The Trump family should know one thing or two about harassment, considering the pending lawsuit against Donald Trump.
And yet, they seem to be very confused.
When asked about harassment in the workplace, Donald Trump has declared,
“I would like to think she (his daughter Ivanka) would find another career or find another company if that was the case”.
No, women harassed in the workplace should not find another company to work for. They should keep their jobs, and the harasser should be fired and punished according to the law.
And Trump forgets that most women do not have multi-millionaire families backing them up, and leaving their current job might not be an option. Also, there are women who sacrificed (unlike Trump) to get where they are professionally. How dare Trump tell them they should give up what they achieved because someone else harassed them.
And when the media erupted with criticisms, Eric Trump, Donald’s son, came to the rescue.
But do not picture him as a knight in a shiny armor, rather remember this picture, showing a proud Eric after he killed an endangered animal.
Yes, he did say, after a very specific question by “CBS This Morning” host Charlie Rose that women should report harassment to Human Resources. But while the suggestion makes sense as such, it does not account for another problem with harassment: fear of retaliation.
Fatima Goss Graves, the National Women’s Law Center vice president, explained it to the Washington Post.
“Most workplace harassment goes unrecorded. People deeply fear retaliation. They believe nothing good will happen if they do report it. That there will be inaction and potentially blame and certainly potential repercussions.”
And it gets worse. Desperately trying to fix his father’s declaration, Eric added:
‘I think what he’s saying is, Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman, she wouldn’t allow herself to be objected (sic) to it […] I don’t think she would allow herself to be subjected to that. “
Breaking news for Eric. Women do not allow anyone to harass them.
The official definition from the American Association of University Women is:
“unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”
Should Eric have trouble understanding the explanation, a Twitter user perfectly summarized it for him.
Implying that harassment happens to women who allow it, it is victim-blaming by the book. It is saying to the 30% of women who are harassed every year in the workplace that they were “looking for it” or that they were weak.
It is legitimizing a culture that objectifies (this is the verb, not object, by the way, Eric) women. It is the same culture that protects the harassers and forces the victims to leave their jobs, women who cannot rely on dad’s checkbook. Or makes them shut up because they are too afraid to remain unemployed or of further abuses.
Bridgette Stumpf, co-executive director of the Network for Victim Recovery of DC strongly condemns the statement:
“Saying that ultimately a woman’s presence or personality can impact whether or not they are harassed is akin to saying it is a woman’s fault for being sexually assaulted based on what she wore or drank. And instead of placing blame on the person responsible for the wrongful behavior, he wants to say that women can just leave the workplace”
These women whom Eric is blaming are instead the strongest. Because they find themselves in a horrible situation and do not give up, to the best of their capacities. Whether is facing the stigma and report the harassment or shut up in fear and bump into their harasser at the coffee machine or leave the workplace and renounce what they worked so hard for. You cannot call these women weak. Surely they are stronger than a grown-up man like Eric who cannot recall the last time he voiced his dissent with his father.
But Eric was on fire this week. So, after reducing the whole harassment issue to a matter of weaknesses and strength, he rushed to his father’s defense on the controversy with the Khans family.
Asked by Norah O’Donnell whether his father was ready to apologize, he replied that “I think my father has”.
And here again, he shows not to have a clue. An apology, according to the Oxford dictionary is:
A regretful acknowledgement of an offence or failure.
What Trump said instead is:
“While I feel deeply for the loss of his son, Mr. Khan who has never met me, has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution, (which is false) and say many other inaccurate things.”
This is far from being an apology. This is targeting the father of a dead hero after having humiliated the mother.
When asked whether his father usually apologizes, Eric replied, succinctly: “He is a fighter”.
But at the end of the day, who cares? According to Eric it’s just an issue which has been “blown out of proportion.”
Apparently, narcissism is running rampant in the Trump family’s veins, Eric turned the matter toward Donald Trump’s favorite topic: Donald Trump, whom according to his offspring was “attacked viciously.”
In one day, Eric managed to do almost even more damage than his father (who would have thought it was even possible?) by turning the table to a situation where women are to be blamed when harassed and the family of a war hero insulted by his father blamed of vicious attacks.
As they say: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
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