Just a few hours after Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) went public with accounts of sexual harassment from her fellow lawmakers, a cadre of mostly male reporters took to the airwaves and Internet to question her credibility.
so sick of the constant demand for proof in situations like this when you know they’re gonna dismiss every single thing as “overreacting” and try to make excuses, even if she has cold hard physical evidence. and what the hell does “proof” even entail? what kind of “proof” could feasibly be produced?
(as if women have to go around wearing a wire 24/7 to record shit that happens to us because our own word about our experiences is never enough; as if harassment doesn’t count if the harasser is canny enough to avoid leaving physical/written/recorded evidence)
for example: I work in a medium-security biomedical laboratory, it’s an open floor plan w/secured entrances & plenty of cameras, it’s not really somewhere you can get up to secret shenanigans.
and yet. we have quiet chats w/each other all the time, interactions that aren’t recorded and witnessed and “provable.” admittedly, these are largely about science, and complaining about our workloads, and asking if anyone put the coffee on.
but they’re not provable to a hostile 3rd party,there’s no solid evidence showing that my friend gave me a hug the other day when my experiment went badly, or that someone else helped me troubleshoot a protocol. there’s just my experiences, and my word.
so. if somebody wanted to be gross, they could easily avoid leaving “proof” like emails or surveillance video or other witnesses unless they were really, really stupid and went out of their way to incriminate themselves… and, uh, who would do that?
you have to (a) trust that people don’t stir workplace shit like this for funsies, especially because of proven potential for backlash & retaliation, and (b) consider the mountains of social research & testimony from millions of people which shows that dudes say/do shady shit to women ALL THE FUCKING TIME, especially if they think they can get away with it
at this juncture, the focus should be on the problem: sexual harassment perpetuated by Congressmen, our lawmakers and elected representatives, who should (ideally) be among the last people on earth to pull that shit
the conversation should be about the larger trend of behavior, the culture which allows that shit to happen
it shouldn’t be yet another round of “sexual harassment??? what nonsense, impossible, utter balderdash! and by the way, please jeopardize your career & professional relationships by naming names & providing proof that we have preemptively dismissed”