I know this is a highly personal issue, and I don't blame anyone for not wanting to post here about it. Women of my generation (I'm 58) endured unwanted touching and sexual harassment. We dealt with it, because most of the time, we knew it would be pointless to try and hold the perpetrators accountable. I, specifically, have had these experiences:
- An unwanted kiss. I tried shoving him off, then bit his lip. I was afraid he was going to hit me, he was so mad. Instead, he called me a "f@#!in' b!tch," exited the car, and slammed the door behind him. Why were we in a car together, you ask? We were on our way to a conference and had stopped for coffee. He was a member of our Board of Directors. He was in his 50s; I was 27. Never again have I ridden in a car alone with a male coworker. I always find a way out of it.
- A boob touch. Intentional, brief, and infuriating. Happened at a Christmas office party. Again, he was older and higher up in the office chain. I did nothing except tell my female coworkers, all of whom had experienced some sort of unwanted BS from this guy.
- A "come sit on Santa's lap." Yeah, he was dressed as Santa, and yeah, another Christmas office party. He was known for asking the women to "come sit on his lap." This was my first year, but the women were talking about it ahead of time, rolling their eyes and shaking their heads. So I was prepared with a simple "No, thank you." He was the Executive Director of the organization I worked for, and he was always cold to me after that. Professional, polite, but cold. It was noticeable. He didn't retaliate in any other way, but working with him was tense and I eventually found another job. Oh, and the other women sat on his lap. It was supposed to be funny, but it really was just embarrassing and uncomfortable.
I don't think about these incidents very often, but since this issue is so dominant in our culture right now, I've been thinking about them and how it was so "accepted" by us women that we would have to deal with these types on a fairly regular basis. We didn't like it, and we all talked about it, but we also felt it would do no good to fight it in any official or legal way. So, when women come forward with these incidents, I believe them.
Roy Moore is a predator. Al Franken is a predator. Donald Trump is a predator. Bill Clinton is a predator. Just as there are different degrees of murder or theft under the law, there are different degrees of sexual harassment and abuse. Roy Moore sexually abused children. Al Franken grabbed women against their wishes. Are they the same? Yes, but no. Yes, they are both sexual crimes. No, one crime is far worse than the other. Yet, some will defend Moore because he continues his predatory behavior by bullying his victims, calling them liars, threatening to sue. Just like our president has done to his accusers. Just like Clinton did with his. Franken, at least, owns up to his transgressions. That doesn't make it okay, but at least he is not continuing to bully his victims. Can you really say Franken and Moore are the same, either in the crimes they committed, or in the way they are reacting to the allegations? Franken is not my senator, but if he were, I'd call for him to resign. We must have standards for our leaders. Roy Moore, like Trump, is not fit to be dog catcher. He certainly is not fit to be a senator of this great nation. Come on, stop being partisan. Stop defending the predators.
I speak having been a supervisor of men and women ;
Today , women should take great [er]care in the " never being alone " with any male coworker and especially a supervisor. Any reputable company will tell it's supervisors , keep your office doors open ! Never put yourself alone with a female underling in the office , conduct employee evaluations in public places and open spaces restaurants , quiet fast food joints after rush hours , with a trusted fellow employee ...etc.......never, never in a closed environment .
Women owe it themselves to be aware enough of the possibilities to strategically avoid the encounter . They also , in my estimation , own the ability to out-think men , to control most situations ! Problem , both men and women instigate and operate in far too personal ways at work-sites . The hard part for women is to remain personally distant and operate only in that mindset , don't bring up personal problems with male coworkers [marriage -boy friend problems etc. ], stay focused in a vigilance of self -protection . Never ride alone with coworkers or supervisors ..........
It's not just men, I've been sexually harassed by a woman too.
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