing by NBC. In it, Katie Couric, Lauer’s co-anchor for over a decade, is asked by Cohen, “What is [Lauer’s] most annoying habit?”

Couric responds, “He pinches me on the ass a lot.”
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:41 AM on November 29 [7 favorites]


I guess Garrison Keillor is in the mix.
posted by lauranesson at 9:50 AM on November 29 [3 favorites]


On preview, yeah, I thought the breaking news was that Garrison Keillor died, but nope.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:51 AM on November 29 [1 favorite]


My only surprise with Keillor is that he was still on the payroll to be fired.

Quite a while ago, my wife worked for a Twin Cities cultural org that had to deal with Keillor when he was MCing an event of theirs, and he had a gift for making communication with women really creepy. Lots of unsolicited "you bring the buns, I'll bring the hot dog" jokes in emails that were supposed to be about what time he showed up at the event, and so on.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 9:53 AM on November 29 [5 favorites]


Looks like they'll be killing off the Prairie Home Companion brand, but keeping the show under a different name.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:54 AM on November 29


Hm, if they're not beholden to the brand anymore, I could see it moving out to LA since they heavily use Largo regulars. It's pretty much Two Hour Watkins Family Hour.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:58 AM on November 29 [2 favorites]


My only surprise with Keillor is that he was still on the payroll to be fired.

Me too. Didn't he retire, like 3 years ago?

My husband is texting me like "Please don't let [guy whose work I love] be an assaulter." And I'm all, welp, welcome to the world of never knowing whether or not the new buddy you just made is going to randomly betray your trust! Every woman in the world has been keeping your seat warm for you.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:59 AM on November 29 [62 favorites]


Didn't he retire, like 3 years ago?

One would think that. He's been quietly touring with a show called "The Minnesota Show" which was much like PHC was, aside from not being broadcast on the radio. It begged the question of whether he wanted to retire, or was nudged out.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:04 AM on November 29 [1 favorite]


Kind of a sidenote, but I enjoyed this story with Ridley Scott & others discussing his decision to replace Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in "All The Money In The World" with only six weeks until the film's release:
As the crew digs into turkey and pie during a break, Scott, days from turning 80, bounds about with a Tigger-like spring in his step, making last-minute set changes to background vases and photo frames, and cracking jokes with his producers. He sure doesn’t seem stressed. “Are you kidding?” says his wife, Giannina Facio, standing nearby. “He’s thrilled!”

“I’m so very proud to be a part of this — we’re all here for Ridley,” says [Michelle] Williams, who recalls being stunned when she learned of the allegations against Spacey. “When this idea was hatched, I immediately started to feel better. This doesn’t do anything to ease the suffering of people who were all too personally affected by Kevin Spacey, but it is our little act of trying to right a wrong. And it sends a message to predators — you can’t get away with this anymore. Something will be done.”

With Hollywood buzzing over Scott’s can he really do it? high-wire act, the director appears delighted with the challenge and with taking a moral stand...“There’s no time for pondering,” he says with a grin. “Sometimes you’ve got to lay down the law. You have to!”
And the madman is basically already done and moving onto the next film. May we all excise sexual harassers/abusers from our lives and our culture with such ruthless and gleeful efficiency.
posted by acidic at 10:04 AM on November 29 [21 favorites]


It's worth noting that Keillor isn't staying silent. From the Mpls. Star Tribune:
MPR cited "inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him." The former "Prairie Home Companion" host said he was fired over "a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard."
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:05 AM on November 29


So he's not denying it, he's just trying to muddy the waters and get the jump on slandering any accusers. Lovely.
posted by palomar at 10:14 AM on November 29 [3 favorites]


Sure sure Keillor, we get it. It's complicated, you were acting in good faith and there was a miscommunication right? Maybe it was a lot more consensual than your accuser is making it sound. Is that it?

That's kind of the assumed defense buddy. That those explanations exist are way investigations are necessary. She said, than you said, so now we have to figure out who's right.

There WAS an independent investigation into the accusations AND THEN YOU GOT CANNED! Your claims were weighed, measured, and were found wanting. You're wrong so just shut up and take your medicine. Maybe you're actually get better.
posted by VTX at 10:25 AM on November 29 [3 favorites]


By all accounts I've ever heard from people who worked with him (and I've heard a good number), Keillor is an awful human being in general. Not sorry to hear he's out, and not surprised that he's busy obfuscating.
posted by holborne at 10:27 AM on November 29 [3 favorites]


Found a good summary/collection of links to Matt Lauer's dismissal

It appears that multiple investigations were underway, and NBC didn't want to be caught off guard by someone else's reporting.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:30 AM on November 29 [2 favorites]


Washington Post OpEd: Al Franken should resign? That’s absurd. By Garrison Keillor. The Post added a paragraph to the beginning:
Update, 1:14 p.m. Nov. 29: After we published this column, Minnesota Public Radio announced it was terminating its contracts with Garrison Keillor due to “allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him.” The Post takes allegations of this kind seriously and is seeking more information about them.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:47 AM on November 29 [11 favorites]


207 Rule of Thumb: When a celebrity offers to write an op-ed defending another celebrity, it's probably because he's guilty of the same thing the other celeb is accused of - or worse.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:00 AM on November 29 [21 favorites]


MPR News tweets more from Keillor's response: "I think the country is in the grip of a mania ---- the whole Franken business is an absurdity ----and I wish someone who resist it, but I expect MPR to look out for itself, and meanwhile I feel awfully lucky to have hung on for so long."

...Maybe the upside of climate change is that now we have plenty of ice floes to set these guys adrift.
posted by castlebravo at 11:25 AM on November 29 [4 favorites]


I guess Garrison Keillor is in the mix.

Color me unsurprised that that smug homophobic antisemitic motherfucker is complicit.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:54 AM on November 29 [11 favorites]


I feel awfully lucky to have hung on for so long.

Seriously? "Man, I sure had a great time abusing my position of trust and making women feel shitty just being around me; I don't know how you dopes let me get away with it for so long!"

Get bent, Keillor.
posted by nickmark at 12:04 PM on November 29 [9 favorites]




Even if Keillor were right about that, and he's not, is having a world with flirtation worth having a world with sexual harassment?

I mean, if I were a white hetero cisman, maybe I'd think so?
posted by allthinky at 12:33 PM on November 29 [1 favorite]


Consider the first part of this post to just be a string of invectives about Garrison Keillor. I grew up in St. Paul for fuck's sake. My parents took my sister and I to tapings of the Prairie Home Companion more than once, which I considered dull but I liked going to the Science Museum beforehand. I hadn't followed the guy since we left Minnesota and I honestly had no idea all that folksy small town cuteness was a cover for completely putrid misogyny, homophobia, and antisemitism. What a terrible man.
posted by Squeak Attack at 12:35 PM on November 29 [8 favorites]


Variety has posted an article with a few more details about the Lauer allegations:
Lauer, who was paranoid about being followed by tabloid reporters, grew more emboldened at 30 Rockefeller Center as his profile rose following Katie Couric’s departure from “Today” in 2006. His office was in a secluded space, and he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy. It allowed him to welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him, according to two women who were sexually harassed by Lauer.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:48 PM on November 29 [14 favorites]


With Hollywood buzzing over Scott’s can he really do it? high-wire act, the director appears delighted with the challenge and with taking a moral stand...“There’s no time for pondering,” he says with a grin. “Sometimes you’ve got to lay down the law. You have to!”

A bunch of our honors students attended Sundance years ago and associated with Ridley Scott. Let's just say their stories were not very positive.
posted by mecran01 at 12:53 PM on November 29 [2 favorites]


IMO, a world without flirtation would be a big step forward for humanity.

