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那些年,我心中关于“男女平等”的幻象

更新时间:2017-12-13 11:41:37 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

My Generation Thought Women Were Empowered. Did We Deceive Ourselves?
那些年,我心中关于“男女平等”的幻象

When I started out in journalism in the 1970s, attitudes toward sexual harassment among the token women sprinkled about in newsrooms were nearly antithetical to those we’ve heard from the women who have come forth in recent weeks with a flood of anguished revelations.

上世纪70年代我刚入新闻这一行时,编辑室里装点门面的那寥寥几位女性,对性骚扰的态度完全不同于最近几周在讲述自己痛苦经历的女性。

My first job was at the London bureau of a prominent international wire service. When I walked in the newsroom, the all-male staff gaped at me as if I were an oasis in a desert. They were soon disappointed. I responded with such aloofness, they called me the Ice Princess. I felt lonely, in need of a friend. I suppose this is why I responded when one reporter began to engage me in conversation. My hopes rose — until I felt the hand slowly sneaking up my thigh. I dispatched him with an elbow in the torso. And the guy who grabbed my butt the next day got a swift back kick into the kneecap and a couple of four-letter words.

我的第一份工作是在一家著名国际通讯社的伦敦分社。走进新闻编辑室时,全是男性的工作人员目瞪口呆地看着我,仿佛我是沙漠中的绿洲。他们很快感到失望。我的态度很冷漠,他们称我为“冰雪公主”。我感到孤独,很需要朋友。所以,当一名记者开始跟我攀谈时,我做出了回应。我的心里升起了希望——直到我感到有一只手在慢慢沿着我的大腿往上摸。我迅速用一记肘击甩开了他。第二天,那个抓我屁股的家伙被我迅猛的后踢踹中膝盖,另外奉送了几句脏话。

My generation of women came of age amid the exhilaration of second-wave feminism: We saw ourselves as strong, fierce self-defenders. Inappropriate sexual advances, we told ourselves, were simply an opportunity to prove our superiority over the weaker sex. Few of us believed we sustained any serious damage, and most of us thought that with enough grit, we could defy the odds and find our way.

我那一代女性是在第二波女权主义的激越中成长起来的,我们认为自己是强大、凶猛的自我捍卫者。我们告诉自己:不当性冒犯只是给我们提供了一个机会,让我们证明自己比那个更弱的性别优越。我们几乎都不认为自己受到了严重伤害,我们大多数人认为,只要有足够的勇气,我们就能克服困难,找到出路。

One night after work, a group of reporters invited me to the local Irish pub. In the space of an hour, we downed several big glasses of Guinness, with Paddy Whiskey chasers. I was terrified, but I knew how crucial this test was. I would absolutely deny them the pleasure of seeing me fall off my stool. I kept up with them drink for drink and didn’t pass out until I put the key to my apartment inside the door. But I collapsed with a warm feeling, giddy at the thought of their respect. It’s not that I wanted to be one of the guys — I just wanted to be a good journalist, with perhaps a place in the bigger club that ran the world.

一天晚上下班后,一群记者邀请我去当地的爱尔兰酒吧喝酒。在一个小时的时间里,我们喝了几大杯健力士黑啤酒,用Paddy威士忌作追水。当时我很害怕,但我知道那次考验多么重要。我一定不能让他们看着我从凳子上掉下去取乐。我跟他们喝了一杯又一杯,直到我把钥匙放进自己公寓里面才晕了过去。不过,我是带着温暖的感觉晕倒的,想到他们会因此尊敬我,还觉得有点飘飘然。我并不想成为他们中的一员——我只是想成为一名优秀的记者,也许还能在掌管这个世界的大俱乐部里占有一席之地。

I soon found myself in Northern Ireland, in the middle of a ferocious attack on Catholics by club-wielding Protestants. I sustained a superficial scalp wound and, excitedly bloody, I found a pay phone. I began dictating a first-person story when the London bureau chief came on the line. He was an irascible eccentric known for flinging Remington typewriters at offending reporters, and he wasn’t happy to hear from me. “Damn you, get your tail back here. Women aren’t allowed in war zones!” he shouted. At the time, he was too apoplectic to see that a good story would be over by the time he found a man to replace me, but he gradually, grudgingly let me stay.

