Tag: sexual harassment

Demanding to Be Heard: African American Women’s Voices from Slave Narratives to #MeToo

The #Metoo movement has made public what women have long known: that sexual assault and harassment are endemic in many workplaces. Using the power of social media, brave women have revealed the abuses men in positions of power have inflicted on the women who worked for them. Women have been revealing the abuses of powerful… Read more →

“Now I try to live my feminist politics in bed as well as elsewhere”

When Babe published a first-person account of a young woman’s awful sexual encounter with actor Aziz Ansari, one she later interpreted as sexual assault, many considered it to be crossing a line in the #MeToo movement. In this perspective, the transgression into the private sphere of dating led to a multitude of other women’s supposedly… Read more →

Why It’s Bad When It’s “Not That Bad”

When then-Senator Al Franken was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women this past November, I braced myself for the backlash. I grew up in Minnesota, so my social media threads were filled with Franken-loving Minnesotans begging him not to resign and castigating his accusers for blowing their experiences out of proportion. One friend of… Read more →

#MeToo and the Massage Envy Scandal: Looking Back and Beyond

“Massage brings all the weirdos out of the woodwork. I mean real sick people who have problems,” massage therapist Kathleen Dynes told the Los Angeles Times in 1978, explaining she could understand why a local homeowners association boycotted her fledgling suburban massage business, despite her best efforts to make the office, where her mother also… Read more →

On Doors Open and Shut: Sex and Power Yet Again

One day last week, literally as I sat down in a shared meeting room to write this post, a senior male colleague “joked” that my arrival meant that we “better keep the door open” to avoid problems like those in the news. In that same twenty-four hour period, three female colleagues shared their fraught experiences… Read more →

Don’t Bring that Anti-Choice Nonsense to the #MeToo Movement, Peggy Noonan

There have been any number of smart, critical takes on the #MeToo movement and the wave of sexual harassment allegations against famous and powerful men that have rocked the country in recent weeks. Lindy West, Caitlin Flanagan, Roxane Gay and numerous others have offered some great commentary on how we might process this cultural moment… Read more →

UCLA Allows Sexual Harassment

A sexual harassment case is currently rocking UCLA. Professor Gabriel Piterberg, a professor of Middle Eastern history, has been accused of harassing two female graduate students repeatedly beginning in 2008, with behavior that to me appears to be sexual assault. In 2013, the women went to Pamela Thomason, the Title IX authority at UCLA, who… Read more →

No Paula Deen, It’s Not Just Men Being Men

By Cheryl Lemus

Sick of hearing about Paula Deen? Yeah, I know, it’s been a little overwhelming. Not only have we found out that Deen admitted to using the “n-word” in the past, that her ignorance about race still exists, and that she has subsequently been dropped by several sponsors, but we also have endured many, many responses to these events in the last few weeks. Well, I hate to break the bad news, but I am going to give you another commentary. One with a very different viewpoint, however, so please bear with me. The case against Deen and Bubba Hiers (her brother) is not that complicated, but the responses to Deen’s deposition raise issues of privacy (“we can say what we want in private”), reflect double standards regarding race (“well, African Americans call each other by that name, why can’t we use it?”), suggest the belief that time erases all sins (“she’s of a certain time period” or “well, she said it so long ago, it does not matter anymore”), and even elicit offerings of olive branches (an excellent example of this is here). But as much as this episode in the continual series “Celebrities are not Gods” demonstrates that racism is alive and well in America, I must remind everyone that Lisa T. Jackson is not just suing Deen and Hiers for racial discrimination, but also for sexual discrimination and harassment. These charges have gotten lost in the shuffle. Why?