The crying wolf?

So, Naomi Wolf says that Harold Bloom groped her 20 years ago. And she was made ill and afraid by this and it hurt her academic career, but she couldn’t do anything then. And now, apparently Yale would have nothing to do with her complaint.

And, you know, people have opinions. Some people are mad at her for being mean to an old sick man. Some people are mad at her because they don’t like “victim feminism”. Some people are mad at her because she waited 20 years. Some other people are mad at her because she trades on her own physical attractiveness a lot and is obsessed with her youth and won’t stop talking about sex, and they think she has a double standard.

I’ve never met her, and I have no idea if she’s a nice lady or not. But I still think you shouldn’t grasp the thighs of your undergraduates. I had a prof in college who sexually harassed his (male) students, and I was lucky he didn’t find me attractive. What a situation to be in! My dad knew him, too, and they were on inter-campus committees together. What would I have done?

So, yeah. Maybe she is a publicity whore, and maybe this and maybe that, but if Bloom really does this stuff as much as is rumored I don’t care how eminent he is, or how old and feeble; that ain’t right. And sometimes you have to wait 20 years so that you’re famous and powerful yourself and you can say something without having powerful people trash your new career.

One thought on “The crying wolf?

  1. Yes, yes and yes. Having had sexual abuses of varying types perpetrated on me during my life that I have reported in a timely fashion and some in not such a timely fashion, I agree completely. There are so many issues in being able to face that kind of turmoil internally. You don’t see people bitching out those who are coming out against (for example) priests who abused years in the past. Sometimes you need to wait to have power yourself; sometimes you need to wait until society is open enough to allow you that power. The kind of hassles she’s getting just indicate to me that a lot of people aren’t ready to face the fact that these things are WRONG no matter how long ago they happened.
    I remember in the 70s, I was portrayed as being an evil Lolita in the papers, because the very thought of an honest family man who’d been doing volunteer work (with little girls) for 30+ years raping the selfsame girls was just too much for the world to deal with. I remember the coverage, and I remember the shock of the people when they actually saw me… tubby ugly little girl that was certainly not getting the attention of any Humberts or Quiltys. Eventually they found out he had been doing it for years; I was just the first who went to court over it. I suppose I should feel happy about it, but it’s sort of insult to insult. One would hope that blaming the victim for whatever reasons would be gone by now, but I guess not.

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