PHC was Public Radio's first way of saying "we're not ALL Eastern Liberal Elitists", and even before that, Keillor was The New Yorker's token WriterNotFromNY. But seriously, doesn't "where all the women are strong and all the men are good looking" tip you off to A LOT of things?

Meanwhile, this brings new meaning to the "Where In The World Is Matt Lauer?" segments... an ingenious way to get him away from his office...
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:56 PM on November 29 [1 favorite]


"Even if Keillor were right about that, and he's not, is having a world with flirtation worth having a world with sexual harassment? "

One assumes a world in which women feel confident that if they say, "No thanks," men will say, "Oh, sorry to have bothered you!" and move on without calling them bitches or cunts or stalking them or groping them or raping them is a world in which there will be a lot more flirtation because it will be safe for women to engage in it!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:59 PM on November 29 [43 favorites]


Lauer, who was paranoid about being followed by tabloid reporters, grew more emboldened at 30 Rockefeller Center as his profile rose following Katie Couric’s departure from “Today” in 2006. His office was in a secluded space, and he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy. It allowed him to welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him, according to two women who were sexually harassed by Lauer.

Yeah... first accusation, my ass. First one they couldn't hush up, probably.
posted by palomar at 1:00 PM on November 29 [6 favorites]


His office was in a secluded space, and he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up.

Jesus. What kind of workplace would even allow that shit to be set up in the first place?
posted by jferg at 1:13 PM on November 29 [24 favorites]


The same kind of workplace that pushes out female employees in favor of their big male star. That's what kind of workplace Today is.
posted by palomar at 1:28 PM on November 29 [11 favorites]


I've been trying to write a letter to Franken for days now, a letter demanding he resign. I struggle with writing this because not only does this topic affect me deeply on a personal level because of things that have happened in my past but also because every day there is another set of headlines about another man doing this. It's exhausting and triggering. Add to that the number of family members and friends who have started sharing their own stories about this happening to them at their workplaces and it's just so... draining. Today's news about Keillor, another Minnesotan, will likely be the final motivation I need to sit down and write my letter to Franken.
posted by Burn.Don't.Freeze at 1:32 PM on November 29 [5 favorites]




Jesus. What kind of workplace would even allow that shit to be set up in the first place?

Seriously. This is some super-villain shit. Like, "Yeah, so I just got this work order to install a trap door that drops down into a pit of piranhas in Matt's office." "Well, he's killing it in the 18-to-34 demo so we gotta."
posted by mhum at 1:33 PM on November 29 [15 favorites]


Meanwhile in infosec (warning, super distressing read with rape details)

https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/29/16715018/morgan-marquis-boire-sexual-assault-citizen-lab-toronto-cybersecurity
posted by xiw at 1:37 PM on November 29 [2 favorites]


While we're at this moment in history, a reminder that Cee-Lo Green was arrested for sexual battery in 2012 and his defense was that since the woman had been drugged (which he pleaded no contest to doing), you couldn't trust her to say if she was raped. "Women who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!" he tweeted.

I'm kind of mystified that one hasn't come back around.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:47 PM on November 29 [13 favorites]


He implied that reporters and other Congresspeople are basically complicit in hiding the fact that Conyers is senile and not all there... It's apparently an open secret along the lines of these sexual harassment allegations that a bunch of Congress is completely unfit to serve because of age-related degradation.

I was surprised to learn today that 50+ years ago, when Conyers (now 88) entered Congress, he hired Rosa Parks to work (for the next 23 years) as a secretary in his office.
posted by LeLiLo at 1:56 PM on November 29 [5 favorites]


Natalie Walker [via Twitter]: The first time I registered that Matt Lauer could not let strong women have anything of their own was when he stole Carmen Sandiego’s song
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:10 PM on November 29 [11 favorites]


I got about a third of the way through that Verge article and had to stop reading. It is quite graphic and disturbing.

I regret reading as far as I did.

If you are in any way triggered, upset or disturbed by graphic descriptions of sexual assault, please be forewarned.
posted by zarq at 2:10 PM on November 29 [4 favorites]


Seconding zarq...I'm privileged enough not to get actually triggered, or horribly viscerally upset, but I also wish I'd quit earlier (not sure exactly how far I got). If you want a sense of the article, read the first anecdote or two, multiply the heinousness by 288 (because it rapidly gets two gross to continue), and consider yourself done.
posted by uosuaq at 3:18 PM on November 29


Yeah it probably needs more of a warning than I put. I had to read the whole thing because I'd encountered the dude as a keynote speaker at local infosec cons, a world that I'd been kind of enjoying learning about, and now I'm ending up sick to my stomach at the thought of the whole area.
posted by xiw at 3:29 PM on November 29


I think your warning was fine, xiw...."super distressing" captures it perfectly. Just, a couple of us went ahead and looked at it anyway...and now we're like "holy SHIT you weren't kidding".
posted by uosuaq at 3:36 PM on November 29 [3 favorites]


Just today I got a notice to take some Diversity and Inclusivity training. I seriously went like this:

"Is the picture of 4 men (3 who are clearly white, the 4th is a little blurry and has text over him so it is hard to tell) in this room an example of diversity? You might be inclined to say no! BUT! Here are ALL THE WAYS that this group of (mostly white) men REALLY ARE! diverse: (a few legit ones like disability (none obvious in the pic), sexual orientation) and then: ages, education, geographic origin, communication style, job function, experience and (my favorite) INTERESTS.

Some other gems:
-"Thinking about this group of men, we have to ask: Are we valuing the diversity of all our colleagues?"
-"Inclusion is not just about women and persons of color (which describes anyone who isn't white)"
-Another pic, 4 white guys, 1 white female (only person with a notepad)
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 5:03 PM on November 29 [16 favorites]


Oh yes I've been to diversity trainings like that. Did you know that it is very difficult to be a bald man? Apparently bald white men have it just as hard as black women in science. Or so it was told at this training, by a bald white man. Who responded to the keynote speaker, a black woman who talked all about her experiences with different kinds of mentors in science, with this garbage.

Another dog whistle you may be likely to hear is "diversity of thought."
posted by sockermom at 5:45 PM on November 29 [16 favorites]




Apparently at our recent company diversity training some of the survey feedback was that people felt discriminated against because of their politics in the training. I'm sorry your political view is that white men are unfairly downtrodden, have a seat with the flat earthers over there in the idiot corner. Yes, I do realize that my response contributes to your feeling of exclusion. Yes, I do intend that.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 9:27 PM on November 29 [19 favorites]






from Fast Company: Six Times Matt Lauer behaved like a dirtbag.

To help people, they are:
1) His role in the firing of Ann Curry
2) His 2012 interview with Anne Hathaway where he tried to pull it away from the movie promotion and onto a paparazzi shot of her lack of underwear and make it victim-shaming
3) Flirtation with 18-year-old Olympic skiier Michaela Shiffrin
4) Sexist questioning of GE CEO Mary Barra
5) The Debate Debacle With Hillary Clinton
6) Undermining Corey Feldman's crusade against pedophiles

I'm glad I never watched anything he was in.
posted by mephron at 6:17 AM on November 30 [2 favorites]


Trump and the 'information cascade' created a cultural reckoning

also btw...
behavioral bias in the way we humans estimate probabilities - "men should stop estimating the frequency of harassment based on the *men* they know, and start estimating it based on the *women* they know"
posted by kliuless at 6:30 AM on November 30 [15 favorites]


Ann Curry Is Every Woman Cast Aside for a ‘Shitty Media Man’
The shit that happened to Ann Curry is why I stopped watching the Today show while I worked out. Sure, it was banal, mostly jokey "news" that I could half-pay attention to while I dripped sweat, but I could still get some lede-level info on weather, pop culture, and current events. And I always enjoyed Ann Curry. She seemed like a smart, lovely person, had a gorgeous, throaty melted butter voice that I could listen to for hours, and was one of the few women in news who had the good sense to avoid any advice she'd gotten over the years to always smile, even when you're reporting on death and mayhem. Hearing about Lauer's team of attack dogs packing up her office as a "joke" and generating multiple tapes of her on-air flubs to embarrass and upset her absolutely disgusted me. Lauer is a pig, and the people who run the Today show should all be fired and replaced.
posted by xyzzy at 7:16 AM on November 30 [6 favorites]


Writer Jenny Lumet: Russell Simmons Sexually Violated Me (Guest Column)
I felt dread and disorientation. I wanted to go home. I said I wanted to go home. I didn’t recognize the man next to me. I didn’t know if the situation would turn violent. I remember thinking that I must be crazy; I remember hoping that the Russell I knew would return any moment.

