We need to talk about Cynthia Dill. Girl…. GIRL! Cindy, girl, sweet pumpkin pie, you need to sit down and take a break for a fucking minute. Sit the fuck down, pour yourself a glass of whatever bougie shit you drink (LOL WE ALL KNOW IT’S PINOT GRIGIO, DILL, WHAT THE FUCK ELSE WOULD YOU DRINK) and just fucking listen up for a second. I have a confession to make before we talk about the total betrayal of women that you somehow got published in the Press Herald (and, frankly, shame on you, Press Herald, for sending this to market. You often have solid journalism, but this is not it). Here we go:
Before I became the iteration of a human that you, my dear friends, now know me to be, I worked for six years for a very wealthy, powerful and purely evil man. I mean he was really only powerful because he had money, but whatever. People with money have power, that’s pretty much the story nowadays. He was the CEO of the company and for things other than administrative stuff, I reported mostly to him. And my confession to you is that I was, for years, complicit in implementing this man’s racist, misogynist and ageist policies in our workplace. I was the Chamberlain skekSil to his Emperor skekSo (related: I will straight up marry the first human person who knows who they are without having to google it). Not only that, but I witnessed him harassing women all the time, giving them unwanted gifts, saying disparaging things about their boyfriends to them as a power trip. He asked me to repeatedly siphon cash off of the business in order to pay a teenage girl and a former employee for reasons unbeknownst to me, and I did it. I FUCKING DID IT. Ugh. I then took the heat for him when his wife, the CFO, found out that the cash in the safe didn’t tie out with the cash on the books. I had to sign documents stating that I was responsible for the missing cash.
He took me to a strip club on more than one occasion, and one time when I didn’t want to go in, he left me standing outside of the club by the back entrance, smoking cigarettes and talking to the dancers who were hanging out on break in their bathrobes. He forced me to promote beautiful, super young women (only the white ones, though) who were painfully unqualified for the jobs they were taking on (NOT because they're women, fucking relax already, it was because they had zero experience with things like bookkeeping, HR, etc.), and then when they ended up sucking at it and losing him money I had to be the one to pursue disciplinary actions and demotions until they either quit or we could terminate them based on having enough write ups in their file to ensure that the labor board would not approve unemployment compensation. You know, so the company’s fucking UI rates didn’t go up. That is super common, by the way. If you feel like that's happening to you at work, you're not paranoid, it probably actually IS happening.
Just writing about this right now is giving me a panic attack. When I worked for him, I was much heavier because I was eating to comfort myself from the anxiety and fear. I smoked at least a pack a day, and I basically drank constantly. Anything to self soothe. And I wish that were it, but there is so much more.
Instead of taking action on my complaint about an employee that worked as my subordinate who was saying gross sexual shit to me every day and commenting on my weight (RAGE), the CEO told me there was nothing that could be done and to just stay out of that area of the building. He more than a few times called me in the middle of the night to wake me up and yell at me for a missed invoice or a malfunctioning piece of equipment. He told me I was ruining my career, that at 36 I was “past my prime” and would have trouble getting another job, and he wordlessly implied that employees who left the company were not to be spoken to. Being friends with an outsider was a no-no.
Look, Cindy, the reason I fucking tell you this is because you make far too many assumptions that you know what a hostile work environment is and why people tolerate them and why they don’t litigate, and it’s fucking bullshit. You make assumptions about what the motivations of a person in that situation are, and you judge them for the decisions they make. And I will tell you right now that all of this is more complex than you could possibly imagine. I will tell you that being gaslit fucks with your very core, your perception of truth.
For instance, Cindy, honey pie, did you know that the pattern of abuse in which that CEO engaged closely mirrored the pattern of abuse that I experienced as a child in my home and that when we come into contact with people who have those patterns our parents had, we interpret it as love and safety? Are ya married, Cin? Is your husband as fucked up as your dear old daddy was?
