The hashtag #MeToo started trending on Twitter shortly after the allegations of sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein became public. It is amazing how many women have come out of the shadows to say, “This happened to me.” Over the years, I have discussed this with women at the workplace and within my circle of family and friends. Occasionally, a co-worker would warn the others to stay clear of a certain “bad boy.” Sometimes, but not always, we would share our experiences, assured our secret was safe. Some of us even admitted to date rape. The sad thing is I can remember no one saying they spoke out publicly about what had happened to them. Maybe it seemed innocent enough. It just made them feel uncomfortable. But sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior should never be tolerated.
At the tender age of nineteen, I remember being constantly harassed by my supervisor’s boss. He was a married man with children and a deacon at his church. What could I do? Who could I tell? Who would believe me? As a young woman with no power, I felt I had no one to turn to. The truth is I have been sexually harassed at every job I have held until my early retirement. Three decades of abuse.
I have no respect or sympathy for men who get caught. If we cover up for men in high-powered positions, including political office, nothing much will be done to eradicate the abuse. Men need to do better and women need to feel free to speak out without fear of repercussions.
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