Opinion: Sexual predators in our midst

I’m sorry. I had no idea.

A lot of women may laugh at that statement, and they deserve to have that laugh. But in my comfortable naivete, I had no idea of the scale, scope and prevalence of sexual predation inflicted on so many women by so many powerful men in the workplace.

Back when the Bill Cosby stories began to emerge, I thought them bizarre but isolated, one man’s perversity. Then Roger Ailes? Disgusting. Then Bill O’Reilly and Mark Halperin and Eric Bolling and Harvey Weinstein and James Toback, and of course Donald Trump and Bill Clinton and and and ….

Really guys?

Yes, really.  Trump’s attitude in that infamous Access Hollywood tape — “When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy” — turns out to be not merely the bragging of one serial abuser but the ethos of many more men than I would have suspected.

In reading multiple victim accounts, I’m struck by how alike they seem, although to each individual victim it must have seemed like their own very personal nightmare.  In every case, you see the casual, confident cruelty of the perpetrator. These men liked to toy with their victims as if they were cats playing with a mouse they had captured. They appear to revel in their power to do whatever they wanted, without fear of consequence and certainly without concern about the impact on their disposable victim.

You also see a stunning sense of entitlement at work, as if these men believed that the right to treat women this way was part of their contract with the universe, a perk of their success. Nothing illustrates that sense more emphatically than O’Reilly’s operatic anger at being caught. He blames his political opponents, he blames the media, he blames the victims, he even blames God. He does not blame himself, continuing to insist that he had never done anything wrong

He also tries to hide his inexcusable behavior behind his children, insisting that the stories are doing them harm.  Yet that professed concern for the impact on his children didn’t stop him from using his media power to lure, intimidate, and impose his sexual fantasies upon a series of women.  He also whines about a conspiracy to “take him out of the marketplace forever,” which is rich stuff from a man who repeatedly used his own power to make or break careers in order to force compliance with his wishes.

You also hear the stories from those who suspected and to their shame did nothing; you hear less from those who knew outright and did nothing. Those too take on a sameness, perhaps because there are only so many ways to describe a debasement to power. But I’m shocked most by how institutionalized the predation had become at places such as Fox News and the Weinstein Company, and no doubt elsewhere as well.  Six-figure, seven-figure, even eight-figure lawsuit settlements were pretty much built into budgets as the cost of doing business. People knew; a lot of people knew and even participated in various ways. Lawyers, public relations people, private detectives, human resources personnel … entire systems were created to facilitate the abuse, to then silence and intimidate the victims, and if that failed to then secretly pay off victims and force the signing of non-disclosure agreements, so that it could all continue and no one would lose their place on the gravy train.

Victim after victim, year after year, settlement after settlement, they got away with it. Look at Trump. Just a year ago, some two dozen women came out to accuse him of various forms of abuse, assault and harassment; some 20 of them did so publicly, in their own names. A few weeks later, he got elected president of the United States, and many of those in politics who expressed horror at his actions now compete abjectly for his favor. Look also at O’Reilly, who has been welcomed back on to Fox shows and is reportedly negotiating a multi-million-dollar contract to return to the airwaves with Sinclair Broadcasting.

This is not OK and not to be tolerated, except of course when there’s money to be made.

And if you’re stunned that all this has been happening in the highly visible, highly public fields of politics, media and entertainment, pretty much right out in the open, in liberal settings as well as conservative, think about where else it must be happening. In big cities and small towns, Fortune 500 companies and neighborhood restaurants, in the military and charitable nonprofits, in Congress and state legislatures — everywhere, every day.

I didn’t know, not really. I do now, and I’m disgusted by the knowledge.

Reader Comments 0

4040 comments
Scott Smith
Scott Smith

Putting these two side by side in some sort of comparison is distasteful. I do like Weinstein looking like Shrek the Ogre though, Nice touch.

Alan Miller
Alan Miller

Such a selective list of pictures on your post.

RantNRave
RantNRave



Hey cons,


Word Du Jour:


TREASONOUS !


gotalife
gotalife

Removing the thug criminal regime should happen today.

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

"“The president must not, under any circumstances, interfere with the special counsel’s work in any way,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said. “If he does so, Congress must respond swiftly, unequivocally, and in a bipartisan way to ensure that the investigation continues.”"


Schumer getting ahead of the curve.

KUTGF
KUTGF

In 2013, the FBI obtained a search warrant to eavesdrop on what it believed to be a massive Russian money laundering operation — and which also happened to be running out of Trump Tower. As ABC News reported earlier this year, the investigation into the operation led “to a federal grand jury indictment of more than 30 people, including one of the world’s most notorious Russian mafia bosses, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov.”
____________

Remember them Obama wiretapps.  LOL

bendedknee
bendedknee

For the cons who still say  no collusion  proven so far:


""""""""""A professor with close ties to the Russian government told an adviser to Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign in April 2016 that Moscow had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” according to court documents unsealed Monday.

The adviser, George Papadopoulos, has pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about that conversation. The plea represents the most explicit evidence that the Trump campaign was aware that the Russian government was trying to help Mr. Trump and that the campaign was eager to accept that help.

As part of that effort, the Russian government hacked Democratic accounts and released a trove of embarrassing emails related to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. The Trump campaign has repeatedly denied any inside knowledge about that.

“They have dirt on her,” the professor told Mr. Papadopoulos, according to the documents. “They have thousands of emails.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/30/us/politics/george-papadopoulos-russia.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@DownInAlbany @bendedknee No when the GOP does it , It is treason. When DNC does it ,Then it is opposition research. I am Disappointed DIA ,i thought you knew how things are viewed on the BookBlog.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

If I were Manafort, I'd be thinking that federal custody and protection might  not be such a bad thing right about now.  Considering Russia's history with targeted assassinations.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Eye wonder 

He should definitely avoid tall buildings. Defenestration is one of their preferred methods.

rimsky
rimsky

I wonder what John Boehner is doing nowadays.  Drinking his favorite whiskey and chomping on his cigar saying "Glad to be outa there".

InTheMiddle2
InTheMiddle2

I wonder if jay will be able to stop trembling with excitement long enough to write something today.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

With all the hard work that Mueller and his team have put into the investigation, it'd be a real shame, if he relied heavily on the Russian "dossier" and the charges get tossed because the DNC and the FBI paid for it!

TBS
TBS

If if was a fifth

If ifs and buts

If a frog had wings

KUTGF
KUTGF

@DownInAlbany  Awwww....  I guess you don't know how things work and how the evidence has been obtained without the dossier.  You know, the articles we have provided repeatedly and you have decided to intentionally remain ignorant. Because then your air of superior stupidity remains true?

bendedknee
bendedknee

@DownInAlbany Cambridge Analytica paid for it when owners were backing Cruz along with Bannon and Hillary just added to it as part of routine opposition research. 

Cambridge rigged the Brexit vote and is up to its ears in rigging the US election. 

Too much for most cons to understand.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve

It's okay Manafort was just a bit player as campaign chairman so no biggie.

TBS
TBS

He was a nobody.

Trump never exchanged more than 20 words or so with the guy.

gotalife
gotalife

Even the old orange speaker is snitching them out..