Bringing Shit to Light: A Few 3:00 A.M. Thoughts on Sexism, Misogyny and Sexual Harassment

This sickens me. It is utterly disgusting. It is also reminiscent of several personal workplace experiences I have had, not to mention experiences I have had elsewhere including with two local cardiologists recently. Yep–two local cardiologists. The experiences have included sexism, misogyny and full-out sexual harassment. Some I have addressed. Some I have not. None have ever been properly handled. The thing is, I am capable of walking away from experiences that aren’t good for me and moving on with my life. Still, it is pathetic and cowardly on the part of employers and/or businesses that I would have to. There is such a pattern of a “good ol’ boy,” “boys will be boys” mentality, one in which we enable these men to continue with their immature, disgusting, inappropriate, abusive and illegal behavior, and it has got to stop. 
Instead of holding these men accountable, often we praise and/or reward them or at the very least slap them on the hand and allow them to keep their jobs, all the while re-victimizing the actual victim. We tell her, “You’re too sensitive” or “If you don’t like it, work elsewhere.” Or we just laugh it off because, well frankly, who the hell wants the aggravation of actually properly addressing this shit?! We just want to brush it under the rug, pretending it never happened and go on with business as usual, especially if that business is making us loads of cash. Who cares about morals and what’s right? And by doing this we perpetuate this vicious cycle of ugliness, affecting our daughters and granddaughters, our sons and grandsons, ALL of our children whom we are supposed to be protecting and raising to be good, decent, beautiful human beings.
At the risk of sounding like I am defending myself, I’d still like to make the point that I am anything but a prude: the usual give and take, dishing it out and taking it back workplace banter is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about full-out abuse and harassment. And there is a very clear and distinguishable difference. Left unaddressed the victim (who is anything but weak, only strong, BTW) is left to feel angry, resentful, replaceable, discarded and even blamed, like the rape victim who “shouldn’t have been wearing a short skirt.”
I am appalled at myself when I look back at my early teaching days and think about a male teacher who was many years older than me and the fact that I did not report his behavior. I was young and new but recalling how I sort of fake-laughed it off and enabled this man to do what he did blows my mind. I remember two times so vividly: one is where I was monitoring lunch and he came up behind me and whispered in my ear, “Your ass in those pants had me confused for a minute if you were another teacher or a student.” Another time we were changing classes (I was a “floating” teacher at the time), and he pulled me into a dark corner and full-out planted a kiss on my lips. I remember pushing him away and feeling so confused and off-balance about what had just taken place. And I let these things go! 
I am older and wiser for sure and yes very much more capable of speaking up for myself and for others. Still, with my most recent experiences with the two local doctors I have to say it doesn’t necessarily get any easier, in terms of the comfort level, to have to address these issues.
What are we doing, Friends? I don’t know how often I can say it…but we are better than this.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/01/business/media/bill-oreilly-sexual-harassment-fox-news.html?_r=0&referer=http://m.facebook.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s