The car stopped at the curb. I don’t recall the street. I recall the driver opening the door from the outside, and you behind me. I was between the two of you. Not wedged, just in the space between you. I remember exchanging a look with the driver. He was unreadable. It was chilly out. It was me and these two men.

I felt dread. I was tremulous. Off my feet. I felt an intense need to keep both of you calm. Was there a time or a space to run? I have no idea. Would somebody else have run? I have no idea. There were two men. One of whom obeyed the other. It was an overwhelming feeling.

There was no well-lit lobby or doorman at the entrance we used. I would guess it was not the main entrance to the building. I believe there was a door from street level that opened into a space beneath the residential area of the building, in which there was a small, back elevator. If I am wrong about the layout, then I am wrong. There were two men, and I was afraid.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:26 AM on November 30 [3 favorites]


Jenny Lumet is a super good writer. I knew that already, I think, but now I really know that.
posted by lauranesson at 7:33 AM on November 30 [2 favorites]




#MeToo is powerful but will fail unless we do more: feminist Stephanie Coontz on backlash (Hope Reese, Vox)
“Where we go next depends on how we take — or don’t take — advantage of this moment.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:05 AM on November 30 [2 favorites]


Jenny Lumet is Sidney Lumet's daughter and Lena Horne's granddaughter. I mention this only to show that no woman is really immune, regardless of wealth or lineage.

Also, hell of a couple of bridges to burn, Simmons. I hope it bites you and your businesses in the ass.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:05 AM on November 30 [6 favorites]


The shit that happened to Ann Curry is why I stopped watching the Today show while I worked out

Same. Of course, what I ended up switching to was CBS This Morning, which was co-hosted by... Charlie Rose.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:52 AM on November 30 [5 favorites]


Ashwini Tambe, The Conversation: Has Trump’s presidency triggered the movement against sexual harassment? (trigger warning: images)
There’s a sociological concept that captures what’s afoot: “horizontal violence.” This term describes situations where people turn on people in their own lives when provoked by forces beyond their control. The Brazilian philosopher Paolo Freire used the term in 1968 to describe substituting a difficult powerful target with a more accessible one like peers or kin. ...

It is, of course, inaccurate to term what sexual harassment victims are doing “violence,” so a better term in this situation might be “horizontal action.” It is also true that most allegations involve men who have greater power than their victims; in this sense, the action is not exactly horizontal. Nonetheless, the fact that victims are naming their colleagues in such great numbers suggests an awakening: They no longer want to protect their professions and careers nor play along with open secrets. It feels important to topple those perpetrators within reach. Trump’s impunity has, I suggest, provoked the impatience and fury at the heart of [the #meToo] movement.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:59 AM on November 30 [12 favorites]


Yesterday, Outside Magazine posted a survey to their Facebook page asking readers about times they've been sexually harassed while engaged in outdoor recreation. The reaction from angry walking dumpster fire dudes was... not at all shocking. Outside's response, though, has been incredibly heartening.
posted by palomar at 10:22 AM on November 30 [17 favorites]


That Outside editorial got me to write to the editors for the first time since I unsubscribed in disgust in the early oughts. In the last couple of years, they've really turned it around: they have a ton of female writers, photographers, and editors on staff now; the incidence of bikini-babes on the cover has dropped; and they've stepped up reporting on female athletes.

I'm really impressed, and I hope they keep it up.

This month's issue has Michaela Schiffen on the cover, claiming she's the best downhill skier ever. Which is rather nice to see.
posted by suelac at 10:46 AM on November 30 [3 favorites]


This is the kind of post Outside is making now, and why I resubscribed.
posted by suelac at 10:47 AM on November 30 [10 favorites]


I just saw this profound thread of Tweets from Holden Shearer published a couple of weeks ago.
One of the oldest canards in low-denominator comedy is that women are inscrutable and men can't understand them. There's a reason for this and it ain't funny....Women have simple needs (safety) and live in a more dangerous world than men.
posted by exogenous at 10:49 AM on November 30 [5 favorites]


Re: the Outside Magazine stuff - that's very interesting. I was interviewed last spring for a possible article about sexual harassment in outdoor pursuits, and as far as I know nothing came of that interview. I wonder if they're planning to publish something.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:09 AM on November 30 [1 favorite]


2 more women accuse Al Franken of sexual misconduct (Nina Golgowski, HuffingtonPost, 2017-11-30)
posted by petebest at 11:15 AM on November 30


Constance Grady's piece from Vox today is about how we literally do not have the words to discuss sexual assaults with the gravity they deserve, because our culture embraces sex as an act of violence (thus making detailed descriptions read as uncomfortably pornographic) or wants to occlude responsibility and reality (thus making other language distant and vague.)

It's a good piece about something I've been thinking about a lot. I hope one of the knock-on effects of unmasking these predators is to help us towards a better, more thoughtful way of discussing sexual violence.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:49 AM on November 30 [6 favorites]


I have a kind of logistical question. If Al Franken were to resign today, will the investigation into his conduct continue?

I was willing to let him keep his seat until the investigation was over initially when it was just an isolated incident. Now that multiple women have come forward and even that slim chance is gone, he needs go. But I'd still prefer if the investigation continued regardless of what Franken does now. Not because it might exonerate him or anything but to find out just how terrible he had acted.
posted by VTX at 12:04 PM on November 30 [2 favorites]


I think the best case, regarding Franken, is for him to say something like, "I intend to resign at the conclusion of the investigation. However, the only way for healing to occur is if everything is out in the open. Were i to resign now, the investigation goes away. If nothing else, I would like for this to set a precedent of investigations, rather than things getting swept under the rug due to resignation."
posted by notsnot at 12:19 PM on November 30 [8 favorites]


I've been practicing yoga for 30 years and teaching for 25.

Russell Simmons is a complete f*cking ass, coward and a bullshitter supreme. His involvement with yoga was and is a complete joke. He pontificates, says the words but doesn't f*cking sing the song.

His response is a garbage show.

1) "Feeling anguish"? Bullshit.
2) "Memory different than mine"? Bullshit
3) The whole second paragraph? Bullshit covered with whipped cream. It's stupidity is overwhelming. It's underlying cowardice, disgusting
4) And "studio for yoga science" What the f*ck does that mean?

