Why the Mets Were Right to Fire Jared Porter

This week's big news is that the Mets fired their General Manager, Jared Porter, after it was revealed that he sent a slew of unsolicited text messages, culminating with a picture of (presumably his, though he denies it) his unadorned Dodger Dog, to a reporter he found "beautiful."

As I watched the ESPN story, I groaned because the reporter in question (who was a foreign MLB correspondent whose English is evidently limited as she spoke to the Worldwide Leader through an interpreter) seemed amenable to his texts at first (saying she liked his testing-the-waters pics, asking if he was married, and so on).

That's all it's going to take for the woman haters to declare that she is horrible tease, the real bad guy here, and, well, if you have ever visited a men's rights forum or website, you know they will call and think of her as much, much worse than those things.

To hold her as the bad actor here, of course, will require them to to ignore that after she initially responded favorably, she stopped responding at all. That, of course, didn't deter this creep, who continued to send dozens and dozens of messages, peaking with his coup de junk.

If I can get this through to just one reader on this, it will have been worth it: if you keep sending women texts after they have stopped responding, you are the bad guy and can make no reasonable claim to the high ground. It doesn't matter if she was seemingly into it at first. It doesn't matter if you finally stop and apologize once she's fed up and tells you to stop (as is the case here).  

Since he is a baseball GM, let's put this in baseball terms. If she leaves three texts consecutively unanswered, you've struck out. Move on.  

Yes, your brain will hold on to some ridiculous implausibilities to keep hope alive. "She's just been busy, better say 'hey' before she forgets how hot she finds me. She's thinking of the perfect answer. She's being coy."

You're only kidding yourself. And if you don't stop kidding yourself, bad things will happen, like you getting fired as general manager of a major league baseball team just a month after you were hired.

And I haven't even touched on the power dynamic here — she needs access to him to do her job, in a country whose culture she is new to. I know the misogynists think those are non-factors, and there are no situations where the guy really has the power, but of course the misogynists are wrong.

All of this said, do I think Jared Porter is some sort of irredeemable monster? No, I do not. But here's the thing: before we start investing in redemption arcs, we need for this kind of BS to not be commonplace anymore. Making things right, societally, for the countless, countless victims of sexual harassment and assault must be the focus and must be the problem we address first.  

Once we've successfully addressed that (not that I'm holding my breath) we can start talking about reintroducing the Jared Porters, Brett Favres, and Louis CKs back into polite society. Until then, we will have to break some eggs if we want an omelette everyone can eat.

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