(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
What is important, in my mind, about the #metoo phenomenon is that women are finally speaking out, and as one voice. For years, we might have told our best friends about sexual harassment, but rarely told anybody else. I have many stories of harassment in the work-place, but I only shared one with the human resources department. It wasn’t until I was about 35 that I started to see policies coming from HR that indicated harassment would not be tolerated. I worked in banking, not the movie industry. I believe that harassment was everywhere, but women did not feel that they would be believed or that anything would be done to stop the harassment. It may be late, but I’m glad women are speaking out now. Maybe we can have a more equal and safe future.
Previously I told the story of working for a Canadian banks loan production office, and the way that the manager first crudely propositioned me, and then wrote a bad performance appraisal when I declined his advances. That wasn’t my first experience. I was a high school kid babysitting for a couple from my parent’s church. The couple had gone to separate events, and the husband got home first. We were waiting for the wife to get home, so that she could take me home, when he walked across the room and asked, “What would you do if I kissed you?” I told him that I would slap the snot out of him, and ran and locked myself in the bathroom until I heard the front door open. I never told the wife what happened, but I did tell my own mother.
She didn’t believe me. Since I got to decide where I would babysit, I just never accepted a job from that couple again. Think about that. My own mother did not believe me. That’s why women have been so reluctant to speak out, and that’s why I’m so encouraged that they are now speaking out.