And you know what FUCK YOU for using #metoo in the context of your being “stunned” or whatever by the fact that “we have white women to thank for putting Dongruff Troup in the White House.” I mean, first of all, no we fucking don’t. White women aren’t wholly to blame. A lot of different kinds of people are to blame, mostly white men, but also Facebook, Russia, Tr*#p himself, Alax Jonez and a whole bunch of other groups and businesses that, sure, includes 52% of white women. But this is the thing about you, Cin, you just VICTIM FUCKING BLAME ALL THE WOMEN throughout this piece. And then? After blaming a female demographic for causing the political mess we’re in? You fucking invoke #metoo.
Oh hell no. NO. Don’t you FUCKING DARE.
Guess what Cin, I didn’t report the man who raped me to the police because I was terrified, deeply, deeply ashamed, I blamed myself for letting my guard down, and my mother was fucking fully dying - the week I was assaulted was the last time I saw her in her own home. You think that was a particularly good time to open up a police investigation, one that would most likely end with me being dragged through the mud because that’s how we treat these things in this country because of PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO ASSUME IT WAS MY FAULT I GOT BEAT UP AND SEXUALLY ASSAULTED? You think it was a good fucking time for that, huh, Cin? You wanted my mother to spend her last days on earth thinking about her only daughter getting raped? Fuck you. You don’t know shit about me or anyone who has gone through shit like this. You don’t get to touch #metoo with your revolting thoughts.
Ok, I gotta calm down. CHILL OUT VK. Look, what you’re dealing with, Cin, li'l kitten, is called internalized misogyny. I’m not going to look up a definition for it to regurgitate here, but I am going to tell you how it feels and what it looks like, because I have to examine my internalized misogyny every day to keep myself sane. Internalized misogyny is when you believe the hype, basically. You so deeply believe that the lies and stereotypes that the patriarchy has lain on women are true that you behave as a misogynist yourself, despite the fact that you are a woman. Some basics of IM are, for instance, women are not as intelligent as men, women can’t drive well, women should give sex to men freely and not expect an orgasm but a man should ALWAYS have his orgasm, stuff like that. I’m sure you believe a lot of those things by default. We all do, we live in a patriarchy.
But it gets more insidious, Cin, and here’s where you’re at. You seem to have internalized that women are manipulative, narcissistic, cowardly, irresolute and lazy. You know, all the things you obliquely accused Jessie Lacey of being when you wrote, “a #metoo story dripping with privilege, lacking depth and heavy on the “me” is not courageous. It’s boring.” The same things you accused her and a multitude of women who have been sexually assaulted when you aped the linguistic structure of #metoo with “#boohoo” as what a jury would find if they were to actually judge this nonexistent lawsuit you spent so much time writing about.
And to be clear Cindy, Cin, sweet angel baby, you realize this was never about #metoo. In fact I don’t think that anyone even vaguely referenced up #metoo in the Bollard article; Jessie certainly didn’t in her blog post. So I feel like I have to fucking correct you AGAIN and let you know that #metoo is about women commiserating with each other about sexual assault. It’s a movement meant to bring into the light a common ground that is so painful and traumatic that we never speak about it. Jessie never claimed this was a #metoo moment, she claimed it was a workplace harassment issue, and they’re not the same fucking thing.
So, just to review, you are essentially dismissing the actual rapes and sexual assaults of all women by using that term here. You're diminishing us. You’re downplaying our traumas, you’re paving over reality so that it is a more comfortable place for YOU to live. YOU KNOW, LIKE THE FUCKING PATRIARCHY HAS ALWAYS DONE SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL.
Another thing - why tho with the Dagnutz Tramf shit? The current administration, though abhorrent (which is, like, the only thing you’re right about in your tired-ass piece) has nothing to do with MMC, Jessie Lacey’s experience or pretty much anything else that you aim to “take down” or whatever in your “flipping blog post” (your words, Cin, not mine. I would say “fucking blog post” because unlike you, I confront my anger and wear it like a badge of honor rather than victim blaming so I can separate myself from others’ pain and never have to deal with my own. Yes, you’re doing that. It’s super transparent). Like, stay on topic, Miss Important Law Person Who Went To Law School, I’m sure they taught you not to digress during a prosecution at some point during your expensive education that I AM SO SURE WAS NEEEVVVEERRRRRRR “dripping with privilege.” Nope, not MY fancy education, no privilege here whatsoever.
