Condoleezza Rice on #MeToo: ‘Let’s not turn women into snowflakes’

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As many people have noted, nothing has been better for George W. Bush’s legacy than Donald Trump. That goes for some of Bush’s former administration officials too. Like, I’ll always despise Donald Rumsfeld with the fire of a thousand suns. But I was actually interested to hear what Condoleezza Rice has to say these days. Dr. Rice was never deplorable – she was a loyal Bushie, for sure, but she lived in the real world (as opposed to the Alt-World), she didn’t cry “fake news!” about verifiable facts and she’s not an unhinged racist. Anyway, Dr. Rice appeared on CNN for an interview with David Axelrod over the weekend. They ended up talking about #MeToo and what’s next for women in America.

While former U.S. secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she’s supportive of the #MeToo movement and believes it to be “a good thing,” she’s worried that it could lead to the infantilization and exclusion of women, CNN reports. Therefore, she warns advocates to be “a little bit careful” about sexual-harassment allegations.

“Let’s not turn women into snowflakes,” she told CNN’s David Axelrod on The Axe Files. “Let’s not infantilize women.”

The #MeToo movement, which has helped illuminate the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and assault, has been both cathartic and exhausting for survivors. Rice realizes this, emphasizing that she doesn’t want to “belittle” women who have spoken up about their own experiences. While she says she’s never been sexually assaulted, she has “certainly had people say inappropriate things.”

“I don’t know a woman alive who hasn’t had somebody say or do something that was inappropriate at best and aggressive at worst,” Rice added. But based on her acknowledgement of the culture of sexual harassment and her wariness of the #MeToo movement, it seems as if she thinks the culture shouldn’t be challenged. She told Axelrod that she’s nervous society could “get to a place that men start to think, ‘Well, maybe it’s just better not to have women around.’”

“I’ve heard a little bit of that,” she said. “And it, it worries me.”

[From The Cut]

Call me crazy, but I actually think that in context, she raises two nuanced points. The argument of “don’t infantilize women” is interesting, because Rice’s party seeks to do just that, enact legislation as if women can’t be trusted to make their own decisions with their own bodies. Rice isn’t using the “snowflake” argument in regards to reproductive rights (though she should), but the train of thought is correct… women are responsible for their own actions, men are responsible for their own actions. No one is arguing “these poor women, they’re like tiny crying babies” though – after being historically silenced, women need to be heard. As for her concern that all of this #MeToo-ing is going to lead to exclusion… that’s what worries me too, and I’ve already started seeing that creep into the conversation.

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116 Responses to “Condoleezza Rice on #MeToo: ‘Let’s not turn women into snowflakes’”

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  1. Annabelle Bronstein says:

    Another thought: instead of keeping women out of the workplace to solve sexual harassment, we keep the bad-acting MEN out of the workplace? Crazy, I know 🤦🏻‍♀️

    • Nicole says:

      Unfortunately men hold the power in most of not all industries. Hiring starts and ends with men in most cases

    • Ex-Mel says:

      So people who are good at their jobs should be kept out of the workplace unless they pass a test of morality? That’s a very dangerous and potentially far-reaching proposition.
      By all means, workplaces should be safe for everyone who works there. But people should not be prevented from working based on their personal morals or views, unless they are a continuous nuisance to co-workers.

      • Elkie says:

        She did say “bad-ACTING” men, not immoral ones.

      • Annabelle Bronstein says:

        @ex-Mel If men are assaulting/harassing less powerful people at work, then yes they should be kept out of the workplace. They are the detriment to an efficient workplace.

        Interesting that you find my hypothetical scenario less fair than the real-life scenario where qualified women who have done nothing wrong are boxed out of professions due to continuous harassment from bad men. I would think on it for a while 🤔

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        What Elkie said. If it’s something like infidelity for example, people should probably be able to put that aside if you’re good at your job. Immoral, but not a safety threat or a company problem.

        As far as ‘personal views’ go (pretty broad term), employers aren’t obligated to keep people putting out inherently violent, bigoted politics as a part of their company.

      • flan says:

        @Annabelle Bronstein, so much that. Well said.

        The outrage some (actually many) men have about men not being allowed to ‘flirt’ anymore, is much bigger than any outrage they’ve ever expressed about women getting assaulted, paid less, talked down to etc.

        But those poor men….

      • Tiffany :) says:

        What’s dangerous is keep people who abuse co-workers on your payroll. THEY are a liability, not the victims.

