Women…it’s a movement

Talking to women under 30 about the women “movement” is eye-opening.  How these women want to show up, how they expect to be perceived, how they expect to hold their ground and come to the work party.  It makes me believe that of all the men who are finding themselves without employment due to their bad behavior is that they won’t be back anytime soon or at all because this generation will not put up with it.

No doubt there will be more stories in the months or perhaps weeks to come in other industries.  The stories are sometimes confusing because some are clearly about powerful perverted behavior while others are stupid drunken over-stepping the line behavior. My fear is that tossing everything one in the same basket minimizes horrific sexual harassment although bad behavior is bad behavior.  At the end of the day, there is no system for accountability which is why the floodgates are just opening up.

We taught our daughters to be tough, to expect to be treated with respect because they command it.  That they are equal to everyone regardless of age or gender.  That they should call out anyone for any type of bad behavior.  We taught our son the same thing. It is their generation that has started this movement and I so applaud that.

There is a major difference between flirting with someone at work and groping someone when you have power over their job.  It is murky although I do not want to ever discount any victim’s feelings.  The issue is where do we go from here, how do we ensure that this type of behavior ceases to exist.

We need to put more women in power and have more gender-balanced companies with men who have utter respect for the women they work with.  People need to be held accountable by their peers.  Men need to call out men just as much as women do.  There need to be penalties for bad behavior.  Women need to be able to feel confident and secure be it going to a police department or HR in a company when it comes to sexual abuse.  For some, parameters must be taught because obviously, some stupid shit is going on.

I am happy to finally see swift retribution vs a slap on the wrist.  As a young woman watching the Anita Hill hearings back in the day, I never understood how through all of that fire that Clarence Thomas still got the lifelong Supreme Court seat.  It debased every single woman in this country.

There is something to be said for that age-old saying, whatever goes around, comes around.  It is about time.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    YupI’ve been fortunate to have been raised by strong women and worked with the earliest women pioneers in Silicon Valley so I can do nothing but say Great!During the last election I seriously thought the time was then for all the obvious reasons. I was wrong.I want you to be right.

    1. Gotham Gal

      me too!

  2. Anne Libby

    The last time I brought up Anita Hill in mixed company, someone I like and respect responded something to the effect that Anita had been proven to be a liar. As if anything would be worth what she endured.I also remember watching. Maybe doubly because I was sick as a dog with something that kept me home from work, so I watched the actual hearings, not just the news reports.And Joe Biden. #sighhttps://www.washingtonpost….

    1. Gotham Gal

      Big sigh.

  3. Guest

    What about Weiner, Franken, Conyers, Slick Willie, Weinstein, and the countless leftists who have been proven to be sexual harassers? Is their sexual harassment OK b/c they support abortion-on-demand?

    1. Gotham Gal

      Nobody is OK

    2. JLM

      .The answer, unfortunately, is that in the past — hopefully — if you were good enough on womens’ issues, if you were a liberal, progressive, feminist, was YES.If you were good enough on abortion, then it was fine to demand a blow job in the Oval Office, because, in toto, you were good for and to women.Maybe that’s changed?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. lauraglu

        It clearly has changed. Over and over again – hence the statement in the post “I am happy to finally see swift retribution vs a slap on the wrist.”

  4. pointsnfigures

    Behavior disgusting in a lot of cases, but what about the enablers? What about the people that would actually willingly do it in order to get career gain? Joanne and I mostly disagree on politics, but ironically we raised our daughters exactly alike. I just cannot imagine some of the stuff I am hearing about Louis CK, Harvey Weinstein, and Oliver Stone. The pedophile racket in Hollywood must be stopped and prosecuted as well.I want to be clear that I agree with Joanne and sex harassment, or any other shouldn’t be tolerated. We don’t tolerate it at our fund.I want to pose a hypothetical situation: Man and woman work together for a number of years. Man is in the power position. A few times over the course of their relationship, he might have put his arm around her. Might have unintentionally touched her. But, he never used his power position to stop the woman from advancing in the organization. Out of the hundred female employees he came in contact with, it was just this one. Sex harassment or not-and should he be let go if woman says he tried to trade sex for advancement?Another hypothetical: Man is accused of sex harassment but feels he didn’t do anything wrong or improper. Court of public opinion fries man and he is guilty until proven innocent. He is let go, has no more career opportunities. How do we create a shared burden of proof? Are there grey areas?Another hypothetical: Woman feels she should have gotten an opportunity. Accuses man of sexual harassment because she didn’t get it knowing full well she will be believed before him. (this is rare but you could see where it could happen) What are the consequences when truth comes out? How does man get his reputation back?

