Supervisor Carrillo, Sexism, Misogyny and Little Outrage


(Photo from the

The trial of the misogynistic, egotistical trainwreck that is Supervisor Efren Carrillo will soon be over.  Whatever the outcome, we can be assured of one thing:  few electeds or leaders, if any, will call out his slimy predatory behavior.  Fewer still will offer any support, moral or otherwise, to his victim.

Why do I have to, in 2014, in “liberal” Sonoma County, tell people that stalking women, making them feel unsafe in their own homes, cannot be overlooked? That it is wrong and frightening? Why do electeds have more to fear for blasting Efren Carrillo’s despicable actions, than remaining silent and risking the appearance of complicity?

Why? Because we live in a society where a man in power, even a man of color, can behave as Efren Carrillo has behaved and still be accepted and supported.

At one of the “Recall Carrillo” Townhall meetings, I listened to a high school teacher wax eloquent about Carrillo, how inspiring he was to the teacher’s predominately Latino classes, what an “excellent role model” he was for them. A man arrested in his chonies and socks is a role model for our youth? What does that tell our young men (and women) about what is acceptable behavior? Other supporters spoke of “the many good things that Carrillo had done, and they couldn’t be discounted because of this one incident.” A man foisted his inflated ego on this woman in the middle of the night, but that shouldn’t be held against him? More than a few people, including women, questioned his victim’s motives.

Efren Carrillo’s own colleague, Shirlee Zane, instead of calling for his censure, anointed him the “leader of the Latino community,” as if it’s fine and reasonable for Mexicans to be led by a man who, half naked, climbed a fence in search of sex with a neighbor he barely knew. Like the high school teacher’s comments, this is incredibly racist: this is the best you people can produce. Even many of our own Latino community leaders have been silent, not wanting to “eat our own,” as someone reported hearing.

Where’s the outrage that we still live in a society where a man’s reputation and livelihood are more valued than a woman’s absolute right to be safe?  Where, indeed.  My hope is that after the sordidness is over, electeds and leaders alike will step up to the plate and say that this behavior is never acceptable.  Ever. We need to hear your voices.


About socolaura

Mom, educator, opinionated, passionate, smart, witty, wise Latina. Waiting for my moment of zen.
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10 Responses to Supervisor Carrillo, Sexism, Misogyny and Little Outrage

  1. Rob says:

    We have programs in Sonoma County that help teach our youth that things like this are not ok, but limited by resources and support in the community. Agencies like Verity and YWCA , Guided to Safety both do great work in the community YWCA with it’s teen dating violence presentations in schools and Verity with it’s male focused programs like Mystrength and general programs like Teen Assault Prevention Program which covers everything from sexual violence, healthy relationships, bullying, bystander intervention and internet safety, that can be adapted to talk about all these things with middle schoolers and they even have a program teaching safe touch and unsafe touch to elementary school children. All free to teachers and schools as well. We want to change these norms in our culture then we should be supporting these programs more. Additionally Verity and YWCA are collaborating with Sonoma County Department of Health on a program working with young men on sports teams in the county that could use support as well. The resources are out there they just need help reaching more people.

  2. BE MORE says:

    I’m beginning to think from the testimony and the prosecutor’s comments some women just might want to “borrow” Efrin’s phone and see what is actually on it? Not something I would typically suggest, but for the sake of the safety of other women out there….

  3. BE MORE says:

    On a more serious note have you read Bidisha’s “The harassed strike back” and the more recent sequel? More men need to realize how women are emotionally injured even daily by such actions. Here is the link to the first one:

  4. Has the YWCA or Verity spoken up publicly for the victim or asked for accountability from Carrillo?
    If not I am sorry but they lose credibility with me as a ” women’s organization “

  5. David Keller says:

    Mr. Carrillo testified to and verified his own despicable behavior in court. Regardless of how the charges of “peeking” wash out with the jury, this Supervisor has shown ample evidence that he is not fit for public office. Thank you, Laura Gonzales for this column.

  6. Thomas David Bonfigli says:

    Thank you, Laura, for your insightful comments. I concur with you, but I would like to point out a couple more important things.

    At the three meetings which were held by the Citizens for Accountability, the overwhelming majority of those who rose out of their seats to take their turn at the mic were unequivocally condemning of Mr. Carrillo’s conduct. Those very few who were supportive of him each made what I felt were tired, weak, enabling arguments for his shameful conduct, and it is my firm belief that the reason that they did so is because they are wrapped in a dirty cloak of denial which they are having a hard time shedding. I have lived in Sonoma County all of my life, and I have been a Certified Court Reporter for 33 years, and I have to tell you that when I heard Efren Carrillo testify in court last Thursday, I left the courthouse in an utter and unshakable state of SHOCK AND DISMAY after hearing his hole-filled testimony. He tried to play the part of a victim and tried very hard to evoke sympathy from the jury, and, quite frankly, I thought that the entire rotten performance fell flat. And in addition, his selective-memory condition was on full display for all to see.

    But the icing on the cake was when he ADMITTED UNDER OATH the doing of several acts, which he had theretofore admitted doing.

    I hope that the prosecutor, Cody Hunt, will give his testimony the serious consideration and investigation that it truly deserves and will not hesitate to file new charges against him if he feels that they are warranted.

    In the meantime, it is up to US to take action – and to get rid of him NOW – before someone else gets hurt as a result of this man’s penchant for physical violence, his overinflated ego, his unmatched narcissism – and, perhaps most of all, his terribly flawed judgment.

  7. Thomas David Bonfigli says:

    “…which he had theretofore not admitted doing.”
    Sorry for the typo.

  8. zuriea says:

    Thank you for saying all this so well.
    What actions can we take to change the culture in Sonoma? Many of us wanted to see Andy Lopez’s murder as an isolated incident but obviously it is part of a much larger, sicker environment than I realized.

  9. zuriea says:

    Thank you for saying all this so well.
    What actions can we take to change the culture in Sonoma? Many of us wanted to see Andy Lopez’s murder as an isolated incident but obviously it is part of a much larger, sicker environment than I realized.

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