It’s about time!
Every day I look at the news and there are new sexual harassment or assault allegations to take in.
- At this point we are hearing about sexual misconduct in all industries and across the political spectrum.
The number of allegations shouldn’t come as a surprise
While things seemed to have changed suddenly, many of us know it’s been a very long time in the making. Most every woman I know has experienced some form of sexual harassment or assault at least once in her life. Yes, it’s that common. What isn’t common is having something done about it.
We have just begun to hear what women say and take it seriously
It seems to have started last summer when Roger Ailes left Fox amid allegations of sexual harassment. It became a flood after the New York Times and New Yorker published articles about Harvey Weinstein.
Going public has evolved from a method of suppression to a tool for empowerment
Women who spoke out in the past have been trivialize, marginalized, villainized, shamed, punished and silenced. We owe them an apology and a promise to make sure that this doesn’t happen anymore.
There are still some who refuse acknowledge or accept the truth, but their time is coming
The can’t hide from the truth much longer and will be either held accountable or recognized as complicit.
We can work together to move things forward
- Both men and women need to speak out immediately when we see or hear anything that is inappropriate
- We need to call out perpetrators at once, and not wait until a more “appropriate” moment or until we can talk to HR
- If we get a response that is unsatisfactory, we can’t back down
And if you have done something wrong, please understand that an apology is an acknowledgment that what you did was wrong. You say “I was wrong and I’m sorry.” Any attempt to excuse or justify for your actions negates your apology. Resist the urge to make it about you.
Yes, both sexes experience sexual harassment or assault, but…
Women have been much more impacted. Men, when the subject comes up, please do your best to listen, and if you feel the need to say that you have been the victim of discrimination, stop and hold your tongue for now. It’s time for the women to speak.
Check out these shows to get a glimpse of how things have been:
Good Girls Revolt (Amazon Prime)
The show takes place in the late 60’s, early 70’s and based upon a book by Lynn Povich. Povich wrote about the groundbreaking sex discrimination suit filed by 46 women (including Povich) against Newsweek in 1970. The show focuses on the lives of a few of the women who work for a news magazine as “researchers” or “fact-checkers.” They really do a lot more, but are repeatedly told that as they are women, they can’t expect to become anything more. And they are subject to sexually harassment.
There is only one season of the show so far, as Roy Price, the (then) head of Amazon Video, cancelled it. Despite critical acclaim and a good viewership, Price the pulled the plug. In October, Price stepped down amid allegations of allegations of sexual harassment. (FYI, Amazon knew about the harassment back in 2015. Price’s departure took place a year later, when the allegations became public.)
The story about Anita Hill and the hearing that should have been about Clarence Thomas and his inappropriate behavior, but became about putting her on trial. I was in my early 20’s at the time, I do don’t think that I was as outraged as I should have been. Anita Hill, please accept my apology.
(note: Thomas has gone on to be a very underwhelming Supreme Court Justice. President George H. W. Bush, who has had his own problems with sexually inappropriate actions, nominated Thomas and stood by him through the nomination process.)