      • K (now K2!) says:

        A friend had a simple idea: every time a man has to be fired for abusive conduct towards a woman, a woman must be hired to replace him. You’d redress the gender gap, recognise the women’s talent pool, and make a point, all at the same time. I like it. Should do that with racism, too.

        You abuse, you lose. And so does your privileged demographic, so representation reduces the likelihood of recurrence.

        Can’t be done, but oh, if it could.

  2. Joy says:

    She makes a good point. That whole “women complicate the workplace” thing has been around for years as is. As much as we need #metoo it will lead some to say well maybe we don’t NEED to hire a woman because god knows you can’t even look at a woman these days. Ugh.

    • Don’t you understand that any man who thinks this is already problematic af? Stop giving assholes safe spaces.

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      “god knows you can’t even look at a woman these days. Ugh.”

      Why do people act like all of a sudden innocent (I mean really innocent) men are going to get harmed? If men act like women aren’t meat and a thing there exclusively for their pleasure, they should be fine.

      The men afraid women will call them out are obviously men who already understand their behavior can be viewed as problematic. Just quit doing it and it will be fine. Act professional.

      Geez, if that is so hard, how come the MAJORITY of men actually manage it all the time?

      • Birdix says:

        No, there will be innocent men caught up in this because there will be money to be made and lawyers who will throw anything at the wall to make a case, including co-opting metoo. I’ve already seen it happen. Its the price of progress, yes, but assuming no innocent men will be caught up in this is unrealistic.

      • Nanny to the Rescue says:

        Innocent people have been caught up in things since forever. Where is your proof they wouldn’t be if this didn’t happen? People make it sound like this will bring forth more false accusations, but that’s not what’s happening. The question in most cases isn’t “did he really do what his victim said he did?”, it is actually “wait, this isn’t acceptable anymore?”

        Why do you think people whine “soon we won’t be able to flirt without being called creeps”. Do tell, how exactly were you flirting to actually freak out the other person?

        And most will not be charged with anything anyway because being a creep isn’t a crime in itself and being a predator only gets you in jail if you go over the top with it, because of the “why do some women complain, they didn’t have it as bad as the others” mentality that excuses all the “smaller” actions.

    • Joy says:

      I don’t want these assholes to have safe spaces. I’m worried said assholes will take this and run with it as an excuse. Perhaps reread my original comment. I work in a male dominated workplace and I’m just as nervous as anyone that I could be kept down because some fool from the good old boy’s club doesn’t want to deal with women.

    • SilverUnicorn says:

      This is already done though. Pretext or not.

      In some countries women over 35 are not hired anymore (in Italy, for example, this is a discriminatory practice nobody cares about), because then they become in danger of getting pregnant, unfit and not nice to be looked at.

      It was always about looks for women, regardless of the #metoo movement.

      I don’t agree with what Rice says here as I don’t think of myself as a weakling only because I am a rape/abuse survivor. Quite the opposite.

    • anniefannie says:

      My bestie owns a cooperate training company and we were discussing the potential blow back of the #metoo movement. It could happen in a very subtle way, men not wanting to work on projects or teams w/women to avoid possible “issues” and thus missed opportunity for advancement.
      There are some men that would love to punish women in the worlplace for the temerity of finding their voice.

      • SilverUnicorn says:

        Then we just need companies of women hiring men.

        Backing away from this for fear, only plays in their favour, as they are actively sending messages like “woman know your place, go back to be seen as property”.

      • flan says:

        @SilverUnicorn, I was just thinking about how the anger and contempt many have towards women who became popular through social media.

        I know a woman who is fairly popular on social media and promotes products and companies (mostly athletic products) for money and goodies. She does not need a middle-man, agent or anyone else who can fleece her of most of the stuff she gets.

        Good for her and other women who take control of their own social media presence and reap the rewards. Where before they would have to smile and almost agree to everything, for fear of not getting gigs, these ladies build their own fanbase and have much more freedom to express themselves.

    • Snowflake says:

      People act as if there is no middle ground. I don’t say inappropriate or unwelcome comments or unwelcome advances. Neither do most women I know. These men can control themselves, they just don’t want to. This threat of excluding women is a way for the men who do these things to say deal with it, I’m not going to change. Why are women held responsible for their sexual assault but the men who do it aren’t? I’m going to go out a limb here and dare to say that men are just as capable of controlling themselves as women are. Call me crazy, lol

    • Silent Star says:

      Um, it’s men who more likely complicate the workplace. Harassment, abuse, unwarranted superiority, oppression…those things cause complications.

  3. Deets says:

    Men are scared, but it’s not because women can’t be trusted, it’s because men can’t be.

