Once again it is time for another blog post, and once again I find it difficult to write. The news embroils you in a landslide of negativity and you feel like all common sense and rationality has dissipated – I even made the comment that I am glad I am not young because I fear the state of the world in the future.
With that said, the one thing discussed and needs to be discussed is the #MeToo movement. First, yes, I have several stories, and yes, I stayed silent for over 25 years. Did I attempt to resolve the issues with the remedies available? Yes. Did I suffer backlash? Yes. To the detriment of losing my job? Yes. Did I consult an attorney? Yes. What was I told – move on or risk being blacklisted from your field – as a new career professional in her twenties, there was no choice? Yes. Did it happen again? Did I out of fear, just try to stay away from the person but never reported it? Yes.
As, as a first-generation business professional, it came to be understood by me that this was just the way things were in the business world – some called it harmless flirting, yet others called it joking around – it was just a different world then as it is today – women were trying to find their place in the professional world in new positions with new opportunities – or so it seems. I guess we make excuses for it, try to cope with our decisions, try to cope with why it happened. Some women chose to ignore it (yes, they were the ones labeled “bitch” or other derogatory terms) and, yet others would go so far as to change their appearance to the point they felt it was them causing the unwanted advances and comments.
It wasn’t until I saw that my own daughter, about the same age, has already had an unwanted encounter and it was there I felt like I failed, both as a mother and as a person trying to make the world better for the next generation. I am still grappling with that. So I thought with this post, I would do something different and let the readers share their stories. For those who do not want their names revealed, but would like to share a #MeToo story, I am happy to post your story anonymously; just e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is something to be said to getting this issue out in the open – first, you are not alone; second, we heal through community and through common plights; and third, we need to come together and stop such abuses, if not for this generation – for the next. Understand I want this to be a dialogue of support, which means any nasty or condescending remarks will be removed.
I look forward to this journey together and wait to see who, along with me, have been sexually harassed and yet have been forced to look the other way or move on for whatever reason.
Your Turn: Add your story in the comments section below