A Female Frathouse at DHS? I Believe!

I expect this story will go down the media memory hole very quickly, but I have to say, this female frat-house business rings true for me: Soon after Schriro and Barr were hired in January 2009, male staffers were treated like lapdogs, Hayes claims.

Barr “moved the entire contents of the offices of three employees, including name plates, computers and telephones, to the men’s bathroom at ICE headquarters,” the suit says.

Barr also stole a male staffer’s BlackBerry and fired off a message to his female supervisor indicating that he “had a crush on [her] and fantasized about her,” Hayes claims.

Sometimes, Barr took a more direct approach. In one case, she called a male colleague in his hotel room and screamed at him using sexually humiliating language, the suit says.

That totally rings true to me, because a couple of male friends of mine have shared humiliating stories of being targeted by members of the gynocracy who — perhaps feeling their privilege entitles them to a bit of feminist payback — played “jokes” on their male subordinates that should rightly have brought lawsuits and some miserable publicity their way. What protected them? The unwillingness of the men to publicly acknowledge the figurative castration they were undergoing by the miserable women they worked for, who played their games and then pretended it was all a joke.

A most egregious example of She-boss-bitchery happened to a friend of mine who was a bit on the religious side. He was no sensitive flower and was accustomed to taking occasional (but not unkind) ribbing for being the lone “out” Christian in a mostly-agnostic workplace. It was not at all unusual for people to stop by his desk and quietly ask him to pray for them or a family member. When a She-boss arrived and found out that he was “religious” she took to loudly “teasing” him about it in front of his co-workers, who were encouraged to laugh along or become a target themselves. One day he got into work, turned on his email and found a wholly-inappropriate, sexually suggestive mash note from the She-boss, and when he instinctively looked around he saw that the whole office had paused in its activities as they (and She-boss) watched his blushing reaction and then chortled in laughter.

Bad enough that she had even sent the note — but she’d clued the whole office in that she’d done it, and made them watch his discomfort as they laughed.

Throughout the day, co-workers kept whispering how “sorry” they were to have been part of it — at the coffee pot, in the stairwell and so forth. Everyone was “sorry” but no one had had the balls to say to She-boss, “that’s not right” because everyone feared her retribution. None of those “sorry” co-workers had thought to send a note to his Blackberry warning him, so he could have been ready with a cool response.

So, “sorry” is all well-and-good, but it ruined his work environment for him. You don’t sexually humiliate someone publicly and then expect things to just go back to normal, and once upon a time women were the ones who were making that lesson in the office.

People who lack character become tyrants when they have more power than they should, and that’s just as true for any woman as for any man.

I had encouraged my friend to file a lawsuit about the office-wide “tease” perpetrated upon him: “She was stupid enough to send it to you in an email,” I urged, “it’s all the proof you need. SUE HER her for sexual harassment; sue the company and this crap stops.”

But he didn’t want to make it worse, and didn’t want to have to ask co-workers, who already felt intimidated by her, to testify in affidavits. And no man likes to go public with stories of being the whipping boy of an ardent feminist who was nevertheless capable of fluttering her eyelashes and pretending she was just a southern bell caught up in Yankee high-jinks.

He did finally go to HR and file a complaint, bringing copies of the email; the HR rep was horrified but a little intimidated herself, “lets’ just put this in the file and see what happens” she said. The She-boss was “talked to” but — although she’d publicly “teased” my friend, she was not required to publicly apologize. Because it was “just a joke.”

“Just a joke.” I’m sure that’s how this DHS story will play: just a joke; where is your sense of humor, dude? You want to play with the big girls, you have to be able to take what they dish out.

In Washington DC, every administration brings in a number of new people — both male and female — who are MCTC (“more connected than capable”) and I’ve always thought of J-Nap as one of them. So, it shouldn’t surprise at all to find out she’s brought in some MCTC friends.

So, file this one under “perpetual adolescents.”

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About Elizabeth Scalia