Comey’s Story Sounds Like (Sexual) Harassment

President Trump’s strategy to wine and dine James Comey, corner him alone in a room, and bother him with pointlessly flattering phone calls sounds an awful lot like sexual harassment to women who have experienced it. I am not suggesting that Trump’s goal was sexual dominance, but it was certainly dominance of a gendered sort. He wanted to charm, pressure, and ultimately control the Director of the FBI who happened to be a man.

comey cnn.com
Former FBI Director James Comey, cnn.com

Senator Roy Blunt’s incredulous response to Comey’s handling of this harassment is a small taste of what every woman who has the courage to accuse a man of that crime has to face or fears facing.

BLUNT: “So you took as a direction from the president something that you thought was serious and troublesome, but continued to show up for work the next day?”

[read: Why did you stay in the job once the harassment started? Why didn’t you just report him to your superiors?]

COMEY: “Yes, sir.”

Maybe because she, or in this case he, wanted to keep his damn job. It was a good one after all. And then there is that little bit about Comey wanting to file the President’s potential obstruction of justice efforts away for a later date.

It was oddly refreshing to hear a man describe the kind of relentless pressure to “just give in” that many women in the workplace deal with regularly. Listening to Comey’s testimony made me feel even more sympathetic to the women who have been on the receiving end of the President’s “charm.”

It was evident in Comey’s testimony that he didn’t much appreciate it when the President tried to grab him by the balls. Many women understand his discomfort and disgust.

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