Slept a little late after a night shift and then read the morning news that TV pretty boy Matt Lauer was fired from the Today Show over sexual misconduct charges. Okay. But then I read that — this just in — Garrison Keillor was just let go from Minnesota Public Radio — he being the host of the nationally broadcast and highly successful Prarie Home Companion — a kind of high-brow version of the Grand Ol’ Opry (at least that was my take on it), from which he had retired. He still did stuff on radio though.
I’ve used the term already as have others: it’s a sea change in attitudes toward charges of sexual harassment.
If you are high-profile and you get charged, without any right to face your accusers in a court of law or other such hearing you can be dismissed.
The same rule does not necessarily apply to politicians, or all of them anyway, some. That is because it just takes a personnel department or CEO or board of directors to summarily let someone go. You’re gone.
President Trump, his current effort to change his own story and apology for sexual misconduct notwithstanding, is harder to fire. He’d have to be impeached. He might be eventually, but I doubt over the sex issue (but then who knows in this new environment?).
My concern now is for those at the slightly to way lower level, who may not have the severance packages and lawyers. A man could lose his job and family over a she said, he said issue, over something that may have never happened but is a cover for some other issue. Yes, I am fairly sure all these women cannot be lying and in fact I am fairly sure almost none of them are, save the odd opportunist
Sexual harassment is horrendous and should not, should never have, be or been tolerated.
But we men need to be concerned. Women need to be concerned too.
It could all come back around to bite them somehow, although I would hope not.
Apparently social media with its ability to instantly reach the mass market and its free access to everyone has made all this possible.
Strangely, women have had immense power through the ages. Read the literature. They had to be careful how they used it.
Now follow me here. The reason we drank weak and flat and tasteless beer in the United States for decades (before microbrews went back to the future) was that back in the 1930s brewers decided to mass market beer, which had been brewed locally and consumed primarily by men in the men’s domain of taverns. It was thought that if they toned the stuff down more women might like to drink it. The power of the market.
And that market power combined with social media has empowered women today, that and the bravery of the initial women who stepped forward and risked their careers. Anita Hill has to wonder where was her support when she tried to shed light on Clarence Thomas.
It is a brave new world.