Well, Hollywood has come into our lives in a whole different way this past month. Women from all walks of life are proclaiming their “Me too” stories on Facebook.
It has taken a little time for me.
What bothers me the most, in my case, was that the people involved are considered upstanding men in the community and probably don’t even remember the jokes they made to me, about me, in a hurtful way, at a casual college football tailgate. Locker room talk they were probably used to saying, but doing it directly to my face. From the years since then, I can’t tell you the amount of times I have looked in the mirror and relived the taunts.
Two professional men. Dads to kids my daughters’ ages. Thinking this was okay. Making me feel “less than”.
That is the fear and self-loathing caused by sexual harassment. There is no one to tell your story to without it causing personal harm to you, your family, or your career. You are considered weak if you can’t stand up to a “joke”. I am surprised we aren’t hearing: “Hey! I was just joking around!” It was no joke to me. And I have had it.
If there is one person out there wondering what all the “hub bub” is about, it is the simple fact that women simply have had it. I think it is the perception that we are supposed to look the other way or play along while being discredited and taken advantage of. We are so much more than this. It is time for you to take notice.
But who to tell when things get out of hand?
What to do if it is someone so familiar that it will either be dismissed as something you misinterpreted or it will somehow be made out to be your fault. You flirted. You were goofing around too.
I can tell you plainly.
IT IS NEVER OKAY.
In our current climate in America, the moral code is taking a hammering. People (all people) have decided to throw away all the mores they have grown up with, and say whatever or do whatever …without repercussions.
Demeaning someone, male or female, has damaging, long term results. Take a look at the Facebook feed this week. What started as a trickle of “me, too” has become a flood. I don’t think you can not know anyone that hasn't been attacked or assaulted in a sexual manner.
My advice? Talk. Spill it. Tell it to someone you can trust but let go of the power it has over you now.
We need to take back some modicum of civility in this society so easily led by rogues.
Thanks for listening.