    1. LE

      This is exactly why we have due process and should not cower to a public that wants to shout and pre-empt actual fact finding.This is not something that is going to ever impact me directly as a man. I am simply not around women in those situations and further I am not well known enough that anyone would gain anything by a false claim. [1] But if I was someone who was well know or famous (even in an internet or tech way) I would certainly be concerned and exactly because of the issues that you have raised in the hypothetical(s) and the witch hunt mentality. It was hard for me to ask women out on dates so the chance of me flirting and doing this type of thing is literally non-existent.One other thing nobody seems to be concerned about is the impact that this has on the accused family, co-workers or their business or even investors. I am not talking about the convicted and truly bad but simply what appears to be happening just for an accusation where we don’t even have any detail on the nuance of the situation.As far as ‘people willing to do it in order to get career gain’ common sense says that is part of the problem unfortunately. And I think a person who makes a decision not to speak up because they fear that it will impact their career (and once again the exact details matter not everything is the same) has made a choice for themselves and doesn’t owe society an explanation. My ex wife got ‘hit on’ by buyers pretty frequently when selling. It didn’t bother her and it didn’t bother me and we were glad for the order (nothing sexual). So was she part of the problem? I guess she was. In a story I have repeated before, back in the 80’s two Israeli brothers (her customers) said to her ‘your tits look good in purple’ to which I replied ‘did you get the order?’ and we probably high fived. This was just a practical way of dealing with something that there was no way to change.[1] I have always followed what is now called the “Pence” rule apparently.

    2. Anne Libby

      Jeff, I’ve been involved in a lot of situations where terminating someone’s employment is under discussion.Organizations, and particularly large ones, are extremely risk averse. So much so that people are rarely fired without legal approval, often expensive outside counsel, too.And publicly annoucing that someone got fired? I can’t even believe that this is even happening. As I understand it, all harassment is not criminally actionable. But it is most is civilly litigatible. (#notalawyer)What these public firings say to me is that what we see in the paper is not the entire story.And that the targets of harassment have ironclad evidence that would cost the companies more in their harassment suit than the cost of the wrongful termination suit a harasser might bring.The thing that blows me away — and Philip Sugar and I have talked about it more than once here — is how many of these guys have sent harassing texts and emails. They have left evidence in writing. Others have done so in public.This is how they’re getting fired. Not even for the harassment itself, but for doing it in public, and for leaving a record.Also, you might find Gretchen Carlson’s new book to be a good read. (disclosure, I received a free review copy of it.)In the meantime, I’ve never seen a man falsely accused of harassment, because over the course of my career, I’ve almost never seen a man fired for harassment. Or even accused of it. Despite the fact that every woman I know has multiple stories and including pretty horrible ones.I await the first unlawful termination case to come out of this unprecedented time, and I’ll buy you a beer (or beverage of your choice) when it’s decided in the man’s favor.

      1. pointsnfigures

        I don’t disagree with you. I was merely tossing out hypotheticals. The whole thing is totally ugly to me. I cannot imagine pulling my pants down in front of a women I was working with and we all have read the rest. Totally crazy. However, a lot of things in our society these days get out of control. For example, many of the “racial incidents” were faked. I don’t think the sexual harassment incidents have been faked although it’s hard to believe a 94 yr old guy in a wheelchair was feeling up anyone.If guys just acted like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life and were gentlemen we would not have this problem…….sheesh.

        1. Anne Libby

          George Bailey, yes!

      2. JLM

        .There is a huge difference between criminal statutes and civil statutes. One may be penalized under both, but one only goes to jail for violating a criminal statute.A civil “tort” is different from a crime. It is a very important distinction.There are a great number of wrongful allegations — cases in point being the Duke lacrosse team and Tucker Carlson’s rape allegation. In both instances, they were found to be patently false. [For the record, I think the Duke lacrosse team should be horsewhipped for having a “dancer” entertain them. They did not, apparently, rape her. The low hurdles. Of course, Duke is a school full of Yankees.]In today’s environment, it is quite likely that Carlson would have been fired. He was wickedly smart to keep it confidential and secret.At the heart of much of what is going on — for well run companies — is a cultural standard which is evidenced in well written employment handbooks.There is a huge difference between an “at will” employment relationship and a contractual employment relationship. I am fairly certain that Matt Lauer, as an example, violated a “morals” clause in his employment agreement (which had less than a year to run anyway). If NBC fired him and pays out his contract, he has no real beef. He was not entitled to continuous employment and, thus, he cannot sue for wrongful termination if termination was part of his contract.There are several important considerations — was the termination for cause, or without cause, or without a reason? In an at will employment arrangement, an employer can fire an employee for cause, without cause, or without any explanation. Employers make a big mistake commenting on any personnel actions publicly. There is nothing good that can happen for the employer.You are not likely to see a “wrongful termination” case decided in favor of a plaintiff because this is one of those things for which monetary damages can be assessed. In any settlement where money changes hands, the payment is to “buy peace” without anybody admitting any wrong doing.It is also the state of the art to obtain mutual non-disparagement promises from all parties, so we will often never know what happened and why.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    3. JLM