He's a perfect example of "My light is greater than yours"
.
P.S. I cuss when it is necessary
posted by goalyeehah at 2:00 PM on November 30 [6 favorites]


Earlier this week, USA Today approached Ijeoma Oluo (previously on MeFi) with an ask: would she be willing to write a response to an op-ed on sexual harassment and due process that they planned to run? She was willing, and even excited for the opportunity... until she learned that they wanted her to be their straw feminist.
posted by palomar at 3:40 PM on November 30 [22 favorites]


Oh wow. I saw Ijeoma Oluo tweeting about this incident earlier. At that time, she was circumspect about precisely which "major national publication" had approached her; as a freelancer, the calculation to potentially burn a bridge and future income is not made lightly. I had assumed that it was obviously going to be the right-leaning Wall St. Journal. It didn't occur to me that USA Today would be up to these kinds of shenanigans. I kinda hope it was her exposé that spiked their bullshit strawman "rebuttal" op-ed.
posted by mhum at 4:08 PM on November 30 [1 favorite]


I honestly thought it was going to be the New York Times, myself.
posted by palomar at 4:14 PM on November 30 [2 favorites]


Conversations about due process and "innocent until proven guilty" are MRA bullshit of obfuscation. The only process needs to be whatever process the employer usually uses before firing employees who have violated professional ethics, harmed coworkers, embarrassed the company, whatever.

Arguing that society/employers need to apply a higher standard of proof to accusations of sexual harassment than to other transgressions that get people fired is a smokescreen.
posted by Squeak Attack at 5:11 PM on November 30 [6 favorites]


One of the extra disgusting things about Don Burke (currently the most high-profile Australian example) is that he is claiming that Asperger's Syndrome made him do it.
posted by Athanassiel at 5:25 PM on November 30 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, Why Has R Kelly's Career Thrived Despite Sexual Misconduct Allegations?
None of the others have spoken publicly, but the parents continue to contact me regularly, asking why, given the current public conversation, Kelly’s history, and what they call his ongoing abuse, the media isn’t focussing more on him. Even seventeen years of reporting hasn’t been enough to turn as bright a spotlight on Kelly as the one exposing many others, because no one, it seems, matters less in our society than young black women.
posted by TwoStride at 5:36 PM on November 30 [14 favorites]


The R. Kelly situation is so disheartening... these girls and young women have been manipulated, gaslit, trafficked, held prisoner, and horribly abused, but even in black spaces (comment threads on Facebook pages like Son of Baldwin or Kulture Kollective, comment threads on articles at BET or The Root) there's all too frequently a rush to label them as money-grubbing trash looking to get famous. I'd never heard the term "fast-tailed girl" before reading those threads, but it sure as shit gets my blood boiling now.
posted by palomar at 5:58 PM on November 30 [3 favorites]




There was an article in the Boston Phoenix about Horovitz in 1993. There are a whole lot of people who knew and didn't give a shit, and they should go down too.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:09 PM on November 30 [1 favorite]


Nine women have accused playwright Israel Horovitz of sexual misconduct.

Antonia Blumberg, HuffPo: Beastie Boys’ Adam Horovitz Says He Believes Women Accusing His Father Of Sexual Assault.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:21 PM on November 30 [6 favorites]


Antonia Blumberg, HuffPo:

There's a very strange round-up of recent allegations at the end of that article. Lauer, Keilor, Franken, Pelosi, and Conyers are all name-checked. It seems to be obscuring some of the other recent ones, for . . reasons?
posted by petebest at 7:41 PM on November 30


I didn't read that as obscuring, but more as listing off the real big shitty-dude news of just the past 24-36 hours or so. There are so many shitty dudes in the news right now that it's honestly hard to keep up with the list.
posted by palomar at 7:43 PM on November 30


One of the accusers, Jocelyn Meinhardt, had dated Adam Horovitz in high school. She was 19 years old when she started a summer fellowship with his father at the Gloucester Stage Company... ...Meinhardt told the Times that on the first night of the fellowship, Israel Horovitz drove her to his family’s home, where he allegedly raped her.

His. Son's. 19. Year. Old. Ex. Girlfriend.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:55 PM on November 30 [7 favorites]


When your own son tells the press yeah, my dad's totally a rapist, things are bad.
posted by medusa at 8:25 PM on November 30 [11 favorites]


His. Son's. 19. Year. Old. Ex. Girlfriend.
Also his family's 16-year-old au pair, who had to figure out a way to fly home to France to get away from him. He seems to truly be walking, sentient garbage.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:40 PM on November 30 [6 favorites]


Good for Adam Horowitz - it has to be difficult to reconcile that your parent is a sexual predator.

I often think about the poetic justice of Ronan Farrow kicking off this deluge. Remember he wrote this column in the Hollywood Reporter about Hollywood refusing to deal with his father’s abuse of his children. All of these strong victims and supportive allies are a light in the darkness.
posted by rainydayfilms at 4:38 AM on December 1 [13 favorites]


Apparently popular Left Twitter troll and DSA-LA member @lanadelraytheon has been accused of sexual assault. Current Rose Emoji Twitter status: dumpster fire. Number of mentions of Bill Clinton: too numerous to count.

Everyone is terrible. It must be a day that ends in y.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:23 AM on December 1




Rachael Bade, Politico: Lawmaker behind secret $84K sexual harassment settlement unmasked
Rep. Blake Farenthold used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by his former spokesman — the only known sitting member of Congress to have used a little-known congressional account to pay an accuser...
You can search "Blake Farenthold pajamas" if you need an extra visual dollop of "Yup, dude's a creep."
posted by mcdoublewide at 1:28 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]


Eleanor Ainge Roy, The Guardian: New Zealand could force disgraced NBC host Matt Lauer to sell $13m farm
New Zealand is considering the fitness of scandal-hit US Today host Matt Lauer to own a large farm in pristine Lakes country, a move which has been welcomed by the increasingly concerned local community.

The former NBC journalist purchased Hunter Valley Station in the lower South Island in February, after approval from the New Zealand overseas investment office (OIO).

OIO is now reaching out to Lauer for more information regarding his application, as the office requires foreign applicants “continue to be of good character”.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:10 PM on December 1 [10 favorites]


John Hockenberry. NPR is going to need to do some soul-searching, I think.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:19 AM on December 2


That's not NPR, it's WNYC but that makes it worse. I've mostly given up on NPR but I thought that WNYC was better than its bigger cousin in the public radio world and I was obviously wrong.
posted by octothorpe at 9:40 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


That Hockenberry story, is notable (imo), in that it seems like more of the claims against him are not related to touching or groping (though he also did that), but are more gender-based discrimination and harassment.
The stories I heard can be separated into two broad categories. First, there were unwelcome sexual overtures, physical and verbal, directed at the younger women who worked on the show as low- to mid-level producers, assistants, and interns. For the most part, these women did not report their experiences to WNYC management for fear of endangering their jobs. The second group of grievances came from the women of color who served as Hockenberry’s co-hosts — The Takeaway was explicitly founded, in 2008, to bring more diverse voices to public radio. These women, his putative equals, didn’t describe sexual run-ins with him but bullying behavior that undermined their performance.

Which is not to say that the two sets of issues aren’t often intertwined. Both can create what is defined in sexual harassment law as a “hostile work environment.” And with the lurid details coming at us so fast and furious these days, it can be easy to forget that sexual harassment is a form of illegal workplace discrimination. The law against it is intended to allow women to do their jobs, pursue their professional goals, with the same freedom as men.

[...]

