Can we work on finding a solution?
There are men, honest and true good ones, looking in on the "metoo" movement who are bewildered as to what to do about it. Saddened and angered, as am I, about the victims and their stories. We want to fix it or at least offer a beginning to a solution.
First, victims, my sympathy for you is heartfelt. I have not walked in your shoes.
Please know that it is not your fault.
Needing a refresher on the legal definition of sexual harassment, I looked it up and referenced it as a tool. I cannot find in my memory a single instance when I felt victimized in this way.
As quoted below, it reads,
"As defined by the eeoc:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment."
As it turns out the sexual harassment definition, if you read it in full, has a very broad scope, but boils down to anything of a sexual nature that makes a person feel uncomfortable by either gender and is unwelcome. It doesn't have to be by a person of power or even of the opposite sex, or even what would commonly be thought of as sexual, as long as the offended party perceives it in such a manner. It doesn't have to be from a person working for the same company or a person working at all. It can get pretty fuzzy. Hell, my bra does that. Every day.
Have I been on the receiving end of multitudes of inappropriate slights of hand, off color jokes, laying on of hands, wandering eyes, grandstanding type crotch grabbing, etc, etc, etc? Of course and more, but honestly, not as defined above.
*The following statement by no means implies that a victim invites a perpetrator. I've also witnessed women using their sexuality to their advantage. Clearly stated, not an invitation for harassment or assault. Perhaps though, to climb the so called ladder.
•No Not I
Here's the thing about all of that, I was and am a fully consenting adult. I did then and do now have the mental and physical capacity to say "No. Not with me. I'm not putting up with your shit so take your job, career, gig, your hands, your power and whatever you think I need from you and shove it." Of course, maybe I did need what was on the line and perhaps I needed it in the worst way, but nothing, as of yet has been worth it to me. I've never wanted or needed any of the aforementioned as badly as that.
I know many reasons that may account for why I'm not one of the victims. I do suspect that it's because of both of my parents highly praising qualities like physical strength and agility in a young girl, and reinforcing a stand-up-for-yourself-because-you're-important attitude. My Mom and Dad always, always, always had our backs.
In no small part, one reason is that I educated myself early in life about awareness throughout life in all potential situations. Through years of hard work, I learned about self defense and how not to ever need it by earning the lifetime achievement of Black Belt in the Martial Arts. And for decades I was embarrassed to tell people about it because girls just aren't suppose to be strong or capable of taking care of themselves. I will tell you now, I was a formidable sparring partner against the "Bear". And a bear he was. I will also tell you that it empowered me beyond words, to be able to stand up with fierceness to that kind of opponent and others alike, on a thrice weekly basis. I've since squared off with myriad "bears " of life.
The Harvey Weinsteins of the world would cower at the mere thought of dressing room doors if I had my druthers. Not one girl would be allowed to graduate from high school before learning and proving that she has achieved a level of true self confidence and awareness of the perils of the world. You can't learn this in AP Anything. It must be practiced and tested over time.
I'm still shocked to learn that some four to five decades after the so called liberation of women, here we are, expressing ourselves as victims. It doesn't have to continue this way. I sincerely believe that you cannot, even with infinite numbers, change the nature of the beast. What you can do is to empower yourself. It's not too late to change the future for all of us, one at a time. Do it for yourself because nobody else can ever do it for you. It's not too late.
•More than a few good men
Thank God that I've known in my life and in my heart the nature of true gentlemen. Men of honor and courage who stand up for what they know is right. They're the ones who can be trusted. They're the men we need to put under the bright lights at this moment in time.
If only in your own private world, but really, they deserve the spotlight, let's give a shout out to the good guys.