    Condi, you’re right that it’s scary they want us gone, but it’s not because this movement, we’ve just gotten to close to taking away their power over us. That has some men just frantic.

    • SilverUnicorn says:

      It’s total panic in Patriarchal Central.

      Men (and women) totally attacking survivors because, you know, #notallmen
      Point is, if justice was served appropriately when a rape is committed, the rapists would be in jail and wouldn’t harm other people.

      If we continue to leave 90% of rapists out of jail, we will constantly have to deal with the same human garbage over and over again.

  4. PhilamenaPhilpotts says:

    She ignored the warning about 9/11.

  5. Eleonor says:

    I think she raises some interesting points.

  6. Toot says:

    I have to agree with the possibility of exclusion for women. It truly sucks.

    Instead of men just being professional at work, I can see them just not wanting women around.

  7. Lucy2 says:

    I get her point, and Mike Pence is a clear example of this way of thinking.
    But the men who think that way, that the only two alternatives are harass or avoid, are clearly too weak willed and close minded to be in charge of ANYTHING.
    The solution is not for us to stop talking and sharing our metoo stories, but for those men to learn how to treat women as human beings. We should not have to cater this movement and our own lives and actions to their delicate feelings. If they can’t handle it, get out of the way.

  8. OSTONE says:

    She does raise good points. But I don’t want women to stop talking, we have been silent for way too long. We cannot let the men exclude us. We need to fight and continue fighting for our rights and the rights of the women that come after us. This is just the beginning.

  9. QueenB says:

    Well it was fun while it lasted. Thanks to all the women working hard to stop the movement. After the reactions to Aziz and Margaret Atwood I am just waiting for the “second chance” crowd and we are back at the beginning.

    • SallyS says:

      But she doesn’t say to stop the movement. She asks it to be a bit careful about sexual-harassment allegations. And there is a point. For example there is a distinction between rape, assault, sexual misconduct or being just a douche who tells some inappropriate joke. It’s like, there is a murder and there is shop lifting, all are bad, but they are treated differently for reasons and should be treated differently. So the point is not to lump up all those things together. Because if they are lumped up together without distinction then indeed there is a risk to harm the movement and the possibility of exclusion for women in many areas.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        Nobody’s lumping it all together and women facing non criminal but nevertheless problematic treatment aren’t running to the police. Never have. It’s been hard enough to get harassment and rape taken seriously. The smaller, less serious stuff progresses and creates the conditions for worse–then women are accused of “not stopping it sooner.” It creates this no-win situation.

        This backlash aids victimizers and not victims.

      • ELX says:

        Sally, as an attorney, this is precisely my concern. There seems to be a focus of victims fillings about what happened to them, which is important, but from a legal perspective, does nothing to develop a real framework for dealing effectively with a range of behaviors that must be appropriately addressed. We cannot lose sight of the need to change a system by getting swamped in a generalized anger that will not produce real lasting change. Legal distinctions in crime exist for a reason and when we ignore differences in behavior it makes it easier for the people in charge, who are not us, to dismiss a “bunch of hysterics.”

  10. manta says:

    “She didn’t cry fake news about verifiable facts.”
    Well maybe when her little pal Colin proudly displayed his little vials in front of the UN, as proof of WMD, she shoud have. And at the top of her lungs.

  11. Nicole says:

    Can’t say I haven’t been worried about this as well. And infantilizing women is also a worry. Because as women we DO need to be accountable for our actions. As do men. Now do I think the power imbalance of men (esp in the workplace) makes women afraid to say no? Of course. But some situations make me pause and I guess that’s the difficult part. Where is the onus on me to leave a situation I know to be bad? Was just talking to a friend about how we need to teach women to own our own agency and ability to say no. We need to teach men that a no is not an invitation for coercion.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I was worried about it for all of five minutes. Then, two days ago, a girlfriend of mine told me that a guy we’ve known for a long time (I cannot stand him) and who’s been openly sexist since we met in high school was promoted and now had his own team. I nearly vomited because Lord knows his team will not have the best time. THEN the guy apparently told her he’s not happy that it’s all dudes and he’ll try to hire a woman next. Why? Because in his experience, a team with men and women works better, gets better results, gets along better.

      If a guy like that has accepted this fact, others will too. Even the most stubborn. At some point, you can’t ignore the fact that women are essential for a good team dynamic. In some fields, they already have higher/better degrees when leaving uni. Any company that wants to be/stay competitive needs women. It’s business. The dinosaurs will become extinct eventually.

