For Women, It’s Not Just the O’Reilly Problem

from NYTs

Bill O’Reilly’s ouster from Fox News Wednesday — nine months after similarly lurid charges of sexual harassment forced the resignation of Roger Ailes, the Fox chief executive — has opened another window into sexual abuse of women at Fox and in the workplace generally.

The serial nature of the alleged abuse, as well as Fox’s response to it, is also a reminder that exposing wrongdoing is no guarantee of change.

When Fox said on Wednesday that it was severing ties with Mr. O’Reilly after a “thorough and careful review of the allegations,” it neglected to note that the scrutiny was not prompted by the allegations themselves — which the company already knew about — but by the defections of dozens of advertisers from “The O’Reilly Factor” and a drop in the company’s stock price. Fox heaped praise on Mr. O’Reilly in announcing his departure. In all, the company has paid at least $85 million to resolve sexual abuse scandals involving Mr. Ailes and Mr. O’Reilly. Of that sum, as much as $65 million went to the two men, in the form of exit pay.

That’s not deterrence, let alone true accountability. It is, however, a good illustration of the entrenched reality of practices that have discounted, demeaned and derailed women’s work lives for decades. Those practices include not only sexual harassment, but also persistent disparities in pay and promotion, as well as structural impediments — in child care, scheduling and other workplace policies.

More here.

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9 Responses to For Women, It’s Not Just the O’Reilly Problem

  1. Lauren Burbank April 26, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

    Women being treated as less in the workplace is a small reflection, or rather ripple, to how they are treated in society as a whole. If we want to see changes in the workplace, we need to address how women are seen by society as a whole. There are so many small factors that create this huge, continuous problem. Women need to stop being pitted against each other, as an example, because what ends up happening is they’re dismissed by men, and then also dismissed by other women and that can be very isolating. The phrase “I’m not like other girls/women” is one I am so tired of hearing. All that does is perpetuate the idea that there is something inherently wrong with being female.
    Another issue we’d have to address and take more seriously is domestic violence. How many athletes get away with domestic abuse simply because of how “important” they are to a famous sports team? The media has never taken this as seriously as it should. It trickles down to college and high school athletes as well. Whenever we see a case of a woman who was attacked or abused, the headlines we see are related to how the promising future of the boy is now going to be ruined over this “incident.” We need to stop minimizing these things, we need to hold men more accountable.
    Politicians and people of power in general should lose their titles if they’re sexist. There is a growing list of times where such people made comments showing how sexist and ignorant their beliefs are, and why should we allow those people to make decisions that affect so many people? If I need 5+ years of experience, a Bachelor’s degree (preferably a Master’s), examples of my work, and a clean social media history just to land a job that pays around $45k, but has no power behind it why should someone who makes sexist remarks in public forums be able to hold a position that gives them the ability to make laws and decisions that affect entire communities? Furthermore, there should be a lot more public outrage when these things happen.
    Regarding this article, I think that a big issue is perception. When a male employee wants to sit down and talk about a raise, he’s seen as ambitious and he’s encouraged to go for it. When a female employee wants to sit down and discuss a potential raise, she’s often advised against it because she should “be in it for more than the money.” As far as I know, whether you’re male or female, you have bills to pay and the costs of living apply to you. In fact, women probably need to spend more money depending on the job. Some companies require women to wear a full face of makeup and have their hair styled a specific way. When I discussed this with a male friend recently, he didn’t see why that’s a big deal so I challenged him to live that way for a week. He accepted the challenge, thinking it would be a cake walk, and he found himself to be very wrong. He was also surprised to learn how much makeup, hair services, etc cost.
    To me, the main issue is that women can’t do anything absent criticism used to undervalue them. If they address someone with their concerns, it’s often minimized as “whining.” If they are extremely career-driven, they’re seen as less feminine. If they choose to be stay-at-home parents, they’re criticized for “not having a real job,” or as lazy. A woman and a man can do the exact same thing, and a man will be praised for it while it’s simply expected of a woman. Example—watching a child for an afternoon and attending their school events. Obviously this relates to outdated gender roles, however a woman can’t reap the benefits of straying from her traditional gender role like a man can. Instead she’ll most likely be mocked for being “manly.” The workplace issues are only a symptom of a much bigger plague in our society.