I just… look, so much is wrong with your blog post that I can’t even. I have to just fucking list some quotes here. But “Chin up, Old Gal,” this is a teaching moment. Maybe you can get yerself lurnt up like them fancy white folk who are so privileged unlike you who is not at all a former Senator or a Lawyer and probably sleeps on a dirty mattress in an alley and has all your meals in a church basement, because you know, if you didn't do those things, like, glass FUCKING houses, jesus H:
“A reasonable jury could find a furtive drunken kiss in the hallway of a fancy hotel did not constitute harassment and that no reasonable person would expect that acting against their better judgment, as Lacey admits, would bring no consequences. A reasonable jury could boil Lacey’s story down to a very simple narrative: she had too many drinks with a boss she knew to be a scoundrel, was kissed, it was awkward, and later she said was “water under the bridge.”
That is… not even a little bit how this story goes. Did you read it? Because Jessie was ready to move past the kiss, but the company could not. And they then implemented the kind of systemic demotions and work stressors that I USED TO IMPLEMENT FOR MY SHITTY CEO so that she would just go away on her own, so that they didn’t have to fire her, because then she would have ACTUALLY have had grounds for a lawsuit. MMC was trying to protect themselves from litigation. It’s sinister. Trust me, I know. I’ve spent years apologizing to people and coming to terms with having put people through that. FUCK, dude, Cin, be real with me, how do you not KNOW that? You fucking know.
“should we expect more from a writer – especially a writer for a magazine that competes with Thomas’ glossy magazine – than a story about an awkward encounter with a boss involving sloppy kissing, lots of cocktails and a #metoo?”
Jessie isn’t a writer, dumbass, she’s a fucking art/creative director, graphic designer and web designer. Seriously, Cin, little peanut, what is wrong with you? Also, Incomer, the magazine that Jessie works for is not competing with Maine Magazine. Incomer’s target audience is people who see value in the newcomers to Maine (AKA “immigrants,” since I know you probably don’t run with a crowd that would choose to find a more compassionate word to use for newcomers), and I can surmise with a reasonable amount of certainty that the people who read Maine don’t wanna fuck with no newcomers.
“The weakness of Lacey’s story is not that she deserved what she got or is at fault but that she didn’t go deep enough in her analysis to make a difference. It’s not enough to put to paper what happened and when and to document the sordid and intriguing details of what it was like to work in a palace.”
Why, though? Why is it not enough, and for whom is it not enough? You don’t seem to be able to explain that in this… thing you wrote. What IS enough, if not this? Who among us has made this courageous world-changing difference of which you speak? Why can't you answer that? Like, journalists do this thing where they posit a HOT TAKE, and then they support their statements with quotes from experts, researched facts or reasoned arguments. You just dropped your hot deuce and walked away to let someone else clean it up. Classy.
“Courage is landing a jet with one engine or escaping from Boko Haram.”
LOLOLOLOLOLOL, OK PAM. This is the dumbest most out of context thing that anyone has ever written and I am not even going to dignify it with some kind of rebuttal.
"There are no lessons in Lacey’s story, no awakening, no epiphany, which is what makes the consequences to the remaining employees at the company seemingly a bit too harsh, but her story is not finished."
God, I fucking hate you, Cin, when you get like this. OK, grab a fork and a good steak knife, let’s dig in to this one. First, back to me. I stayed with that CEO for so long because he made me feel taken care of, as long as I did a few dirty things and kept them to myself. I stayed because his rhetoric about me being incapable of doing anything else, of being too old to pursue other things, tweaked the deepest parts of me. I stayed because I didn’t think I could do better, that I didn’t deserve better. I stayed because my family fell apart when my mom died and that company felt like family to me for better or for worse. I stayed because I knew leaving would change my life in fundamental ways that I was not ready for and that were absolutely terrifying. I stayed because I was comfortable hating myself.