But as Headlee laid out in emails to her superiors in April 2012, Hockenberry was professionally “sabotaging” her; he interrupted her on air, “trampled” her lead-ins, didn’t “allow guests to finish answering questions [she] posed.” If she tried to discuss it with him, he’d blow up, she told the station, insulting her publicly. As a solution, her boss arranged sessions for Headlee with a “radio personality” coach, who Headlee said focused mainly on teaching her how to deal with a “difficult personality,” how to keep from getting “rattled.” (As far as Headlee knows, Hockenberry was not asked to get any coaching, which isn’t surprising, she added, because one of the station’s execs told her that the only reason Hockenberry was “misbehaving” was that she wasn’t doing her job well.) Four months after she filed a formal grievance, the station decided not to renew her contract. “How did John keep his job for so long?” she mused. “Men like John are protected for decades.”
As widespread as sexual harassment is, the shitty gendered treatment that women get that is not explicitly sexual in nature is pervasive. Enough so that I now view dealing with this kind of bullshit as a part of any job I might get in my industry - the unpaid emotional labor of stroking the egos of the men I work with, navigating the fine line between appearing competent and smart at my job while also not being threatening to guys who are fragile as fuck. Having to grit my teeth and remain silent while genuinely mediocre men who had not yet hit puberty when I started working in my industry condescend to me, talk over me and mansplain to me, and I can't really say anything because everyone around me has mistaken confidence for competence and think these are great guys, so guess who who would get labelled a bitch if I stand up for myself?

There is not a week that goes by that I don't despair at the utter unfairness of all of it and I can honestly say that I have taken a different career path than I originally wanted to because I decided I could not deal with the dick-swinging guys that I was encountering in the work I wanted to do who get genuinely aggrieved that a woman might know more than them at something and have no problem bullying us into submission. If more stories like these come to light, and companies start taking them as seriously as they're taking everything else, it could be truly transformative.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:10 PM on December 2 [20 favorites]


Yeah, that struck me about it as well. He repeatedly used his power to sabotage black female co-hosts, who were all blamed for their conflicts with him and eventually fired, leaving him, a white guy, as the sole host of the show. And if he hadn't committed sexual harassment, he would have kept his job indefinitely. In some ways, it's easier to address the sexual harassment than the other kinds of racial and gender power dynamics at work in this situation. How many women's careers are derailed by racist, misogynistic guys who aren't sexual harassers?
That's not NPR, it's WNYC but that makes it worse.
Yeah, that's true. I guess I'm thinking of the public radio ecosystem more generally. When I lived in Chicago, the main public radio staton replaced Morning Edition with the Takeaway, and I think that part of the justification was that the Takeaway would appeal more to diverse audiences. And it turns out to have been just another show run by a white guy who can't deal with women of color. It's depressing.

My friends and I have been playing the game of "what male celebrity would really bum you out if he were revealed to be a predator," and I realize that both Brian Lehrer and Ray Suarez are on that list for me. Please don't turn out to be creeps, public radio dudes.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:56 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]


Remember Stanford rapist Brock Turner? He's appealing his conviction.
posted by palomar at 4:51 PM on December 2


James Levine, conductor at the Met. This has been a long time coming. NYT link.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:26 PM on December 2 [1 favorite]


Remember Stanford rapist Brock Turner? He's appealing his conviction.

If I was the prosecutor, I would say "You're absolutely right. We need to vacate that judgment and have a new trial. With a new sentence after conviction." Because Turner is sure as shit going to get a lot more than 6 month for a cut and dried rape case, without his judge-apologist delivering the sentence.
posted by msalt at 11:31 PM on December 2 [8 favorites]


Amy B Wang, WaPo: John Oliver has been pointing out the ‘awkward sex talk’ on Charlie Rose’s CBS show for years (11/21)
Though it is an HBO show, “Last Week Tonight” is filmed at CBS’s New York studios. Oliver made at least a few appearances on “CBS This Morning” and appeared to enjoy calling out the show’s weird sexual vibe in person with the hosts. In a 2015 appearance, O’Donnell referred to an “And now” segment and jokingly asked why Oliver wanted to “shine a light” on their “sex talk.”

“We don’t so much shine a light on it as your sex talk shines a light outwards and catches the eye,” Oliver joked.

“You’re welcome,” King chimed in, as Oliver teased Rose for subsequently “covering his face like a bashful French girl.” They all laughed and poked fun at Rose for being embarrassed at the mention of sex.

“There’s much more sexual tension here than with whatever Matt Lauer’s doing,” Oliver said.
YouTube clip of that appearance.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:03 AM on December 3 [3 favorites]


TWinbrook8: "James Levine, conductor at the Met. This has been a long time coming. NYT link."

Oh, that would have broken my mother's heart. She was a huge fan of his.
posted by octothorpe at 6:45 AM on December 3


Yes, what triggerfinger said to infinity.

I came here to post this NY Times opinion piece by Sallie Krawcheck, who has achieved a lot in finance and Silicon Valley and still can’t get some basic respect. At the end of the day it’s all part of the same misogyny stew - women are not people and therefore don’t need to be treated as equals in any way. As you read some of these horrific harassment stories you notice how many young women were just sacrificed at the alter of the great man.

The part of the article that really resonated:
This moment of ferreting out sexual harassers is a step forward. It also reveals how much work we have to do on the biases that allowed such behavior to flourish.

This summer, I was in Silicon Valley, pitching for a round of funding for my company. I was the only woman in a room of 18 venture capitalists. A few of the men were engaged, a few were typing on their iPhones, and the lead investor was alternating between peppering me with questions and leaning back in his chair with his arms folded. He challenged my knowledge on digital acquisition, on acquisition costs.

Fair enough, even if he was being a little prickly. Finally, I noted that our business was planning to hire a few financial advisers. He proceeded to give me chapter and verse on how financial advisers are hard to manage and instructed me on the economics of the financial advisory business.

I was astonished, because I have managed more financial advisers in my career than probably anyone in the country. And though it’s been years since I have been sexually harassed the way I was at Salomon, I realized in that moment how deep our gender views run, how men are still seen as leaders and women as more junior.

This man naturally assumed that he knew more about it than I did. It was his ingrained view of women — a view that’s costing all of us.
Ms. Krawcheck is a lot more optimistic than I am that appealing to rationality and capitalism will save us, but I think she raised a very good point about the cost of subjugating women in the American workforce.
posted by rainydayfilms at 8:01 AM on December 3 [9 favorites]


Karen Kelsky, who runs The Professor Is In, is soliciting stories about sexual harassment in academia. You can contribute your own or read people's responses. I can't give enough content warnings.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:15 AM on December 3 [5 favorites]


Natalie Jarvey, Hollywood Reporter: 'House of Cards' to Resume Production in 2018 Without Star Kevin Spacey. Eight episodes, starring Robin Wright.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:09 AM on December 4 [4 favorites]


Steven Zeitchik, WaPo: John Oliver grills Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment allegations
NEW YORK — HBO host John Oliver hammered Dustin Hoffman on allegations of sexual harassment and the actor fired back with a ferocious defense as a seemingly benign screening became an explosive conversation about Hollywood sexual misconduct on Monday night.
...
The “Last Week Tonight” personality was moderating a 20th-anniversary screening panel for the Tribeca Institute, with stars Hoffman, Robert De Niro, producer Jane Rosenthal and director Barry Levinson, when Oliver brought up the issue to Hoffman, saying he found Hoffman’s statements about the matter wanting.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:54 PM on December 4 [9 favorites]


Bryan Singer Fired From Directing Queen Biopic After On-Set Chaos (Exclusive)

At this point it looks like the "chaos" was more about personality clashes with Rami Malek or absences due to a "sick parent" but the monitors aren't there in case of personality clashes.
Singer had been warned before production began by both Fox Film chairman and CEO Stacey Snider and Fox Film vice chairman and president of production Emma Watts that they wouldn't tolerate any unprofessional behavior on his part. A representative from the Directors Guild of America also arrived on set to monitor the situation.
How he keeps getting hired is another question.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:56 PM on December 4


[Note, I am a man] I just watched the link on Dustin Hoffman and I am really aghast at the tone-deafness he's shown whilst being called out for his behaviour. I get it that for decades many of our favourite personalities have been under the assumption that it was OK to treat half of our population as property to be assessed, admired, and judged as meriting their attention. I get it.

