The Unfair Attack on Julie Chen

Why is it that women take the blame for the actions of men

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The Unfair Attack on Julie Chen

Leslie Moonves and Julie Chen are both in the midst of an intense media circus.

Leslie Moonves and Julie Chen are both in the midst of an intense media circus.

FLICKR COMMONS/ USC ANNENBERG

Leslie Moonves and Julie Chen are both in the midst of an intense media circus.

FLICKR COMMONS/ USC ANNENBERG

FLICKR COMMONS/ USC ANNENBERG

Leslie Moonves and Julie Chen are both in the midst of an intense media circus.

Alexandra Fitzpatrick, Contributing Writer

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With the rise of the #MeToo movement, stories about men in power harassing and abusing women have been pouring out one after the other.

One of the more recent examples are the accusations against former CBS CEO and chairman, Leslie Moonves.

In public, Moonves appeared to be in favor of the #MeToo movement—in December of 2017, he helped to create the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace.

However, his alleged actions proved to come in direct conflict with his words. Six women have come forward saying that Moonves sexually harassed or assaulted them, within a time period ranging from the late 1980s to the early 2000s.

As a result, Moonves was ousted from his position at CBS.

Predictably, Moonves has denied the allegations. But he has what many consider to be a most repulsive ally—his wife, Julie Chen.

Chen, a former co-host of The Talk and current host of Big Brother (in which she once used her married name), caught a great deal of heat for standing by her husband. The sentiment behind this is somewhat understandable—there’s an idea that if a woman is willing to stand behind a man accused of abusing or harassing other women, then she’s something of a traitor to her fellow women. By doing so, the theory goes that she’s choosing to embrace copious amounts of internalized misogyny and ignoring her husband’s ill deeds.

When one looks at it this way, it becomes understandable why people are angry at Chen. However, that doesn’t make them right.

There’s an unfortunate side effect to condemning women for standing by repulsive, abusive men—we become too caught up in condemning the women and begin to forget that the real abusers are the men.

By shifting our focus onto Chen, we forget that it is Moonves who is the alleged abuser, that it is Moonves who supposedly used his power to sexually harass and subsequently derail womens’ careers over a period upwards of 20 years.

It is very easy to forget this when everyone is too busy being angry at Chen for using her married name on Big Brother.

Of course, it is incredibly disappointing that Chen, by remaining silent, appears to  be excuseing the deplorable actions her husband has allegedly committed.

It’s disheartening to think that a woman would choose to stand by a man, even if he is her husband, over standing against the ill treatment of women.

However, none of these things are even close to as immoral and disgusting as sexually harassing or assaulting others.

It is important that society remembers that before they become so eager to point fingers at Chen over Moonves.

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