So the MeToo movement has really brought to light how pervasive sexual harassment of women is. If we truly want to get a handle on it, then we must be prepared to respond when it happens within our ranks. The candidacy of Hillary Clinton was heralded as an inspirational moment for women, and yet there were accusations of harassment happening in her campaign:
The complaint against Mr. Strider was made by a 30-year-old woman who shared an office with him. She told a campaign official that Mr. Strider had rubbed her shoulders inappropriately, kissed her on the forehead and sent her a string of suggestive emails, including at least one during the night, according to three former campaign officials familiar with what took place.
And of course. Mrs. Clinton took swift action to deal with the situation and separate the parties involved:
The woman requested to have no more interactions with Mr. Strider, and she was moved to a different job within the campaign, reporting directly to Mike Henry, the deputy campaign manager.
Oh wait, Strider's the one in the wrong, and his accuser gets moved? Well, surely he was at least fired for this?
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager at the time recommended that she fire the adviser, Burns Strider. But Mrs. Clinton did not. Instead, Mr. Strider was docked several weeks of pay and ordered to undergo counseling, and the young woman was moved to a new job.
Ms. O’Connell, who is currently the chief executive officer of the Democratic National Committee, handled the investigation and advised the Clinton campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, that Mr. Strider should be fired, according to three people familiar with the events.
Ms. O’Connell told colleagues that she was concerned that the young woman making the allegations should not be demoted when she was moved from Mr. Strider’s supervision.
Oh. So shuffle things around and cover them up? How is that any different from what has actually been going on? Clinton had the chance to set an example and protect the young woman in her campaign, except she did not.
This right here should be the final nail in the coffin for the idea that Hillary Clinton actually cares about making life better for women. You would expect this from the Republicans. What a shameful display of hypocrisy on Hillary Clinton's part. However, this is Hillary Clinton, so hypocrisy is in her nature.
Exactly what I thought when I heard this sickening revelation.
I have mixed feelings about this.
There was a reprimand and a penalty and an insistence on counselling. It wasn't "swept under the rug", it just wasn't dealt with by terminating employment immediately. In fact, I had a situation in a workplace that was not unlike this - I didn't want my colleague fired, I wanted him held to account and to be given a chance to see the error of his ways. In my case, it worked quite well. Although it doesn't sound like it worked out in this case - he didn't attend the "mandated" counselling and it seems he was fired later - so he did lose his job, just not immediately. We don't actually know how the woman who was harrassed feels about how it was handled. She was, however, removed to a position where she had no contact with the accused and was not demoted.
I can understand criticism of not having a zero-tolerance policy if that's how you think sexual harrassment should be handled. We will differ on that, I think. In any case, it does not sound to me like there was a huge, cynical coverup or that the situation was ignored. I'm all for merited criticism, but this comes off as a mountain out of a molehill to me.
This story isn't about the complainant, it's about confirming what we were all supposed to already know about Clinton. And ironically, it's posted in the feminism forum.
Well, "Lock her up!! Lock her up!!".
Are you trying to say you are better than Hillary Clinton because you are not hypocritical?
Hillary Clinton and I are done
Heck, I'm not even saying I'm not hypocritical.
But the outrage does have a slight whiff of concern trolling. As TB pointed out:
So evidently the campaign went with progressive discipline, rather than immediate firing. And this is supposed to show, once and for all, that Clinton is a horrible person?
The woman was still the one transferred, not the man. She had to learn a new job. Not him. Even if she were moved to a better job it was still done so he could keep his.
You are a very strong woman. That is not true of all women. In domestic violence cases women used to have to place the charge. It was changed to police laying the charge because women were hesitant to accuse their husband especially if it impacted the family income.
Women are raised to be nice about stuff, to be forgiving, to not make a big fuss over nothing. "Nothing" meaning no permanent physical harm.
How do men grow up past the age of say, 25, without learning they shouldn't slap a woman on the ass or give her a shoulder rub at work? How is it they are bright enough to get a job? I could see 20 years ago but a man has to be living under a rock to not play it on the safe side at work or to plead ignorance.
Concerning Clinton, she should have a zero tolerance policy for men who have achieved high positions. These are not stupid men who don't know any better and need to be better educated. Their behavior is a reflection of their values.
Patrick Brown refused to resign. In his mind he didn't do anything wrong. Sex is something you try to get from women that they resist giving.
I was under the impression that she asked to be reassigned. In any case, we still don't know how she felt about how that was handled.
And me don't give me any of that nonsense about being strong, yadda yadda. It's not relevant to the issue at hand because, as I said, we don't know how the woman in question feels about how the situation was handled.
