Bad Men

Over people’s lives including their personal lives and careers, they build a reputation for themselves.  I am going to believe that most people want to do the right thing and be known as a good person.  People can also be known for being tough, being savvy, being an asshole and all those things rolled up into one create your reputation.

We are watching bad men fall and fall hard over women no longer staying quiet about sexual harassment.   We are hearing things like his career is done or should this one thing destroy his career because he is getting help or he did apologize or whatever the answer is.

Here is the thing, we are not hearing about the countless women who have not come forward because they just walked away and into new frontiers after being sexually harassed in a job.  Think about the mental damage those women had to live with.  My friend, Adaora Udoji put it best, she wrote “stolen is a word that comes to mind lately.   I think about the monstrous amount of personhood that has and is being stolen, the impending monstrous damage, hurt, pain, waste of energy, time, productivity, lost imagination, innovation and all the things that didn’t get done because some man fueled by nothing but entitlement and insecurity attacked, assaulted, harassed, dismissed etc, etc women at work, just cause they could.  The cost is so huge.”  She is absolutely right.

I am sure we will see more men fall but I can’t help wonder if this is the turning point.  Is this the time when nobody will tolerate this behavior anymore?  Trump does it and becomes President.  Clarence Thomas did it (and maybe still does) and become a Supreme Court Judge.  Appears that Clinton was not the only one as GWBush is now being outed.

I hope that the generation of women graduating from college in the years to come will no longer have to put up with this shit.  That they won’t have to close their eyes to move their careers forward.  They will be revered for their intellect and what they bring to the table.  I assume only time will tell.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Laura Yecies

    I truly hope so as well

  2. CCjudy

    its not only women who are coming forward… and the abusers are all men

  3. JLM

    .You savage the truth in an otherwise worthy cause with your gross inaccuracies.The entire Clarence Thomas case devolved into a single accuser who was unable to independently corroborate a single accusation. The US Senate had this information before them when they confirmed him.It is worth noting that Anita Hill’s accusations came forward from a confidential FBI report which the FBI rejected as being unlikely and unsubstantiated. The FBI had investigated and rejected her claims. She was an employee at the Dept of Ed and EEOC (where she had followed Clarence Thomas at her request).Her claims were so questionable that the FBI didn’t even include them in a background check to issue Justice Thomas a preliminary security clearance.If you recall those hearings, the Anita Hill accusations came after the hearing was concluded. The hearings were re-opened and Clarence Thomas was still confirmed. People have very inaccurate memories as this matter. Anita Hill showed up after the hearings were concluded.The real furor about Clarence Thomas was always his views on abortion and his “racial impurity” by having the temerity to be married to a white woman. Imagine the nerve of that uppity …Clarence Thomas, a black man who grew up in poverty in Savannah, is one of the greatest success stories in the history of the US. A man with slave blood in his veins who drove himself to obtain an education and rose to the SCOTUS. His is a mighty story which should be shouted from the rooftops. What he overcame is monumental.In the case of the Bushes, you have the wrong Bush.It is George Herbert Walker Bush not George W Bush who has been accused of inappropriate touching from his wheelchair. The guy is 93 and immobile. Nobody should be touching anybody’s butt, but to equate this honorable old man’s actions with the current epidemic is mean spirited.One could argue with credibility that the actions — repeated, violent, predatory, long lasting — of Bill Clinton as Gov of Arkansas and President of the US are the launching pad for bad behavior which went unpunished. He was a low life, redneck (apologies to rednecks everywhere), fat kid who used his enormous power to prey upon powerless women.[Historical note: Of course, it was third party candidate Ross Perot who put Clinton in the Oval Office when he took 19% of the vote in 1992. Clinton was elected with 32 states in the Electoral College to GHWBush’s 18. Clinton took 43% of the popular vote.]The juxtaposition of the POTUS v an unpaid intern is as far as the poles of power can be stretched.What happened thereafter? The left lionized the man. They said, “Hell, it was only a blow job. It was private behavior.”Obviously, that behavioral standard is not what we are looking for today. It is identical to that of Harvey Weinstein and others.Whatever behavior you lionize, you will get more of. This is exactly what happened. The left brought this to us and it is leftist institutions in the US in which the epidemic has metastasized.A pox on all the houses of boys posing as men. We — all of us, men included — need to demand a higher level of manliness amongst our men. We need to grow our sons into men who will not prey upon our daughters. We need to stop lionizing bad behavior — and, yes, that includes Donald J Trump.We need to fight fair and stop politicizing things which are simply about manliness. Real men don’t prey upon women.This idea of being a “real” man is not difficult to understand.http://themusingsofthebigre…JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Gotham Gal

      Please do not leave this rambling posts. And start reading real data. 48% of women in the workforce have been sexually harassed

      1. JLM

        .Haha. You savaged two men with inaccuracies and your rejoinder is that I should “start reading real data”?My only thought is I am surprised it is only 48%. I suspect it is far higher than that.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. meredithcollinz

      You are so right that “men need to demand a higher level of manliness” from other men, but in no way can you argue that this behavior started with Bill Clinton or was fostered by the left. This has been going on since the dawn of time and was considered unremarkable (and even de rigueur in some circles) up until… yes, Anita Hill had the guts to speak up.

