Is anyone tired of hearing about this? OK – before anyone gets offended, No I do not think anyone should be sexually harassed, EVER. But can we all just take a breath and admit this shit has been going on … for…ev…ah…..
I am a 44 year old Correctional Officer. At this stage in my life, I will NOT be harassed sexually or any other way, but it was NOT always so. I started in the work field in 1988. Does anyone remember 1988? No one was ever offended, if you acted like it, you were quickly labeled a “prude”. Well let us back up further than that..
I was molested by my biological father from as early as I can remember until I turned 16 and told my mom. Then he hung himself. It is super hard to grow up that way and be anything “normal or mainstream”. You learn the power of your sexuality through this trauma, you can let it kill you or make you stronger; more powerful. There is alot of power in self awareness, but trauma can skew the idea that using your sexuality isn’t cool. No one talked about incest or abuse in the 80s, the 90s….If you have ever watched an episode of “Mad Men” you can see how women were treated in history, this is not news.
I think as early as my third job the man that I worked with “Greg” was my supervisor. Within three days he had asked to see my tits. I could say that I was appalled and stormed out, but I was a scared 19 yr old trying to make money and stay above water, independent, with rent and many other bills due. It took a few months to get out of there, Over the course of the next few months he got to see my 19 yr old titties. Why? well I was intimidated and nervous about NOT doing it-consequences. But it took me about a minute and a half to see the power in those titties and also how easily this dumb, perverted asshole could be manipulated. It was a two way game, he thought he was winning, he wasn’t. I had plenty of sick call-ins forgiven, late arrivals to work ignored. I trained my replacement, she called NY State to report him for sexual harassment. This was almost unheard of in 1992. Guess what? Nothing happened. Where was the outrage then?
Now every Jane, Mary, John & Susan is coming forward with their stories of abuse, person after person are being ruined, publicly shamed, mocked and ridiculed, in the same era that Hugh Hefner was considered by many to be a legend. We have an admitted “pussy grabber” in office….still in office…… I think it sucks that almost every person in the world at one time or another has been sexually harassed (guys too ladies) So here is my two cents about it, and it will piss a lot of people off.
Firstly, seize your power, the things that happen to us in our past formulate us how and we can deal with our future. The first time my beautiful daughter was hit on at her service job she was completely offended, and it was light flirting. I told her this would be her future. I can hear people gasp as they read this, I don’t care . I taught her how to deal with it properly and not be harassed, and also to tell the difference between flirting and harassment. She is lucky she got that lesson, because I didn’t. She is still in the service industry, making good money and has a reputation as a hard worker, and a strong personality. They know she will not take any shit. I know and believe in her strength.
Secondly, I am really sorry that everyone was harassed in their past. Like I said, IT SUCKS. BUT, what if maybe we just stopped taking people down who made mistakes in the past. I have done some fucked up shit in my past. Nothing that would have got me in the trouble these people in the media are dealing with. I am not the same person that I was in the 80 s, the 90 s, or even last year. If I wanted to write a book and list all the times that I have been sexually harassed, it would run from 1988-2014 when my boss (who was actual Mayor of my town) grabbed my ass while I was working. He isn’t the mayor anymore (not related) and I still greet him and smile when i see him in public, because at almost 70, he grew up in a hell of a lot different era, and know what else? He is actually an awesome man, who worked so hard to provide for his family, and he did some amazing things for a lot of people. A lot of people are not the same as they were. Some of the allegations are absolutely heinous. But to be honest, most of the shit I have read being reported has happened to me in my 29 years in the work force..
I have not been harassed on my current job and I have been there going on three years……baby steps…..