E. Jean Carroll’s Bitter Feminism

E. Jean Carroll’s Bitter Feminism

E. Jean Carroll’s Bitter Feminism

One has to feel sorry for E. Jean Carroll, shot for the cover of New York Magazine in her mid-70’s, in an attitude of hollow-eyed raddled misery, wearing a coat dress that has seen better decades.

Her mood resembles an African who has watched her entire village raped then killed, rather than a famous writer who has lived her entire life sipping on cocaine and Moet Chandon and having zipless encounters with horrible men like Donald Trump.

These days, it is as if an entire segment of Boomer women are willing to throw themselves on the bonfire in order to rid the universe of Orange Man.  No humiliation is too great, no skeezy tale too skeezy, no horror dredged out of your past and retailed to many millions of strangers too horrible if it serves the goal of goals.  E. Jean, like that pitiable creature Christine Blasey Ford, regrets that she has only one life to give for her country.

Let’s assume that every detail of E. Jean’s recounting of her “rape” by Donald Trump is true, which I don’t for a minute, but, as an exercise.

Her encounter began with her reversing course and coming back into the store to spend time with him.  There is witty banter.  Then she heads for the lingerie department with him. More witty banter.  They choose a lace body-stocking.  Teasing about who is going to try it on. Then with DJT following along, she proceeds to the dressing rooms.  No saleswoman in sight (often the case on the second floor when I visited BG, by the way) they excitedly try one dressing room door after another.  They find one unlocked and enter.  By this time DJT is no doubt panting like a dog, thinking he was about to experience that sought-after grail of the late 20th century, the zipless fuck, they shut the door. And then she’s OH SO SURPRISED that he thinks she wanted sex.

Pull the other one lady. You did everything but undress in the lingerie department.  You were enticing this guy, setting him up, no doubt with an ulterior motive, maybe to dine out on, maybe using him as a potential subject for a column or magazine piece.  Do you really think for a second that he didn’t see your performance as an invitation?  Plus DJT at that time was a babe, especially for his age.  He was a 6’4” pretty boy who basically owned New York.  Of course, he thought you wanted him.

For context, picture New York in the 80’s and 90’s.  It was a seething cauldron of sexual activity.  For the first time in the entire history of the human race, all the rules had been thrown over.  Women were said to want raw sex just as badly as men.  Everyone was young, everyone was randy.  We were playing in the most permissive culture on God’s green earth. Studio 54 had set the tone and from Wall Street to the Bronx, everyone spent five nights a week partying. It was all rutting all the time.  Career women typically, and I mean, typically, used their sexuality to get ahead, to get a job, to get a promotion, a raise, whatever.  I was married with Doberman in New York at the time, and therefore more or less protected, but one Saturday a friend working at 20/20 took me out to lunch with a group of very very successful career women. They were TV executive producers, PR mavens, executives at American Express, etc, making six figures when that was virtually unheard of. These gals were the most vulgar, sexual, crudest women I had ever met. Not one of them was faithful to their husbands or boyfriends, they all had sex with people on business trips, they all had used their sexuality to get ahead, and loved retailing both adventure and payoffs.  I got drunker than I thought possible and stumbled home thinking if this was my future, I did not want it.

E. Jean was a tall gorgeous blonde for most of her adult life, yet she recounts one appalling tale after another about horrible men.  This too is hard to believe, because, in most of the accounts, she has played along right up to the point where she wasn’t having a good time. What would possess her to taunt and tease monsters? Was her crudity some kind of cry for help?  How tone deaf do you have to be? Why was she attracted to one beast after another?  As someone blisteringly successful and gorgeous, why couldn’t she find someone to love her?

The legacy of second-wave feminism has a sour shadow side.  Fifty percent of women college graduates between 1970-74, did not have children.  In cities like New York, DC, LA, the glamorous cities, that percentage is considerably higher.  Today, many of those women live lives of quiet regret.  They regret chasing after horrible men as trophies, they regret the raw sex, they regret their abortions, and rather than experience their sorrow, they live in a stew of resentment, shame, and sorrow.  Unless they were smart and lucky, many of them live in straitened circumstances.  They did not build families, they built friendship networks, which today purvey a bitter hatred of the patriarchy, and work for the destruction of Orange Man.  They are lethal and destructive and stuck in an infantile version of their bad selves.

That generation of career women was, frankly, heroic. They were the first generation in history to invade the workforce en masse and break into professions long held entirely by men. My daughter can have an exciting difficult job with endless opportunities for advancement and still have three children, and a happy family because of them. That generation led the way, all too often giving up children and abiding love. We need to hear their stories, their losses, recounted from them as adults, not as the masquerade of hurt baby-women screaming and bleeding in the streets.