And then one day, I just stopped. I wish I could say I had an immediate epiphany, that I ran through the halls screaming the truth about that CEO, that I called a lawyer immediately to report all the horrible things that had gone on. But I had no proof. Nobody would believe me. And guess what, Cin, most people don't fucking have money for a lawyer, I sure didn't. And I was just so, so, SO tired. FUCK. It took me years to detox from that place, and if I’m being real with you, I’m still not over it after 6 years away. A friend who worked there with me and was subject to harassment from the CEO and has found the kindness in her heart to forgive me was texting me about him the other day and I couldn’t even talk to her about it. It sent me to the darkest of places.
When I left, I went through some FUCKED UP SHIT. For a couple of years I had a series of terrible jobs that I couldn’t really hold down because I was so messed up with grief that someone would talk to me in the workplace and I would just start crying. It was humiliating, especially given that I had funneled my entire identity through my career. I ended up broke and jobless with a whole bunch of people who hated me because of the things I had done, and I bottomed out, hard. And then I came to Maine, and the story of how that happened is for another day.
But Cin, look, first of all ya big dum dum, the fucking epiphany, the awakening in Jessie’s story is… her own. Curious why you think telling a story has to be for a big grand reason or whatever. Because what I saw was a woman who overcame her shame and fear to speak out. That is HUGE. How do you not see how huge that is? Do you ever have contact with real humans or are you just sort of locked up in your not at all privileged and I’m sure very tiny and shabbily furnished Lawyer/Senator house with a bunch of malfunctioning hosts from Westworld? I feel like many of our greatest stories have less to do with changing the world and everything to do with changing how we relate to the world. That’s my story. That’s Jessie’s story, or at least that’s what she chose to share. And for other women who are experiencing the same things, it gives all of us a chance to say, hey, Jessie’s ok… maybe I’ll be ok too if I choose to speak out about the abuse I’m taking. And if enough of us do that, well, maybe that’s the fucking change you apparently can’t live without or whatever, Cin.
But beyond that, people choose to tolerate or resist abuse - and, yes, participate in it themselves - based on so much more than we could ever possibly quantify. But no one is beyond redemption, Cin, mon petit sugar muffin. I fucking clawed my way back from the dead, and I stood up and apologized for the things I did and I had to repair some relationships and lose others, and I had to admit that I am not always good, that I fucked up, and I had to change my life. But I did it, and I’m better for it. I can live better, I can treat people better, and that experience taught me who I didn’t want to be. Why in the fuck can’t Kevin Thomas do that? He’s got way more money and friends than I ever had. I’m still standing. Where the fuck are you, Kevin? When the fuck are you gonna make things right, starting with a sincere apology, right the fuck now?
Where are you, Kevin? Because it seems like our Old Girl Cin-Cin-Cinnamon McRighteousPants is concerned about the consequences to your employees being a little harsh. She doesn’t seem concerned about that for you, like, at all. No mention of it. So. I’ll just say it again:
Where are you, Kevin? Are you going to let a bunch of timid little girls be braver than you, admit they were wrong for you and stand up for what’s right? Are you going to send the same women who eat your toxic masculinity every day into your war for you? Are they just pawns for you?
Where in the actual fuck are you, KEVIN. Show yourself. Coward.
And as for you, Cynthia Dill (now that I’m actually typing your full name again I’m mourning the loss of about 10,000 opportunities to fuck with your last name throughout this piece, what a travesty), stay the fuck out of it. You’re obviously here to defend your friend Kevin Thomas, and it is 1000% not a good fucking look for you. Also, the rest of the bananas shit you write is just as hard to follow, rambling and bizarre as this piece, and that’s coming from a woman whose trademark writing style is predicated on run on sentences, ALL CAPS, curse words and YOUR MOM LOLOLOLOLOL 4 LYFE DILL, I ZING YOU FOREVER!!!!!!!
Now go away. Nobody fucking invited you to our party.
I love you, my friends, deeply and truly and I never want to hurt people again. If I've hurt you, please know that I regret it, I see you, I hear you and you are important to me. Tell me your stories. XOXOXO VK