It turns out that in the tallest skyscrapers and plushest hotels of the most advanced economies, many high-profile men have been acting the part of feudal lords, demanding droit du seigneur from their vassals, the vassals in this case being their female employees and others wishing entry into their fiefdoms. Evidently there’s been a covert system of taxation on female advancement in the work world, with the unluckier among us obligated to render not just the usual fealty demanded by overweening bosses but varying degrees of sexual homage too, from ego-stroking and fluffing (which is gross enough), to being grabbed and groped, to the expectation of silence about full-on rape.
.. historians have written extensively on the importance of gossip and its venues, such as coffeehouses, in fomenting previous revolutions
.. Every revolution has its weapons of choice—once it was muskets and guillotines, this time around it’s “sharing” and media exposure. It wasn’t heads that were rolling, it was careers: contracts yanked, deals canceled, agents quitting, e-mail accounts shuttered.
.. When the Times recently compiled the names of twenty-four prominent men accused of sexual harassment, it did rather bring to mind the spectacle of heads on a pike in a public square
.. If recent events tell us anything, it’s that power is a social agreement, not a stable entity. The despots had power because they did things that were socially valued and profitable, but the terms of the agreement can shift abruptly.
.. Social upheavals like the current one—chaotic and improvised, yet destined—happen when certain echelons retract their consent to existing conditions and make new demands. Gramsci calls it “war of position.” Toppling power isn’t about storming the Bastille these days, it’s about changing the way people talk and think. If our upheavals come dressed in different garb, creating a crisis of authority for those in power is still how the world changes.
.. But speaking of unlikely agents, that one of the more significant battlefield wins recently was achieved by a former Miss America, Gretchen Carlson, is tough for those who’d prefer their feminist victories to come from women with better feminist credentials.
.. Unfortunately you won’t learn any of this from Be Fierce—you don’t get $20 million without a nondisclosure agreement.
.. It’s from Sherman we learn that Carlson secretly recorded her meetings with Ailes on her phone for a year and a half—including his remark that the two of them should have had sex long ago to resolve their differences, spoken sometime before she was fired (after an eleven-year stint as a newscaster) and sometime after she lodged complaints about the climate of sexism at Fox, for which Ailes labeled her a “man hater” and demoted her.
.. The less job security you have, the worse it is; fast food workers are especially vulnerable.
.. Women who come forward are likely to be passed over for promotions and good assignments, or find their jobs mysteriously eliminated.
.. On rare occasions when a boss-harasser is actually fired, the woman who brought him down often gets treated like a leper by his allies. The majority of those who report harassment end up in different jobs, which makes it understandable that, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 70 percent of women who are harassed don’t report it.
.. Have a plan before you go to HR or you’ll find your options predetermined; you may have a mandatory arbitration clause in your employment contract you don’t know about
.. Trump himself boasts of barging into dressing rooms in the Miss Teen USA contest to gape at unclothed teenage girls. Upon purchasing the Miss USA franchise, he says, he “made the heels higher and the bathing suits smaller.”
.. The “idealized pedestal” Miss America gets put on is itself a form of disempowerment, Carlson eventually came to realize. True, and if you flip to your local Fox affiliate, you’ll see the same compliant femininity distilled to its purest iteration. Like beauty contestants, the women of Fox are hired on the basis of looks, then laminated into near mannequins.
.. The point is that the way Ailes expected “his” women to dress makes clear the role they were expected to play: receptacles
.. If those who signed on had difficulty speaking out about harassment in the workplace because they felt shame regarding the trade-offs they’d made—and many have said that they did—shame is what women are meant to feel in this equation.
.. The convenience of misogyny is that men are spared from hating themselves because they have women to hate instead.
.. You want to know when to tell someone to shut up and when to jump out of a moving car.
This would also involve the ability to distinguish between force and power.
.. Those who didn’t buy into it seem to have fared better. The actress Lupita Nyong’o recalled several encounters with Weinstein in an essay for The New York Times. When he trotted out his familiar moves, she refused to play the expected role: when he asked to give her a massage, she turned the tables and gave him one instead, consciously putting herself in control of the situation. When he tried taking off his pants, she walked to the door, not giving him the satisfaction of seeming intimidated. And he backed down. She seems to have understood that Weinstein may have had power over her career, but he didn’t have power over her, and making that distinction gave her more options for negotiating a bad situation.
.. Anthony Weiner has been the public face of the sexual tic for some years now: a man of demonstrable intelligence under the sway of a compulsion so intellectually disabling that after a string of previous life-wrecking exposures, he still allowed himself to be set up once again, this time by a fifteen-year-old. Anyone could have seen from ten miles away that it was a frame—anyone but Weiner, that is. (The girl later said she was trying to influence the course of the 2016 presidential election, which she probably did—James Comey reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails after seizing Weiner’s computer once his new friend turned him in.)
.. feminist Dorothy Dinnerstein’s The Mermaid and the Minotaur (1976): the problem for men is that they had mothers.