"How she felt about it" is not relevant in this particular situation. Some organizations need to be beyond reproach. The situation was serious enough for him to be docked pay, even though it was paltry, and for her to request and be granted reassignment. If someone is caught embezzling small amounts from a company if he is lucky the company will settle for full restitution and firing but it's more likely he will end up in prison.
We aren't talking about some teenage boy who is guilty of awkwardness or not knowing where the lines are. We are talking about a very adult man who has attained high position. At what point do we require men to know sexual misconduct is wrong? Must they each be caught individually, reported, proven guilty, then given a chance to mend their ways because they didn't know any better? The grand majority of men go about their lives not abusing their power, not sexually harassing women, not trying to cop a feel, not taking advantage of women too drunk to say no, or women they have authority over or work with. Somehow those men were able to figure it out without having to get caught and be given sensitivity training. A really high percentage of women have experienced sexual misconduct but it is a minority of men who are guilty of that misconduct. Because of that minority of men women's lives are constricted every day and worse. Not only women but men would be better off if that minority were stopped as much as is possible.
If lack of knowledge is really the problem then every school. organization and business should have an introductory course on appropriate behavior towards female associates like they do on plagerism so there can be no pleading ignorance.
I don't how the victim felt about it. But Clinton now says she handled it wrong, and should have fired Strider.
Right, Unionist. And I'm not disputing that. It was a judgment call, and in situations like this one that's going to be common. As I pointed out, I was involved in a similar situation with a similar judgment call that I supported. There are going to be situations where you hope you can retain the person and their skill set while also remedying the problem. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It looks like this one didn't work out. And in the cases where it doesn't, hindsight is going to be 20/20.
Why I'm interested in how the harrassed in this case felt about the handling of the situation is whether or not she felt heard and supported or if she felt penalized. If she didn't feel penalized and felt that the situation was handled well, that says something about the judgment call.
I'm not for a one-size-fits-all solution. I don't think that's always the right answer. And in regard to this singular incident, I'm not going down the rabbit hole of analyzing it to death because there's a shitload of nuance we don't actually know. What we do know, however, is that there seems to have been a concerted attempt to deal with the issue in the most constructive way possible.
Lack of knowledge? I didn't posit that. Where are you getting that idea? It wasn't in the article. Sounds like you're embellishing the information we have to support your argument.
I'm talking about handling harrassment from a management point of view. In some situations, it makes sense to just fire someone. Or in another, to make a judgment call to try to rehabilitate the employee while making sure that the harrassed person is respected and protected. Without a lot more specific information, you can't absolutely assign evil intent to the employer in trying the latter.
Okay I'll give you that. It's not black and white.
If it isn't lack of knowledge on the man's part, and he just went ahead and harassed a woman anyway then he should simply be fired.
They wouldn't try to rehabilitate a man who punched another employee, or embezzled from the company, while making sure the punched employee felt respected and protected or while making sure the company felt secure in their ability to prevent further theft from that particular department. They would just fire them.
How the victim feels, how she is supported, etc., are all vitally important - to repair the harm, and to send a message to others that they can come forward with confidence.
But how the employer deals with a proven abuser is a separate issue. That goes way beyond this one survivor - because the employer must protect the safety and health of all employees, customers, etc. Clinton didn't follow the recommendation to dismiss Strider. Now, years later, she says she should have. I'm not surprised that many feminist commentators are colouring themselves skeptical and using words like "hypocrite". Perhaps "opportunist" would fit better.
U, I dont understand how this makes her an opportunist, exactly. I do understand the accusations of hypocrisy, although I disagree with them.
I take your point about protecting all workers. I suspect that's why counselling was mandated. Not saying it was necessarily the best solution. That said, though, I have seen non-sexual abusive behaviour in a unionized workplace handled much the same way, and firing was most certainly not on the table. Our union would have fought it if it was.
As an employer, I've been lucky not to have had such a situation to deal with. I do know, though, there are times you have to make judgment calls and you don't always get it right, and you wish you'd done it differently.
Pondering, I have known of cases where embezzlement of small amounts has been remedied with counselling and a probation period due to underlying issues like addiction. So your example isn't black and white, either.
Because she must have figured out (or been told by advisers) that in today's context, it was politically more opportune to say "I made a mistake" than to reaffirm and explain her reasons for not acting on the recommendation to fire him in 2008. And even in her recent comments, she didn't explain why she hadn't acted on the recommendation in 2008, which came after a formal investigation at the time:
Clinton overruled the investigations' recommendation, which had been conveyed to and repeated by her campaign manager.
