There are a million examples to explain why women don’t feel comfortable coming forward when they’ve been sexually harassed. The events surrounding the accusation of Eric Bolling, Fox Newsman, who has been suspended from Fox, and one of his accusers, Caroline Heldman, are no different.
Case in point:
Caroline Heldman was one of the women who accused him of harassment, but it is not clear if she was one of the three female coworkers that received unsolicited… um… “pics” from him. She is an Occidental College associate professor who has previously has levied sexual harassment accusations against former Fox host Bill O’Reilly and executive Woody Fraser. According to at least one troll, she should have thought about his wife and kids before speaking out — not that he should have thought about that before he did it.
According to the Washington Times:
“Bolling referred to me as ‘Dr. McHottie’ on air on four different occasions, and called me ‘smart, beautiful, and wrong’ on air twice,” she said in the post. “I pushed back with ‘Mr. McSexist,’ but I shouldn’t have had to. This on-air behavior was perfectly acceptable to Fox executives at the time.”
Because she dared to say that, out loud, about a conservative male pundit, the hate has been coming her way. From men and women, basically the troll swarms of the right wing. You don’t have to search for ugly comments on Caroline Heldman’s page, you have to wade through them like you’re trying to climb out of a literal sewer you accidentally fell into.
On Saturday, she posted the following:
Tonight I am breaking the rules of the page by allowing all of the awful, sexist posts from knuckle-draggers to stay up. It’s important to show what happens when people come forward about sexual harassment. It’s important to see why so many stay silent.
I rarely fight my own fights because I prioritize fighting for justice for others, but when I was asked to go public about Fox to help another woman come forward, of course I agreed.
Please don’t be worried about me with the trolls — I can take it. (I have grown a very thick skin after receiving thousands of pieces of hate mail and nasty phone calls from Fox viewers over the years, some including death threats.)
Just imagine how many women and men are being sexually harassed in their place of employment today who are terrified of losing their jobs and their careers if they complain or speak out. The comments posted here epitomize the vile victim-blaming culture that keeps so many silent.
Since then, over 700 comments have rolled in, some are supportive but most are vitriolic and personal attacks against her for having the temerity to believe that her doctorate deserves more respect than Mr. McSexist gave it.
Comments like those at the beginning of the article, demonizing her for too many selfies, and others labeling her a “Lier [sic]” (which she defiantly made her cover photo) rolled in. How dare she say that men had harassed her? How dare she say it more than once? Obviously, women who are sexually harassed are “Leftwing socialist extremists” and “hoe[s]”:
The horrid spelling, overt hate, and assumption that being a liberal means she is lying about these men is hard to miss. It is almost as if she would need at least three male witnesses to the harassment for it to be real, and that they would need to agree that it was against her will for her to be allowed to complain. (Oh, wait, that is closer to the Sharia Law parameters for rape victims, nevermind…)
At least they are consistent though because you can find these comments basically anywhere this is being talked about on Facebook.
Women in this country shouldn’t fear this kind of BS being heaped on their heads for saying that they were mistreated. It’s that simple, people.
Featured image via screen capture from Facebook, altered