      Until then, I’m not going to stay quiet out of fear of not getting hired. That is EXACTLY what this entire sh*tshow is about. I’m over it.

    • HK9 says:

      Nicole I see you point. I also know that women have traditionally held responsible for everyone’s actions, men & children included. I don’t think the problem is women being irresponsible. I think the problem is men becoming responsible and women letting go of feeling they have to make everything ok for everyone, because as we all know, men have never ever been held to that standard.

  12. Kate says:

    The fact that this woman is allowed to go out and about, give interviews after what she and the entire Bush Administration did to Iraq is vomit-inducing. Today, I’m thinking of all the men and women who have been sexually abused or worse in Iraq because of her lies. #themtoo

  13. Barrett says:

    Did anyone read the New York Times pieces on Aziz’s accusation. I am fired up by the points in this, when I was younger I was to much of a man/ people pleaser. I am seeing now we need to empower women to speak up and be bold from a date to the boardroom! Say no. Clearly say what you want. No more nonverbal gestures. We are not damsels in distress.

    • SallyS says:

      You mean the “Aziz Ansari Is Guilty. Of Not Being a Mind Reader” one ?

      • oh-dear says:

        not being a mind reader – yikes.

        Here is a great and fun video that goes through all possible situations where consent is not given or *changed at some point in the situation*. This conversation is important – men are used to assuming the right to access to our bodies and Aziz’s situation is another opportunity for us to say ‘this too is not okay’.

        A British clip about consent: https://youtu.be/JjPMsjphCUU

      • imqrious2 says:

        Oh-dear, I actually sent that to my nephews a long time ago (I think they were 15 & 17 at the time). They took it to school and showed it to the teacher, who then showed it to the class. I thought it was great. I also love that they are both professed “feminists” (as are their friends, male and female), and they actually DO know what that means (SOOO proud of my boys!)

      • oh-dear says:

        @imqrious2 – love it!
        What I appreciate about this moment of the movement toward awareness of women is that men are increasingly part of the conversation – their behaviour, their clans, their ignorance and wording in their denials. I feel like the previous movements have been women’s political and property rights, entry into the workforce. Now we are talking about voice, equal pay and equal participation by and with the men. Men (and boys) are being taught about their behaviour.

        My 12 year old daughter was recently sent a text from her best guy friend asking to see her chest. He immediately apologized and said it was a dare, but my husband (who found the text and screen captioned it before deleting it so our daughter didn’t have to see it) took the pic to the little guy’s house to show his parents and talk to him about being a better friend to his female friends. The mom excused it and brushed it off as a dare, and the dad didn’t say much. My husband required the boy to come over and apologize to my daughter. We hope it taught my daughter not to accept that behaviour or the excuses given and to hold the males in her life accountable to their behaviour.

      • magnoliarose says:

        That was disgusting.
        When someone moves away, they are saying No.
        He is not a good example of that argument. There were cues he ignored.
        There were things she could have thought have about. I am not going to say there weren’t. This is what rockstars and celebrities often do, and they use it to score. They take advantage of their status to get away with more, and she bought into his image not who he really is.
        The signs were there and a woman my age, over 30, knows them early on. I don’t hold Aziz responsible for her lack of experience, but I do for not being honest with his expectations from the encounter. He could have said Oh I thought we were on the same page. I am sorry. He could have said that at the moment.
        He deserves far more “could haves” than she does.
        This whole situation is not a good example, but maybe that is what makes it a good place to start a conversation.
        I DO want girls to stop getting the message to be good girls is more important than protecting themselves. I see nothing wrong with teaching girls their own power in those situations. Not to excuse men’s responsibility but to get rid of our patriarchal conditioning.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Um, they ignore verbal rejection, too. Besides, the majority of interpersonal communication is nonverbal. One would think a sentient being would understand the meaning of “I am removing your hand from my body” and “I am keeping my distance.”

      Women have, can and do use all possible modes of communication to avoid unwanted sexual encounter. They are ignored, and often overcome by force.

      • Kitten says:

        This exactly. I’m so depressed reading all the comments from women on social media. Internalized misogyny and white feminism as its finest. Lots of Cool Girls chiming in to say that they’ve never been assaulted before because they’re smart enough to have never put themselves in *that situation* (whatever the eff that means).

        Men don’t have to be mind-readers or socially aware enough to pick up on non-verbal cues but women MUST be mind-readers in order to prevent our own victimization. I guess the idea is that any woman would obviously know that going back to a guy’s apartment means that you’re guaranteed to put out and denying men sex after guaranteeing it is the equivalent of false advertising and it’s really hard on the poor menz and we should know better…. or some such bullshit.

