Owww… this is just absolutely fucking great!
As I listened to James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, tell the Senate Intelligence Committee about his personal meetings and phone calls with President Trump, I was reminded of something: the experience of a woman being harassed by her powerful, predatory boss. There was precisely that sinister air of coercion, of an employee helpless to avoid unsavory contact with an employer who is trying to grab what he wants.
Comey didn’t get “grabbed”, though.
After reading Mr. Comey’s earlier statement, I tweeted about this Wednesday night, and immediately heard from other women who had seen that narrative emerge. How recognizable it was that Mr. Comey was “stunned” to find himself in these potentially compromising positions. His incredulity, mixed with President Trump’s circling attempts to get his way, were poignant. For a woman who has spent a lifetime wrestling with situations where men have power they can abuse, this was disturbingly familiar.
Your entire lifetime? How old are you?
On Jan. 27, Mr. Comey received a last-minute dinner invitation from the president, and then learned it would be “just the two of us.” On Thursday, Mr. Comey revealed that he had had to break a date with his wife in order to dine with Mr. Trump. Already, something about this “setup” made him “uneasy.”
Sounds like something Bill Cosby would do.
Mr. Comey expressed regret that he had not been “stronger” about it, but explained that it was all he could do to focus on not saying the wrong thing. In other words, he wanted to avoid granting any favor while avoiding the risk of direct confrontation — a problem so deeply resonant for women.
The victim of sexual harassment is constantly haunted by the idea that she said or did something that gave her persecutor encouragement. Serial harassers, of course, have an intuitive sense of this, and are skilled at manipulating and exploiting it. Mr. Comey, you are not alone. How many of us have played over and over in our minds an encounter that suddenly took a creepy, coercive turn? What did I say? Were my signals clear? Did I do something ambiguous? Did I say something compromising?
Yea, or if you really like somebody, you keep wondering as well.
Will he call me back? Does he like me?
At a White House ceremony on Jan. 22, Mr. Comey reportedly tried to blend in with the curtains, so that he would not be noticed by the president. Mr. Trump called to him and pulled him, unwilling, into a hug. What woman has not tried to remain invisible from an unwelcome pursuer’s attentions?
Did Trump rub his dick up against him? Cop a feel?
This dynamic with the president became so disturbing to Mr. Comey that, after an Oval Office meeting in February, he implored the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, “to prevent any future direct communication between the president and me.” Mr. Comey did not want to be left alone with his boss again. We’ve been there, Jim.
I had a boss who had disgusting body odor.
He’d hover over my desk, all close to me… I’d almost gag.
He was ethnically diverse, so I didn’t want to say anything.
I was afraid of being called “racist”.
(Notice, the “c”, so not rapist eds.)
In their final exchange, on April 11, Mr. Trump told the F.B.I. director, “I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.” On May 9, having rebuffed the president, Mr. Comey was fired. “We had that thing.” Once more, the seducer asserts a shared intimacy that was not really there, attempting to ensnare his victim with an imputed complicity.
If Comey had just “put out” a little?
None of this would have happened.
Victims of sexual harassment often face skepticism, doubts and accusations when they tell their story. That’s part of the predator’s power. But I’m here to tell James Comey, and all the women and men who have suffered at the hands of predators, I believe you.
We believe you too Jim.