'Progressives,' As Their Sex Harassment and Assault Problems Become Obvious, Won't Even Mention the Clintons

Liberals and "progressives," who are supposedly big on dealing with "root causes," are apparently not interested in the root cause of their now-acknowledged problem of sexual harassment and abuse in their ranks.

At Acculturated.com, Carrie Lukas, managing director of the Independent Women’s Forum, contended that "liberals treat women worse" than do others in positions of power on the ideological spectrum because of "The Bill Clinton Effect" — an effect with so much staying power that "progressives" still won't dare mention its obvious impact, or even the Clintons' names.

Exhibit A: Emily Crockett's lengthy hand-wringing treatise at Vox.com on December 21, prepared in the wake of the closure of far-left PR firm FitzGibbon Media over its owner's multi-year pattern of sexual assaults and harassment, completely failed to bring up former President Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton, his enabling spouse (but she did manage to mention Bill Cosby).

Exhibit B is at The New Republic, where Jamil Smith also decried the situation at FitzGibbon, also failed to bring up Bill or Hillary Clinton's name, and discovered that "Yes, you can be a liberal and a sexual abuser." Imagine that.

In Lukas's eminently accurate view, the establishment press collectively serves as an enabler (HT Instapundit; links are in original; bolds are mine):

The Bill Clinton Effect: Why Liberals Treat Women Worse

... How can enlightened liberals, so staunchly committed to women’s equality and progress, allow old-school sexism and abuse of power to persist? How could FitzGibbon Media, which represented MoveOn.org, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the AFL-CIO, have a CEO sending text messages asking for dirty pictures from female underlings?

It’s a phenomenon I call “the Bill Clinton effect.” President Clinton isn’t just another example of a prominent pol who habitually cheated on his wife with many women, including those on his staff. Clinton showcased how those who normally police behavior and work to penalize men for mistreating women will excuse men aligned with them politically. In other words, Clinton revealed that liberals can expect to get away with a lot more in terms of abusing women than conservatives.

... the undisputed facts of the (Clinton-) Lewinsky affair reveal a clear and classic example of a powerful man abusing women under his power and creating a hostile work environment: Clinton was a powerful executive having sexual relations with a 22-year-old intern working in his office, whom he rewarded with a taxpayer-financed job and other special treatment. None of the interns working alongside Monica got cushy job offers post-internship. That alone is supposed to be a giant red flag for those concerned about equal treatment and a harassment-free workplace.

But, of course, that was just the tip of the iceberg; Clinton was having his affair with Monica in the midst of an ongoing investigation into his alleged sexual harassment of a state employee (Paula Jones) during his time as Governor of Arkansas. Other women also came forward with allegations of harassment and even assault. Clinton lied about his affair with Lewinsky, at first suggesting she was delusional, both to the public and then when testifying under oath as a part of that sexual harassment suit.

Liberal women’s groups are supposed to frown on men who smear women and undermine the legal process of sexual harassment suits, and take accusations of sexual assault seriously. Yet President Clinton—a good Democrat who supported abortion rights and other feminist sacraments—was largely given a pass.

... Compare this to the treatment of Justice Clarence Thomas. Even if one assumes that every accusation made by Anita Hill is true, Justice Thomas would at most be crass and a little boorish, but very minor-league in terms of sexual harassment compared to Clinton. Yet women’s groups and the liberal media pounded Thomas, almost derailing his Supreme Court nomination, and to this day ensure that his name is synonymous with sexual harassment.

Given these examples, it would make sense that liberals would feel freer to abuse women than their conservative counterparts. Conservatives have to assume that the press and the establishment women’s movement will exact as mighty a punishment as possible for any misdeed, while liberals can expect far less blowback.

... Given this history, it’s no big surprise that, as the liberal online website Vox.com put it, progressive have a sexual harassment problem. This exposé, however, may hark the beginning of a turning point.

The next year will certainly test Ms. Lukas's optimism. Those who don't share it certainly can do so with justification. It's hard to be optimistic when a leading liberal web site won't even mention Bill Clinton's name in analyzing the progressive movement's clearly disproportionate problem with sexual abuse and harassment. They know that any citation of Bill Clinton's sordid past will be perceived in the leftist power structure as potentially damaging to Hillary Clinton — arguably, as his chief enabler at crunch time, the person who is most responsible for, i.e., is the "root cause," of "The Bill Clinton Effect."

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.