Fun facts about heavyweight gossip columnist Cindy Adams: She turned 80 this week. She loves dogs and ending her columns with "Only in New York, kids." And she thinks women who complain about sexual harassment should just get over it.
The Huffington Post noticed that in Adams' longrunning New York Post column,
she weighed in on the defeated sexual harassment case of a reporter at a local television station. Quoth Cindy,
"Hey, we've all been there. Those things happened to every one us in our earlier days. But that was before the world became so litigious. We've each endured some too tight hug or some slob whose hand wandered where it shouldn't. Deal with it. That's what we did in our younger, prettier days. Dealt with it. In some cases, sticking a pen in the guy's lower belly and whispering politely, 'Try that again, pal, and you'll have to go to Emergency to pee,' worked just fine."
But when Adams talks about what happened in her "earlier days," she seems to actually be talking about sexual assault, particularly in her first example:
I was maybe 10. In a highly respected elderly doctor's Upper East Side examination room. My mom had left for one second. His hands began examining what wasn't there for examining. I pushed him away and never mentioned it to a soul. Not anybody. Until now. And I still remember his name.
I was maybe 16. The office of a theatrical agent who had a Tiffany reputation. He took me into a private room to test my voice. And what he looked to test was not my voice. I pushed him off and never mentioned it to anyone. Until now. And I still remember his name.
And yet instead of targeting the men who victimized her, whose names she still remembers, she's blaming our "litigious" culture. She added, "Calling a lawyer to say, 'I'm suing because this guy laid his hands on me'? Oh, please, if that's his only part he laid on you, get some nail extensions and inform Larry Lothario next time you'll rake him like the leaves. Deal with it."
As much as we'd like to chalk up some of this to, ahem, advanced age, Adams is surely not alone in thinking that women who complain about sexual harassment are just whiners who need to get over it. But it's even more disturbing that the examples she brings up are actually sexual assault, beyond the classic "hostile work environment." The men who assaulted and/or harassed Adams when she was a child went unreported and unpunished; the laws we have today are intended simply to protect today's girls and women from such crimes. It's a shame Adams can't see any of this, simply because it's "litigious."
Cindy Adams: Female Sexual Harassment Victims Should 'Deal With It' [Huffington Post]
Sexual Harassment: Deal With It [NYP]