  2. Alex Strom April 26, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    Women have been getting taken advantage for thousands of years, it is just prevalent now in a different form. Men have treated women differently simply because of the fact that they can get away with it. This is something that has plagued most societies throughout humanity, and this is something that needs to change now. We are all a part of the human race, so it makes no sense in my mind to discriminate against a race or gender. It is proven that women are treated differently in this society by things like the wage gap, which shows that women get paid significantly less than a man for doing the same job. These are things that just do not make sense, and things that we need to fix.
    This article, which was written by the editorial board from the New York Times, talks about these eye-opening problems that women have to face in this modern age. This is not the first time a head figure from FOX has sexually assaulted a women, which is starting to give them a really bad name. FOX had to pay roughly $85 million between Bill O’Reilly and Roger Alies, which included $65 million directly to the 2 men for leave pay. The way that companies just toss around money to mask up the problem of harassment of women is inhumane, because they just put a price tag on these women. Another huge eye-opening problem is the glass celling, which shows that women get paid 22 percent less per hour on average then men. Even at the top of the ladder in America at the top 95th percentile, women made only 74 cents as compared to men in those positions. After a recent study performed by McKinsey and LeanIn.org, results showed that across the board, women are 15 percent less likely to get a promotion than women are. Women are getting mistreated, and unions are getting squashed, so the future does not look so bright. When people speak out about this issue, they often times automatically get shot down, so some people have just stopped trying. We need to stand up together for the rights of women, because if you do not stand up for others when they need it, there won’t be anyone there standing up for you when you need it.
    The old saying “history repeats itself” accurately displays how we treat women. You would think that by now, men would be treating women equally, for a number of reasons. Since we have been recording history for so long now, and are forced to study history (at least for people in the U.S.), so we are aware of how humans have been brutally mistreated for years. We all know that women and people of color have been mistreated for years in America for no reason, but we still continue to continue our habbits. History will continue to repeat itself if we do nothing to change it, which is what we have done with how we treat women. Although women are treated “better” then they were in the past, men still find ways to take advantage of women just because they can. This can be done in many different ways, which can include in terms of money, and physically. Sexual abuse in the office is a big problem in America, which has been seen multiple times in FOX within the past year. We know that we are doing wrong, but we continue to chose these bad habbits. We really need to reevaluate ourselves as a society, and take time to look past race and gender, because in the end it will not matter. Money has a way of corrupting the way people think, which is why people say that money is the root of all evil.

  3. Andrew Imbesi April 26, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

    Not until approximately a hundred years ago, women began receiving equal rights, which has been long overdue. Women have gone from being simple housewives to proving themselves capable of completing the same tasks as men (effortlessly). Simply, male dominance and power is the reason why women had none in the first place, and unfortunately, this presence continues to linger, which makes it harder for women to feel accepted.
    Recently, Bill O’Reilly got caught up in his sexual allegations against him and was let go by Fox. Fox however is not the only media outlet with corruption, ever hear of the Clinton News Network? Obviously, Fox, one of the few conservative news sources, is constantly attacked by the rest of its competitors due to their uniqueness in audience and perception. Fox is clearly a conservative and masculine environment, and professionals know this!
    Other than sexual assault issues, the New York Times tied a few more ordinary claims to Fox including equal pay issues. Salaries unquestionably range amongst jobs, and the scale can be unfair. In an equal world, where male and female are equal, they are also equal to compete. Rates and salaries must be determined on performance, not on gender, race, or sexuality. Socialist ideas for equal pay should not apply to jobs where performance matters, the hardest working employees in that field deserve more pay.
    What these statistics do not show is employee willingness to work and ability to perform well. I am an all for equality person and yes, two students fresh out of college with similar credentials applying for a teaching job at the same school, same grade, and same number of students deserve the same pay. However, if one teacher is clearly more productive than the other is, and displays better results, that teacher will begin to soar past the other. Fairly, the gender pay gap can increase or decrease based on productivity.
    Nevertheless, men still do dominate the job market. It was not until recently when females joined the job market. If the laws are equal to everyone, there should not be any law granting one gender, race, or power over the other. Engraving specific rights into law is priority to a specific group and a form of taking advantage. Engraving women’s rights into law would be just as bad as engraving men’s rights into law. Equal opportunity is permissible when everyone is considered equal, and if the law values one group higher than the other than there is an unbalance, and a disservice to many.
    Equality is a value to strive for but should not be taken too far in context. It is important to watch these statistics for unbalances to provide solutions to them. Frederick Douglass left a message to abolitionists centuries ago with what to do with the slaves injustices, and I often feel as if the message is forgotten in today’s society (along with Clarence Thomas, that pointed this message out first in his dissenting opinion for Grutter v. Bolinger):
    “Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! . . . And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!”
    Women have the strength, power, and capacity to work for and receive the same results as men. No gender, race, or group deserves any sort of advantage over the other, especially scripted. In an equal world, everything will pay out fairly.

