New York Post Gossip Columnist Cindy Adams has told women that they should just “deal with” sexual harassment because she has. Evidently, Ms. Adams was fondled inappropriately when she was a child, but has moved on from the trauma and feels that other women should do the same.
She’s in her 40s. Hey, we’ve all been there. Those things happened to every one us in our earlier days. But that was before the world became so litigious. We’ve each endured some too tight hug or some slob whose hand wandered where it shouldn’t. Deal with it. That’s what we did in our younger, prettier days. Dealt with it. In some cases, sticking a pen in the guy’s lower belly and whispering politely, “Try that again, pal, and you’ll have to go to Emergency to pee,” worked just fine.
I was maybe 10. In a highly respected elderly doctor’s Upper East Side examination room. My mom had left for one second. His hands began examining what wasn’t there for examining. I pushed him away and never mentioned it to a soul. Not anybody. Until now. And I still remember his name.
I was maybe 16. The office of a theatrical agent who had a Tiffany reputation. He took me into a private room to test my voice. And what he looked to test was not my voice. I pushed him off and never mentioned it to anyone. Until now. And I still remember his name.
Ms. Adams seems to be comparing apples to oranges. What she’s describing is pedophilia, not sexual harassment. I’m sorry for what she’s endured, but telling women to accept harassment and retaliate with violence is just plain wrong.
Neither sexual harassment nor threats of violence is considered to be acceptable workplace conduct. Nor is a woman’s age or beauty relevant in any way. Whether or not, as Ms. Adams indicated, our society is too litigious, harassment of any sort needs to be reported and addressed. Telling women to just “deal” with it seriously impedes an organization’s ability to maintain a safe environment for its employees.
Needless to say, Ms. Adams’ proclamation has rightfully ruffled more than a few feathers.
From the Huffington Post:
Jehmu Greene, the President of the Women’s Media Center, said in a statement that Adams’ column blurs the lines between sexual harassment and sexual assault and that Adams “disrespects and undermines the strides we have made in recent decades”: The author is blurring the lines between sexual harassment and sexual assault, when in fact one often leads to the other. There is no “right way” to handle sexual harassment or assault, but discouraging women from reporting those crimes is clearly archaic and deflects responsibility from the perpetrators. The under-reporting of sexual harassment and assault promotes an atmosphere of fear rather than of open dialogue about the issues.
Agreed. Cindy Adams should just stick to what she knows best and leave the rest to those who actually know what they’re talking about.