Victim Shaming and Other Types of Stupid

Victim Shaming and Other Types of Stupid

Victim Shaming and Other Types of Stupid

Like many, I’m hitting the law of diminishing returns on the near-endless wave of sexual harassment claims. It’s getting so bad, that men are declining to work with women, mentor them in the workplace, or hold meetings, or even open doors for women, for fear of being accused of sexual harassment! Predictably, this will lead to feminist screeching about how they’re excluded in the workplace and from promotion opportunities, but that’s another topic for another day.

As much as I think Al Franken is a neanderthal perv, squeezing someone’s waist during a photo doesn’t strike me as sexual harassment. Being overly familiar with someone is maybe inappropriate at certain venues, but sexual harassment? Come on! I will emulate a wise Supreme Court justice in Jacobellis v. Ohio about a film deemed by the lower courts to be pornography, I’m not going to try to define sexual harassment in detail, “but I know it when I see it.”

That said…

What in the everloving, turtle-humping hell, Marcy Kaptur?

A female Democratic House member shocked fellow lawmakers Wednesday when she said that the revealing clothing that some members and staffers wear is an “invitation” to sexual harassment.

[…]

“I saw a member yesterday with her cleavage so deep it was down to the floor,” Kaptur said, according to the sources present. “And what I’ve seen … it’s really an invitation.” The comments left many others in the room stunned, the sources said.

File this under #thingstheTalibanwould say, will ya?

Those of you castigating Kaptur for this particular bit of stupid ought to remember that frothing fundamentalist fruitcake Matt Walsh said something very similar recently. He promoted the idea of men following the “Pence rule,” of never being alone with a woman other than his wife, chastity, and modesty.

Otherwise, derps Walsh, women shouldn’t be surprised if harassment occurs, because they didn’t take steps to decrease the likelihood of falling victim to harassment.

DAFUQ?

And then, there’s this barely literate crotch monkey.

Let’s get something clear here, Derpy McFuckles: the way a woman dresses in no way gives you or any other cave creature the right to grab her, or stick any of your filthy body parts into any orifice she may possess. It’s a simple matter of property rights. Our bodies are our property, and if you invade said property with any extremity, you risk getting it shot off, sliced off, or pulled off, much like you would if you entered my house uninvited, bitch!

 

Second, sexual assault and harassment aren’t about clothes. They’re about power, plain and simple. Harvey Weinstein used sex to wield power over others, and if you haven’t read Salma Hayek’s story, you should. It’s a typical tale of an entitled neanderthal wielding his power over those he perceived as weaker. Al Franken’s “It’s my right [to grope and assault you] as an entertainer” further underscores the entitled “I’m better and more powerful than you, because I’m famous” mentality exhibited by these needle-dicked fuckcakes. This is not about clothing! Franken groped a U.S. Soldier, while she was wearing a simple white shirt! I get the feeling Matt Lauer would have stuck his tiny little prick into Cousin It, as long as he knew where to locate the hole!

The human body is beautiful. Wearing clothes that emphasize one’s assets is not an invitation to touch, grope, squeeze, or hump. Not being alone with a woman may be a smart strategy for Mike Pence – he is after all a public figure, who could be a frequent target for such accusations – it’s ridiculous and impractical for the rest of the world. Many of us work in office environments; many of us are supervisors who have to manage both males and females; many of us work in career fields that demand briefings, meetings, training sessions, and mentorships for members of the opposite sex. Many of us work in career fields that require interaction with customers, and we don’t have time to derp about what is between said customer’s legs.

Acting professionally has nothing to do with what your interlocutor happens to be wearing that day. It has to do with the respect you have for her as a co-worker, briefer, manager, and human being. It also has everything to do with simple human decency. Some men have it, and some men don’t. But to blame a victim for CAUSING another person’s inappropriate behavior, is taking a large, steaming dump on personal responsibility, self control, and free will.

