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I’ve been following a horrifying news story. And I want to thank Ruben Navarette, “a CNN contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.” His lovely article “Will ‘Mayor Naughty’please step down?’ alerted me to the fact that, first, this is a horrifying situation, and second, people are still fucking idiots.
Mr Navarette talked about Bob Filner, the mayor of San Diego, who “has been accused of sexual harassment, inappropriate touching, lewd comments and other boorish behavior by -- at last count -- 17 women.” Navarette says that he “snarkily predicted that we'd get to 20 women by Labor Day.” Because, you know, it’s fucking hysterical that the mayor harassed and abused over 15 women who were willing to come forward and face the personal attacks that were bound to happen because, of course, the crime in this case is often being willing to talk.
Navarette further points out that “…all the while, Mayor Naughty fiddles. Filner isn't exactly cleaning out his office. He doesn't seem to care what anyone thinks about him. He won't leave, and it might just be that -- even with all the pressure being applied -- we can't make him leave.”
Possibly without even meaning to, Navarette is helping to prove that point. By calling him “mayor naughty” and talking about “How embarrassing are the Filner follies? Try this on for size: Hooters restaurants in San Diego have banned the mayor because, according to the management, Filner doesn't respect women. What do you do when you're deemed morally deficient by a restaurant chain that made a fortune off the concept of waitresses serving up hot wings in tight shorts and cleavage-baring T-shirts?”, he is one of the guys who seems to think that it’s amusing when men abuse women. Calling his actions “follies” and joking about his title…these aren’t the musing of someone who feels that a man has done something wrong. This is a man who believes in the good old boys’ club and is amused when someone gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Further evidence is in his comments about Hooters. While I know that many other feminists may hate Hooters, I see it as further freedom of choice. If women can make money by dressing in something that has more coverage than a bikini and being friendly with lonely men, what’s wrong with that? And while some Hooters have had issues, many of them have very good benefits and treat their employees well. But, of course, the women are in the wrong and being “morally deficient” when they wear “tight shorts and cleaver-baring T-shirts.”
In the end, Filner agreed to resign, but he only “apologized to accusers but denied ever sexually harassing them.” Filner’s actions, as reported by women in this article (with slightly less humor) included “more women—one of them a great-grandmother and another a retired Navy admiral—came forward and told stories of Filner touching, forcibly kissing, making lewd comments and even placing them in headlocks.”
I have nothing against innocent until proven guilty…and I have nothing against proper criminal and civil proceeding occurring. That *should* happen. But I’m worried it won’t. I’m worried that, since he’s just a ‘naughty mayor’ and since we all have a ‘mayors will be mayors’ attitude that he will never come to justice. Sure, he lost his position, but he caused that to happen. They did nothing to deserve what happened to them. They were innocent bystanders, and he abused his power and them.
I don’t want to just bring up the evils of men sexually harassing women. We all know about that. We need to change the perception of it. We need to stop joking about it and making it funny. Many, many things in life are funny. Sexual harassment and abuse does not fall into those categories.