Andrea Tantaros experienced emotional rape by Fox News, and emotional rape is what is happening all over again to her. Judging from the comments made by fans on Tantaros’ Facebook page, too many fans of the former Fox News host are unaware of what is happening. While the word “sexual harassment” is seen in connection with Tantaros, this conflict goes much deeper.

Emotional rape versus sexual harassment

In contrast to sexual harassment, which is defined as someone making unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks, emotional rape goes much deeper and is far more complex. Similar to physical rape, emotional rape is about control.

However, unlike physical rape, the victimizer does not intend to take control of someone’s body but of someone’s personality, self-respect, and self-image. 

Like physical rape, a victim of emotional rape will often feel violated and respond by withdrawing, secluding oneself from others, and refraining from speaking out about what is happening. Emotional rape is the most underrated trauma of our age and rarely makes the news headlines, certainly not in connection with Fox News host Tantaros. Unlike sexual harassment, there is no civil law against emotional rape. While physical rapists can be found in any social environment, emotional rapists are usually charismatic and have attractive personalities that are admired by others. The true and manipulative power-seeking nature of an emotional rapist often comes to light when the victimizer encounters someone who is strong, has values, and refuses the control -- someone like Andrea Tantaros

Was Tantaros just sexually harassed at Fox News?

Andrea Tantaros filed a sexual harassment complaint against Ailes at Fox News in April 2015, a year before she was relieved from her job as Outnumbered host.

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According to the New York Magazine, Tantaros’ lawyer shared that Ailes' harassment of Andrea actually dates as far back as August 12, 2014. In her complaint, Tantaros describes how the then Fox News executive had asked her to twirl around for him so that he could examine her figure, but that she refused. In December of 2014, Ailes asked Andrea again to twirl for him and to give him a hug, but she again rejected his command.

By February 2015, Tantaros was taken away from her Fox The Five gig. When Andrea still reacted defiant to Ailes’ comment in February that he’d like to know more about her workout routine because her body “looked good” and that she must “look really good in a bikini,” Andrea got a taste of what she was up against. A day after filing her formal workplace harassment complaint about Ailes to Fox executive vice-president Bill Shine, she was told by Shine that Roger Ailes “is a very powerful man,” and that Andrea “should not fight this.”

Over the course of the next year, Tantaros continued to making complaints to Fox executive vice-president Bill Shine, senior vice-president Suzanne Scott, and general counsel Dianne Brandi about Ailes' inappropriate comments to her, but instead of receiving any kind of response, Andrea was taken off Outnumbered on April 25, just one day before her book “How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable” was published on April 26, 2016.

Gretchen Carlson versus Andrea Tantaros

Roger Ailes was a charismatic figure at Fox News until his apparent need of “emotionally raping” and controlling women came to a stop. However, the woman who initiated the end of Ailes was not Tantaros, but Gretchen Carlson. The major difference – which is a lesson for all women or men experiencing physical or emotional rape – is that Carlson asked courageously and publicly for support.

Unlike Andrea Tantaros, who retreated from the public, Gretchen received support from friends, family, and fans and made it through her fight against Ailes. Tantaros, who still is mostly silent (except through her lawyer) and even blocked some of her Twitter followers, continues to be emotionally raped by Fox News who claims that Andrea's sexual harassment claims are untrue.