If I were a man, I’d be insulted that someone would contend that I have so little upbringing, maturity, professionalism, and self-control, that I would violate a woman merely because she’s wearing a short skirt.

But since I’m a woman, I will simply and cheerfully give people like that hag Kapture and Walsh, and especially this troglodyte meat sack Bill Bryan, the one-finger salute.

Written by

Marta Hernandez is an immigrant, writer, editor, science fiction fan (especially military sci-fi), and a lover of freedom, her children, her husband and her pets. She loves to shoot, and range time is sacred, as is her hiking obsession, especially if we’re talking the European Alps. She is an avid caffeine and TWD addict, and wants to own otters, sloths, wallabies, koalas, and wombats when she grows up.

12 Comments
  • J. Pascal says:

    Yes, no, sometimes, and it’s complicated.

    Consider that harassment can be claimed simply because somebody complimented your looks or your outfit or looked at your cleavage or asked you to stop tapping your tongue piercing on your front teeth.

    There’s also the sense that clothing is communication. It’s expression. This is why people get so upset if you suggest uniforms in schools. Because people have to express themselves. It doesn’t work to try to claim there’s not communication involved in what you choose to wear. And, just as a general rule, young women in particular tend to fail at this. And feminists telling them that they shouldn’t have to consider what they’re wearing doesn’t help the situation at all.

    In fact feminism tends to demand that men behave as if they’re neutered. When they’re not. In some sense it’s actually violent to demand that men behave as if they are neutered. (for a trendy feminist definition of “violent”)

    If you show up to work in something suggestive and inappropriate does it give anyone permission to harass or assault you? Of course not. Does it give anyone permission not to take you seriously, or wonder if they should avoid being alone with you, yes, it sort of does.

  • David Lentz says:

    Men are biological. Women, or fourteen year old young girls in shopping malls, fully intend on provoking a man’s sexual interest. Yet they scream when the wrong person responds to their sexual provocation Woman can provoke at will but men must only respond at their own peril.

    Maybe the folks who hosted the social where your grandfather first met your grandmother knew what they were doing when they provided chaperones. Human biology has not changed.

  • GWB says:

    Wow. I think you go overboard on this one, Marta.

    First, putting Rep Kaptur and that FarceBook dude in the same category is wrong. What she was talking about was harassment, what he was talking about included assault. A big difference (though the #metoo folks don’t seem to grasp that).
    And putting Matt Walsh in with this dude? Wow, that’s offensive. Walsh’s rules are absolutely right: “Graham rule”*, promote modesty and chastity. Oh, it’s not hip or cool, but it’s right.

    Second, yes, modesty in women goes a long way to discouraging harassment and encouraging a collegial work environment. I have seen women dressed very inappropriately for work. I’ve seen men dressed very inappropriately, too – but men have the advantage that inappropriate dress seldom says “hey, I’m a stud, and you should ogle me”, while women’s poor sartorial choices often serve to emphasize their sexual qualities.

    Third, I’m failing to see how Franken, in the pic posted, is groping that woman. His arm is around her back and his hand is partly on her back and partly on her side. Unless that woman’s head is in a really weird position. That’s a standard hug position. If you don’t want to be hugged, fine, but it ain’t groping. (If the picture is not indicative of the claim you mention, then you need a better illustration.)

    Fourth…
    The human body is beautiful. Wearing clothes that emphasize one’s assets is not an invitation to touch, grope, squeeze, or hump.
    It’s an advertisement. And, if you’re going to advertise, understand that 1) people are gonna want to check out the wares, and 2) some people will want to talk to you about a deal (and 3 – some will want a test drive/free sample).
    Ergo, if you don’t want men ogling you and asking you out and thinking about you that way then you shouldn’t advertise.
    Note, there IS a difference between “looking good” and “advertising”. And fewer young women today seem to understand that difference. Rep Kaptur was not talking about “looking good”.

