Rachel Maddow summarizes the case against Herman Cain in his having settled with two women for sexual harassment. Talking Points Memo put up a list of things that don’t affect the allegations that have been thrown chaff-like into the discourse to throw off the media. The summary contains choice responses from the right-wing, trying to smokescreen the allegations.
While it’s sad that this scandal is happening, it’s good in a way, so people understand just how pervasive this dismissiveness of women’s concerns happens to be. The people who are primarily pushing back against the very concept that a woman can be sexually harassed, are the people who engage in it the most. No matter how the legal system protects women from this kind of anti-woman vitriol when they bring these charges forward, they are not actually being protected by this system. The climate is so chilled as to be impossible to get justice if you’re a woman and you’ve been mistreated. I don’t know how likely it would be to achieve restitution if you’re a man and get harassed by someone in power, because you hardly hear about it.
The women in question signed settlements that included non-disclosure deals, and apparently want to talk about it, but probably can’t. Cain did not receive terribly much scrutiny for the harassment immediately after the fact back in the 1990s, while he was but a mere pizza magnate, but a presidential race will dredge up every aspect of your past that’s less than unimpeachable and all that which was once hidden is uncovered and exposed to daylight. And the reaction from the right-wing — the wagon-circling you’re seeing in dismissing and slut-shaming the women, calling them gold-diggers and prostitutes, and Limbaugh’s super-classy “what, are they synchronizing their periods?” — these right-wingers are in keeping with their characters.
One side of the political spectrum seems to love telling victims to “think twice” before they complain that they’re being victimized. And it ain’t us lefties. If you’re engaging in the same sort of dismissiveness, slut-shaming, calling women gold-diggers for trying to have some measure of justice in the face of gross abuse of male privilege, and you claim to be a liberal, well… you’re kinda in the wrong company.