  4. Jiaqi Ma April 27, 2017 at 8:13 pm #

    Honestly, I feel so bad for this topic. This essay lets me rethinking about the discrimination against women. This morning, I have browsed an essay. It is generally talking about a girl was violated. However, her family blamed her. Worse is some people comment in the article below. They said this girl should not dress exposed. If she did not dress like that, maybe the rape case will not happen. Some of them even said a girl who dresses like that reveals she is not a good girl. When the victim began to be accused of the party, while the perpetrators were easily forgiven. When the girls who dress up fashion become the infringed reason.
    This society has too much discrimination for women. The author mentioned that women are paid less and skipped over for promotion. I cannot believe what author’s mentioned: “the company already knew about- but by the defections of dozens of advertisers from “ The O’Reilly Factor” and a drop in the company’s stock price.” I do not think that it is a good excuse for doing nothing. I also agree with the author’s opinion, which is “speak out and then what?” This is the main reason why victims usually keep silence. On one hand, they are afraid of losing their jobs. Sometimes, it is a good job or a good position. The author mentioned: “If highly paid women in glamorous media jobs feel that way. Imagine what it’s like for women living paycheck to paycheck.” This is so helpless. On the other hand, they know there is no way to help them out of trouble. The legal system cannot protect them very well. In addition, there is a risk to lose their jobs. In my personal view, I think this should blame the whole social. For the legal system, the punishment for harasser is too light. The only harm for the harasser is public opinion, which is only useful for a public figure. Secondly, women should be blamed. They do not realize that they should use some tools to protect Themselves. Keeping silence is not a good way to solve this situation. For the public, they should raise awareness. Just like the people that I mentioned, they should be taught about the right view of life.
    I also agree with the author that there is discrimination against children and home. Women usually were regarded as the party who should clean the house, caring babies and take care of the family. I want to ask why? That phenomenon is normal in China, however, I think that is the first discrimination about women.
    I also think that sexual harassment is a topic that is not taken seriously. When such cases show up, if the victim is a man, some people will joke and say how lucky with this guy. He should enjoy. Therefore, changing public view is the first step to avoid this situation. It is undeniable that some girls take advantage of this phenomenon. Some of them think that girls should not work; a man should feed them. I am thinking in the movie of Titanic man let women and children leave first. It is undeniable that they were gentlemen. However, is it contradictory? If man and woman are equal completely, why woman need the protection by man? In society, women are taking advantage from a man in some aspect. For example, if women did not do very well in a project, she could use tears to get sympathy. Usually, in that moment, the boss will not severely reprimand. However, man cannot do that. If they cry, they will be accused of being a coward. Do not you think this is a very contradictory phenomenon?