不久后,我去了北爱尔兰,正赶上一群新教徒用棍棒对天主教徒发起凶狠的攻击。我受了一点皮外伤,带着流血的兴奋,我找到了一个付费电话。当我在用第一人称口述故事的时候,伦敦分社社长加入了进来。他是一个脾气暴躁、曾向惹到他的记者扔雷明顿牌(Remington)打字机的怪人,听到我的电话他很不高兴。“该死的,赶紧滚回来。女人是不能上战场的!”他吼道。当时,他在盛怒之中没有意识到,等他找到一个男记者接替我,一个好故事就已经结束了,不过,渐渐地,他勉强同意让我留了下来。

Once I returned, I saw him darkly flipping through my copy. I ducked. “Franks,” he finally pronounced with congratulatory gravity, “I don’t think of you as a woman anymore. You write like a man.”

我一回来,就看见他在一脸阴沉地翻看我的稿子。我躲开了。“弗兰克斯,”最后他用祝贺的语气说,“我不再把你当成女人了。你写文章像个男人。”

I still can’t help thinking of this as the ultimate compliment. I was already brainwashed.

现在,我依然不禁把这视为最高等级的赞美。我已经被洗脑了。

When the sluice opened a few months ago and men across all industries began to take sudden and precipitous falls, at first, I was slightly skeptical. I was puzzled by the stories some women told about freezing up, unable to repel a boss or sometimes even a co-worker. A few maintained that when they did resist, they felt guilty and fearful, and wrote emails the next day apologizing and asking for another chance. I felt bad for them, and yet my honest reaction was confusion: What feminist, I wondered, would be so desperate as to trade her self-respect for a job?

几个月前,闸门被打开后,各个行业的很多男性突然快速倒台,起初,我还有点不敢相信。有些女人说,她们当时呆住了,无法抗拒上司,有时甚至是同事,这令我感到困惑。还有几名女性说,她们在反抗后感到内疚和恐惧,第二天写邮件道歉,并要求再给一次机会。我为她们感到难过,但我真实的反应是困惑:我想知道,什么样的女权主义者会如此绝望,愿意用自尊换取工作?

As the stories about what these women experienced became more perverted and even downright weird, I wondered whether male hubris had finally gone berserk. Had the sexualization of American popular culture in the 1990s and 2000s taken the restraints off the male id, freeing men to pursue their most absurd fantasies — holding professional interviews at their homes, parading around naked under open bathrobes in front of job applicants? Had feminism, with its promotion of sexual freedom, combined with these cultural changes, paradoxically poured gas on the fires of these workplace assaults? Or had this stomach-turning type of aggression simply evaded the rumor mill but been happening all along?

随着这些女性经历的故事变得更加下流,甚至是彻头彻尾的变态,我想知道男性的傲慢是否终于演变成了狂暴。上世纪90年代和本世纪前十年美国流行文化的色情化,是否释放了男性的本我,让他们可以追逐自己最荒唐的幻想——在自己家里接受专业采访;在求职者面前裸体穿着敞开的浴袍走动?倡导性自由的女权主义,是否与这些文化潮流相结合,适得其反地给工作场所的性侵火上浇油?又或者,这种令人反胃的侵犯一直都在发生,只是没有被传出来?

As I thought about this, more of my own memories came back. Had our pioneering generation deceived ourselves?

在思考这些时,我想起了更多的往事。我们的先锋一代是否欺骗了自己?

Of course, back then we were fully aware of the quid pro quo of the casting couch, where men in power could use that power to make or break a young woman’s career. We warned our sisters, but we spoke in whispers, never aloud. Maybe we were more afraid than we admitted.

当然,那时候,我们也非常了解沙发试镜这回事,有权势的男人可以利用自己的权力扶持或破坏一名年轻女性的事业。我们警告过自己的姐妹们,但我们都是轻声低语,从来不敢大声说出来。也许,我们的恐惧比我们承认的要多。

Even if most of us may not have suffered serious sexual harassment, how many of us sustained more hidden damage inflicted by insecure men — especially if we had the audacity to be successful?

即便我们中的大多数人没有遭受过严重性骚扰,我们又有多少人承受了没有安全感的男人们造成的更多的隐性伤害——尤其是如果我们有胆量去争取成功的话?

Two years after I joined the news service, I won the Pulitzer Prize. I suffered for it mightily. That I was the first woman to win for national reporting — I had been brought to New York to do a five-part series on the violent antiwar Weatherman group — made it only worse. I could see it in their bowed heads: We’ve been striving for years to win that coveted prize and a 24-year-old walks away with it! The entire bureau of men refused to speak to me that day and the days after.

加入那家通讯社两年后,我获得了普利策奖。为此,我承受了巨大的痛苦。我是第一个凭借国内报道获奖的女性——我被带去纽约,对暴力反战团体“气象员”(Weatherman)进行一个分成五部分的系列报道——这一点使情况变得更加糟糕。我能看出他们垂着的脑袋里在想什么:我们努力多年,想获那个令人垂涎的奖,结果却让一个24岁的人拿走了!那一天和那之后的日子里,整个分社的男人都拒绝和我说话。

I was haunted by the creeping conviction that I didn’t deserve the prize — I should give it back. For at least the next 10 years, I was too ashamed to tell people I’d won.

我被逐渐产生的一个想法所困扰,认为自己不配得到那个奖,应该把它还回去。在接下来的至少10年里,我一直羞于告诉别人我得过奖。

Subtler moments of discrimination in my younger days have been coming back over the past few weeks: the stories killed before I’d even finished them; the time I came back to work after visiting my ailing mother and a man my age, hired for much higher wages, had been awarded my promised transfer to Paris.

过去几周,我年轻时经历的那些更为微妙的歧视时刻又回来了:报道还没写完就被否了;在我看望生病的母亲后回来上班时,承诺给我的调去巴黎的机会,给了一个和我同龄、工资比我高得多的男同事。

When you get older, gender discrimination gets easier, somewhat predictable and sometimes even funny. But it doesn’t stop — even if you’ve published four books and had a long journalism career. When my last book came out, I was interviewed by a certain talk show host, before he was stripped of his job because of gross sexual misconduct charges. I had hardly opened my mouth before he fell asleep. During the rest of the interview, he kept nodding off while the camera judiciously avoided him. When I left the studio, he had popped awake for his new guests. I saw him waving his hands enthusiastically while speaking with two high-powered male journalists.

年纪越大,越容易遭遇性别歧视,这在意料之中,有时甚至会挺好笑。但它不会停止,即使你已经出版了四本书,并拥有漫长的新闻从业生涯。最后一本书出版时,我接受某脱口秀主持人的采访。我几乎还没开口,他就睡着了。在接下来的采访中,他一直时不时地合上眼,摄像机则聪明地避开了他。当我离开摄影棚时,他就突然清醒了,准备迎接新的嘉宾。我看到他一边热情地挥舞着双手,一边和两名有重要影响力的男记者交谈。后来,这名主持人因为严重的性行为不当指控而丢了工作。

I herald this latest female generation for their courage in revealing their humiliations for the chance to change society. We, the earliest female newswomen, were tough, ambitious, even cocky about our talent, but over the years, our self-confidence was often irreparably harmed. Our generation might have been smart, but there was much we just didn’t get. Grateful to win a place in the hierarchy of power, we didn’t understand the ways that gender degradation still shaped our work lives.

我赞扬最新一代女性为了争取改变社会的机会而披露个人屈辱经历的勇气。作为最早的女性新闻从业者,我们坚强,满怀抱负,甚至自大,但多年来,我们的自信心经常受到不可弥补的伤害。我们这一代人也许是很聪明,但依然有很多东西不懂。我们对在权力等级制度中赢得一席之地心怀感激,却不明白性别劣势仍然影响着我们的工作生活。

A few years ago, I met a fellow who had won a Pulitzer for foreign reporting the year before. When he finally discovered what we had in common, he said in a scolding voice: “You’re the shyest Pulitzer winner I’ve ever met. Do you understand you won the highest award in journalism? When I got it, I shouted it to the skies.”

几年前,我遇到一名在前一年凭借国外报道获得普利策奖的人。当他终于发现我们都是普利策奖获得者时,他用批评的语气说:“你是我见过的最害羞的普利策奖得主。你知道自己得的是新闻领域的最高奖吗?我获奖的时候可是仰天大吼。”

And the skies clearly listened.

天显然是在听的。

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