    Sorry, Marta, but this sounds like typical feminist baloney where all the work is on the men’s side. No. If you want to be treated professionally, then dress professionally and act professionally. You are correct that men’s behavior should be chivalrous and circumspect. But the deal is that you do the same.

    *points to all of the Victory Girls pics on the site*
    An important thing about Victory Girls, imho, is understanding the difference between men and women, and actually glorying in that difference. I am not required to stop being a man just because I’m working with a woman – and neither are you required to stop being a woman.

    There have been plenty of horrid things done and said by a lot of men to a lot of women. It’s NOT “victim blaming” to point out that some measure of those women sold their virtue for a shot at the brass ring, or weren’t nearly as brave as they now claim to be, or got exactly what they should have expected (like that idiot complaining that Trump treated her like just a pretty face at a beauty pageant). Just like the “Graham rule” isn’t instituted just because men can’t control themselves.

    (* Billy Graham was the first famous person to use that rule. Pence didn’t make it up, no matter how much the press wants to make him out to be the harbinger of The Handmaid’s Tale. And it served Graham very well over the decades of his ministry.)

    • Marta Hernandez says:

      “First, putting Rep Kaptur and that FarceBook dude in the same category is wrong. What she was talking about was harassment, what he was talking about included assault. A big difference (though the #metoo folks don’t seem to grasp that).” — I’m not saying they are the same thing. I’m also not saying that one needs to dress like a pole dancer at work. Look, I have a generous… um… chest area. Not anything I do to emphasize it, but shirts are naturally pretty tight on me. I’m not going to wear a shirt buttoned all the way up in order to avoid harassment at work. I act professionally, and I expect the men I work with to act professionally. If they can’t do that because they’re too busy ogling my cleavage, that’s THEIR fault, not mine.

      “Second, yes, modesty in women goes a long way to discouraging harassment and encouraging a collegial work environment. I have seen women dressed very inappropriately for work. I’ve seen men dressed very inappropriately, too – but men have the advantage that inappropriate dress seldom says “hey, I’m a stud, and you should ogle me”, while women’s poor sartorial choices often serve to emphasize their sexual qualities.” – I’m sorry, but I’m going to disagree there. Just a little. In the military we all wore the same uniform, and harassment still went on. Granted, not me, because I exude the “act professionally, or I’ll cut you attitude,” but still. And again, there’s a difference between dressing professionally and dressing like a slut. You can accentuate your assets and still dress professionally. The women I see where I work do just that. Yes, the skirt is above the knees. Yes, there are some low-cut shirts and suits going on. But that does not warrant harassment. Ever.

      “Third, I’m failing to see how Franken, in the pic posted, is groping that woman. His arm is around her back and his hand is partly on her back and partly on her side. Unless that woman’s head is in a really weird position. That’s a standard hug position. If you don’t want to be hugged, fine, but it ain’t groping. (If the picture is not indicative of the claim you mention, then you need a better illustration.)” – no, there was no photo of the grope that I’m aware of. She says he put his arm around her and grabbed her boob. That’s what she was wearing at the time, but that particular moment wasn’t captured in the photo.

      “It’s an advertisement. And, if you’re going to advertise, understand that 1) people are gonna want to check out the wares, and 2) some people will want to talk to you about a deal (and 3 – some will want a test drive/free sample).” — Sorry, but we’ll have to disagree there. These are not teeny boppers at the mall. These are professional women, and frankly, I see very few (other than State department, because they’re special) dressing unprofessionally, even if the shirt happens to be low-cut or the skirt happens to have a slit. Unless Kaptur is seeing something I’m not (possible, but I’ve been in DC long enough not to have seen this as an endemic thing), what she’s talking about is simple fashion. I don’t see a whole lot of pole dancer types bopping around the Hill. She doesn’t like today’s business fashions? Fine. But to essentially claim they’re asking to be harassed? That’s a no.

      “Sorry, Marta, but this sounds like typical feminist baloney where all the work is on the men’s side.” – If merely being decent to one’s co-workers is somehow work, then so be it. I expect the same professionalism from women as I do from men.