  4. Anne Libby

    One of the most disturbing things that I’ve read of late: boards are not discussing sexual harassment. (Maybe that was a WSJ blog?)I’m betting on you to be one of the people to make sure that this happens in your orbit.Again, to the ongoing discussion that @philipsugar and I have been having here and elsewhere — unbelievable that so many of these men document their abusive behavior in emails and text messages. Beyond the stupidity of their entitlement (the guy who harassed a lawyer in writing!!!) there’s the cowardice.”But her emails!” may have brought Hillary down. I’m willing to bet that we’ll see many more men will find themselves “resigning,” “retiring,” and getting “treatment” due to their promiscuous use of email.I’m also waiting for some of the truly awful behavior I saw in academia to be put under the microscope.Thanks, Joanne.

    1. JLM

      .You raise a great point. The inmates are being left to supervise the inmates.If VC is rife with sexual harassment and they are providing the boardmembers for startups, it is not realistic to expect a CEO to be held accountable to a standard which is not being embraced or championed by the board itself.Take the example of Uber (charmingly called “Boober” by its former CEO/founder). They had boardmembers (David Bonderman, who is otherwise a very good man) making jokes about the sexual harassment culture of the company. It sends garbled, wrong, mixed signals.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. Jeremy Robinson

      It is a legacy that needs to be undone. In an organization with a toxic boss, my coaching to my Client is find groups of colleagues who you can lean on and who will back you in confronting what is toxic. It’s the same deal here- one abuser in one situation at a time. This race is a marathon that requires steady vigilance until the new community standards about what is acceptable behavior of men changes, and is affirmed case by case.

  5. lisa hickey

    The word “stolen” hit home for me.I have, of course, been the target of rampant sexism & harassment through the years. I’ve tried to do what most women do—succeed anyway. But when people “steal” — steal your right to a safe workplace, promotions, jobs, meetings—steal it through the deep insidious ways sexism works — it has to be changed.Let’s hope this is a tipping point and that people can really see what is happening more clearly, especially on a systems level.As the #MeToo stories surfaced, I saw a pattern I hadn’t seen before.A guy flirts with a woman he is attracted to at work. Let’s call her Ann. It’s not sexual harassment, it’s harmless flirting, right?Ann tells him “let’s keep this professional”.Hours or days or weeks later that same guy goes to Ann’s boss and says “Hey—Just wanted you to know about some real performance issues I have seen in Ann lately. She’s [not a team player, made mistakes, was acting unprofessional].”And here’s the kicker: He often says “She should be punished for her unprofessional behavior at work.”The woman almost never knows. Her career is simply stolen. She doesn’t understand why she didn’t get that promotion. And it is almost impossible to prove. Does Ann make mistakes? Of course. Would the guy have gone to the boss about those mistakes if she hadn’t rejected him? Impossible to tell.How do I know? I have been the boss in several cases where a guy came to complain about a woman’s job performance. Digging deeper to find out why it seemed to be coming up out of the blue, I uncovered the story of the flirting/rejection. The man’s actions towards the woman as a professional changed on the day the woman rejected him.A similar thing happened with Harvey Weinstein and Daryl Hannah, as reported by The New Yorker. These stories have to get out.

    1. Anne Libby

      This is a really great point. I have also seen a version of this, and you’re right: it just isn’t discussed.I have had mixed feelings about formal “no dating at work” policies. In the circumstance you describe, such a policy would be helpful. Some flirters will think twice, targets can cite the policy rather than their own disinterest.

      1. lisa hickey

        I have had mixed feelings about the “no dating at work” policies too. I had to put a damper on healthy relationships! But it might help in these types of situations. In addition to what you said, it would also be easier for other people to step in and intervene. And just having more people see and recognizing this type of abusive, manipulative behavior would help. Other commenters have mentioned how hard the burden of proof is. We have to make these things easier to see. I don’t want us to get to the point where everything has to be proven in a court of law. I just want the systems to change, and more people—especially men— to speak up about things that are wrong.

    2. P Donohue

      Alabama…There needs to be a nonprofit to cover the legal costs of those who come forward so they need not fear guys like Roy Moore. This is the tipping point. It needs a shove.

  6. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I realize now that this is how I ended up an entrepreneur. I kept getting labeled a ‘troublemaker’ at my places of employment for speaking up in the same way I saw my male colleagues speaking up and getting rewarded for it. I realized that not only was no one going to help me but that there were people directly in my path who were going to be working against me. Working alone was an inviting option, and it worked. It continues to work.The few women I encountered at work before going solo did help me, mostly. And I helped all the women I had the privilege to hire. But going it on my own removed innumerable barriers.It took me many years to realize, though, that it wasn’t, in fact, that I was a troublemaker or misfit. I just had higher expectations for my male coworkers than they were willing to meet. They were wasting — no, _stealing_ my time.

  7. Emily Steed

    Great post. Keep going! I love that you called out the: “should this destroy his career ” false dilemma. The scaffold that holds sexual harassers up is held together with complacency. The answer to “should this destroy his career” is: “Do these acts align with the company’s values?” Men in power don’t get to hold both power and then also say their acts don’t represent the company.

  8. Michelle

    I hope that things are changing for women in this situation. One thing that comes to mind is the women who are married to these men and how their reactions affect the abused women. Take for instance Harvey Weinstein’s wife, she very publicly supported those women and left her husband. Compare that to a former president who also went to trial for taking advantage of a young intern ( and seems to have shown a very similar attitude towards women as Weinstein.) and that former president’s wife. What does it say when powerful women won’t even take a stand for abused and harassed women when it happens right in their own back yard? I can’t help but think that there was an opportunity way back then to make a difference but the opportunity was lost due to her public inaction.