Rachel Maddow forewent the Perry ‘oops’ gaffe last night and instead opened with an extended takedown of the broader reaction to Herman Cain‘s sexual harassment charges. It’s worth watching.
Whether or not Cain is actually guilty of sexual harassment has yet to be proven (though as Time‘s James Poniewozik noted the other day, you’d have to be “wilfully dense” not to acknowledge the trend).
However, as Maddow deftly points out, the conservative media’s response, particularly when it comes to framing the women accusers, is nothing short of disgusting. (As, it might be added, was Cain’s ‘Princess Nancy’ remark during the debate the other night).
Said Maddow: “Are we now even beyond that where it’s being claimed as an asset, being accused of sexual harassment is actually a point of pride in some way?”
Responded Slate’s senior legal reporter Dalia Lithwick:
“First of all, just from your setup there, don’t you feel like the entire country is run by 8 1/2-year-old boys? It’s just an amazing — you know, that here we are in 2011 and we’re having a conversation that we thought we put behind us decades ago. I think the most striking thing is if you think about the architecture of sexual harassment law in this country it used to be the case that it was impossible for a woman to come forward and say, I am the subordinate, someone powerful and important harassed me. It would ruin her life. It is amazing that we’ve put into place an entire legal system that encourages her to come forward, that protects her from being called a hooker and a gold digger for coming forward, and yet still she’s a hooker and a gold digger despite this legal architecture. So it’s really an amazing thing, that having acknowledged that we have a problem, put into place a legal system that’s supposed to protect women, now when women come forward men are still the victims. They’re more the victims than ever before.”
Maybe not for long. The Herman Cain’s poll numbers with women are dropping fast.
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