The Anita Hilling of Sharon Bialek (or, there goes the women’s vote)

Sharon Bialek, a Chicago-area woman,waits to address a news conference at the Friars Club, Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, in New York.  Bialek accused Republican presidential contender Herman Cain of making an

Associated Press photo

The Herman Cain campaign today incredibly stupidly released a statement reading, “In stark contrast to Mr. Cain’s four decades spent climbing the corporate ladder rising to the level of CEO at multiple successful business enterprises, Ms. Bialek [pictured above] has taken a far different path,” which includes a “long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances.” So the Cain campaign’s “argument” is that if you are rich and powerful and you are accused of sexual harassment by someone who has had personal and financial difficulties, then she must be lying because she’s not rich and powerful and you are. And the smearing of the (alleged) sexual harassment victim’s personal life, including her financial difficulty (which millions and millions of Americans have had), which has nothing to do with her allegations of sexual harassment — yeah, that makes you look good. 

We can see now why the first three reported apparent victims of sexual harassment at the hands of Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Herman Cain have not gone public with their stories. Look what the wingnuts are doing to the fourth apparent victim, Sharon Bialek, who went public yesterday.

The comments left on this Yahoo! News story are typical of the “arguments” that we are seeing coming from the wingnuts.

Among the nicer allegations in the comments are that Bialek has come forward only in order to make money from it. I’m not sure how, exactly, she would do that, and, until and unless there is any actual evidence to suggest otherwise, I take her at face value that she came forward in order to help stop the sexual harassment of women. Indeed, when we keep things such as child molestation or sexual harassment hush-hush, we only perpetuate them.

Then there are the (inevitable, I suppose) comparisons of Herman Cain to Bill Clinton, which is weird, because Herman Cain isn’t Bill Clinton and because these situations are different. No known serial sexual harasser ever became president in modern times, to my knowledge. (Known serial sexual harasser Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger was able to become governor of California, but the presidency is much bigger.) Bill Clinton did his thing with Monica Lewinsky in the Oral — er, Oval — Office later in his first term and early in his second term, according to Lewinsky, and while Clinton no doubt abused his power over an intern, it apparently was consensual. And the Repugnican-controlled U.S. Senate found that there was no cause to remove Clinton from office.

“Shes way to ugly to be harrased [sic]. Im calling this #$%$,” comments an individual with the username of “HotTeaPartier” whose avatar shows a white female holding a gun. Yes, the Sarah-Palin types are A-OK with sexual harassment. And with calling other women “ugly,” because all women should be physically attractive to and for men. Women exist for men’s sexual gratification. You betcha.

“Another Jennifer Flowers story. She would not be the first person to exchange sexual favors for a job,” chimes in a “TinaO,” another apparent Sarah-Palin type. So there is the comparison to Bill Clinton again, and there is a wholly unsubstantiated allegation that Bialek did “exchange sexual favors for a job” when, to our knowledge, Bialek refused Cain’s alleged quid-pro-quo sexual advances and never got any job in exchange for sexual favors.

With self- and other-loathing women tearing each other apart like this, who needs male chauvinist pigs?

“Why don’t these people start yelling when this stuff was supposed to of [sic] happened instead of years later?” asks “Legal My Foot.”

Um, because now Herman Cain isn’t just a comparatively small-time sexual harasser, but is running to be president of the United States of America?

Gee, do you think that that might be why, genius?

“Why is it that we can now just destroy a man’s reputation without doing anything but holding a press conference,” asks the question-mark-challenged “AllisonS,” adding, “I don’t understand how the media can allow people (be they men or women, but sadly it’s women) who can just make a claim and nothing is done to validate before a man’s career and whole being is destroyed. Why is this not handled at the time by the judicial system. I just don’t understand the motivation of these people.”

Well, um, Bialek is the fourth woman we know about who has alleged that Cain sexually harassed her in the 1990s when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association, not the first. The fourth. Please try to keep up, Allison.

How can a woman not empathize with how another woman who has been sexually harassed might feel about going public about it? Of course the harasser is going to deny it, and especially if the harasser is popular and/or prominent, the harasser’s supporters, facing cognitive dissonance about their beloved, are going to attack the accuser.

How many women want to go through that? Is this really that hard to understand? And as far as the judicial system is concerned, not only is it still disproportionately dominated by men (mostly white men), but since sexual harassment usually is not witnessed by a third party and all that the accused harasser would have to do in a court of law is lie, why would a woman even try to litigate a she-said-he-said case?

