It is absolutely remarkable for me to watch the same Democratic party hacks, who stood by and supported Bill Clinton during the revelations that he was an abuser of women, pull their hair out screaming about Schwarzenegger the Barbarian.
For those of you who do not know, I am a former president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and also served on the National NOW board of directors in the early 1990s. That said, it was the obscene support of Bill Clinton by the entire Left wing establishment that woke me up to the hypocrisy of the Left, and of Democrats and the feminist machines in particular.
As you know by now, the Los Angeles Times, the absurd propaganda machine for the Democratic party, let loose with I’m sure what they thought would annihilate Arnold’s candidacy for governor of California. The front page story declared Arnold had “groped, humiliated” women. Heck, Gray Davis’ car taxes and payoffs and driver’s licenses for illegal aliens amounts to all Californians (not just women) being groped and humiliated.
The people at the Times (I’d call them journalists but that would be just plain silly) say six women (four of whom remain anonymous) claim Arnold either touched them inappropriately or made lewd suggestions.
Now, suddenly the Democrats are outraged, just outraged, at how women are treated. Where was this concern when Bill Clinton was groping and humiliating a wide swath through Washington, DC? And Little Rock? And now New York? Paula Jones, Juanita Broderick, Kathleen Willey did not insist on anonymity. They explained and answered the questions publicly, and to the world.
As a feminist who has spent most of my professional life dealing with the bad behavior of men and working for equality for women, those charges aren’t shocking. When I heard of them, I also thought them to be probably true.
But it was a long time ago when I threw my idealistic expectations of politicians out the window. My romance with heroes ended when I found my own feminist colleagues were corrupt, and realized that politicians, gulp, lie. I still want honesty and some decency from politicians, but I understand now that we must demand it of them, and hold their feet to the fire.
So, what I wanted to know when I heard of the allegations was if Arnold would do what virtually every politician (and man legitimately accused of sexual harassment) does: deny, deny, deny, and lie, lie, lie. Actually, we should now call that tactic “Clintonizing.”
Arnold, however, did not disappoint. In a speech to supporters in San Diego, he began to address the accusations with the phrase “Where’s there’s smoke there’s fire…”. The crowd began to cheer in a way that they expected him to deny the allegations. In fact, a campaign spokesman did just that earlier in the day. But then in what media outlets described as “remarkable,” “astounding” and “unexpected,” he admitted it, and apologized!
He did not shake his finger in the air and deny having ‘sexual relations’ with any woman. His wife Maria did not go on a morning show to blame the accusations on a vast left wing conspiracy. No, he admitted his bad behavior and said he now realizes what he did was wrong.
Do I think the actions described are repulsive? Absolutely. Do I think the women subjected to his boorish behavior should have complained at the time? Yes. All of them explained that they didn’t for fear of retaliation. While that is a legitimate concern for women in that situation, it is extraordinarily unfair to come forward years or decades later to accuse anonymously in an effort to ruin the person you took no action against at the time.
If we (women) want equal rights, and to be treated with dignity, we need to stand up for ourselves and have the courage of facing the consequences of doing so. Sexual harassment happens, I know. And while some men are malevolent toward women, or just clueless, or drunk and engage in unwanted touching or even physical assault, the good news is most men don’t.
But for the men who do, while the usual stand is to deny and then blame the victim (“she wanted it,” “she asked for it,” “she came on to me…”), there are those who admit their folly. If we as women dare to ask men to recognize and adapt to our changing roles and station in society (which includes the perk of not being touched against our will), we at least owe some respect to those who are willing to admit and apologize for their actions, and pledge they have changed.
When it came to the Clintons, I didn’t care what their marriage arrangement was. But I did have the (naïve) expectation that while in the White House they would both be discreet. Bill Clinton, however, had such disdain not only for women but for this nation, that he couldn’t help himself and polluted the White House with behavior best described as obscene.
The he lied to us about it.
Arnold Schwarzenegger acted like a boor to half a dozen women (probably more) years to decades ago. Like the Clintons, I don’t know what understanding the Schwarzeneggers have, but I choose to believe Arnold, believe he’s sorry and believe him when he says he want to be a “champion for all the women.” While in the past perhaps he felt that his hands would play a role in that, now he will have to settle for legislation being his device.
For the next three years, if not seven, there are a few simple requests I have of Arnold and his wife. First, Arnold, keep your hands to yourself and your wife. Secondly, don’t lie to us. We’ve had enough of that. Republicans don’t like it, and we Democrats are abused enough by the lying machine designed by the Clintons and implemented by their party lemmings.
Are there candidates for governor out there who have lived more chaste, more respectful lives? Probably. But right now I prefer to have a person who can bring California back, whose life is an open book, and who is honest enough to admit mistakes and genuine enough to apologize.
That person is Arnold Schwarzenegger.