France, Meet the ’90s.

Nancy Gibbs, journalistic idol to me and to many, has a great piece in Time called “Men Behaving Badly: What is it About Power That Makes Men Crazy?” She provides the requisite pop-psych answers about impulse control and ego. Then she takes it to the next level with a devastating analysis of how and why powerful men give themselves permission to behave inappropriately with less powerful women.

When I was in high school reading all that shit in magazines about “Do-Me Feminism,” this was the kind of article I fantasized would eventually be standard in the mainstream press. And the happy day has come.

Offering insight into the ’90s sexual harassment conversation, she describes it as a period of “awkward adjustment” when our pact with morally compromised leaders came into contact with the 24-hour news cycle.

And then there’s a great Viewpoint by Elaine Sciolino called “The Turning Point,” which suggests that France is having its Anita Hill moment.

Both pieces show that these conversations are not about permission to banter or flirt, but rather about women being branded uptight troublemakers if they don’t play along with men being naughty and/or violent.

Go, Time, with the smart sexual harassment coverage! My inner ’90s teenager is very grateful.



Filed under Ada

2 responses to “France, Meet the ’90s.

  1. Anonymous

    I had never heard of this Nancy Gibbs until I saw her on CNN with Don Lemon talking about the Schwarzenegger’s affair and the op-ed you mentioned. I was upset by the broadcast because it was very sexist. Why weren’t the mistress’s psychoanalysed? Last I checked it takes two to cheat. Also how they could have speculated that maybe Shiver drove Arnold to cheat by not being available. Also he article assumes only men abuse authority/power. What about the rash of female teachers statutory raping under age students? this country is misandry has definitely risen over the years.

  2. Ian

    To sweepingly generalise an entire sex, comparing them to pigs, based on some hand-picked examples is not only shockingly sexist, but also highly offensive. And it saddens me that anyone could even hope for such an article and feel elation at it’s publication.

    The added irony here is also that it looks highly likely that the case again DSK is to be dropped due to even the prosecution having absolutely no faith in the witness and supposed victim.

    It’s also a clear indication of how ingrained in our society misandry is that such a piece could hold the cover page of a publication such as Time. And people happily write about such a piece in glowing terms.

    Will we ever see an article on how women behave like bitches (female dogs) and often try to bring rich and powerful men down with false accusations of rape post a consensual sexual encounter. I highly doubt it, and if such an article were ever to be published, I’m sure there would be no appetite to put it on the front cover of Time. And would such a sexist and offensive article make me happy, I would think not.

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