There is a post circulating on Facebook in an effort to show just how widespread sexual harassment is. It asks women to type “me too” in the comment section if they too have been harassed. (More)
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I don’t know of a woman that has not been harassed who worked outside the home for any period of time. I’m sure that after Ailes, Cosby, Trump and Weinstein that many women are having flashbacks. The more powerful the man, the less likely anything really happened in terms of meaningful consequences.
What we have is a problem of toxic masculinity and too many men willing to excuse other guys. In the 70s the corporate excuse for inaction was that he was supporting his family. Then there was “We have sent him off for counseling.” Or there was finding a new job for one, usually the woman. It was exceptionally rare for the man to be fired. It’s not as if the company wouldn’t have survived without him.
The Weinstein employment contract where he agreed to pay any sexual harassment claims and would not be fired was astonishing. How could they claim they had no idea after giving him that kind of contract. Really.
Woody Allen aside, I think a ‘witch hunt’ might be just what we need. What else we women need is good men standing with us to publicly call out harassers when they see them in action or hear about it from female coworkers. Silence is not golden. Silence shames the women and lets the toxic male off the hook. You could always just say, “That was so inappropriate that I cannot not say something.” I hope more good men will stand up and speak out.
This is not just an issue for women. It is an issue for all of us and that’s the only way to deal with it and stop it.
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