But it has become abundantly clear that these assumptions were wrong. The only response is to say "did I participate in terrorising those around me in ways that I could not comprehend at the time?" And I do mean terrorising. I can only sympathise with girls and women who are subjected to these behaviours and actions. I can not empathise as a man. It is beyond my experience. But I have been trying to understand my own role in perpetuating this kind of injustice, if at all, and I would be horrified to know that I had been an agent of fear, intimidation, or harassment.

With this in mind, I can only see acknowledging one's effect on others as the minimum accountability. Just admitting that your actions had consequences that hurt is the least any of us can do. Hoffman didn't do that and I'm very disappointed in his lack of insight and reflection. I get it. It was a different time. But he was an asshole and that's something he can admit. But he seems loath to do it.

As long as people keep holding on to a sense of they matter more than their impact on others, we're gonna struggle with this topic.

I've always said that people's behaviours don't change unless it's harder not to. Hopefully the people around Dustin will make the path of least resistance one of reflection and acknowledgement. His role as a privilege male demands it.
posted by qwip at 4:47 AM on December 5 [8 favorites]


I am so curious as to what was going through De Niro's mind on that "Wag the Dog" panel. He's known Hoffman forever, right? He's co-chair of the board of directors of the Tribeca Institute, which was hosting the event. He doesn't step in at all, as far as I've seen, to defuse the situation.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 6:26 AM on December 5


Mandy Stadtmiller, Daily Beast: 'Who’s Next?': The Mysterious Blind-Item King Who Exposed Weinstein, Spacey, and Lauer Before the Media
A talk with the anonymous entertainment lawyer who’s called out some of Hollywood’s biggest creeps.
And Ronan Farrow too.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:33 AM on December 5


I am so curious as to what was going through De Niro's mind on that "Wag the Dog" panel

Maybe “nothing I can do here will make it better, so I’m going to let Dustin bury himself and look marginally better in comparison when my reckoning comes”.
posted by mephron at 6:43 AM on December 5 [6 favorites]


I just watched the link on Dustin Hoffman and I am really aghast at the tone-deafness he's shown whilst being called out for his behaviour.

For someone who apologized, he's not willing to discuss the subject matter of that apology, which only leads me to question his sincerity. If one isn't prepared to entertain at least some scrutiny of one's offered apology, how deeply is it felt?
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:51 AM on December 5 [1 favorite]




Lifehacker: How to Cope With the Current News Cycle as a Sexual Abuse Survivor Lots of excellent advice here, and sidebarred links to mental health resources.
posted by zarq at 10:42 AM on December 5 [1 favorite]


Michelle Cottle at The Atlantic talked to a bunch of Hill staffers about the environment in Congress, and compiled a taxonomy of predators.
posted by suelac at 3:43 PM on December 5 [1 favorite]


I sincerely hope I'm in the right sexual assault subthread, but I have a feeling John Travolta may be next. Travolta's John Gotti biopic was yanked from release 10 days before it was supposed to come to theaters. The producers swear it was just them angling for a better release date, but I have a feeling it's because a sexual battery charge was opened against him two weeks ago. There have long been rumors that Travolta has a history of unwanted, unseemly advances on men, with lawsuits in the past about that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:53 AM on December 6 [2 favorites]


Heh. I almost posted this yesterday but wasn't sure. Whether it's this or something else, Travolta's day will come.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:06 AM on December 6


McSweeney's: Hi, It's Us, All the Fourteen Year-Old Girls In America.
We waited on sending this out because we didn’t think this was, you know, world-shattering news. We thought everyone was on the same page here, re: having sex with children being an absolutely, unequivocally monstrous thing to do, just a disgusting abuse of power against the most vulnerable among us. But apparently you need a refresher. We’d recommend a subscription to Teen Vogue for the articles, but we’re worried about what you’d do with the pictures.
posted by TwoStride at 9:11 AM on December 6 [7 favorites]


Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz of WNYC.

NB: There's a job posting for a new host of The Takeaway.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:21 AM on December 6 [1 favorite]


Actor Michael Rapaport has taken to Twitter to staunchly defend Dustin Hoffman's honor ("Motherfucka you address this man as Mr.Hoffman") in the wake of "selfish fuck" John Oliver's recent public rebuke of the serial harasser. The resulting thread isn't going so well for Mr. Rapaport.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:24 AM on December 6


Yeah, Leonard Lopate doesn't surprise me at all.

Do you think WNYC might consider hiring a woman to be host of a daily show now? Hell, they could really go nuts and even think about hiring someone who wasn't white.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:28 AM on December 6


Some more WNYC context from @thrasherxy [twitter thread, excerpted and condensed]:
Here's the context you need to know about Schwartz and Lopate. Yesterday, employees of WNYC confronted management about the Takeaway, the sidelining of people of color/women/women of color. After @lwalker's on air stint with @BrianLehrer. WNYC employees weren't happy. Employees thought @lwalker and WNYC mgmt were hiding behind "legalese." They demanded to know what executive oversaw the Takeaway: it was Dean Capello (@dcappello) who oversaw the show from its launch to 2009 to the present. WNYC employees confronted mgmt about how they KNEW what Hockenberry had said to @farai. Capello admitted that what Hockenberry said/did to Farai was "a fireable offense," multiple sources in the room have confirmed to me.

In same meeting, WNYC employees said there were "several" people in the building who had had the same kinds of allegations against them as Hockenberry had. Walker said victims wanted confidentiality but it would be dealt with "rapidly," multiple sources told me. Hence, the suspension (which may turn into firing) of Schwartz and Loptae.

BUT HERE'S THE BIG PICTURE WE CAN'T MISS! WNYC has been EXPOSED for systemtically protecting the careers of a few white men for decades, while stymieing/ending the careers of women, WOC & POC.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:37 AM on December 6 [7 favorites]


NB: There's a job posting for a new host of The Takeaway.

"If you are fiercely smart and unafraid, engaged in the evolving conversation around news events, have a presence that commands attention, and have an appetite to hold newsmakers accountable and lead the American conversation, we want to hear from you."

Something about this really grabbed at me. "A presence that commands attention." Who believes (or doesn't believe) that they have a presence that commands attention, or that they could ever cultivate one? Who is rewarded over the course of their life for having such a presence, and who is not? The rest of that job posting is perfectly fine, but that one phrase seems to sum up the pathology of all these predators for me - they have the ability to Command Attention and are given opportunities to do so, and then they abuse it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:43 AM on December 6 [5 favorites]


New Quinnipiac poll on sexual assault ("meaning someone touched you in an inappropriate, sexual manner without your consent"):
Among all adults, 32 percent say they were assaulted, including 17 percent of men and 47 percent of women. The pattern is consistent across all age groups as 33 percent of people 18 to 34 years old, 30 percent of people 35 to 49 years old, 36 percent of people 50 to 64 years old and 34 percent of people over 65 years old say they were sexually assaulted.

Among those men and women who say they were sexually assaulted, 39 percent say it happened in social settings; 37 percent say it happened at work, 27 percent say it happened at home; 20 percent say it happened on the street and 19 percent say it happened in school.

If multiple people have accused an elected official of sexual harassment or sexual assault, 66 percent of Americans say that official should resign, while 24 percent say the official should not resign.

Twenty-five percent of women and 4 percent of men are concerned about being sexually assaulted in the future.