.. Mother-dominated child-rearing, thought Dinnerstein, is the reason behind men’s loathing of women and everything culturally inscribed as female
.. men can’t give up ruling the world until women cease to have a monopoly on ruling childhood. To push Dinnerstein’s speculations to an even gloomier place: do mothers take out on their sons the abuses they themselves have suffered at the hands of men?
.. Online feminism is itself a playground of bullying and viperishness, most of it under the banner of rectitude.
21st Century Fox launched an investigation last week into allegations of sexual harassment, and that several women at Fox Sports have been interviewed.
.. Jamie was hired by Fox to do a job, a job that until today he has performed in an exemplary fashion. Any slanderous accusations to the contrary will be vigorously defended.”
.. “We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve,” Fox said in a statement at the time.
.. Since arriving at Fox Sports in 2015, he lured controversial commentators such as
- Skip Bayless,
- Jason Whitlock and
- Colin Cowherd,
heavily promoting them across all platforms.
.. Horowitz had been a rising star at ESPN, steering programming away from news and highlights and focusing more on debate and personalities.
.. Shortly after taking the FS1 reins, he told The Washington Post he wanted programming that was “
In the lawsuit, Roginsky states that she had a meeting with Shine on July 29, 2016, after the revelations about Ailes started coming out in the media. Shine allegedly told Roginsky that “everything they are saying about Roger is true.” How the heck did he know that?
Roginsky further claims that she had another meeting with Shine on November 29, 2016, where she informed him of Ailes’ sexual advances. “They were not surprised to hear this:they already knew it,” the lawsuit states. She claims even after this meeting, Shine took no action to investigate, and did not encourage her to report what happened to Paul Weiss, the law firm tasked with investigating the scandal.
Perhaps the most shocking encounter of all was a Spring 2015 meeting between Tantaros and Fox News Senior Executive, Defendant William Shine (“Shine”), during which Tantaros sought relief from Ailes’s sexual harassment and Briganti’s retaliatory media vendetta against her. In response, Shine told Tantaros that Ailes was a “very powerful man” and that Tantaros “needed to let this one go.”
.. A high-ranking Fox source confirmed that Fox moved Luhn to New York so Ailes could monitor her. Luhn remembers staying at the Warwick Hotel for six weeks. During this time, she said, Ailes told her he needed to approve all of her outgoing emails. “I’d show him all the emails I’m getting,” she recalled. For several weeks, he marked them up and would “dictate exactly” how to respond. “You don’t have friends,” she recalled Ailes telling her. “I’m your friend. I’ll protect you.” He told her to also forward her emails to Bill Shine for review, she said. “The second floor” — where top Fox executives work — “was in charge of my life. I wasn’t in charge,” she said.
Gretchen Carlson filed suit against Roger Ailes last summer — and started an avalanche.
Less than 10 months later, two of the most powerful men in media, Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly, have been knocked off lofty perches at Fox News.
And the world is suddenly a different place for women who’ve experienced sexual harassment in their workplaces.
.. Ailes vehemently denied the charges, but Carlson, who reportedly had tape-recorded evidence on her side, eventually got a $20 million settlement and a public apology.
.. “Gretchen started the public avalanche, and Megyn continued it internally,” Maynard said.
.. “We found out, in all of this, that if you speak up, there will be action, and that there’s strength in numbers,” longtime media executive Vivian Schiller said Wednesday.
That’s especially true, of course, when one of those employees is a major star.
.. Of course, plenty of women have complained in the past, in companies and organizations, to no avail. Some have been retaliated against. Others ignored, mocked or silenced.
.. Next step, she said: Women should demand that Congress pass the Fairness in Arbitration Act to stop silencing victims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
Mr. Trump even went on TV to accuse Ms. Carlson of being a fabulist. (Maybe he didn’t know that Ms. Carlson had a year’s worth of audio recordings of Mr. Ailes’s lewd remarks.)
.. in June in an article in Vanity Fair. Connecting the dots, the article surmised that Mr. Trump’s reality-TV outrageousness, the billions in free coverage he’s generated, his 11 million Twitter followers, and his die-hard base of white supremacists, could all be used to form an alt-right TV powerhouse.
.. Mr. Ailes, the man whose behavior forced Fox to make this apology last week: “We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve.”
a person briefed on the settlement said that it amounted to $20 million. The person also said that Mr. Ailes was responsible for a portion of the payment, but Susan Estrich, Mr. Ailes’s lawyer, wrote in an email, “Mr. Ailes is not contributing anything.”
.. In its statement, the company apologized for the behavior, saying, “We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve.”
Mr. Ailes resigned from Fox News on July 21, two weeks after Ms. Carlson filed her suit. He received a $40 million settlement when he left.
.. The evidence that Ms. Carlson had in her sexual harassment case was damning, according to another person with knowledge of the settlement. For a year and a half, she had been recording her meetings with Mr. Ailes on her cellphone (in an interview with The New York Times in July, Ms. Carlson said she had been in “between six and 10” meetings with Mr. Ailes where he made provocative comments).