Feminist Legal Scholar Susan Estrich Is On Roger Ailes’ Defense Team
After former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson accused former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment and firing her for rejecting his advances, more and more women came forward with similar stories. Now, the latest development in the alleged workplace discrimination saga involves the legal team representing the accused media exec, who’s since resigned — feminist scholar Susan Estrich is Ailes’ co-counsel. Known for writing about women’s struggles reporting sexual harassment and the risk of being raped by an acquaintance, it’s baffling why Estrich is now defending a man accused of decades of harassment.
In fact, Estrich wrote a book, titled Real Rape, in which she explains how forcible sex with someone a woman knows is rape in the same way forcible rape by a stranger with a weapon is rape and should be treated as such in the legal system. She described her own rape in the book, saying she was lucky it was taken seriously in court because it was done by a stranger, but went on to call for rape laws throughout the country to be changed to punish men who rape women they know.
The lawyer and legal scholar has also advocated for getting more women in top positions within companies and even wrote The Case for Hillary Clinton before the politician’s 2008 presidential bid, calling for her to be the first female president of the United States.
The Washington Post reports that in 1991, Estrich wrote in the Stanford Law Review:
“It should be obvious that the system already contains serious disincentives to women filing sexual harassment complaints. Start with embarrassment, loss of privacy, and sometimes shame. If the woman remains employed, she faces the prospect that her harasser and others will make her life impossible. If she has quit or been fired … the danger is that she will be branded a troublemaker, and find it difficult to find another job.”
So, if she understands the difficult situation sexual harassment puts women in, why would she choose to represent Ailes, who allegedly harassed multiple women for years?
In a statement released in response to allegations that Ailes also sexually harassed famed Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, Estrich said: “Roger Ailes has never sexually harassed Megyn Kelly. In fact, he has spent much of the last decade promoting and helping her to achieve the stardom she earned, for which she has repeatedly and publicly thanked him.”
Either she truly believes Ailes is innocent or she’s completely changed her thinking about sexual harassment. Of course, it looks good for him to have a famous feminist attorney on his side, giving the impression that not all women think he’s a monster.