Americans disapprove 63 - 22 percent of the way President Donald Trump is handling sexual harassment and sexual assault. Republicans approve 55 - 24 percent, the only party, gender, age or racial group to approve. It is hypocritical for President Trump to criticize men accused of sexual harassment, 73 percent of Americans say, while 16 percent say he has a right to criticize these men. The U.S. Congress should investigate accusations of sexual harassment against President Trump, Americans say 70 - 25 percent.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:59 AM on December 6


Time Magazine's person of the Year: "The Silence Breakers" (aka #MeToo movement)
posted by msalt at 10:23 AM on December 6 [1 favorite]






The editor of The Paris Review has resigned in the wake of allegations of his misconduct toward women.
posted by TwoStride at 4:00 PM on December 6


Former Voice contestant Melanie Martinez accused of rape by her former best friend. Martinez's response: "She didn't say no."
posted by dirigibleman at 5:37 PM on December 6


Michael Rapaport can kiss my ass. He's got at least one arrest on his record for harassment.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 7:46 PM on December 6 [2 favorites]


It a late response but I just read palomar's story about the USA Today's attempt to find a straw feminist is excellent and it's one of those that makes me think I'm anything but too cynical about the non-wingnut media after all.

They tried and failed to find someone who would write that they opposed due process--I can't imagine just Oluo--meaning that such people are presumably vanishingly rare. But if they had found one I guarantee you people like my red state relatives would be convinced they now know what "feminists" think.

That they then chose not to represent a feminist viewpoint at all is the kicker. This fetishizing of the form of discourse over the substance applies across the board, including the NYT and NPR.
posted by mark k at 9:45 PM on December 6 [1 favorite]


I had an idea this morning during my commute about workplace sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual predators.

Then it crystallized. OSHA. I thought about doing an AskMe, but then poked around a little, and found the standards promulgation process. Anyone can do it. I ginned up the following template.

Any ideas on the best way to move forward, get ideas on the ... parts, and co-signers? Is there a more appropriate place for this?
December 7, 2017


Ms. Loren Sweatt
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health
United States Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Room S2315
Washington, D.C. 20210


Dear Secretary Sweatt:


Pursuant to 29 CFR 1910.3(a) (1996), the undersigned submits the following petition for promulgation of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard for Occupational Exposure to Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Predators.


The undersigned petitions for promulgation of a new standard requiring ...


If not promulgated...

Because of the need to protect workers' health from the harmful effects of workplace exposure to sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual predators...

The lack of a standard, undermines OSHA's strong commitment to a safe and healthy work environment.

The undersigned respectfully submits this petition to promulgate foregoing standard.

These changes will result in …

By implementing these changes, OSHA will fulfill its mandate to protect the health of workers and ensure the safety of the workplace.

Sincerely,


Michael S. Lieman
... add'l signers...

posted by mikelieman at 7:11 AM on December 7 [6 favorites]


Jason Bailey, Flavorwire: Oh Good, Alec Baldwin Has Some Thoughts on the John Oliver-Dustin Hoffman Thing

"Ron Perlman and Michael Rapaport have weighed in too! Great!"
The problem with this “it was a different time” business, of course, is that it’s part and parcel of the thinking that enables the more “malicious” behavior, and if you’re going to fix a problem, you have to attack it at its root. The revelations that have come forth over the previous weeks are clearly, based on not only their volume but the staggering periods of time in which they were allowed to occur and the vast numbers of people who allowed and enabled their perpetrators, not the actions of a handful of “felons,” but the result of a widespread rape culture that begins with a dab of “harmless” harassment in the workplace and progresses accordingly. You can’t gingerly pluck this rotten fruit from the branch. You’ve got to dig the fucking trees up and plant new ones.

That’s also why the pearl-clutching by Baldwin, Perlman, Rapaport, and the rest over the inappropriateness of the time and place must be dismissed with the same bad faith they’re applying to the entire conversation. Of course this was not the “appropriate venue” for that conversation – because this industry in particular and this culture in general is constructed in such a way that there is never an “appropriate venue” in which to “fight it out” with powerful men. So you have to take your shot, and ask your questions, whenever you get the opportunity. Oliver did that. Good on him.

And for that matter, if we’re so obsessed with these rules of polite society, chew on this: the workplace is not the proper time and place to scam on women, and yet Hoffman had no problem doing so – from the very first set he walked on, by his own admission. So maybe his fans and fellow actors shouldn’t worry so much about the proper time and place to call him on it. Just a thought.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:57 PM on December 7 [7 favorites]




This is very good:

The #MeToo campaign is not a positive assertion of feminist solidarity, but rather a shared experience of what has been done to us by others. It turns out that this is an extraordinarily effective way to raise consciousness online. But it has a passive quality. And this allows certain presumptions—about men and women, about feminism and misogyny—to rush in, so that they undergird a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine gender politics.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:42 PM on December 7 [3 favorites]


Dylan Farrow: Why has the #MeToo revolution spared Woody Allen?

I saw an ad for his new movie earlier today and asked the same thing.
posted by primalux at 9:33 PM on December 7 [8 favorites]


I saw an ad for his new movie earlier today and asked the same thing.

I saw the trailer for that new Woody Allen thing before a movie in a full arthouse theater recently...No one seemed to know that it was a Woody Allen movie until the credit "A Film by Woody Allen" appeared on the screen, and I was glad to hear the entire theater collectively and audibly groan.
posted by doctornecessiter at 7:23 AM on December 8 [4 favorites]


It also took me a few times before I caught his credit in the tv ads. I"m glad he's got this movie coming out because it puts him back front and center. In the midst of all these different new allegations coming out everywhere I think he was able to fly under the radar with these older stories.

I'm not sure if I've ever seen Kate Winslet in a movie but I"m sure not going to go out of my way going forward.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:37 AM on December 8


Do you plan on equally avoiding all the men who have worked with and been apologists for Allen? Because there seems to be a pattern of disproportionately punishing complicit women. It's easier to call women out, common to hold them to higher standards than we hold men, and more socially acceptable to punish women.
posted by sockermom at 1:20 PM on December 8 [5 favorites]


Do you plan on equally avoiding all the men who have worked with and been apologists for Allen?

If they do so publicly, of course I would. Why wouldn't I?

All I'm doing is adding Kate Winslet to the list of works by Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen and Jefferey Tambor and Richard Dreyfus and Louis CK and damnit even Dustin Hoffman and and and that I won't watch anymore. And any time another rape apologists name comes up I'll add them to the list, too.

It's easier to call women out, yes. No doubt. But here in this thread we are talking about a specific movie with an actor who I have seen defend him and that actor is Kate Winslett.

Besides, I've never even seen Titanic. I'm clearly not watching a lot of Kate Winslett movies anyway; it is literally the least I can do.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:59 PM on December 8 [1 favorite]


(Trigger Warning) Benjamin Lee, Guardian: Dustin Hoffman accused of 'abusive' sexual harassment on Broadway, by Kathryn Rossetter from their time on a 1983 production of Death of a Salesman.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:03 PM on December 8 [1 favorite]




Bryan Singer who was just accused of raping a 17 year old boy [CW]. Suuuuure. You and Kevin should hold your breath while you wait for that to happen.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:12 PM on December 8 [2 favorites]


A frightening first person account by Heidi Bond of clerick for Judge Kozinski.

The Washington Post gives it more context if you want it (and other accusations.)
posted by mark k at 9:45 PM on December 8 [3 favorites]


Wow. That Heidi Bond essay is absolutely beautiful. Can one obtain those romance novels of hers? From the essay I know they will be transcendent.
posted by Don Pepino at 9:46 AM on December 9


I don't know about transcendent, but they're definitely numerous.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:47 AM on December 9


Oh wow, Heidi Bond is the real name of Courtney Milan. I don't read romance novels, but she's a huge favorite among smart, progressive women I know who do. If there's any chance that you would like romance novels, you'll probably like hers.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:06 AM on December 9 [8 favorites]


Yeah, the essay is great and heartbreaking, and Milan's romance novels are fun, thoughtful, moving, and hot; go to her site and read some of the free stories to get started, if you want to try out her work.