      • Patty says:

        I don’t think that’s what people are saying at all. They are saying own your choices. If you choose to go back to a man’s apartment that you barely know, own it. If you don’t want to have sex with that man, own it, and tell him. If you’re okay with heavy petting, oral, but not penis to vaginal sex — own it and make sure he is aware of that. Step out of LaLa Land and move into the real world. A guy who has known for a couple of hours probably is not going to pick up on your non-verbal cues; use your words. Tell him what you want and don’t want, what you are okay with and what you are not okay with. It’s not that complicated.

        I’ve never heard anyone say a woman is obligated to have sex with anyone just because of XYZ, what people are saying is, if you get to that point, it’s time to stop being coy and be clear about what you are and are not okay with. If you want some guy you barely know to comfort you and pet your hair, tell him. Don’t just sit on the floor waiting for him to magically know that’s what you want. If you want red wine instead of white, say something.

        I think that there is another aspect to this discussion that we really need to be having as it pertains to white women in particular. They always want to be fucking be liked. They always want to be cute, coy, and feminine. They benefit from and like being upheld as these delicate flowers that everyone needs to protect. Until they break they mindset, nothing will change. For those of us that don’t have the privilege and speaking up gets you labeled as angry for no other reason than your skin tone, it’s maddening and frustrating to hear some white women continuing to want it both ways.

      • Kitten says:

        According to her account, she DID tell him “no”.

        Numerous times.

        Your entire comment is centered around policing women’s behavior. You criticize women for assuming that men should “magically” know what we want, yet in the next breath you excuse men for not picking up on non-verbal cues. Because it’s so hard to understand that not saying YES to sex actually means NOT SAYING YES TO SEX and saying NO (repeatedly) is actually SAYING NO.

        I wonder when women will start holding men to the same ridiculously high standard that we hold women to? When will women stop coddling and infantilizing men?

        Also, some people here seem to forget that this is a 22-year-old (clearly star-struck) woman. It’s rare for any woman at that age to have the assertiveness, confidence and emotional maturity that a woman in her thirties might have. Why? Because we’ve been conditioned since birth to defer to male authority/power, to be quiet and deal with it because “men will be men” and that male attention comes with a set of expectations. Most of us have put up with situations in our twenties that we would never put up with in our thirties. Aziz on the other hand, is a grown-ass man in his mid-thirties who has made a living off of being an ally to women. Interesting that his buddy Louis CK has pretty much done the same. Both of them pretend to know better, but ultimately neither really does.
        Do you see why women would find their behavior particularly disappointing?

        Finally, all these “she should have done ____” comments disregard the central issue that the #MeToo movement aims to fight: the idea that men are entitled to women’s bodies whether it be a pat on the butt in a professional environment or the assumption of sex simply because we accepted an invitation to a man’s apartment. Whether you choose to believe that Aziz was in the wrong or not, the conversation that was precipitated by Grace’s account is still an important one.

        Oh and as aware as I am of the disgusting “angry black woman” trope, trust me when I tell you that my whiteness does not prevent me from being ridiculed and mocked by men for my feminist beliefs. F*ckin-a I just got called an “angry, man-hating bitch” in a comments section on FB less than 15 minutes ago.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Also damsels in distress usually scream. Not silent. And scream because, like, tied to railroad tracks.

    • Holly Wouldn't says:

      I think these things need to taught to ALL young teenagers (maybe even tweens):
      verbal and non-verbal cues, that NO means NO, and the dangers of alcohol lowering peoples’ inhibitions. Teach men to back off if they see certain things happening. Teach women to use the buddy system and/or think of possible hazards of a situation beforehand and formulate an escape plan(s). This way, everybody has the chance to reduce the incidence of traumatizing experiences.
      I don’t see why the fact that some women inherently know to avoid doing certain things automatically makes them “smug”. How about we all use our knowledge and experiences to educate the younger generations before they’re old enough to date?

  14. Lizzie says:

    she was Ms Complicit America (TM) before Ivanka Trump took the torch. I could not give less of a shit about this woman’s opinions. You know what infantilizes young women? older women who have a “I endured it so you should too” mentality and are stuck in a bog of internalized misogyny. how about we *STOP* infantilizing men by taking their agency out of the issue of sex abuse? i’m sick and fucking tired of excusing men who behave horribly and illegally by saying “oh they can’t control themselves, boys will be boys. what did you do to cause him to act that way towards you?” condie has a long history of shutting up when it counts – this is no different.