      .There is a huge difference amongst sexual harassment (an act), a hostile work environment (a pervasive condition), and gender based hiring discrimination.Right now, everybody is just mixing them together, but they are very different though more than one can occur at the same time.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  5. JLM

    .The problem is it is NOT a movement. It is a chaotic wave which has crested and is crashing upon the land in different intensities and with different results. It is an epidemic, but it is different and being treated differently depending upon the industry.Witness the knee jerk utterances of Nancy Pelosi who thought it germane to the conversation about sexual harassment by Congressman John Conyers that he was a political “ICON.” A freakin’ ICON.It was as if his iconic status — being a liberal, progressive, feminist as evidenced by his “correct” views on abortion — was a failsafe for his reprehensible behavior. [Just for the record, I think John Conyers and Nancy Pelosi are a powerful argument for term limits.]It really started with Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski. When the most powerful in the world was able to receive oral gratification from an unpaid intern in the locus of power of the United States, the Oval Office, it institutionalized the notion that “boys can be boys” and get away with it.”Hell, y’all, it was just a blow job. It was a consensual blow job. Leave the guy alone.” People actually said monumentally stupid shit like that.When Hillary, Sid Blumenthal and George the Greek went after the women accusers with a punitive, criminal “nuts & sluts” defense, it was made worse still. At no time did anyone say, “Hey, Bill Clinton, a 20-something intern blowing you in the Oval Office is not right.” It was not “just a blowjob.” It was an assault on every woman and it was sexual harassment of the highest order. Unfortunately, it was also a powerful example.He, like Conyers, was a liberal, progressive, feminist whose policies on women inoculated him from any real criticism. Even Gloria Steinhem made excuses for him.This, today, is a very simple confrontation between right v wrong. It is misguided, faux liberal, progressive, feminism v discipline, control, and character.It is a simultaneous assault on women and manliness. Real men do not prey upon women for sex.The climate — this kind of climate change may be real — may have actually changed wherein women will recognize that they do not have to sacrifice their own rights and dignity to foster faux liberal, progressive, feminism. Nobody is “good enough” on womens’ issues to get a pass on their personal behavior.No woman has to put up with sexual harassment, unwelcome touching, sexual blackmail, or looking at old guys genitalia to advance in their careers.The only thing worse than the bad acts themselves is the pathetic excuses for apologies that the men involved offer. Charlie Rose said he thought there were “shared feelings” like a 20-something intern was looking for nothing as stimulating as a pathetic 75-year old, naked guy.The pendulum will swing too far, but, at least it’s moving. No quarter. No safe harbors. Every single one. No more faux liberal, progressive, feminist protection.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Gotham Gal

      TERM LIMITS…yes indeed.

      1. P Donohue

        Please bear with me, as this is something I have looked into and witnessed up close, while doing time in Sacramento as the gate keeper for John Vasconcelos during the end of the first wave of “TERM LIMITS” around 2001-02. .First of all, it is a simple solution to a complex problem and simple solutions to complex problems fail because a complex problem demands you start by admitting that complexity exists.The best way to tackle a complex problem is to NOT break it down into smaller, more easily managed pieces. For doing so ignores the important interconnections between the pieces and the system effects that emerge when those interconnections generate their own impacts on the wider system. Taking a complex system apart until we find a piece of the problem we can solve means that only that piece is ever addressed – and the unintended consequences that come from only solving a small part of the problem might negate any progress made, anyway.Instead, we should start by considering the system as a whole. We can describe it, explain how the different parts of the system work together, how each part is connected to the other parts, and what impacts changes in one part have on other parts.We can then build ourselves a model and start asking the sorts of ‘what happens if…?’ questions that will help us address the complex problem we’re facing.Consequently, term limits is a double edged sword. The collateral damage includes the loss of Institutional Memory which is invaluable, as well as Wisdom and Close Relationships that promote efficient communication via cultural proficiency acquired and mastered most likely after considerable investment of time and extensive interaction.Political sausage-making is a fascinating process that takes place in capitols and by nature is a complex and often byzantine endeavor usually practiced in a semi-closed system that require an investment of time to master.