And here’s the sadly inevitable “Blame the Victim” press release from the Herman Cain campaign, which arrived in my inbox a few hours ago.
Whenever these type of allegations emerge, it’s fairly predictable how they will play out. IMPORTANT and POWERFUL MAN is clearly being targeted by VENGEFUL woman who never ACHIEVED in life. But it is precisely the power relationship between the two that makes the allegation so believable.
In discussing the claims against Cain over the weekend, I was reminded that the restaurant/food service industry is a tangled maze of mixed messages. There is a common mix of alcohol, late nights and flirting, be it in the early morning closing of a bar or, I would expect, in situations that executives might encounter with subordinates.
Yet, one must adhere to a higher ethical standard when in a position of power, to avoid compromising situations and to set a tone for conduct that inspires employees rather than makes them feel uncomfortable or, in this most recent case, that their job depends on sexual favors.
As more women tell stories about the candidate, it becomes more difficult to believe that Cain upheld that expectation of behavior. And his case is certainly not served by attacking the character of the women speaking up.
An ugly letter, and an awful strategy. Look at yourself before you look at the accuser. Basic rule.
God this stuff infuriates me. “Why would she come forward 14 years later?” Oh I don’t know maybe because she was afraid that her character would be torn apart… in exactly the way it’s happening now.
The shit that’s he’s about to pull on Ms. Bialek is only going to cause more people to avoid reporting sexual abuse, harassment, and assault.
It sure is reprehensible when a woman accuses a powerful man of assaulting her, yes. Also, clearly her past legal history, which doesn’t appear to have anything to do with sexual assault, and how many jobs she’s worked at is VERY FUCKING RELEVANT to the veracity of her accusations.
I don’t even have words for how completely disgusting, low-handed, and transparently victim-blaming, slut-shaming (because don’t be fooled, even if no one is saying “But she’s just a huge slut”, that’s what all of this is trying to convey! They’re trying to say she isn’t a good, trustworthy woman without actually breaking out the ‘s’ word), and rape-apologizing this letter is.
Anyone who wasn’t guilty wouldn’t have to resort to the written equivalent of saying, “Oh, well, you know, girls like that…” and nudging the nearest person with your elbow. The really depressing part is, if it doesn’t work, it’s at least going to sway some people’s opinions.