In the interest of full disclosure I should start out by saying that I love David Letterman and, if given the chance, probably would have let him do creepy things to me.
That being said, I am torn about this whole controversy. My feminist side is telling me I should be outraged. But the thing is, I’m not, or at least, I’m not angry for the reasons one would think.
When the news first broke on his show, I immediately thought of his wife and child and wondered how he could do this to them. I’m still a bit shocked that that angle hasn’t been covered more by the media. Is that really how far our society has fallen that cheating on your wife is no longer disgusting enough? We need to go digging for something worse?
And what is this something worse? So far none of the women (and are we even sure there were multiple women) have come forward to complain about sexual harassment. I know that it is not easy for women to make a complaint, despite all the discrimination and harassment policies that corporate America has put in place. I also know that, even with all these policies forbidding it, men and women (and men and men and women and women) still enter into consensual sexual relationships with coworkers. We spend eight hours or more in our offices. We have lunch with these people. We go to happy hour with these people. Is it any wonder that we sometimes fall into bed with these people. And if your bedfellow happens to be your boss, does that automatically mean you were pressured to be there. Absolutely not. Sometimes you are just hot for your boss. Much the way we were all once hot for a teacher.
Which brings me to the one thing that really did get my blood up the other day. I was watching one of the news shows when a female anchor implied that this intern got perks, including appearing on TV and traveling to the Olympics, because she was sleeping with Dave. And that others, those that didn’t get to go to the Olympics, might have a case for sexual harassment.
Wow. That is quite a leap.
I mean, yes, I know others will have a cause of action if in fact this intern did receive a promotion or special assignments due to her sexual relationship with the boss. However, we know nothing about this affair yet. We don’t know when it began or how long it lasted. They could have started sleeping together after her trip to the Olympics for all we know. Yet, already we are ready to label this woman as one of those girls. You know, those girls. Those girls that are willing to do anything it takes to get to the top.
And maybe I am extra sensitive to this because I was once accused of being one of those girls.
It was my second gig in a law firm. There was a lot of turnover of assistants, so the women that had been there for a while didn’t warm up to the new girl until she had been there for six months or so. Lucky for me, the lawyers that worked there were very welcoming. And since most of them were closer to my age than the other assistants we became very friendly.
As a result of these friendships I was given better assignments and put on interesting projects. The other assistants saw this and suggested that I was getting special attention because I was sleeping with one of the attorneys.
Oddly enough, this rumor was started by an assistant that was sleeping with one of the lawyers. But I guess that is neither here nor there.
Of course, the major difference between me and Dave’s main squeeze is that I wasn’t sleeping with the boss or any of my coworkers for that matter. She did and so maybe she deserves being labeled as someone that slept her way to the top.
And let me tell you, fair or not, that label will stick with her long after this scandal has passed.