November 3, 2017

Mary Bono accuses a member of the House of Representatives of sexual harassment.

Bono (who served in the House for 15 years, ending in 2012) does not name the name, but does say the man is still a member:
Bono...said it seemed like the lawmaker didn’t know how to talk to a woman as an equal. “Instead of being ‘how’s the weather, how’s your career, how’s your bill,’ it was ‘I thought about you while I was in the shower.’ So it was a matter of saying to him ‘That’s not cool, that’s just not cool.’”...

“It is a man’s world, it’s still a man’s world,” Bono said. “Not being a flirt and not being a bitch. That was my rule, to try to walk that fine line.”

Bono said she found power in confronting her harasser, and that after she did so it never happened again. She emphasized that she understood her experience was different than those of young staffers who may face harassment from someone they rely on for a job, and that she was fortunate because as an equal elected by her constituents, she would not fear retaliation....

“My career didn’t suffer, I didn’t suffer,” Bono said. “But it did happen.”
In this telling, confrontation on the spot works. Why don't more targets of harassment just go with immediate rejection of the overture? As Bono says, other targets are fearful of retaliation in ways that she was not.

37 comments:

JPS said...

"Why don't more targets of harassment just go with immediate rejection of the overture?"

I'm somewhat sympathetic to the argument that this places an unequal burden on them that they shouldn't have to bear.

Unfortunately, it still seems to work better than any alternative I know of: Smack down those who can be smacked down. The others are the ones to worry about.

This narrows the scope of your problem. But if you are an activist, you want to broaden the scope as much as possible.

rcocean said...

Poor baby.

She's a fucking Congresswoman. 435 of the most powerful people in the country.

Thankfully, we've been spared tales about how POTUS Hillary was sexually harassed by her Chief of Staff or the Sec of state.

EDH said...

What is it with "showers"?

From Sandusky et al.

MikeR said...

What in the world is happening with this stuff? That didn't sound like "sexual harassment" at all. It sounded like an unsuccessful pass. So happy she didn't name the person, because - he didn't do anything wrong! (unless he's married etc.)

William said...

I don't think female members of Congress get harassed to any extent. I bet their staff people have some interesting stories though......I don't think anything out of Washington can have the drama and spectacle of the Hollywood stories. The females that get harassed don't look like movie stars, and the males who harass them don't look like Harvey. It adds to the squalor if the man involved is exceptionally ugly and the woman is extremely pretty. Plus, this whole public masturbation thing seems to be a strictly Hollywood perversion. Weiner's exhibitionism doesn't stick out as much as Harvey's. He never entertained visitors to his Washington office in his bathrobe.

rehajm said...

Ah, if she could tuurn baaaack tymmmme....

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I've told this story here before but I had a similar, for me exasperating, experience. When I taught preschool the sponsoring church got a new pastor who immediately acquired the nickname Pastor Perv among the teachers. The first time he met my coteacher he asked her ethnicity and she replied that she is Italian but speaks a little Spanish because her husband is Dominican, and he said, "Ooooh, so you like those hot Latin lovers!" Um what? On Halloween she was wearing a cute t-shirt with a heart made of black lace and he said "That looks more like something your underwear would be made of!" That kind of bullshit. Said to a teacher when we all arrived for a staff meeting, "I was laying in bed this morning wondering hoping you'd be at this meeting!"

So the teachers would giggle and blush and NOT saying anything in response and then bitch to high heaven behind his back. It drove me BATSHIT. I would tell my friends over and over that they have to tell him, to his face and in the moment, that such comments are inappropriate and not welcome, but for some reason that was very hard for them to do.

Sorry, ladies. You have to put on your big girl pants and be willing to look a harasser in the eye and say, "You can't talk to others like that at work. I don't like it, I don't have to tolerate it and I want it to stop now." Preferable in the presence of a witness, and don't forget to record the incident in a journal for the purpose with time, date, and the names of your witnesses.

gg6 said...

"“It is a man’s world, it’s still a man’s world,” Bono said. “Not being a flirt and not being a bitch..to try to walk that fine line.”
Oh, spare me, please, Bono. Apparently you not aware of the 'fine line' of Jerkhood? Yes, there are some Males in the world who are A-holes. Are there no such females?! Look in the mirror, please. The next time some fool 'assaults' you with the absolutely horrid mention of a shower, simply 'act like a man' and say "Buzz off jerk!"

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Re retaliation: Sexual harassment is illegal, and so is retaliation for reporting it.

William said...

Prediction: There will be more complaints coming from liberal precincts than from conservative ones. This isn't because liberal men are more inclined to act out their libidos but because liberal women are more inclined to publicize their resentments.

Expat(ish) said...

Wait, Mary Bono was elected when her more husband (famous, elected) died.

I'm confused if she is a beneficiary or a victim here?

-XC

David said...

"Wait, Mary Bono was elected when her more husband (famous, elected) died.

I'm confused if she is a beneficiary or a victim here?"

Sexism level "Extreme!" What a ignorant comment.

David said...

Cher for Congress. She would take a different tack than Mary, but equally effective.

There was something about Sonny Bono that attracted strong and resourceful women.

Ferananidinande said...

When Mary gives me a Bono I feel Rosie all over.

cf said...

Yes, this has been my experience, you talk straight, in the moment, with respect and good manners: "This is Not OK."

Men are pretty great with direct, simple truth.

Only once, back in college, when a fellow and I took off to Barton springs for an afternoon, and he insisted that of course we would frolic --only that once, was a guy so stuck on getting some from me that he refused to drive us back home without me putting out. Haha, So that was simple enough. I walked.

If women can't stand up for themselves with American men, well, what the heck?!

Kate said...

If male commenters here are an indication, then Bono was on the right track. Guys just don't see that commenting in a professional environment about a woman's body, sexual habits, or lingerie choices is inappropriate. It ain't flirting. Ask her to a personal space -- a date that she can accept or reject -- and then you can bring on the charm.

Bono says that once she spoke out, the man stopped. He honestly didn't know he was offensive. Or he was afraid of legal/social consequences, but I prefer the more charitable interpretation.

traditionalguy said...

OK, we see that Sex is a mental game that can later turn physical. So harassment includes white men thinking out loud about a woman. That must be forever banned. But I dare you to apply that standard to Black men's lives.

Ferananidinande said...

Feminista approved version:

"I thought about you while I was unclogging the toilet. Because of your strong forearms and prehensile tail."

jwl said...

When my sister was about twelve years old, my grandfather taught her to punch a guy in his penis if he harassing her and won't stop. Apparently she's done it three times in her life and it quickly stops whatever unpleasant behaviour is occurring. My sis has teenage daughter who started grade nine a few weeks ago, and I taught her the cock punch during summer holidays.

Females can't overpower men but they can do some things to stop their harasser, at least enough to have time to flee if necessary.

Ferananidinande said...

Kate said...
Guys just don't see that commenting in a professional environment about a woman's body, sexual habits, or lingerie choices is inappropriate.


The word "inappropriate" is inappropriate.

The behavior was tacky and rude, but should it be national news that some adult said he thought about some other adult while taking a shower - five years ago?

And calling stuff like this incident "sexual harassment" is just a joke. It's not harassment.

rhhardin said...

Would you be allowed to say that you didn't think of the lady in the shower today.

Just curious about the rule.

rhhardin said...

Whatever the rule is, literary effects can get around it.

Professional lady said...

Yes, women should say something on the spot. I've had time when I should have said something on the spot - but the person caught me by surprise or whatever. Easier said than done at times.

Michael K said...

This isn't because liberal men are more inclined to act out their libidos but because liberal women are more inclined to publicize their resentments.

I'm not so sure about that. Leftist men may be more into open sex and think it is OK.

They certainly have no religious scruples about it.

"Free Love" is a lefty theme and some of them believe it.

R.J. Chatt said...

I've noticed some women smile and laugh even if they are angry, because they believe that's what being feminine means. They don't stand up for themselves or even confront other women directly either, just behind their backs. So weaker women don't get a lot of practice telling people, "Don't do that." If you stand up for yourself you will probably get push back, but that's how you get stronger.

HoodlumDoodlum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HoodlumDoodlum said...

Bono said she found power in confronting her harasser, and that after she did so it never happened again.