This is IMO the first time Bond has super publicly crossed the streams of her wallet name and her pen name. I've followed her career and blogged about her amazing interdisciplinary path -- from research chemist to law professor to novelist -- and I am so dismayed to see how we lost a brilliant jurist ("If you did not know about Kozinski, it would be impossible to understand my career choices.") to this vile harassment. And Corey Robin points out Judge Kozinski's libertarian hypocrisy ("Government regulations of advertising? Terrible violation of free speech. Telling a worker what she can read? Market freedom.").
posted by brainwane at 1:10 PM on December 9 [8 favorites]




(Trigger Warning) Benjamin Lee, Guardian: Dustin Hoffman accused of 'abusive' sexual harassment on Broadway, by Kathryn Rossetter from their time on a 1983 production of Death of a Salesman.

The article was based on an editorial Kathryn Rossetter wrote for the Hollywood Reporter [CW]. The editors inserted the following at the top of her editorial:
On Nov. 1, The Hollywood Reporter published a guest column by writer Anna Graham Hunter in which she alleged that actor Dustin Hoffman groped and sexually harassed her when she was a 17-year-old production assistant on the set of Death of a Salesman TV movie in 1985.
...
Since THR published Hunter’s account, several other women have approached the publication with similar stories about Hoffman’s conduct at various times and places dating back to the 1970s. One of those women, Kathryn Rossetter, who co-starred with Hoffman in Death of a Salesman on Broadway and in the TV movie, has written the following account of her experience. (She has related this story to numerous people over the years.)
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:53 PM on December 9 [1 favorite]




A Woman Who Says She Had Underage Sex With R. Kelly Is Finally Telling Her Story (Jim DeRogatis, BuzzFeed News)
Pace's story is different than previously reported accounts because she was underage when she and Kelly began a sexual relationship. Pace says she is talking now — and breaking a signed nondisclosure agreement — because she is concerned about women still living with Kelly in what police have been told is an abusive “cult,” as BuzzFeed News first reported last month. Pace says she’s particularly concerned about a friend she brought into Kelly’s circle when they were both teenagers and who multiple sources say still lives with Kelly.
(CW the article is not graphic but describes her situation, but also talks about the legal side.)
posted by Room 641-A at 5:13 AM on December 11 [1 favorite]


Up next: Mario Batali. (Content warning for description of groping in the first few paragraphs.)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:42 AM on December 11


LA Eater just posted a tweet about their big story about his Eataly opening here. The first comment is me, linking to the NY Eater story about Batali stepping aside.

I'm actually going to save a ton of money, so hooray?
posted by Room 641-A at 7:58 AM on December 11


Oof, that came out weird. I mean hooray this came out before I spent money there, not hooray it happened. Sorry if that wasn't clear.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:37 AM on December 11


Female scientists report a horrifying culture of sexual assault and harassment:
"In 2011, [Kate Clancy] was blogging for Scientific American and was often invited to speak at universities about “how to be a woman in science.” At one such event, she ran into an old colleague. The friend used to be about two years behind Clancy in her career, but when they reconnected, the woman had yet to finish her Ph.D., while Clancy was well into a tenure-track job. Clancy asked what was holding her up. “Every time I look at my dissertation data it reminds me of when I was sexually assaulted in the field,” the woman replied. A few weeks later, Clancy had a remarkably similar conversation with another woman at a different conference. “I was like, ‘What’s going on with you?’” Clancy recounts. “And she was like, ‘Let me tell you about the systemic sexual harassment at the field site that made me completely desert this line of research.’”
posted by ChuraChura at 8:50 AM on December 11 [5 favorites]




A friend's mom had studied urban planning and entered the field in the 80s. Her first boss told her "you're so tall I wouldn't know what to do with you in bed!"

She went to nursing school and is a nurse to this day. Just didn't want to deal with it.

How many millions of stories like hers are there? More than enough to offset any 'losses' from smacking down the perpetrators, anyway.
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:18 PM on December 11 [12 favorites]


From TPM, "New Yorker Cuts Ties With Ryan Lizza Over ‘Improper Sexual Conduct’":
The New Yorker on Monday announced it had “severed ties” with prominent political reporter Ryan Lizza over what the magazine called “improper sexual conduct.”

“The New Yorker recently learned that Ryan Lizza engaged in what we believe was improper sexual conduct,” a New Yorker spokesperson said in a statement to TPM. “We have reviewed the matter and, as a result, have severed ties with Lizza. Due to a request for privacy, we are not commenting further.”
Whenever one of these (many) stories comes to light, they rarely (if ever) reference that infamous "Shitty Media Men" Google Doc. Yet, I can't help but wonder how many of these recent dismissals would never have happened if not for that doc.
posted by mhum at 3:04 PM on December 11 [3 favorites]


How many millions of stories like hers are there?

Over the years, I've read all kinds of articles offering analysis of why there were so few women employed at high levels in law, medicine, tech, etc... They provided various kinds of explanations and research based on things like pregnancy/maternity issues, differences in status-seeking between men and women, and outlier theories (i.e.: men exhibit greater variance in skill levels and hence would be over-represented among high-skilled individuals... and of course the highest levels of any profession are occupied by the highest-skilled workers, obvs). At this point, I think every researcher who has provided one of these kinds of explanations should probably go back and double-check their dang work.
posted by mhum at 3:53 PM on December 11 [10 favorites]


A major reason I decided not to go to culinary school was that I knew I couldn't deal with the sexual harassment that is standard in the average restaurant kitchen.
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:24 PM on December 11 [4 favorites]


Industries I have been very interested in but have opted not to pursue work in because I've heard how women are treated there:

tech (worked in it already, don't want to go back)
food
academia
entertainment
publishing
posted by palomar at 5:34 PM on December 11 [1 favorite]


Tom Colicchio Says ‘No One Should Be Surprised’ About Mario Batali Sexual-Harassment Allegations
"In subsequent tweets, Colicchio said Batali’s conduct was “well documented in Bill Buford’s book Heat.” He also referenced an open letter he wrote in November, asking that male chefs and restaurateurs acknowledge the power imbalance that allows women workers to be harassed with little recourse."
While the "no one should be surprised" sounds like he's blaming the victims, he clarified in subsequent tweets that it was based on having read Heat and tweeted "I’m not a witness. Rumor suspicion,innuendo are not facts, false accusations can hurt the #MeToo movement. These are not my stories to tell."

The open letter he wrote is here.
posted by primalux at 9:32 PM on December 11


Lord, I've always had a vague fondness for Batali, and I've read Heat several times and obviously overlooked stuff that was right there on the page. Sigh.
posted by PussKillian at 6:55 AM on December 12


The open letter he wrote is here.

I've never liked Tom Colicchio's Top Chef persona and always just assumed he was your typical chef-as-rock-star type alpha male asshole like countless other celebrity TV chefs. But he comes across very well in this piece.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:59 AM on December 12


Industries I have been very interested in but have opted not to pursue work in because I've heard how women are treated there:

It was everywhere I ever looked. This —and the fact that circumstances aligned in such a way to make it financially feasible for me—is why I’m self-employed.

But there is no real escape, as far as I can tell. If men are present or in power, it will happen, somehow, in some shape or form. It’s literally every damn time. Most recent for me was with a shitty landlord (I have moved).

I am very much ready for the matriarchy.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:20 AM on December 12 [4 favorites]


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