Victim-Blaming Begins for Cain Accuser, Fifth Woman Comes Forward

Welcome to our Rape Culture, in which any woman who accuses a man of sexual misbehavior gets dragged through the proverbial mud instead of the other way around. Despite the fact that Herman Cain's fourth accuser Sharon Bialek, who went public to give his other accusers a voice, is a Republican mom, her financial situation, appearance and very existence are all being used against her. DoubleX's Libby Copeland writes, with heavy irony: 

There needn’t be actual evidence that she’s a money-grubbing slut; rather, the fact that she’s leveling these accusations is the evidence. Everything else is then filtered through that lens. Like the fact that “celebrity lawyer” Gloria Allred is representing her. Like her hair, which some have deemed too long and blonde and in-her-face. That  hairstyle is “white trash,” a blogger comments, implying that she must be poor and easily bought. Bialek “Laugh[ed] About Her Hair at Presser,” reports, implying that any woman who comments, when asked, that she just got her hair done must be frivolous and lying. “Nuts and sluts,” a commenter on writes. “Drag $100 bill through a trailer park and see what you get.”

That's not it, either. Fox News ran a big article declaring that this accuser had filed bankruptcy and been late on credit card payments (like a lot of Americans these days). Every piece of her history is being picked apart.

And yet, the accusations against Cain continue. The Washington Examiner has an interview with a fifth woman who says she and her female colleagues were seriously put off when Cain tried to arrange a dinner with a woman who asked him a question at a seminar.

"And after the seminar was over," Donella told The Washington Examiner, "Cain came over to me and a colleague and said, 'Could you put me in touch with that lovely young lady who asked the question, so I can give her a more thorough answer over dinner?'"

Donella, who no longer works for USAID, said they were suspicious of Cain's motives and declined to set up the date. Cain responded, "Then you and I can have dinner." That's when two female colleagues intervened and suggested they all go to dinner together, Donella said.

Cain exhibited no inappropriate sexual behavior during the dinner, though he did order two $400 bottles of wine and stuck the women with the bill, she said.

This appears to be what we call a pattern of behavior.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at November 8, 2011, 3:17am

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