Movement to address treatment
I've been watching with amazement, like the rest of the nation, as every day another male politician or celebrity is called out by women for inappropriate behavior.
I struggled for the right word (amazement), though I'm not sure it really is the right word. I thought about "disbelief," but it's really not unbelievable. This sort of behavior has been going on since the beginning of time, in some way or fashion. To me, what it really is is interesting.
One thing that really interests me is how some women are shaming the women who have come forward to speak out against the men. Naturally, some men are shaming the women, but I suppose that's to be expected. Clearly they don't get it … that's why we have this problem in the first place. But the women should give their sisters a break.
Some of the women who have come forward waited years to speak out. It's not our place to judge or question that timing. Most of them have everything to lose and nothing to gain by coming forward, and history hasn't been terribly kind to women in the past who've spoken out. Look at Anita Hill and what she went through as she stood against a society and nation that was structured to support the powerful man she accused.
I believe this time of reckoning is actually a powerful movement that will slowly shape the way men and women treat each other in future generations. Nothing will happen overnight, but a conversation has begun that will continue for a very long time.
I'm also concerned that, in the mix of this power play that women are subjected to, for all the women who have spoken out to object, there are women who willingly play the game and send the signal to men that it is acceptable to objectify them. My hope is that these women will recognize their own value and work harder to get ahead on their own merit and leave sex and sexual innuendo out of the equation.
Men and women are complicated together, and there is at times a fine line, a gray area, that makes it difficult ,especially for men, who do better with the black and the white. Not to be stereotypical, but this is, after all, an opinion column. My humble opinion is that women hold much more power than they give themselves credit for, and it should be used wisely.
Dialogues are taking place across the country among women, and my bet is many of us have a story to tell, perhaps a person to name. For me, it is a male teacher from over 40 years ago who crossed the line. For a friend, it's a man whose child she babysat as a teenager. For another, it's a big brother. Take the time to ask your mother, your sister, your friend. You might be surprised.
I was thinking about some of the music I grew up listening to. Songs about love, peace and harmony. The '60s and '70s gave us an opportunity for a movement that was going to make the world a better place, but something took a wrong turn and we never quite made it. Now comes another movement. There's no talk of peace and harmony. It feels like it's going to get ugly as stereotypes are broken, molds are cracked and glass ceilings are shattered. That is what I think we are seeing.
And yes, it's mighty interesting.