sábado, junio 15

Reviews | E. Jean Carroll and the value of a woman «after her prime»

Ms. Carroll got her start in journalism in the 1980s, at a time when few women were performing the kind of first-person stunts for magazines like Rolling Stone and Esquire. Her assignments often put her in precarious situations: hiking through the mountains of Papua New Guinea for a Playboy article, «The Search for Primitive Man,» or in a hot tub with Hunter S. Thompson, who cut his clothes with a knife. (She said they were «semi-intimately involved» and makes acid together.)

Part of what made her so good at this job was her thick skin, her unflappable nature – traits that would come back to haunt her – and part of it was her willingness to be outrageous, to do anything to the story. But as all good advice writers know, there are multitudes among the people; they can push the boundaries in some ways and conform to the norms of the day in others.

During the first trial, Mr. Trump’s lawyers pointed out these contradictions. Why, asked her lawyers, peppering her with questions to the point of tears, did she not scream when Mr. Trump attacked her? Why didn’t she file a police report or see a therapist? How could she have laughed on the phone with her friend Lisa Birnbach, whom Ms. Carroll called that day to tell what had happened, and who didn’t tell anyone for more than 20 years?

“I was born in 1943. I am part of the silent generation,” Ms. Carroll testified. “Women like me have been taught and trained to hold their heads high and not complain. » She didn’t shout in the locker room of that department store, she said, because she «didn’t want to cause a scandal.» She laughed when Mr. Trump attacked her because “laughter is a very good – I use the word ‘weapon’ – to calm a man if he has erotic intent. » She returned to Bergdorf Goodman several times to prove a point: it was her favorite store, and she wasn’t going to let him take that from her – something I witnessed when I met her for the first time, on a street corner, three days. after the accusation she grabbed my hand and led me to where it happened. As Ms. Birnbach said during her testimony at the first trial, Ms. Carroll is the type of person who «puts on lipstick, dusts herself off and moves on.»

That’s exactly what she did for more than two decades. Even after coming forward in 2019, Ms. Carroll was reluctant to call herself a victim or to characterize her rape as rape. The first time I interviewed her, she couldn’t say the word out loud; she whispered it to me from across the table. “I like the word ‘fight,’” she told me. “That’s how I like to say it. Not rape. For me, it’s a struggle, because I didn’t stay there. She was not part of a generation of women who screamed about their abortions or spoke out loud about their assaults.