Don't get me wrong; rich guys get away with stuff they shouldn't. But that's not the whole story. There are grey areas where we all know what's going on, but we can't prove it. When I was working on a pretty big network overhaul at a mutual fund firm--doing the kind of work that at the time was almost never done by women--there was an executive with a very, very deep desk that he had pushed against the wall. Somehow, when I went in there to work on his computer, he was always there--and his computer was always pushed to the far edge of the extremely crowded desk, forcing me to essentially bend over his desk in order to do anything. (Naturally, he never offered me his chair.) Creeptastic.
I knew what he was doing, and I'm pretty sure that he knew I knew it. But what was I supposed to say: "Don't put your computer there?" There was no good way for anyone in his firm or mine to have that conversation. Eventually I delegated most of the work in his office to a male colleague, and his computer moved (back, I assume) to the middle of the desk.
Even fifteen years later, I don't really have a better solution. My company was not exactly a bastion of feminist sentiment, but even if it had been, how could we prove that he hadn't put the computer there because he liked the distant perspective it gave him on his stock portfolio?
You could cast this as just another abuse of power by a rich guy. And to be sure, it probably would have been easier to get one of the mailroom guys to behave himself--but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have said anything in that case either, because it does no good to make enemies at any level of the firm when you're a consultant. On the other hand, if he'd been grabbing me, there were people in management there who I know would have tried to address his behavior.
Ultimately, as unpleasant as it was, I think it is better to be in a system where we give people the benefit of the doubt than one where any action that could have the slightest sexual connotation is presumptively harassment. Yes, it lets creeps get away with a lot. But it also means that the rest of us can put our computers where we want them--and don't get kicked out of hotels because we forgot to bolt the door.
She'd sell out every female in the world to get a better seat at her masters' table. She knows what it's like to be vulnerable to power and she doesn't care, as long as she eventually gets that power for herself. Roseanne Barr, in an article in New York magazine, said:
My breakdown deepened around the fourth episode, when I confronted the wardrobe master about the Sears, Roebuck outfits that made me look like a show pony rather than a working-class mom. I wanted vintage plaid shirts, T-shirts, and jeans, not purple stretch pants with green-and-blue smocks. She bought everything but what I requested, so I wore my own clothes to work, thinking she was just absent-minded. I was still clueless about the extent of the subterfuge.
Eventually she told me that she had been told by one of Matt’s producers�his chief mouthpiece��not to listen to what Roseanne wants to wear.� This producer was a woman, a type I became acquainted with at the beginning of my stand-up career in Denver. I cared little for them: blonds in high heels who were so anxious to reach the professional level of the men they worshipped, fawned over, served, built up, and flattered that they would stab other women in the back. They are the ultimate weapon used by men against actual feminists who try to work in media, and they are never friends to other women, you can trust me on that.
I grabbed a pair of wardrobe scissors and ran up to the big house to confront the producer. (The �big house� was what I called the writers’ building. I rarely went there, since it was disgusting. Within minutes, one of the writers would crack a stinky-pussy joke that would make me want to murder them. Male writers have zero interest in being nice to women, including their own assistants, few of whom are ever promoted to the rank of �writer,� even though they do all the work while the guys sit on their asses taking the credit. Those are the women who deserve the utmost respect.) I walked into this woman’s office, held the scissors up to show her I meant business, and said, �Bitch, do you want me to cut you?� We stood there for a second or two, just so I could make sure she was receptive to my POV. I asked why she had told the wardrobe master to not listen to me, and she said, �Because we do not like the way you choose to portray this character.� I said, �This is no fucking character! This is my show, and I created it�not Matt, and not Carsey-Werner, and not ABC. You watch me. I will win this battle if I have to kill every last white bitch in high heels around here.�
There comes a point when a person is no longer the victim of their upbringing, when they willingly embrace the damage done to them to experience the wicked glee of hurting others in turn. They don't want to change, to ease the pain, to connect to the human race. They want to hurt and smash and destroy. They want to see others suffer and most especially they want to be the ones who will be gloating over the remains of those unlucky enough to get in the way.
Here there be monsters.
We would slit your throat for an airline upgrade.