I know I talk a lot about my son, but today I want to address the #metoo movement as I feel it’s been long time coming.
Let me go on record to say I’ve never been sexually assaulted. However, this does not mean I cannot say #metoo, as I have my own stories about being disrespected, nor have I been immune to forceful advances and harassment. All in all I know I’ve been lucky, the fact that I was very shy when I was younger really helped. I would never put myself in the position where I would be easy prey. I do have some stories, however.
I will not say “who” or “where”, but these incidents did happen to me.
I remember being in a library 20 or so years ago… I was doing some research and an old guy that worked there was helping me. He was at least in his 70s. I was friendly with him, he was helping me a lot. On my second trip there, he started telling me how much my friendship meant to him and next thing I know his tongue was in my mouth. I was so shocked and stunned I left in a hurry and never went back. If he had been younger, maybe, just maybe, I would have seen it coming, but I did not see this coming at all. Yes, this left a real bad taste in my mouth. Literally.
Once I remember being asleep when someone opened the door to the bedroom where I was sleeping, asking me if I was asleep. I was tired and almost asleep so I didn’t answer. I then woke up with this man’s hands on my breasts. I pretended to be asleep and moved in a position so he could not touch me anymore and he left. It then happened again one more time. I was too embarrassed to confront this person, but I made sure my bedroom door was locked from then on.
An old boss of mine back in the 80s would constantly make sexual advances to me. He would call me at work and ask me to go skinny dip with him. He knew I was married. Not a week would go by without him asking me to do something nasty to him. The fact that he was my boss made it so that while I would refuse, I could not really do anything else, I just didn’t want to lose my job. Ugh.
I would have other stories to tell, from boyfriends who would hit me to others would share things that were meant for their eyes only. But I am sure everyone has had these types of stories in their arsenal of what we call “life”.
Even though this does not encompasses the #metoo movement, I also wanted to mention the lack of respect I got being a boss at both Babbage’s and Domino’s Pizza. Even though I did get the opportunity and my bosses would praise my work and leadership, that did not mean that some customers would treat me with any kind of respect. At Domino’s, people would be stunned when they got me when they asked for the Manager. They wouldn’t talk to me, they would then ask me who my boss was. Unbelievable. At Babbage’s, customers would rarely ask me for my advice or questions about video games or software. They would walk right past me and go to one of my male employees. This happened every single day. Then one day I wore my glasses and all of a sudden, customers would come and ask me questions and advice. I mean… really?
And the customers weren’t the only ones treating me badly. I had two co-workers whose wives hated me. HATED me. Why you may ask? Because their husbands worked with me. Yep, that’s it. I had absolutely no interest in their husbands at all, we were simply co-workers. I was married and would never cheat nor even innocently flirt. It’s just not me, not who I am. Yet every time they would come visit their husbands at work they wouldn’t talk to me and would look at me like I was some sort of viper. Good God! I asked both of my co-workers what was up, why their wives hated me, and they both said it was their fault. They talked about me often. “Don’t talk about me for goodness sakes!!!”
I am probably nit-picking here, mostly because I know that all in all nothing truly major ever happened to me. But I do know that all the things we take for granted, from voting to the birth control pill did not happen by accident. It took women to stand up for themselves and tell their truth, make their voices heard.
If there was one thing I am teaching my son, is to respect girls. Always. I hope he’s listening.
Love & Light,