Friday, June 9, 2017

Comey and our Predator in Chief

Nicole Serratore draws parallels between Donald Trump's coercion of James Comey and sexual harassment in The New York Times.

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.

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.

In the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, Mr. Trump said of any woman he wanted: “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” And he added: “Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” With the power of the presidency at his disposal, Mr. Trump thought that he could use the psychology of coercive seduction on the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

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.

No comments: