Adeline Dimond
2 min readJan 29, 2021


I guess my writing skills are lacking, because my point is very simple: abusive bosses do not mean that men are conspiring to take women down. Of course I'm not excusing the abuse. Workplaces, families, academic programs all have a duty to ferret out abuse.

But that is different that what this author has decided the story is about: old boys club vs. women. It's simply not true. if the abuse was in fact based on sex/gender, there are are robust local, state and federal laws in place to cure that. Civil law cures that.

What doesn't cure that? Conflating abuse with gender discrimination. It does real damage to people who are in fact experiencing that -- if everything is labeled as gender discrimination, caused by the male patriarchy, then eventually nothing can be labeled that way.

Finally, I find it...amusing (?) that somehow the media seems to think that they are the only industry where abuse in the workplace occurs. Peak 2020-2021.

I realize I'm being hyperbolic when I say that, but this story is simply about an abusive boss at the end of the day. So what? What is newsworthy about that to anyone outside media? I suspect Barnett knows that it isn't. She likely knows that most everyone has experienced abuse in the workplace and have either quit, like she did, or stuck it out under immense stress, which is why she needs to cloak this in the old trope of "men still control everything."

I don't buy it. I think the only reason people *do* buy the male patriarchy ruins everything is that every once in awhile we get a story like this -- failing to name names and one-sided, and inevitably there's inevitably no response for context or nuance. And if I'm wrong, the courts are open.