  5. Christian Cox April 28, 2017 at 1:19 am #

    There is no doubt that Bill O’Reilly is in the wrong. He used his position of power to make women feel as if their jobs were dependent on accepting the sexual advances of Mr. O’Reilly. Bill O’Reilly is famous for his no spin zone and unfortunately for him there is no way to spin this story. His actions showed a clear disregard for the consent of these women. These sexual advances were unwanted and often times utterly disturbing. There were reports by several women that they had received phone calls from Mr. O’Reilly where it sounded as if he was masturbating while on the phone. He showed no self control for his egregious acts to his coworkers. Women said that he seemed very agreeable when he was in the process of making these advances but if they were rejected his mood would change dramatically. He would treat them very poorly afterwards and showed that if they wanted the old Bill they would have to take care of little Bill. Bill O’Reilly attempted on many occasions to use her power to coerce women to sleep with him. It is obvious why they rejected Bill he is old and has zero morals. But what makes matters worse is the response of our president. It seems that no matter what the topic is it somehow makes its way to Trump for him to say something shocking. President Trump defended Bill O’Reilly saying he was a good guy and that Trump could not see him doing these sorts of things. This should not be that shocking, given that President Trump has been accused of sexual harassment. Not to mention what he disclosed to Billy Bush. What makes Trump’s defense of Bill O’Reilly so reprehensible is that he did so in the same month he declared sexual harassment awareness month. It is time that President Trump understands what sexual assault is and not to blame the victims. This issue exposes problems for women in the workplace. As if it were not enough that women are routinely paid less than men, women have to face the awkward interactions with sexually aggressive men in the workplace. This issue is worsened when it is the boss rather than a coworker. When it is coworker it can be reported to human resources, but when it is a boss there is a whole new dynamic. The workplace is not where one should be searching for dates it is the workplace. Despite what we have seen in tv shows like The Office where office relationships are romanticized. Because, there is a key difference between Jim and Bill O’Reilly. Jim was a coworker, so there was no power differential, and he considered the consent of Pam. Bill on the other hand felt as if he deserved whoever he wanted. He was television star so he felt as if he was entitled to special treatment. His acts were terrible and it is clear that he was wrong and abused his power. But, what is worse is when someone defends the actions of something so obviously unethical, like our very own President Trump.

  6. Daniel Anglim April 28, 2017 at 4:37 pm #

    Sexual harassment is not tolerable ever, but unfortunately companies overlook many accusations and do not handle these problems in a good manner. Recently, Fox News star Bill O’Reilly has been fired by Fox News due to allegations of sexual harassment. As someone that use to watch the O’Reilly factor almost every night with my father, I was surprised to hear this alarming news. Bill O’Reilly seemed like a likable guy, and someone that had a good character. Obviously, the persona Bill put on was fake. Anyone that mistreats women clearly has no respect. Women are constantly being mistreated in the work force, and this is unacceptable. Fox made the right decision to sever ties with the star.

    In the New York Times article, “For Women, It’s Not Just the O’Reilly Problem.” Highlights many instances where women are mistreated. Women need to be respected equally as men, and they are not. Some of the things discussed in the article are, women are not paid as much, women are skipped over promotions, and women do not have the ability to speak out without fear of being fired. There are no reasons women do not receive the say payment as men for the exact same work. Women are taken advantage of because of their gender, this goes against the Constitution and is simply unacceptable. On average women are paid 22% less than men per hour. The days of men controlling the workforce are over, women are just as capable as men. Also, women that are black or Hispanic made even less than a white women. These facts made me sick, this is the 21st century, America has had a black president and we still see inequality all around the nation. The Constitution needs to be applied to companies, it is the foundation of this nation and is not taken seriously. Also, women are constantly overlooked for promotions, and instead white men dominate leadership positions. Women are 15% less likely to be promoted than men, the majority of promotions are given to men when there is actually 3% more women in the country then men. In large corporations women only hold around 1 in 5 board seats. There is no reason for this inequality, and until more women get leadership positions companies to proceed to take advantage of women.

