Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I thought we were beyond blaming the victim for sexual harassment

This post will be apolitical. I’d hold the same opinion whether the speaker of the comments I intend to discuss was a D, an R, or a something-else. As it stands, however, the speaker happens to be Donald Trump. So, if you don’t want to read something negative about the Republican nominee for President, click over to something else.

On Monday, the USAToday asked Mr. Trump, “What if someone had treated Ivanka in the way Ailes allegedly behaved?” (referring to deposed Fox New chief Roger Ailes and the sexual harassment allegations levied against him). 

Mr. Trump’s response: “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case.”

When did it become okay to again blame the victim for harassment? Gretchen Carlson, the plaintiff in the Roger Ailes sex harassment case, calls it “victim blaming.”

And she’s 100 precent correct. Gone are the days of Mad Men and a quick slap on the butt for a job well done. Or cat calls to women who dress a certain way. Or passing someone for a promotion, or worse yet, firing someone, who “doesn’t do what it takes to keep the boss happy.”

It’s 2016, and we shouldn’t need to have this debate anymore. No one should have to leave a job because of mistreatment of any kind. The fault lies squarely with the bully or the harasser, and none with the victim. Shame on anyone who thinks differently.