  15. Pedro45 says:

    She actually does peddle fake news (aside from the obvious fake justification for the Iraq War). She denies that Russia helped elect Trump. She recommended Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State despite his problematic business ties to Russia and Putin. And she probably received a commission for doing so because she did it under the auspices of her consulting business.

    She also has always had problematic views on systemic racism. Her view has always been that she succeeded therefore every other person of color can succeed too, dismissing the fact that few black people of her age in Birmingham, AL had her advantages.

  16. teehee says:

    Um I’m sorry but silently enduring decades of assault and oppression while still raising the future and still working with less pay—- is NOT making us snowflakes. Actually it takes even MORE strength to speak up and to know the backlash it will result in…

  17. AbbyRose says:

    I’ve seen this idea around the interwebs that women need to toughen up, learn how to say no, defend themselves, don’t be snowflakes, why can’t we flirt anymore, lighten up and to me it all sounds like a defense of rape culture – men are entitled to what they want when they want it and women must accept it and develop their own strategies for dealing with it. Well, we are sick of it!

  18. Erinn says:

    Just like any movement to have EVER taken place – there’s the good and the bad that come with it. There are people who will twist a movement to fit whatever narrative that they need. There are people who no matter what will hate a movement because “reasons”.

    Are there cases where it’s infantilizing women? I’m sure it can be argued. Not in every case, but I’m sure the argument could be made at least very occasionally. And I personally don’t like that. If someone feels in control of their feelings and that they processed it enough – I don’t think we should be telling them they don’t understand it properly or that they should feel worse.

    But at the same time – I don’t like that women somehow need to fit a certain standard of assault to be considered credible. The constant “well, only x happened to her – x,y,z happened to me she needs to get over it” is getting incredibly old. And it’s coming from both sides – men and women. And it’s being shoved back at men who are speaking about their assaults as well – and that’s not going to get us anywhere.

    People need to realize that THEIR experience is nowhere near the only experience. Some women will have something happen to them and they won’t feel the same way as someone else who had the exact same thing happen. Something can be absolutely traumatizing to someone, while the same thing could be temporarily harmful to another. We need to make sure we give women space to come to terms with their feelings and really unpack them – but not to tell them they HAVE to feel a certain way. Or that they’re wrong to not feel worse about something. Everyone is different, and so many things are relative.

    At the end of the day – shitty people are going to do and say shitty things. Some people will use anything as an excuse to validate their own feelings. We need to worry less about these people ruining a movement – because chances are they were already behaving terribly to begin with – they would have looked until they found ANY excuse to validate that.

    The hard part is that it’s going to take SO much time to really get things in order. Not only do we need to teach our kids to not feel bad when setting physical boundaries and saying no. But we SERIOUSLY need to drive it home that they need to start respecting other people’s boundaries and look for enthusiastic consent rather than a lack of a no. We need to stop forcing our kids to let people touch them and hug them when they feel uncomfortable. We need to teach them the warning signs early so that they’re prepared rather than just refusing to have uncomfortable conversations with them. We can’t hide our kids away from the world forever – they need to be prepared for what is out there and how to protect themselves BEFORE things get too bad or scary. Let them be kids – but start teaching age appropriate versions of concepts right from the start. There will be so much less “oh boys will be boys” if you teach kids right from toddler on to respect other people’s feelings and bodies. It’s not even a hard concept – but it’s a concept that needs to KEEP being reminded at all different stages of life. The earlier the better though.

  19. robyn says:

    I agree women portrayed as helpless victims does not serve anyone well. There are varying degrees of sexual harassment and workplace harassment with or without the sexual aspects. Sometimes it’s merely misreading signals. And really shouldn’t consenting adults be able to flirt without fear of judgement. How are they going to start a romance otherwise? And shouldn’t a boss be able to take his female employee on a business trip without fear she will accuse him of something he didn’t do. This muddying of waters can make men more fearful of giving women opportunities. Obviously, violence and r*pe stand alone and should not be muddied in with boorish behavior or trying to get a woman in bed but accepting no for an answer.

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      “And really shouldn’t consenting adults be able to flirt without fear of judgement. How are they going to start a romance otherwise? ”

      It’s pretty simple: Don’t flirt in a way that creeps people out.

      “And shouldn’t a boss be able to take his female employee on a business trip without fear she will accuse him of something he didn’t do.”

      The danger of this happening is just the same as before the #metoo movement. Unless you’re implying that the male boss was before allowed to feel up his assistant without her consent but now there’s a chance that would get him in trouble? Yeah, that change has been made. Oh, the poor boss.

