Although feminists have claimed to seek equality - in education, employment, sexual and civil rights - a curious acceptance of patriarchal condescension still meets with their approval and demands. They won the battle to bare their breasts in public since men are entitled to do the same (see the painted topless ladies of Times Square), but when it comes to accepting equal responsibility for the consequences of drunken excess, they plead special protection. On campuses throughout America, women who claim to have been sexually molested while they were blotto are considered victims of a crime, not cooperating partners. Men, on the other hand, are never excused for molesting a woman (anything from a grope to rape) because they were drunk. Title IX and university administrations give women a pass and they willingly accept it.
Similarly, the media has traditionally withheld the names of women who claim to be victims of rape or molestation while they publish the names of men who are accused but have not been tried. Now,, in the strangest extension of this macho protectiveness, both Lincoln Center and the NY Times have admitted that Jed Bernstein, the former president of Lincoln Center, was forced to resign because he had a consensual affair with a woman on his staff, violating the company policy of no dating of subordinates. Mr. Bernstein had promoted this 30-something woman but so had his predecessor - twice. Both Mr. Bernstein and his subordinate were single and the affair was over by the time the relationship came to the attention of the Center’s higher-ups. Nevertheless, Lincoln Center did not divulge the name of the employee in order to “protect” her. Since she consented to flouting company policy, why was she not named and asked to resign as well? Is the assumption that an adult woman capable of performing in a high-powered job is nevertheless helpless to withstand the seduction of her much older employer? Does this sit well with Gloria Steinem? It’s not what Hillary thought of that 21 year old “narcissistic loony toon” who nearly brought down the president.
And exactly what is the Times protecting? The woman was neither raped nor victimized - she was promoted. Why is she being infantilized by a newspaper that trumpets the cause of feminism and the need to respect the judgment of even adolescents when it comes to their gender identification. It’s fine for a girl of 13 to decide that she’s a boy and will therefore use the boys’ bathroom and locker room, but there will be no mention of the identity of an adult who consents to an affair with her single boss and benefits from that relationship.
From the earliest recorded history of human behavior, women have used their wiles to their advantage. We not only accept this - we reward and celebrate it. Nobody had a bad word to say about Jerry Hall’s merger with the 85 year old Rupert Murdoch nor 74 year old Bernie Sander’s relationship with his cheerful, much younger wife. Why the double standard at Lincoln Center, a cultural institution whose plays and operas depend on such plots. If the public has a right to know about Jed Bernstein’s peccadillos, we surely have the right to know who joined him, how high she climbed and whether she got to keep her job while he lost his.
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