I’ve also been a victim of sexual harassment, in various forms. For, not all harassment is as blatant as ‘I won’t help you if you don’t sleep with me’…however, this BLOG is not going to be about me and my experiences as much as my opinion on this ‘movement’.
The confusion I’m seeing is that there is not any limit to some of the accusations…it seems that a situation could have occurred once upon a time…as in the case of Harold Ford, Jr. , who was just fired from Morgan Stanley Bank for a ‘perceived’ indiscretion approximately four (4) years ago with a journalist during an interview and Al Franken being accused of unwanted ‘sexual’ behavior during a comedy tour many years ago that, if not, consensual, was probably accepted and laughed at once upon a time…by both Franken and the women involved. Margaret Atwood, the Canadian author and well known feminist, condemning the movement because of an accusation against a male colleague and Catherine Deneuve, the French actress signing a letter which condemns the lack of ‘proof’ of some of these claims as well as the retreat to convict someone based on hearsay from a single entity…
I can certainly understand the hype that is being made regarding some of the entertainment and media personalities…and I’m quite sorry that some of these gifted and talented women have had to endure humiliating experiences to gain fame…however, there are many women (and in some cases, men), who have had to endure much worse without any type of celebratory status offered at the end of the road. Let’s face it. Women have been put down, humiliated, condemned, and suppressed/oppressed since the beginning of time. I say, it is about time…way, way overdue…for it to stop.
From Harvey Weinstein and his very flagrant sexual ‘threats’ to the Pennsylvania Bar Association attorney who called me ‘cun..st’ on a regular basis because I supported Hillary Clinton; he stated that I must be a ‘cun..st’ because I supported a ‘cu…’. The disciplinary and ethics board of the Pennsylvania Bar Association seems to think it is a ‘joke’ and can’t imagine why I would be upset about this name calling. I’m not…at this point in time; I just don’t do any work for this attorney any longer. My choice; as many women ‘chose’ to go a different path when confronted with the Harvey Weinstein’s of the world. They all had a choice and they should have reported the threats, innuendos, etc. at the time they occurred…it would be a far better world for all women at this point in time.
There are many instances that show me situations that I question and there are many instances that are so blatant, I don’t know why the behavior has been permitted to persist. I’m aware that organizations look the other way when an executive/manager is accused of a behavior that is unacceptable but my experience has taught me that decisions are made by the organizations based on the executive/manager’s value to the company. I become ill when I think of how some individuals get away with whatever they want based on support from other members of the organization and the desire to protect a flagrant abuser/harasser at all costs…
I’ve been silent way too long and it stops NOW. I’m not going to purposely ‘hurt’ anyone that could possibly impact anyone that I love but I have vowed to spend the remainder of my life protecting myself and those around me from the harassers and abusers of the world and protecting those accused from being condemned without sufficient reason or in site. I’ve developed tenacity over the years as a result of situations while during my upbringing but I’ve often failed to follow thru when I’ve seen blatant abuses as an adult and when I have spoken up, I’ve been criticized and/or condemned. From this point forward, I’ll accept the condemnation and persist…for society in general.
The world should not be a ‘battle of the sexes’ either in or out of the work force. Please learn to show respect as a co-worker and as a human being. We will all be a little more productive in the long run. I recommend reading the article in the Time issue of Person of the Year as well as the letter circulating in the entertainment industry condemning the ‘jump’ to convict and the NY Times front page article about the male models, who have just come forward regarding the situations in which they have had to endure. I would also recommend that each of you reading this BLOG speak to a friend, colleague, etc. and learn from them. I’m sure you will be surprised and enlightened by what you hear. Hopefully, this ‘movement’ will help be the beginning to the end of the ‘weak’ having to tolerate unwanted advances from those with more power and authority.
Please note that there are sexual harassment requirements in every state in the union, as most individuals reading this BLOG should know. If you are interested in having a class set up for your organization or would like additional information from an employee perspective or if you would like to speak with someone about experiences you have had, please feel free to contact me, Rosanne Bennett, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 484-718-3427.