Today in Sexual Abusers: George H.W. Bush, Scott Brown, Leon Wieseltier

[Content Note: Descriptions of sexual assault and harassment. Video autoplays at first link.]

Ron Dicker at the Huffington Post: George H.W. Bush Apologizes After Actress Says He Sexually Assaulted Her. I hate this headline, for several reasons, not least of which is that Bush didn't apologize for sexually assaulting someone, as one would reasonably infer; he sent out a spokesperson to say it was all just a misunderstood joke, and he's sorry if his joke fell flat. Touching someone without their consent isn't an "attempt at humor."
Former President George H.W. Bush said he was sorry after actress Heather Lind accused him of sexually assaulting her during a TV show promotion in 2014.

"President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind," Jim McGrath, a Bush spokesman, told HuffPost Wednesday in a statement.

In a now-deleted Instagram post on Tuesday, Lind said she posed with Bush, who was in a wheelchair, for a photo-op during a private screening in Houston of her AMC television series Turn: Washington's Spies. "He sexually assaulted me," she wrote in the post, according to reports.

"He didn't shake my hand," Lind wrote. "He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told me a dirty joke. And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again. Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say 'not again.' His security guard told me I shouldn't have stood next to him for the photo."
Eleanor Ainge Roy at the Guardian: Scott Brown: U.S. ambassador to New Zealand Investigated Over Inappropriate Comments. Please note as you read this that his comments were not only misogynist, but also racist and classist. Also: I speak the same US English that Brown does, and what he said is offensive as hell here, too.
The US ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown has admitted he has been investigated over allegations he made inappropriate comments on his inaugural trip to Samoa, of which he is also the US representative.

Brown told New Zealand media on Wednesday he wanted to address "innuendo and rumour" about his visit to Samoa in July to celebrate 50 years of the peace corps in the country.

Brown — speaking with his wife, Gail Huff, by his side — confirmed he was the subject of an official administration inquiry by the US state department, which sent investigators to Wellington to look into what took place on the trip.

Brown said the official complaints related to comments he had made at a party in the Samoan capital, Apia, where he told attendees they looked "beautiful" and could make hundreds of dollars working in the hospitality industry in the US. Brown and Huff said they had "no idea" the comments would be regarded as offensive.

"I was told by my people that you're not Scott Brown from New Hampshire any more, you're an ambassador, and you have to be culturally aware of different cultures and sensitivities," Brown said.

"We are in a different culture: even though we all speak English, sometimes when we say one thing it means the complete different thing."
Michael Calderone at Politico: Leon Wieseltier Acknowledges 'Misdeeds' with Female Colleagues. A joke, a misunderstanding, misdeeds. What none of these men will ever say is I am sorry for abusing women.
[Former New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier] acknowledged that he engaged in behavior with female colleagues that left them feeling "demeaned," and offered an apology.

"For my offenses against some of my colleagues in the past I offer a shaken apology and ask for their forgiveness," Wieseltier said in a statement. "The women with whom I worked are smart and good people. I am ashamed to know that I made any of them feel demeaned and disrespected. I assure them that I will not waste this reckoning."

...Wieseltier was also accused of "workplace harassment" on an anonymous list circulating called "Shitty Media Men" that's having reverberations in the industry.
I hope the "good men" are starting to get a clear picture of just how ubiquitous sexual abuse really is. I hope the "good men" are beginning to understand that the not-good men create a minefield of sexual abuse through which women have to walk every step of our lives. I hope the "good men" are thinking about what they can do to change this culture, because doing nothing isn't fucking good enough.

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