Are we talking about the same case? He was accused of "repeatedly sexually harassing a young subordinate". And the recommendation of the process in place (as quote above) was termination - so firing was most certainly on the table. Plus, we're not talking about some salaried staff employee. We're talking about Clinton's "faith advisor", and the woman he sexually harassed was his subordinate. I sincerely doubt whether a person holding such a position in Canada would be a member of the bargaining unit. They serve at the pleasure of the employer, and don't enjoy the usual protection against dismissal without just cause.
Why did Clinton go against the recommendations of the people close to the situation, which was to fire Strider?
That is a very common trope that the right-wing throws at feminists whenever discussions about sexual harassment come into play (although not in those exact words).
It gets attention for the same reason as when family values crusaders are caught with prostitutes because of the hypocrisy. Clinton and her supporters like to paint themselves as paving the way and making things better for women.
There is another aspect of this that is disgusting. In the 2016 campaign, many of Clinton's supporters took it upon themselves to make it a moral imperative to vote for Clinton, and they viciously insulted and attacked anyone who disagreed with their candidate. Note: They attacked and went after, they did not offer a principled defense of Clinton. Everything from accusing Clinton's critics of helping Trump to you must be racist and not care about minorities (even though several minority voters themselves did not come out for Clinton in the same numbers they came out for Obama) and the myth that young men supporting Bernie Sanders were sexist Bernie bros, and even attacking young women who supported Sanders by saying they only did that to impress the guys and get action. So all that is going on, and meanwhile, unknown to most people, is that way, way back, Clinton refused to fire a man who didn't understand what most 3-year-olds do about "keeping your hands to yourself." A married man who rubs shoulders and kisses his much younger subordinate needs "counselling?" No, he needs to be fired. And why does Clinton need to contact this woman a decade after the fact to congratulate her for speaking up?
To illustrate the hypocrisy even further, let's imagine that this *exact* scenario played itself out under a Republican Presidential candidate. What would the reaction be? Most likely OH MY GOD THE REPUBLICANS COVERED UP SEXUAL HARASSMENT THIS PROVES THAT THEY ARE MISOGYNISTS AND WOULD BE BAD FOR WOMEN IF THEY ENDED UP IN POWER!
Well, if you crusade against immorality, it should be pretty easy and obvious to avoid having sex with sex workers.
But I don't have a similar sense that if Clinton said she supports women, that necessarily (or as easily) means that if someone is accused of harrassing a woman, he must be immediately fired.
Do you suppose, Aristotleded24, there could be any other reasons why this is Apparently A Big Thing?
Are there folk who still hold an axe to grind with Ms. Clinton, for example?
Just curious: what was your opinion of her BEFORE this? Did this force you to take a long, hard look at your positive opinion of her? Or is this just Reason #485 for not liking her?
But no one is suggesting that. There was an investigation and after said investigation the recommendation was to fire him.
Oh. The "recommendation".
Those closest to the situation recommended that the staffer be fired. I'l also point out that managers responsible for taking action will often ask the supervisors closest to the situation for recommendations and act on them.
There are lots of folk here who had an axe to grind with George W Bush, Donald Trump, Stephen Harper, Mike Harris, Gordon Campbell, and Ralph Klein who still posted stories and used them to criticize those people. What I'm doing here is no different.
Parenthetically, I am not a fan of mandated counselling. For counselling to be effective, it needs to be voluntary.
So I have to walk back what I said upthread regarding a final nail in the coffin for the idea that Hillary supports women's rights. The truth is, we all have a chance to change our paths, and to make different choices. Well, Hillary Clinton did just that. In New York State, a woman by the name of Cynthia Nixon is contending for the Democratic Party nomination. Nixon has advanced a public policy platform similar to what Bernie Sanders did, and she has the support of the Bernie Sanders wing of the party. Well, Hillary recently endorsed Nixon, because as her friend Madeline Albright said, "there's a special place in hell for women who don't help one another."
Whoops! Turns out I made a mistake here. My link actually shows that Clinton endorsed Nixon's male opponent in the primary. And the disgusting Hill-bots are surprised that people are angry with them for using identity politics to attack Clinton's opponents? Are these Hill-bots going to support campaigns by great women politicians like Cynthia Nixon and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez?
At a bare minimum, it was clearly wrong that the woman in this case be transferred while Strider stayed in his job. It's one thing say he should get another chance...but why did that have to mean-in the short term-that he wasn't asked to give up anything at all. Why did it have to be a decision, in the short-term, that give Strider an effective victory over his accuser?