Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cindy Adams says sexual harrassment victims should "Just deal with it"

Has everyone gone insane?  First Arizona, then Oklahoma, and now Page Six?! Is there no humanity?  I kid, but Cindy Adams's irresponsible victim-blaming is no laughing matter.  Her new column reads, in part:
We've each endured some too tight hug or some slob whose hand wandered where it shouldn't. Deal with it. That's what we did in our younger, prettier days. Dealt with it. In some cases, sticking a pen in the guy's lower belly and whispering politely, "Try that again, pal, and you'll have to go to Emergency to pee," worked just fine. 
She's talking about what colossal, litigious whiners women are for taking civil action in the face of sexual harassment.  I'm happy for Ms. Adams that she's apparently always had the kind of jobs where rejecting the boss or a coworker's sexual advances did not threaten one's advancement.  She also probably had the economic security to recover if she was fired or denied a promotion.  I'm also happy for her that she also does not appear to have perceived that this harassment made her workplace inherently unequal, and probably made it impossible for many talented women to remain employed and advance.  But does it seriously not occur to her that others' experiences may be different?  That there are real consequences to sexual harassment, like the ones I just mentioned?

Oh, but when it comes to victim blaming, she's just getting started:
I was maybe 10. In a highly respected elderly doctor's Upper East Side examination room. My mom had left for one second. His hands began examining what wasn't there for examining. I pushed him away and never mentioned it to a soul. Not anybody. Until now. And I still remember his name.
I was maybe 16. The office of a theatrical agent who had a Tiffany reputation. He took me into a private room to test my voice. And what he looked to test was not my voice. I pushed him off and never mentioned it to anyone. Until now. And I still remember his name.
I'm sorry, I just had to suppress my gag reflex. Does Ms. Adams think that just because she was self possessed enough to rebuff these attacks (and was in a situation where this didn't jeopardize her safety or well-being) that they weren't crimes? Does she honestly think it should be the job of children to "just deal with" sexual abuse, instead of parents to protect them, and the court system to put the perps in jail? Those of us who are victims of sexual abuse or acquaintance rape think, at our most despondent moments, that this is what the world thinks of us: that we were stupid for not doing enough to protect ourselves, to say no, to "deal with it." But before Cindy Adams' column, I never had any confirmation it was true.

[via Media Fail]

1 comment:

  1. This type of attitude makes me believe nothing will ever change in the patriarchy. Well, not through the so-called "justice" system, in any case. I wouldn't be surprised to hear about women taking things into their own hands. Then it won't just be a pen stuck into the man's lower belly. But thanks for the suggestion Cindy. Looks like that's the only thing we've got as a resort.


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