    • Kitten says:

      What is flirting to you?

      To me, good flirting is about being empathetic. It is based on caring and listening and showing a genuine interest in the other person. It is based on mutual respect and shared chemistry.

      Flirting is not one person pursuing another person in a domineering and aggressive manner. Flirting is not one person making it clear that he wants to f*ck you and won’t be satisfied until that happens. Flirting is not one person putting your hand on his dick or clumsily and hastily shoving his hand down your pants. Flirting is when someone makes a point to say hello to you in a crowded room and to make you laugh with a cute joke when you’re having a bad day. Flirting is showing care and concern, affection and tenderness. Flirting is being confident enough to hold back and respectful enough to let you come to him when you’re ready.

      To me, flirting is about subtly creating intimacy and it should be a two-way street that makes BOTH people feel good.

      • robyn says:

        “To me, flirting is about subtly creating intimacy and it should be a two-way street that makes BOTH people feel good.”

        I agree with you entirely, Kitten, and the beautiful way in which you phrased it!

      • lucy2 says:

        Well said. It should be a nice thing, that makes both parties happy.
        And when one party says no thank you, I’m not interested, that should be the end of it, without resentment or anger.

        Misreading signals can happen. What’s important is should that happen, when one party clarifies and says no, the other says ok, sorry, and stops. That’s why education about consent is so important.

      • magnoliarose says:

        So much worrying about flirting. lol
        We know when it crosses a boundary. I deserve not to feel uncomfortable with aggressive forward behavior, and I can say No too. I know how to do that, but men should learn to stop. They are the root of the problem. We can improve, but they just need to knock it off.
        Grace’s situation is common, and there are plenty of lessons to go around though most of them need to be learned by men.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      “And shouldn’t a boss be able to take his female employee on a business trip without fear she will accuse him of something he didn’t do.”

      But shouldn’t a female employee be able to go on that business trip without fear that the boss will try to do something he shouldn’t? And without fearing that later on, she’ll be blamed for further limiting the opportunities of women and muddying the waters by exposing it, just because that ‘something’ wasn’t rape?

      • Malako says:

        Well, some bosses tell their female employees that they are expected to share a hotel room with them — for reasons of saving money, of course [sarcasm]

        Such things should be punishable. The telling and the preparations of such a boss should be punishable even when nothing has happened yet. That means when the boss orders two flight tickets – for him and his female employee – but then he books just 1 hotel room with a double bed …. even when nothing has happened that alone should be punishable.

  20. Laura says:

    Yes I have heard several men who are in positions to hire and fire people say that now they would be reluctant to hire a woman

  21. What's Inside says:

    How about females are all taught self defense while in middle school, trained how to use weapons in high school, and upon graduation are given a brand new gun along with their diplomas with the right to shoot when they feel threatened by a man. Would that put a stop to male predation?

  22. Chaine says:

    She is 63 years old and talks like a product of her era. And no, this is not an insult to all older women, many of them are paying attention and have changed with the times.

    • AnneC says:

      Exactly. She worked in a very male centric world for many years and that world is changing drastically. This movement is about educating men and teaching boys how to behave and what is acceptable. There will always be harassers and assaulters, we just need to make sure their numbers get smaller and smaller. And the backlash is inevitable, I just ignore it as noisy irrelevant background chatter.

    • Pandy says:

      Agree. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a movement to change attitudes. Marching on Saturday and boy is it needed! I think there’s a reason we don’t hear about Condy anymore? Back to your cave lady.

  23. Nanny to the Rescue says:

    You are deliberately ignoring one thing. If that was all Ansari (or anyone else) did, the story wouldn’t be in the papers. It’s the whole evening of him ignoring her signs that landed him the article. The general “I’ll subdue her eventually” attitude.

    But to answer your question: if this girlfriend of yours was doing it to *unwilling* people she just met that evening (like in Ansari’s case), then she’s definitively effed up.

  24. ND says:

    I think it’s ridiculous to dismiss a point by saying “well your party does x or y” which goes against your point so therefore I’m going to point that out and move on. It’s flawed argument and it doesn’t address what she’s saying other than dismissing it out of hand. Believe it or not not every republican or democrat’s beliefs are a carbon copy of their party, and maybe it’s a good thing that women within the Republican Party articulate their dissent from certain mindsets.

  25. Franny says:

    Would men want to hire or employ other men who, say, steal money from their co-workers on a regular basis? The answer is no, of course.

