Too Venal for Words category archive
Frankly, this is a new one on me.
And it’s not the first time.
Almost a year ago , over 3 feet of hair was cut from Chloe’s 4-foot tail. Back then, the tail of the Hollars’ black-and-white Tennessee Walking horse, Matt, also was shorn.
The owners think the tails were stolen because “the flaxen color is especially prized for use in hair extensions and craft projects.” The story goes on to point out that such thefts have been reported sporadically in the past. They are cruel, also, as the horses’ tails are now too short to brush away insects and may take four or five years to grow back.
I must say that, in none of the places I’ve worked–and by that I mean my own little corner of the company, not the company as a whole–have I heard of, let along witnessed, predatory sexual behavior such as that recently in the news.
Nonetheless, the recent news stories in no way surprise me.
I know that such conduct went on in parts of at least one company I worked for. It was early in my career, which started just as the Mad Men days were coming to a close. As one of my co-workers told me at the time, “No woman wants to be in the elevator with [Vice President X]. He thinks every woman in [Department Y] is a member of his harem.” I also recall that, when an accomplished and diligent woman in my department received a promotion, it was accompanied by a whispering campaign that she had “slept her way” into it (she didn’t).
Historiann argues that there much more going on workplaces which tolerate such behavior than sexual hanky-panky. Here’s a bit of her piece; follow the link for the rest.
This is the playbook for sexualizing people and workplaces as a part of the process of marginalizing and alienating the junior folks who get caught up in these relationships, whether they’re consensual or not. This is also a primary means by which men re-create the hierarchy of men over women, again and again. Exploiting younger women (which is the overwhelming majority of sexual harassment and abuse cases) is a win-win for these guys, because they can get their rocks off, and–here’s the beauty part–you keep junior women from becoming senior women who might step on your nuts about all this because you’ve created an sexualized environment in which the junior women must either become victims or collaborators. Most of them will quit eventually, and the ones that hang on are compromised because they’ve been drawn in as collaborators (or heck, even apologists for the abuse of younger women.)
At the Boston Review, Bonnie Honig sees both similarities and differences between Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein. The similarities she perceives are not surprising, but the differences are chilling.
Here’s a bit:
. . . Trump has changed the rules of the game. Trump would never offer to get treatment to save his job. He would never ask for a second chance. If you are emailing your friends asking for support, if you say you will seek treatment, if you are hoping for another chance, you are already—in Trump’s grade school terms—a loser: reality’s victim, not its maker. The game is over.
Follow the link for the rest; it is quite worth your consideration.
Alfred Doblin considers the similarities between Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein.
Just read it.
You’re on the air at your AirBnB:
Sure enough, when the couple got a closer look, what appeared to be a smoke detector was actually a camera pointing directly at the bed, according to ABC Action News.
Details at the link.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Michael Karson turns our attention to Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita and the lessons it has for us.
Many years ago, I read Lolita.
It is without question the most chilling novel I have ever read. Next to it, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a Daffy Duck comic. I have no desire to read it again.*
In his narration, Humbert Humbert convinces himself and almost (but not quite–that’s the majesty of Nabokov’s writing) convinces the reader that Lolita welcomes, even yearns for, his violation of her.
An excerpt from Karson’s piece:
Self-delusion and evil often walk hand-in-hand.
Look around: You will see many Humbert Humberts in the political sphere, industriously convincing themselves and their dupes, symps, and fellow travelers to violate the common good and rape the general wellfare.
*It has been said that any book worth reading once is worth reading twice. I’ll make an exception for Lolita.
Prior to the event, Noah Feldman wrote of the implications of Donald Trump’s (then rumored) pardoning racist bigot-panderer Joe Arpaio. A snippet (emphasis added):
Such a pardon would reflect outright contempt for the judiciary, which convicted Arpaio for his resistance to its authority.
Every day of Trumpery ups the volume of vile and further erodes the rule of law.
“No one is saying you can’t go and write a review,” (plaintiff’s attorney Dave–ed.) Wishnew said. “Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequence. Things you put on the internet to attack a business have real-world consequences and that really resonated with the jury. You can’t go and burn someone’s house down and claim free speech.”