Whew! busy week. I’m behind on everything. And — ahem — I’m slightly peeved that NO ONE is writing in to tell me what to make of the ending to Take Shelter, which still swims all over my imagination.

In the same vein as that eminently scary film, I’m looking forward to Martha Marcy May Marlene, which is what sounds like a riveting and creepy film about a young woman who becomes drawn in to a cult — and what it means to be seduced in that way. I can hardly wait.

I’ve got a lot on my mind in the wake of the Herman Cain and Jerry Sandusky scandals. Apparently a coach at Syracuse University has now been accused of inappropriately touching two boys. Oh, we all get soooo upset about boys being touched, but all those piles of rape charges against athletes get dropped or written off as “lies” or settled quietly. But more on that soon.

And I have more to say about period dramas, as promised! Oooh, this is going to be good.

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How would you feel if Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer came out and said, “If there are any more boys out there who’re thinking about coming forward with sexual assault charges against my client, you should think twice”?

How quickly would he be censured? His license revoked?

Yet that’s exactly what Herman Cain’s lawyer did, except he (safely) delivered that threat to women. “Anyone should think twice before you take that type of action,” Lin Wood said, addressing sexual harassment victims considering coming forward with charges. “And I think it’s particularly true when you are making serious accusations against someone running for president of the United States, but I think it’s equally true if you are making those accusations against your next door neighbor.”

Think twice. As if women who’ve experienced sexual harassment haven’t already thought twice — as she weighed the costs of reporting a boss or co-worker. As she thought about feeling derided and violated, yet worried the backlash of her reporting would be worse. As she wondered whether he was serious when he suggested she’d lose their job unless she succumbed. As she got glares from the other women in the office who thought she was flirting with him. As she wondered how to find health insurance if she quit. As she received no help whatsoever from the human resources person to whom she reported it.

This isn’t about someone else. This is about you.

Wood’s threat — from a lawyer! — has to do with the public shaming women will experience if they come forward. Rush Limbaugh has already started piling abuse on Sharon Bialek, the most visible of the accusers. (Can you imagine if Limbaugh tried to make slurping noises about the boys abused by Sandusky?) But this isn’t just a question of verbal insults: I can’t imagine how many death threats have been thrown at Bialek and Karen Kraushaar.

The Cain campaign has raised $9 million since news of the sexual harassment charges came out on October 1. He thinks it’s really funny to recommend that Mitt Romney get charged with sexual harassment to help his poll ratings, because polls still place Cain at first, or tied for first, in the pack of GOP hopefuls.

Readers: what will it take for you to get angry enough to do something about this misogynistic culture? When will you say to yourself, this is enough — I’m willing to stand up for myself and other women?

Because at the rate we’re going, we’re getting to a place where no woman is a “good enough” victim; we’re all bitches now. No rape or assault will be enough to protect you from the charge of being a bitch for reporting it.

You know how to start? Talk about the sexual harassment you’ve received, and talk about why it put you in an impossible situation. Talk about how hard it was to talk about it. Talk about how the frustration is doubled when you feel both violated and silenced. If they’re telling us we are all bitches now, then they’re going to have to hear something in response. Basta!

Today I have resigned from my position as head coach of Penn State’s football program because I am ashamed of myself.

I have been ashamed of myself for not acting in the Jerry Sandusky case for nearly ten years, after half-heartedly directing a witness—a young assistant coach who looked to me for guidance—to talk to the university’s athletic director about what he had seen. I never suggested he speak to the police instead; I never followed up. I put my head in the sand, and at least eight helpless boys were molested by this man.

As I look back, I have asked myself time and again why I felt it necessary to protect my program and the school rather than those children. In retrospect, I can only express shame and humiliation that I elected to act in this way.

I have also dwelled extensively on the question of how I’d feel if my son or daughter had been molested in this way by a trusted authority figure, and how I’d feel about the friends and colleagues who protected such a man.

Some Penn State fans may protest and argue that I should not leave my position. But I insist you are mistaken in your loyalty to me and to our football program. Please allow me the small dignity of accepting my responsibility with humility.

Some may question whether I feel my responsibility too heavily, whether my decision to resign is too extreme given my distance from the case. After all, we live in a culture in which powerful men regularly deny responsibility for their actions. Whether it is fraudulent traders on Wall Street, Catholic priests who transferred pedophilic priests from one position to the next, managers and bosses who sexually harass female or gay employees, and college football players whose rape charges disappear under community pressure on the victims, we see men every day in the news who reject all culpability. But let us also turn the spotlight on those men’s supervisors and bosses, who regularly claim to be innocent by virtue of not having committed those crimes themselves.

I refuse to be one of those men.

I knew that Sandusky had behaved inappropriately toward a young boy, and I did nothing to stop it. I passed the buck to someone who likewise did nothing. To my shame, I told myself this might be an isolated incident, and I permitted my respect for him as a friend to overwhelm my responsibility to these children and my community. My behavior defies all reason, all consideration of human rights. I behaved like a coward, and I made it possible for him to continue committing those crimes.

Some members of the public have been quite frank in expressing their disgust with me and my colleagues. I am in complete agreement with you. I accept your rage, and can only assure you that I hold a lower opinion of myself than you do.

Men like me have many privileges, but with those come important responsibilities. We do a profound disservice to our fellow citizens and colleagues when we insist, above all, on our “right” to those privileges and only a passing familiarity with our responsibilities. I have come face to face with my own deeply troubling failures in this regard after sublimating those thoughts for nearly ten years.

I am not proud to say this as I stand before you today, but I am saying things that need to be said, for these things are true. No longer do I seek to protect myself, my colleagues, my football program, or my university. This is no gesture—I am not “falling on my sword,” as some might put it. Leaving a job I love appears to me to be, truly, the very least I can do. I urge you to let me resign to express my willingness to repent for my own crimes of omission, so I may engage in community service to make amends, and so I might seek forgiveness in my own way. Thank you.