Finding a woman to blame.
August 31, 2009 by honey.badger
Complaints that pretty girls receive favors in promotions brings questioning of civil service employees. Washington, D.C., March 29. Senator Allen J. Ellender, Louisiana, remarked before the group of witnesses at his hearing today on civil service appointments that a group of civil service employees had complained to him last Friday night that they were dis-satisfied over the system of appointments, but were affraid to appear before his committee to openly state charges. The charges Sen. Ellender said, were to the effect that beauty means more in promotions than efficiency. Today, he called in post office employees where, it was charged, Mrs. Josephine Smithers had been promoted from a salary of $1740 to $2300 a year, while Miss Leone Adair, who has served the department longer, was broken hearted because she had not been considered. This is a general view of the hearing with witnesses. Left to right - William J. Dixon, Superintendant, Division of Postmasters, who appointed Mrs. Smithers, Leone Adair, one of protesting witnesses, Jessie Donaldson, Director of Personnel who backed up Dixon's Judgment in Promotions, Mrs. Virginia Counselman, complaining witness, J.P.B. Barber, complaing witness, Rose Goldensiel, complaining witness, and - in back, standing - Mrs. D.L. Holladay, complaining witness. March 29, 1939 (Library of Congress)
The story of Jaycee Lee Dugard is all over the news. It’s a horrible story. The best that can be said is that Jaycee Lee Dugard is alive. The damage to her and to her family can never be undone.
It is a story illustrative of the consequences of an inability to empathize, a human quality which has been at the receiving end of a great deal of belittlement lately, but it is also revealing of the grip that misogyny still has on our culture.
This is not a situation where a female victim is blamed for crimes committed against her by a male perpetrator. But that hasn’t stopped the insidious need to find a woman to blame.
The candidate in this case is Nancy Garrido. In the opinion of many, she is “the real monster” because, as a woman, she had a higher duty than the person who was the instigator and for whose benefit the crimes against Jaycee and her family were committed.
Nancy Garrido is every bit as guilty as her husband, but to attribute to her an extra share of responsibility because she happens to be female is an outrage. Women have no greater obligation than men to act appropriately and should not be held up to greater scorn or scrutiny because of an accident of birth.