      “I am not required to stop being a man just because I’m working with a woman – and neither are you required to stop being a woman.” — I’m also fairly sure that your definition of “being a man” doesn’t include groping, using your position to pressure women into sex, etc.

      It’s victim blaming to say that in order to stop harassment, women just need to be a little more modest. It’s ridiculous, as a matter of fact, because generally sexual assault and harassment (real harassment, not “He squeezed my waist, and I feel uncomfortable”) are not about clothes.

      MH

      • GWB says:

        On a tangent….
        using your position to pressure women into sex
        A question. What is the difference – or is there one at all – between using your position to pressure women into sex and using your position to entice women into sex? On the Sexual Harassment Continuum, that is?

        • Marta Hernandez says:

          I wasn’t aware there was a “continuum.” LOL

          Look, there’s a difference between “I’m your boss, and if you don’t allow me date you, feel you up, grab your ass, etc., I will fire you or make your work life a living hell,” and “I’m your boss, and I’d like to take you out to a nice restaurant.” That said, there’s also a reason why the military makes schtupping anyone in your chain of command illegal and why most offices ban bosses dating subordinates. There’s just too much room for abuse.

  • Timmy says:

    The article of men not helping women is two years old. What would be today.

    A friend told the women in his office complained to HR because all the men are giving them the cold shoulder, not going to lunch , etc.
    anymore. The men said they are just busy and are focusing on work.

    Average men are tired of being lumped in with the jerks.

    Secondly, let’s not play coy, women dress that way for a reason. If I walked around with my shirt unbuttoned… heels at work? They are designed to change your appearance the same reason you wear them on a date.

    • Marta Hernandez says:

      Average men are tired of being lumped in with the jerks.

      I absolutely agree. That’s why I mentioned the point of diminishing returns earlier. We’ve gotten to the point where men don’t feel comfortable working with women. So cue the wails of “Everyone excluuuuuuuuudes me” from the feminists.

      Secondly, let’s not play coy, women dress that way for a reason. If I walked around with my shirt unbuttoned… heels at work? They are designed to change your appearance the same reason you wear them on a date.

      I don’t know about you, but feeling attractive and looking good =/= asking to be groped. I can’t wear heels anymore (at least not right now) because I sprained the crap out of my ankle and bruised the bone. But the heels look MUCH better with the skirts I wear than flats do. I want to look at myself and not barf, so yeah – there’s your reason. 🙂

    • Marta Hernandez says:

      I’ve read this. There are things in it with which I agree, and also with which I disagree. I agree women aren’t victims. As I wrote previously, other than the one Major, whom I shamed so egregiously after his hapless attempt at sexual contact, I haven’t experienced harassment – no matter WHAT I’m wearing. Why? I’m told I exude the “I’ll cut you” look. Maybe it’s true, and maybe it’s not. I don’t know. I always act professionally, though, and I take no shit at the office. But do I love sexual interplay? Uh… no. I have ZERO interest in other men. I’m very happily married. And this flirting, interplay, whatever you want to call it, annoys me more than anything else. It’s not in my nature at all, and it’s not in the natures of anyone I know in this office – especially women in positions of leadership. I think there are some vast generalizations in that article that simply don’t apply to a very large portion of the population in the workforce.

  • Darleen Click says:

    Quibble:

    The “Pence Rule” isn’t predicated on a man not being able to restrain himself – it is about gossip and blackmail.

    My dad was in corporate advertising during all those MadMan years … he never, ever met with a woman subordinate or executive in his office alone with the door closed. The door was always open with his secretary just outside. This was to protect both my dad and any woman he met with from being accused of inappropriate behavior.

    When I started in management, I found this out the hard way. I had a toxic staff member who accused me of having sex in my office with another staff member because I met with him with my office door closed.

    She was doing a lot of other nutty stuff that HR found her charges less than credible, but still …

    (took me 7 months to get her fired).

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