A Personal Perspective
BY MARCIA MOXAM COMRIE
After nearly 20 years at FOX News, star attraction Bill O’Reilly has been fired due to a series of sexual harassment accusations from women colleagues.
The departure of the pugnacious host of “The O’Reilly Factor” follows one year after the company’s former news chief, Roger Ailes, was also forced to step down following the same alleged conduct. It seems that the company was lax in this area and, therefore, fostered a culture of inappropriate attitudes and conduct toward women in the workplace.
Not since law professor Anita Hill testified against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas have we heard of such lewd conduct toward women by their male colleagues. Hill’s testimony went a long way to make the workplace safer from inappropriate conduct toward women. Sadly, it is still with us.
That watershed moment was 26 years ago, so why have people not yet learned that this is not acceptable behavior toward women? We realize that Ailes and O’Reilly are from the old school—but you can’t be too old to learn that if you intend to remain a professional, then you have to adapt to the new rules of engagement.
Women should not be expected to endure any man’s lascivious remarks, stares and touches. The promising thing is that younger men tend to do better than many of their mature counterparts.
And this is not to say that some women don’t also subject their male colleagues to some of these same types of behavior. But historically, it is more rampant from men toward women. Either way, it is not appropriate and it is nigh time we all realize that.
The sad thing is that while O’Reilly and Ailes have been forced out of their cushy jobs—as they obviously deserved to be—we have an admitted, serial groper and kisser as the nation’s commander in chief. Not surprisingly, Trump has been a long-time friend of both Ailes and O’Reilly. Birds of a feather.
Twentieth Century Fox, the mother company of FOX News, had no choice but to cut ties with their two alleged lechers—but we, the voting public, had a choice not to elect Donald Trump. Nonetheless, enough people voted to make him president. The irony is so rich, it makes one nauseous.
It is doubtful that “The O’Reilly Factor”—now re-named “The Factor”—had a large following in Southeast Queens.
We tend to be more liberal than its host and his guests, so neither the show nor its contentious host will be missed in these parts. The channel now has an opportunity to make it a better experience.
Most, if not all, companies these days provide training to ameliorate misconduct of a discriminatory or sexual nature. But that message seems to get lost on some people. They have done it with impunity for so long that they don’t expect it to come to this. Women are here to stay in the workforce, so the men who don’t like it still have to adopt more civil attitudes.
Many years ago, an attendee at a women’s rights rally declared, “When God gave me a uterus, he also gave me a brain, not a pot.” Bingo!
We can have babies, but we can also think. We buy the pot to nourish our babies and the rest of our family. Neither has to be at the expense of the other.