Multiple #News outlets are reporting that Roger Ailes, CEO of #FOX News Network, is in talks to end his career with Fox News. The powerful media mogul's downfall began when an anchor on one of Fox's afternoon programs, Gretchen Carlson, accused Ailes of sexual harassment. Carson claimed that she was fired by Ailes for refusing his sexual advances. Predictably her claims were dismissed outright by the company and Ailes, and Fox News started a smear campaign against Carlson alleging that she was simply trying to get back at Ailes for her termination. Early on it looked like the case would be absorbed by the news cycle and forgotten.
Then came the bombshell: other female employees of Fox News, including superstar anchor Megyn Kelly, came forward with their stories of being sexually harassed by Ailes. Many of the female employees indicated that the harassment had been ongoing for years or had occurred years ago, but they never reported it because they felt they would not be believed. They figured a man as powerful as Roger Ailes couldn't be taken down by the truth.
A tale as old as time.
Unfortunately the story of powerful men using their power to sexually harass their female subordinates is a tale as old as time, and that tale almost always follows the same story line. A brave woman comes forward and accuses the powerful man. The powerful man and his well paid lawyers deny the accusations and dig up embarrassing information about the accuser. They use this information to discredit her in the media. The powerful man and his lawyers destroy the woman's life for daring to tell the truth. When the woman is properly shamed, the powerful man and his lawyers offer her money to recant. She takes the money and is silenced forever. Justice is never served and the powerful man is allowed to continue harassing women with impunity.
It is still a man's world.
This story is played out in every scenario where men have power over women, which applies to almost every industry in the world. Though women have gained a lot of ground in the business world there are still very few places where women hold more power than men or hold any power over men. It's still a man's world, and in a man's world a woman's voice is not nearly as important as a man's voice. When women's voices cry for justice, they are discredited, shamed, and silenced.
A new story for women.
The case of Gretchen Carlson and Roger Ailes marks a shift in the story line. Gretchen Carlson refused to be silenced by Aile's attempts to smear her in the media. She refused to back down, regardless of her fear. She continued to use her voice, the only power she had, to get justice. The media allowed Carlson's voice to be heard instead of immediately siding with Ailes. Then other women began to speak out, and this is, perhaps, the most important story line change of all.
Powerful men who like to harass women have rarely done so just once. There is usually a building full of silenced victims, too scared to speak out. Scared that they won't be believed. Scared that they will lose their jobs. Scared that they will be seen as difficult. Scared that they will be blacklisted in their industry and never work again. When these women all find their voices and speak out together it is infinitely harder to silence them.
As a woman in America, I am begging Fox News to follow through with firing Roger Ailes. I know it will be a blow to your company. I know it will probably effect your bottom line. I know it's a PR disaster. In spite of that, please fire him. Please show women in this world that in 2016 no man is too rich or powerful to be taken down by the truth. Show women that in 2016 they will be believed. Show them that they will no longer be silenced. Show them that there is real justice in this country and it is for them as well. #Crime