“BigDaddy” offers us his sage take: “Lets see she [Bialek] hasnt worked in 13 years [um, she’s a stay-at-home mom — it’s OK to actually raise your children], hires the best man hating lesbo attorney/political hack she could find [all strong, confident, successful women are “man-hating lesbos,” you see — except for Repugnican Tea Party women like Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter] and shows no real emotion about the alledged [sic] event….. [Of course, had Bialek cried or otherwise shown great emotion during the press conference, she would have been accused of acting.] After only waiting 15 years to bring it public……..That about right??????? Gloria get a life…..Im still voting for Herman Cain and you inspired me to give a donation to his election.”

Sure, there are plenty of sexual harassment deniers and even sexual harassment lovers and misogynists (male and female) who still support Herman Cain and who are giving him (even more) money in light of the news that four women have accused him of sexual harassment.

That’s fine.

Sexual harassment is no big deal to the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, but sexual harassment won’t play well in the November 2012 general election, if Cain makes it that far, which now is highly unlikely. (As “RON,” one of the minority of sane commenters puts it, “Cains political career is over. He just doesn’t know it yet,” and “One woman, maybe she’s not being fully truthful. two or three, they probably are. Four, We now have a serial sexual predator.” Yup.)

“If you don’t want the sex, dont get in the car!!!!” advises “Jim R,” more typical of the average commentator. “Fatty leatherfaced lady trying for money! Not by the hairs on your gobblin chinny chin,” chimes in some anonymous genius. (So Bialek is “ugly” and “fat,” which must mean that Herman Cain did not sexually harass her in 1997. Or something like that.)

“Wizardofhogs” observes: “This story can NEVER be proved… and yet the media runs with it because H.Cain is a republican. They wouldn’t write it if the dude was a demon-crat… fhucking media is ruining our country….”

Yes, as I indicated, sexual harassers usually do their deeds when there are no witnesses. So their victims should keep their mouths shut if there were no witnesses? Really? As far as the allegation that Cain is being picked on because he’s a Repugnican Tea Partier, I remember that the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal dominated the media for months and months, stoked by the Repugnicans who wanted to remove Bill Clinton from office over a consensual blow job. I mean, puhfuckinglease. And the corporately owned and controlled mass media love sex scandals, regardless of the party affiliation of those involved.

And there is that cognitive dissonance again: you like and support some person and then some unflattering truth or allegation about that person comes out, and so in order to try to preserve your attachment to that person, you blame the accuser(s) and/or the media.

It’s as pathetic as it is time-worn and predictable to blame the media.

We have this little thing called the First Amendment in this nation. That means that sometimes your sensibilities are going to be offended, and that people have the constitutional right to say and to report things you’d rather they not. Boo hoo hoo. Get over yourfuckingself.

“why aren’t sharpton and jackson defending cain against these unsubstaniated charges?” asks “Wildcrzy.” Um, maybe it’s because just because someone else is of your same gender and race, it doesn’t mean that he or she is your kindred? And because Sharpton and/or Jackson might believe that Cain is guilty as charged, and thus not worth defending?

Duh.

There also are, of course, many comments attacking attorney Gloria Allred (besides such allegations as that she’s a man-hating lesbian). You could call that an Allred herring — diverting the attention from Herman Cain to Gloria Allred. I’m not asserting that Allred is an angel. I don’t know her. But regardless of anything about Gloria Allred, Herman Cain either did or did not do what Sharon Bialek claims he did to her in 1997.

That the Repugnican Tea Party traitors don’t want to address that issue speaks volumes about them, and the way that Sharon Bialek has been treated demonstrates that as a nation, we haven’t grown up much, if any, since Anita Hill was burned at the stake in 1991 for having had the courage to have gone public about her sexual harassment by now-U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Clarence Thomas.

The Repugnican Tea Party’s strategy of attacking women who have alleged sexual harassment is interesting. As the stupid white male demographic — the Repugnican Tea Party’s base (aside from millionaires and billionaires, whose numbers are few) — continues to shrink, you’d think that the party wouldn’t want to offend half of the American population* and those of us males who support them.

*Actually, the 2010 U.S. Census put females at 50.8 percent of the nation’s population.

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