    I have two little sisters, and I hope by the time they are ready to enter the workforce their will be equality for women in large corporations. Also, the sexual harassment problem needs to be fixed. Bill Crosby assaulted and drugged numerous women for many years. The allegations against him were swept under the rug, similar to what happened with Bill O’Reilly. If anyone ever assaulted one of my sisters I would hope their voice would be heard, and that there would be consequences for the terrible person. Women are not taken seriously and many are afraid to speak out against the creeps that continue to abuse them helplessly. America has many ethical problems that must be addressed.

  7. Erin Chan April 28, 2017 at 8:20 pm #

    Male and female feudal consciousness of deep-rooted before the husband and wife between the male and female, free to curse to abandon. With the development of culture and education and collective production, women participate in learning and labor as men, and their social status has been improved.
    Women and men enjoy equal rights in all aspects of political, economic, cultural, social and family life. In a long primitive society, the relationship between men and women is simple and equal. Private ownership and class exploitation are the social roots of gender inequality and women’s oppression. Slavery society, mercurial rule. The status of women in capitalist society has improved significantly compared with that of ancient times, and equality between men and women has also been regarded as a legal principle. However, this equality between men and women has great limitations and hypocrisy. Principles and practice, legal provisions and real life there is also a great distance. It is impossible to achieve true equality between men and women under the capitalist system. The elimination of all forms of gender discrimination is an inevitable requirement of socialist democracy. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China abolished all discrimination, binding women’s reactionary laws. In the constitution and the relevant elections, labor, education, marriage and family and inheritance and a series of laws and regulations, are clearly reflected in the spirit of equality between men and women. Equality between men and women is one of the basic principles of marriage and family system. The rights and obligations of both men and women in marriage and divorce are equal, and the rights and obligations of husband and wife in property relations and personal relations are equal, and the rights and obligations of family members of different sexes are equal in the family. Because of the historical reasons left behind, the primary stage of socialism in the status of men and women in real life there are still some differences. Patriarchalism, discrimination against women’s old traditions, and old ideas have a certain influence. In order to adhere to gender equality, special attention should be paid to the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of women. The transition from legal equality to complete equality in real life is the long-term task of the women’s liberation movement in the socialist period.

    Sex discrimination is the longest and most prominent problem in all kinds of discrimination. The inequality of employment between men and women is already an indisputable fact in our country and the world. Although the protection of women’s rights and interests is stipulated in the law, many organizations do not want to Employment of women or employment in the male and female job seekers to take unequal standards, so, restrictive recruitment advertisements abound, “men give priority” phenomenon endless. Some units of the recruitment advertisements made it clear that once the women were hired, 8 years, 10 years shall not be born; some private enterprises in the female workers during pregnancy to take a change in wages to violate the legitimate rights and interests of women workers. In situations where the conditions are quite or even better, women are often shut out only by the employer because of gender issues. Girls do things carefully than boys, plus the external service industry is also easy to be close to the service. So we now see the popular are to recruit girls, it is not true, when the really useful boys or the company’s management, as well as a variety of management, the boys relative to the girls to do things to be more calm , To determine the things that are not too strong. Plus a man to act decisively stronger than women on a hundred times.
    Even if even the senior chefs are mostly men.

