When you’re used to privilege, equality feels like oppression. Said everyone.
First, come the excuses.
Take it as a compliment.
He didn’t mean it like that.
He just has no filter.
You need to develop a thicker skin.
You must have misunderstood.
You’re being overly sensitive.
He was just joking.
He just misread your interest.
He was just trying to be nice.
Then the undoing of the accuser.
She flirts with every guy in here.
You see what she wears. What does she expect?
She’s just complaining because she’s jealous of his girlfriend.
We need to get all the facts. She isn’t exactly innocent.
No one likes her here.
He wouldn’t touch her with a ten-foot pole.
She gets around.
She only got that promotion because she had sex with her boss.
She made it up.
She just wants attention.
Finally, most side with the accuser.
He would never do that.
There’s no way someone as nice as him could have done that.
It’s not like he raped her.
Another example of a false accusation.
I’m standing with him.
He shouldn’t resign until an investigation is done.
Our office would be in big trouble if he was let go. If she left, no one would even notice.
Why are we still fighting this lousy battle to convince society that sexual harassment is in every industry in the country? This is not rocket science, as they say. Google sexual harassment and any industry and see what turns up.
Here’s an article on the rampant sexual harassment at Ford over decades.
And here’s a Fresh Air podcast from this week about women’s rights and how they becames a political football. An interesting take on why anyone is involved in our personal health decisions other than our care providers.
Women should be able to go to work and do our jobs without being harassed and assaulted. Men fighting this mystify me. How can you be against people just doing their jobs? The idea that setting basic professional standards is going to ruin your fun is based on too many false premises to even start addressing them all. But denying women access to jobs due to harassment is clearly wrong. Men have no idea how many women’s careers have been destroyed by this. I switched fields early in my adult life due to pervasive harassment in a workplace. Twice. So save the boohooing about the good old days when you could tell jokes at work.
And if white women think we have it bad, check out this podcast about a young black woman serving a life sentence for manslaughter in self defense. If you think sexism is bad, adding racism on top with sentencing discrimination makes it much more than gettig a new job. Some men may say the killing was on the job, but a 16 year old being sex trafficked isn’t at work. This is not just unfair, it is unconscionable. All women need to stand with Cyntoia Brown.