Featured image: Bergdorf Goodman department story in NYC via Ajay Suresh on Flickr, cropped, CC BY 2.0

Written by

Elizabeth Nickson is a weathered journalist who started at the top and found it alienating. Coming home after 20 years in New York, London and Bermuda, she started writing about politics for Canada’s national newspapers, found herself roundly hated in this most liberal of countries, and fairly notorious among those few conservatives in Canada still allowed to live. She’s written for Time, Life, Harpers Magazine, etc published two books, one with Bloomsbury and Knopf and one with Harper Collins in New York. This latter, Eco-Fascists was a round-up of evidence demonstrating the cruelty and desolation that environmentalists have visited on rural communities from Washington State to Texas, from Colorado and Wyoming to northern New York. She drove 20,000 through the back roads of America interviewing and sitting with hundreds of farmers, ranchers, oil workers, foresters and town councillors and mayors while they told her how their towns and counties are dying, courtesy of the elites who fund some of the most vicious activists in the world. The book was commissioned and edited by Adam Bellow, Saul Bellow’s son, generally considered the best conservative editor today.

  • Jack says:

    No police report. I reported when my $100 bike got stolen, in 1990. But she didn’t report a felony crime.

    I feel bad for women who are really raped, the liars are poison the jury pool.

    • Wfjag says:

      Trying one dressing room door after another, until they find one unlocked. Why would the doors be locked? How about that someone was inside changing clothes.

      Ms. Goodman’s story is only plausible if they were completely alone.

      Folks might not interrupt people getting frisky in an adjoining dressing room, but hearing pleading, protests and cries for help – it’s a little too convenient that no one intervened, or even went for help – and that’s assuming that something even happened.

      • GWB says:

        The article I link below makes it seem as if they kept their dressing rooms locked, and anyone using them requested their use and obtained a key. Finding one still unlocked would be plausible, but definitely Penthouse Forum letter level of plausible. (“I never thought it would happen to me…”.)

        • Wfjag says:

          So, if the dressing rooms were kept locked, there would still be someone around to ask for a key from. Given liability potential should someone attack a customer and standard anti-theft protection to prevent shop lifting, make the idea that Ms. Goodman was alone with DJT (or anyone else) of the 2d floor of the store implausible (even by Penthouse Forum letter standards).

    • Ned Depew says:

      There’s a technique in psychology that uses photographs the same way the Rorshach test usese ink blots. The premise is that since the patient doesn’t actually know the “story”” behind the picture, everything the patient reveals is based on the patient’s projections. Reading the first two paragraphs of this article in that context I fell I’ve gained valuable insight into the psychological landscape Ms Nickson inhabits. It certainly illuminates the viewpoint from which the rest of the article is written.

      I’m happy to entertain the question of “what if” Ms. Carol is inventing the story.. But we must then give equal weight to consideration of “what if” she is telling the truth. Add to that the fact that more than 20 other women have reported similar behavior, and one must ask whether is it more likely that all these women were accepting the embarrassment and shame of describing such incidents (not to mention the unsupported attacks against them such public statements would elicit -see above) for some private motive, or whether they were in fact true.

      This is a classic “ad hominem” argument, where the witness is attacked on a personal level in an attempt to ignore examining the veracity of the actual charges being leveled, and try to discredit the witness on unrelated grounds – in this case the straw woman of a “bitter and disappointed feminism!”

      • GWB says:

        OK, establish the veracity of the actual charges. Go on, I’ll wait.


        Yeah, didn’t think so. Because there is absolutely no evidence other than her word. Which means the only evidence is impeached by her bat-sh*t craziness. (IOW, It’s not “un-related grounds”.)

        BTW, your “more than 20 other women” is also essentially an ad hominem argument. It basically says that the evidence must be true because Trump’s character seems to be awful. (Oh, and I’d be interested to see that list, because I can only think of ~4-5 off the top of my head.)

      • GWB says:

        Oh, that Rorshach test can also use words.
        And I think we just found out what you’re projecting.

  • GWB says:

    willing to throw themselves on the bonfire in order to rid the universe of Orange Man.
    Don’t get too wrapped up in thinking this is about Trump. He’s merely the Evil Object of opportunity. If there were some other prominent man whom she could ride to fame, she would. (And evidently did – naming Moonves and others before Trump on her list.)

    Plus DJT at that time was a babe, especially for his age.
    Not according to a gal at American Thinker. She says he was pretty financially beat up that year, on the outs and showing it.
    (I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on that post.)

    That generation of career women was, frankly, heroic.
    Yes, and no. A little heroic in advancing their cause. Not so heroic in their lives, it seems.

    All-in-all, a good post.

  • CaptDMO says:

    Nice story.
    Never mind “intent”, or “consensual” , or “I told two girlfriends about it” .
    What if it simply never happened?
    What if “high power women” of the time were simply desperate for “street cred” amomog their peers,
    and desperately sought at least the “rep” as “around important people starfuckers?
    Let’s have a look at that era’s Studio 54 “culture” again.
    Let’s have a look at Hollywood, the Rag trade, and how DESPERATELY important the cachet
    of “intimate insider” was among starlets, entertainment groupies, and as always, politics was.
    Did she ever “rate” an all important “mention” in one of Andy Warhol’s books? (with “mention index”?)
    Ever a minimal “blurb” in the “lessor” NYC night scene/ private soiree gossip columns as being “seen” talking to some scandalous spawn of other folk notoriously famous for being famous ?

  • GSDuncan says:

    Missing the word “miles” in the bio (20,000).

  • Matthew W says:

    The tweet:”Sex tips from my dog”.
    I’m afraid to ask if there’s context to that or was that just some random thought/idea from her?
    All I can say is “WHOA!”

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