Saturday, October 15, 2016

No Female Voter is Safe

Illustration by Shan Stumpf. Concept by Adriana Ruiz-Billman.


  1. Can you imagine Donald's reaction if a famous and bigger than him woman touched his genitals? Would he feel the honor, and "let her" since she had the rich/famous 'right' to the use of his body?

    He's still going after Hillary for supposedly attacking women, with no evidence, but claims he can attack the women accusing him, claiming they are lying and the proof is none of them is attractive enough to exercise his right to lick and maul. His surrogate says and that's not doing what he is (falsely) claiming Hillary did, but it's just Donald telling the truth.

    Just when you think it can't get any weirder.

    1. It's unprecedented in American history.

    2. sadly, only too precedented in working women's history. That's how I know how hard it is to say anything, I only did once, and that was long after the fact and after I'd faced retaliation as if I had reported it. And HR was entirely uninterested, shocked I'd say such a thing about a respected chief psychiatrist. (I knew it was a long-shot, I thought I'd give them a chance to do the right thing.)

      Really, it doesn't matter, once you reject them, whether or not you report it, you'll lose your job, they will figure out a way to remove the humiliation of rejection by removing their humiliator. And for those that don't reject them, who think they are special and favored, it's often worse. Once one of them makes his move, you've already lost, the moves have to be prevented in the first place, and that comes with its own consequences.

      That chief psychiatrist boss I wrote about earlier, who had taken off his clothes and was waiting for me to come out of the bathroom, so I'd have to see him naked (I doubt that has ever worked as a pick-up move?), I didn't look at him directly, I walked past him as fast as I could, heading to the door, but he called out "wait, this is your chance to see me naked" and that was it, over for me.

      And they're never too unlikely, and having a pretty wife already won't stop them, guys like Donald who have been given the wrong idea, and so think they have what women want, expect their advances to be welcomed, and if not, the woman is withholding, or led him on. Feeling 'led on' is what they mean when they call us castrating.

      This has to be so weird for young guys like you, Scan, who would never imagine such things going on. Donald started off before he got old and grew a beer belly, but he was born rich and entitled, with no one telling him he was off-putting, not alluring.

      Donald wasn't bad looking as a young guy, and anyway women are often much more accepting of far less than perfect looks than are men, but his moves would have made him an obvious creep, whatever he looked like on the outside. Generally, women find that level of crude narcissism ridiculous. Or sad.

      I had a friend once who who was a scientist, and she worked with top scientists, and the top one , who was really old, somehow thought so highly of my friend that he made himself her mentor. She loved the attention, and she told me about how they talked, and that she'd started telling him about her marital problems, and what he'd said.

      She thought he just liked her, and it was okay because he was married too, so I warned her that had probably had other motives, and by then assumed his advances would be welcome, and that if she rejected him he'd feel tricked.

      I suggested she walk the marital problems back, and tell him that fast, that they had reconciled.

      She took my advice (it had a ring of truth, she'd started feeling a little uncomfortable with the 'closeness;' he'd started touching her, moving her hair off her face and giving her compliments, but she'd been telling herself it was just friendship)

      and he did declare himself, but by then she'd already lied and told him she was back with her husband, so it wasn't the same kind of castrating rejection, and after he declared himself, he somehow lost interest in their conversations, but he didn't get her fired.

    3. Working women have to navigate all of that, at least if we work in mostly male places where the powerful ones are men, so that if we somehow don't stop the declaration (or just being jumped and mauled) we at least save their egos,

      but in any event we never come out whole. it's one of the reasons we earn less, and that we don't get to the top jobs, all the required navigations, all the obstacle courses, and not being in on the 'locker room' talk so we don't even know what they are saying about us.

      Answer: women only universities, so we don't start out undermined, starting our own businesses, working for progressive companies that have as many female as male managers

    4. Thank you so much for sharing these comments.

      You're right, all this is very eye-opening for me...and for a LOT of men. That's the silver lining to this very dark cloud. Michelle's masterful speech, all by itself, is a defining moment for this issue. Some good things will come from this once the awful drama of the election is behind us.

    5. yes, it's been 'acceptable' for so long, and we've been supposed to be good sports about it, how awful it really is for us hasn't been acknowledged, that's what Michelle did, she didn't make light of it. She said it, it hurts, it's depersonalizing and even scary.

      Many of us make light of it and refuse to acknowledge our barriers. There are some African Americans (Clarence Thomas come to mind) who refuse to admit they face racism, and insist it's all from real cause, and that we all have an equal chance, but lots more women deny it and blame individual women, for getting hit on, and for not getting the promotion.

      I think one of the reasons a higher percentage of married women are Republican (so far anyway) is that denial is easier if you don't face it on a job; even if they work they have another breadwinner, and perhaps a stake in preserving his ego.

      Things have improved at the entry level, male bosses don't get to freely feed on the new female hires anymore, who aren't all just clerical/service anymore, so most women don't run into it until they are competing for advancement with men, or for a power job that men also want, then they see it. That's what the statistics say, an awakening in their thirties. Then maybe someone who has the power to promote might expect some 'appreciation.' Or some man who also wants the job might start stories, that are still too easy to believe about women.

      Hillary had a few things going for her, first her mother as a role model who also didn't undermine her aspirations, and then a female university, and then a feminist husband. And with that she still had to get the highest grades and the most experience, and she had to be a nice person (I like that part). And it's her passion, helping moms out, giving the voiceless a voice, giving the breakless a few breaks.