  8. Jill Coleman May 16, 2017 at 11:08 am #

    As an emerging and, soon to be, rising business women inequity in the workplace is not an unfamiliar topic to me. The propensity of articles related to sexual assault in the media is even more disturbing given the blatant violation of basic human rights. The article entitled “For Women, It’s Not Just the O’Reilly Problem” clearly draws the parallel line between the glass ceiling and subsequent dismissal of respect for women. The charges brought upon Bill O’Reilly depict an era of empowered men in the media who believe that they can transcend the law itself. It is unfortunate that an uncovering of this story has, yet again, brought to light that no matter the social and legal change, nature in the work place prevails. I am very fortunate to say that I work for a very diverse organization that boasts equity and merit based considerations. However not many companies and sectors as a whole can state this. It is apparent that even the largest statistical progress of gender diversity in the workplace does not begin to even address the inequities felt by women daily. To those who dismiss statistics claiming that there is no such thing as work place discrimination due to the existence of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as the Equal Pay Act (EPA) I challenge you to look beyond the numbers.
    One cannot be fooled or even pleased with the statistics. What good is trusting and fully believing in numbers if you do not know the quality of their collection, and the rationale behind it. Seldom do people ask the question, why? Or question the credibility of the source. Although I do firmly believe we are heading in the right direction as far as equal rights are concerned, how are we defining quality? The article mentions that 1 out of 5 women have a seat in a board room, or in other words a position of authority. What good is have a female leader if she does not command the same respect of her peers and is therefore not as successful in the long run of moving up the corporate ladder. This article, and many of the analyses formulated around it fails to address the quality of the work environment for those women that do manage to break through the glass ceiling. Merely enticing more women to obtain stem jobs, for instance, does not solve the problem of inequality. Having an equal 50/50 split in the workplace does not change the stereotype that women do not make good leaders. If there is a higher propensity of men in the workplace of a specific sector, it is only natural to assume that the leadership will reflect that as well. Conversely, women are still heavily viewed as the primary caregivers of families therefore in the workplace they are treated as non-committed workers. In the sense that if they choose to have children, there is a period of leave to raise the child, and an assumption that the predominate responsibility and priority of the woman is to raise the children. In the workplace, when being considered for promotions time commitment is heavily valued, therefore an employee that has large time commitments to family can be viewed as a less desirable candidate. This is not to say that women cannot successfully have both families and established careers, but brings visibility to the severely understated stigma of the workplace. This logic can explain the reasoning between the gender inequity in positions of authority.
    Bill O’Reilly is not the first figurehead in American media to be charged with the heinous act of sexual assault and he will surely not be the last. The internet is flooded daily with stories of universities covering up illegal actions of their students, because they are athletes and representatives of the university. The NFL, in fact, is one of the largest organizational offenders. In recent news, Howard University is facing a lawsuit related to their lack of action to pursue a serial rapist on campus and dismissal of the victims altogether. This poses the question, who is really to blame for the actions of Bill O’Reilly and other sexual offenders? The perpetrator themselves or the systems in place that support them? For men like Bill O’Reilly he has not, until this moment, faced any repercussions for his actions against women. Arguably our nation, and its subsequent business partners, support this assailant. It is clear in their indifference to justice that the rights of sexual assault victims are not valid. The article makes mention of the fact that Bill O’Reilly was not fired due to the charges levied on him, rather he was dropped by the network due to a loss in revenue linked with the bad media. This country has become, or one may argue has always been, a society of sheep who actively do not want to be associated with the stigma of sexual assault. To further enforce this point, not a single sponsor of Bill O’Reilly’s show made a statement condemning his actions and justifying their withdrawal of sponsorship. Instead of using this news coverage as a means to enact positive change for sexual assault victims, both the network and its sponsors are using any, and all, means to cover this up. A prime example of this is the NFL where figureheads like Ben Roethlisberger get off “scot-free” on charges due to their undue influence. The way to solve this problem is to use these aforementioned figureheads, not as scapegoats, but the great educators of gender equity. For it is their influence on children, through the media, that creates a perpetual system of inaction. I have attached a link below depicting the inaction of the NFL in the past as well as the increasing list of players accused of sexual assault and domestic violence against women. Additionally, I have cited the article that contains more information on the sexual assault committed on Howard’s campus.
    https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/2015-nfl-report
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/howard-university-mishandled-sexual-assault-reports-lawsuit-says/

  9. Kathryn Allen May 20, 2017 at 10:52 pm #

    I think Bill O’Reilly was wrong for he did as well as the other Fox employees who have had sexual allegations come forward. Women are just as capable as men are but are treated as less than. Women are so disrespected in the workplace, its almost as if all of the advancements the women before us made were for nothing. We as women need to take a stand for what is right and stand up for ourselves. I will soon be joining the workforce and am honestly a bit nervous about emerging into a new market however I was raised to never be taken advantage of and always stand up for yourself no matter the consequences. It is articles like these that make me feel stronger about myself and gives me the motivation to try to be as good or better than my male counterparts.

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