So, hang on. The guy said an inappropriate thing to her, she told him it was inappropriate/wrong and he didn't ever do it again?
And THAT'S her tale of sexual harassment?! By a guy who is in no way her superior nor has any power over her job?

Geez; if you WANTED to make me think the whole brouhaha over sexual harassment was wildly overblown and/or invented as a grievance/empathy weapon you couldn't do much better than this.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...


The behavior was tacky and rude, but should it be national news that some adult said he thought about some other adult while taking a shower - five years ago?

No, because the proper response is for the woman to say, "Stop talking to me like that" and then he stops and that's the end of it.

And calling stuff like this incident "sexual harassment" is just a joke. It's not harassment.

It is definitely harassment if the target of the comments objects, voices her objections, and the behavior continues. It is, as you say, tacky and rude before then.

Sorry that some people can't seem to handle the thought of a workplace where people are expected to keep their sexual commentary inside their own heads, but that is the standard which applies now. As Kate suggests above, they can feel free to ask a woman out and then when she accepts and spends time with them outside the workplace, they can dazzle her with all their lovely comments about how they think of her in the shower.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

So, hang on. The guy said an inappropriate thing to her, she told him it was inappropriate/wrong and he didn't ever do it again?
And THAT'S her tale of sexual harassment?! By a guy who is in no way her superior nor has any power over her job?

Geez; if you WANTED to make me think the whole brouhaha over sexual harassment was wildly overblown and/or invented as a grievance/empathy weapon you couldn't do much better than this.


Agree

Yancey Ward said...

rcocean wrote:

"Thankfully, we've been spared tales about how POTUS Hillary was sexually harassed"

Give her time and the idea......

Ferananidinanide said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...
It is definitely harassment if the target of the comments objects, voices her objections, and the behavior continues.


Sure. That also applies to repeatedly pestering someone to join the company softball team, which, AFAIK, has never been national news.

It is, as you say, tacky and rude before then.

This is what I was referring to:

"Mary Bono accuses a member of the House of Representatives of sexual harassment."

"...it never happened again..."

Ian F. Shield said...

I hear that there a quite a few "members" in Congress.

Breezy said...

We are each responsible to train people how to treat us. It takes work, like everything else.

Knowing this, wise people would have generic responses ready that they could employ.

HT said...

Except for the fact that they haven't been.

______

William said...

Prediction: There will be more complaints coming from liberal precincts than from conservative ones. This isn't because liberal men are more inclined to act out their libidos but because liberal women are more inclined to publicize their resentments.

Anonymous said...

Don't be a flirt, don't be a bitch, but call the guy out on his crap to his face . . . sounds like a plan.

I'm can't remember the last time I heard anybody else recommend that a woman act like a competent adult in this situation, instead of either screaming, suing, or becoming paralyzed.

0_0 said...

Why won't Bono name the person?

These unnamed accusations are useless.

Leonard Pailet said...

When the legal support firm I worked for went out of business, I did temping for a while. Occasionally I was sent out for job interviews. I was sent to interview at a prestigious law firm for a "man Friday" position for a lawyer who was often traveling to conferences, etc. The interview went fairly well and I had agreed to go with her to a conference the next week. Let me be honest. I was balding at the time, I am 5 foot four and one half inches tall and may look fat but I have a large skeletal frame. I am no sexpot on the surface but I have a personality that is definitely attractive and not unpleasant features. The woman made it explicit that I was supposed to be at her beck and call sexually as part of my duties. I told her I was married and she said, "So what?" I thanked her for her listening to me and told her no. Ann, this was at a prestigious law firm. I have had other experiences like this one. I have been aware all of my life how "the game" works, no matter your sexual persuasion. I was accused of sexual offensiveness (not sexual harassment) at work because I was a male and fifty at the time and working with younger people who wanted me fired so they could possibly be hired full time. Until there are some restrictions on how words are used to define accusations, you will always have questions about accusations. And false accusations or let us say fudged ones really hurt the people who are victims because people do know about false accusations. Many of us have actually had false accusations made against us. There is no excuse for bullying or rape and all the stages in-between in which there is a mental or physical attack. Loose language terms are part of the problem and our social justice rampages at perceived, not real, slights are another.