    Why is it so hard to see that grabbing co-workers and making sexually suggestive comments to them is equally inappropriate behavior?

  26. Jeannie says:

    In October of last year, Jill filipovic (she’s a writer and a lawyer) tweeted, “Hillary Clinton is apparently responsible for Harvey Weinstein, her husband, and Donald trump. Are men ever responsible for what they do?”

    It’s interesting and sad that the knee-jerk reaction is not, hey let’s have a more compassionate and fair society and start giving women the respect and consideration they deserve in all aspects. It’s, how do we get rid of the women, these people we did bad things to?

    If you’re a victim, you should not have to worry abt how society will precede without you. You should be concerned abt how society should make it up to you (and it should). I don’t mean to simplify pain or place more burden on any victim, who is already dealing w enough. But to think that sexual violence or harassment will lead to us being barred from places where you can influence and lead and create is scary, and it’s like being victiminized twice.

  27. Jeannie says:

    Yes, thank you. In fact, if anything, that attitude infantilizes men, and perpetuates the idea that ‘boys will be boys.’ No, abusers will be abusers. I know a lot of great people, men and women alike, who don’t treat people this way (and wouldn’t even if they thought they could “get away w it.” Ugh, that phrase.) Its totally possible to be a decent human being. Why are some people acting like it’s so f’ing hard?

    • Jeannie says:

      This was in response to a comment that is now gone, i think.

    • Kitten says:

      This though. When women excused Trump’s vile behavior and voted for him anyway it drew attention to how many women normalize and defend disgusting male behavior, which leads me to believe that most of these women have simply never met a good guy.

      We talk so much about “learned behavior” and “social conditioning” on these #metoo-related threads, but rarely do we acknowledge that there are men who literally grow up hearing all the same things yet still manage to be respectful towards women. It’s really not impossible.

  28. Leah says:

    “Maybe it’s better to just not have women around” gave me Handmaid’s Tale shivers.

  29. Chelly says:

    “I don’t know a woman alive who hasn’t had somebody say or do something that was inappropriate at best and aggressive at worst,”

    Maybe it’s about people finally banding together to say ENOUGH! Geezus, why should we continue to turn the blind eye. Normalizing predators & enduring endless harassment is NOT OK. ENOUGH

  30. Millie says:

    On the topic of people thinking it would be better not to have women around, let’s not pretend that this is a new mentality resulting from the #metoo movement. Some people just don’t like women occupying a space in the public sphere and they will use any excuse available to justify their position (e.g. “I can’t hire her because she may have to go on mat leave one day,” “I can’t hire her because she has to leave work early to pick her children up from daycare,” “I won’t hire her because she won’t want to entertain our clients by bringing them to strip clubs and we’ll lose business”). These attitudes sometimes come from women bosses as well who have accepted this line of reasoning and, quite frankly, might like being the unicorn in a workplace that is dominated by men.

    Yes, this line of thinking is a problem, but things aren’t going to improve if the rest of us who want equal and respectful workplaces give in to them. The bottom line is these people don’t want things to change because the way things are right now is what makes them comfortable. The rest of us should be saying “too bad” to those people.

  31. HoustonGrl says:

    Just no. There is nothing wrong with the #metoo movement and any resistance just demonstrates how low the bar is set for respectable behavior.

    • Fleur says:

      Co-sign, HoustonGrl. I fundamentally disagree with Rice’s comment. Women are sick of being careful. I’ve spent my whole life being careful because because it wasn’t safe to walk down an alley at night, because I wasn’t given equal pay but didn’t want to make waves at work because I needed the job, because I wanted to make sure he called me again the next day, because I didn’t want to be seen as “too smart for him” or “too opinionated” or too anything.

      Women shouldn’t be changing or mollifying the way we discuss unjust or predatory behavior. Sick of it. Men behaving badly should be careful about the words they use, the actions they take, the assumptions they make, the violence they dole out. I never say things like this, but: eff careful. The oppressed should not be silenced.

  32. Carrie1 says:

    This issue should just always link to an effective feminist active and on twitter. I love this site but MeToo…. any single site is alway behind any helpful discourse. It’s nearly changing daily. I’m older feminist but so proud and grateful to the younger feminists leading this.

  33. U.S and them says:

    I’m interested in the affect it’s going to have on women who like to be pursued. I’ve met women who have knocked back guys they were interested in because they wanted to play it cool and then they’ve complained when the guy gave up too easily. So the question is how does someone find the balance between harassment and giving up too easily?

  34. Topher says:

    I thought her comments were very measured.