Bob Filner, Stop Harassing San Diego

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Aug. 19 2013 4:05 PM

Bob Filner, Stop Harassing San Diego

174490040
San Diego, Bob Filner is not trying to hear that

Photo by Bill Wechter/Getty Images

Mayor Bob Filner of San Diego completed his "don't sexually harass people" therapy earlier this monthCritics like myself were skeptical that he could really unlearn years of groping, harassing, and otherwise disrespecting women with two weeks therapy, mainly because Filner must have known it was wrong in the first place and just didn't care. The past week hasn't done much to persuade us that Filner has been cured. After all, he seems not to have absorbed the most obvious lesson of Don't Harass 101: How to take "no" for an answer. 

Filner has been brushing off more rejections this week than most sexual harassers get to plow past in a lifetime. The locks were changed on his office doors to keep him from returning. Prominent Democratic leaders have been talking about him like he's a disfiguring wart that needs to be removed. Eighty-one percent of San Diego residents say Filner should resign. The San Diego Democratic Party overwhelmingly voted to call on him to step down. Even Hooters won't serve him. A recall campaign has launched. A local TV station did a relatively decent job of making the inevitable Bob Filner/"Blurred Lines" mash-up:

Advertisement

None of this seems to matter to Filner. As the now 16 women accusing him can attest, Filner is not one to take a hint. If he can't—or won't—step aside when an entire city is standing up to tell him "NO" in bright, flashing lights, how are we supposed to believe that Filner is capable of accepting the more subtle rejections that women employ to shrug off creeps in day-to-day life? If Filner looks at the overwhelming anti-him poll numbers and thinks this is all an excuse to try harder, can we really be sure he's going to back off when women recoil from his advances? If Filner wants us to believe he's learned that no means no, he needs to hear the "no" that an entire city is beaming directly into his skull. Be the change you want to see, Bob. 

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.