What is the matter with these people?

Fox News seems to one ghastly pit of sexual misbehavior and harassment. Now comes yet another story alleging that Eric Bolling, Fox News host and ardent fan of Donald Trump, sent photographs of his genitals to co-corkers. I must admit I find such actions hard to fathom. If these were adolescents, I could understand. Young people do risky and foolish things all the time, oblivious to possible negative outcomes. It might also be understandable behavior by an adult if it was sent to an intimate partner who expected or asked for such things, though even there one would expect prominent people to hesitate given the fact that emails are hardly confidential anymore.

But for an adult to send unsolicited photos to co-workers boggles the mind. Do such men expect women to be flattered to receive the photos? I must admit I am hardly an expert in the sphere of romantic overtures but would a woman who receives such a photo be drawn to the sender or disgusted at such a crass overture?

Bolling has been suspended by Fox pending investigations, but one thing his lawyer said suggests that he is guilty.

Bolling’s attorney, Michael J Bowe, told the Huffington Post: “Mr Bolling recalls no such inappropriate communications, does not believe he sent any such communications, and will vigorously pursue his legal remedies for any false and defamatory accusations that are made.”

Bolling ‘recalls’ no such thing? He does not ‘believe’ he sent any such thing? Come on, this is not the kind of action that one forgets or does absent-mindedly. How can you forget such a thing? You either definitely did or did not. This looks like lawyer-speak in order to avoid making categorical statements that have to be withdrawn later.

And of course, there is the inevitable moralizing and hypocrisy that precedes the fall.

In a May episode of The Specialists, Bolling discussed Anthony Weiner, the former New York congressman and husband of Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin who pleaded guilty to sending explicit messages to a 15-year-old girl.

“He is a sick human being,” Bolling said, “to continue to do this time and time again, continue to get caught, saying he’s not going to do it again, gets caught again.”

Of course, at this point these are still just allegations. But Bolling’s lawyer’s equivocation suggest that there is some truth to it.


  1. Matt G says

    The rot starts at the top and works it’s way down. I guess big paychecks (and perhaps ideology) keep women working there.

  2. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    This hasn’t happened to me in many years, and I wasn’t as knowledgeable or assertive back then.

    But I swear, if I get genital pics from a co-worker, I’m going to screenshot the message, including the e-mail/twitter address it came from and post it on whichever bulletin board is closest to the boss’s office. Attached there would be a post-it note asking, “Has anyone else gotten pictures like this from X?” To spare co-workers that might be literally traumatized, I’d place the post-it strategically.

    If it’s acceptable for them to send it to me, then it’s acceptable for the whole company, including the boss, to talk about.

  3. KG says

    I must admit I find such actions hard to fathom.

    It’s an assertion of power: “I can do this to do, and you can’t do anythnig about it”.

  4. Kevin Kirkpatrick says

    @Crip Dyke #2:

    Sounds great in theory. To be honest, it almost sounds like a trivially obvious solution: what easier way to nip harassment in the bud, and exact sweet revenge, by going public with it?

    And yet, it rarely plays out that way. Which, to my mind, speaks to just how deep the cultural misogyny likely runs in these contexts. I suspect many (most?) women faced with an unsolicited dick-pick, or other forms of easily-exposable harassment, do consider such a response. But they must also consider: My (presumably well-connected and highly-valued) harasser may be given every benefit of the doubt. What if he claims that I’d asked for the picture? What if he claims I’m a spurned lover? What if he claims it’s revenge porn, or that I tricked him into sending me something I could use to blackmail him with? What if my employer is inclined to simply distance itself from the entire situation; and be rid of both of us. While Mr. McSexist may be suspended pending an investigation of allegations to which he claims innocence, I will be self-evidently guilty of posting nude photos in a public space in direct violation of company policy. Even if, formally, HR responds appropriately; what would these actions do to my reputation among the many other upper-management sexist assholes -- perhaps close friends of Mr. McSexist -- and how will that play out in my career advancement over the next 5 -- 10 years? Do I really want to risk my career just because some douchebag sent me a dick-pick? Or should I just delete the pic and block/ignore/avoid McSexist, hoping his behavior stops.

    Though it clearly wasn’t your intent, I worry that such “Here’s what I’d have done…” sentiments can reinforce the cliche “Well, if it was rape, why didn’t she scream out? Why didn’t she fight him?”

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