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Sunday, November 26, 2017


I should either rake leaves outside or clean house inside today.  What I've actually done is watch news and play computer games.  Today is supposed to be the chilliest day of the week so the housekeeping idea is gaining a little traction, and staying inside would allow me to continue my news obsession.

There's all sorts of major things going on in the greater world, but the news isn't talking much about that.  It's mostly about sexual harassment.  You may remember this is a topic that hits close to home since it was major factor at my last job, and most of my other jobs, and it seems people are noticing it happens to quite a few women.

I've had quite a few conversations with men lately on the topic.  Some get it, as well as anyone can who isn't living it.  More seem ignorant or misinformed.  It doesn't occur in front of them, so they have a hard time believing it's as prevalent or serious as claimed.

One male friend asked why I thought it had happened so often to me.  Because I've been single?  Because I worked in a male-dominated profession? Because I'm assertive and accomplished?  Because I turned down cheating coworkers for dates?  As more and more women come out with their stories, I wonder if I'm not as alone as I've felt.  It's part of our culture where a woman is paid and valued less than a man.  This article expresses someof the issues, but it only addresses the conditioning females endure.

I've been adding up the perps in my life and I'm flabbergasted by the sheer quantity of them, and I'm not counting cat callers and ass grabbers.  I've been assaulted, harassed, and discriminated against.  I've suffered stalking, break-ins, window peeping, and phone calls.  Some of this lasted years, and the police and other authorities were useless.  And for the record, I wasn't dressed like a slut and it wasn't my fault.  The perps were usually attractive and well-off.  All were white.

Women forced to leave jobs due to harassment have to work their way up ladders over and over in ways men don't have to do -- which is another justification to pay women less and pass them over for promotions.  Keep in mind, they climb those ladders while coping with the traumas they've been accumulating on the job, and often go home to verbally or physically abusive mates.

We need to speak up and support each other, and that includes good men who are willing to talk about the subject.  Everyone needs to understand that it's going to continue because perpetrators aren't caught or prosecuted.  Too many events are he said/she said without a chance of justice.  But, women are finally getting believed.  It's a start.

Reluctantly climbing off of my soap box where I could rant considerably longer, the leaves are calling.  It's cathartic to listen to the news when perps are finally getting outed, but my lawn is orange with leaves.  Fresh air and exercise feels like it's winning over housekeeping.  This is older art, done at another job where I was harassed and discriminated against, where my boss exposed himself, where his female boss laughed it off as "boys will be boys"... ohmmm... yeah, fresh air, exercise, happy thoughts!


  1. For so long, it's been a "boys will be boys", and I think that's a big reason why some men don't get it. Others act sympathetic, but I suspect they also don't get it. But the girls know...

    I like your leaves illustration, it looks better than my lawn.

  2. Thanks! It looks better than my lawn too because the housekeeping did win in the end. Maybe I'll rake today? I don't know if many of the sympathetic men get it, but at least they're making an effort to understand, and I'm counting that as progress.

  3. Unfortunately we live in cultures where harassment of women for too long has been part of it. It's about time the issues finally get addressed seriously. And men who have harassed women are getting outed.

    1. Ellington's post below is a reminder that harassment can effect both genders. We need to create a world where this kind of thing is punished and socially reproved, but I retain hope as long as we're all willing to talk about it.

  4. There are early memories of sexual harassment. As a blackhaired small boy among all blond sons of local farmers, I was often mistreated by classmates and older boys. One of the occasions when sex was part of the abuse was when 10 of the boys grabbed hold of my hands and feet and carried me like a chicken to slaughter some hundred yards up in the woods. "We'll castrate you" they kept yelling and up in the thickets of the wood they dropped me on the ground and they all lay down upon me, made obscene gestures and jumped on me until I had a rib broken. An interesting thing with this is that the sexual abuse had little to do with sex. It was clearly but one of the tools they used to exercise their power over me.

    1. That's horrible. I'm so sorry you experienced it. Man's inhumanity towards man can start early, and I wonder what happened in those boys' lives in the first place which would give them such ideas. It also goes to show that girls and women aren't the only victims. Wishing you peace and happiness.

  5. Linda, this is an important and well written post.

    I dislike reading the paragraphs in which you have, in the past, tried to find out of it was you causing somehow the sexual harassment, the checking and questioning of oneself. A woman's body is a woman's body and no man has free access to it or is allowed to sexual abuse of harass a woman. Full stop. However I do understand, as it is typically the responsible person questioning her/his part in any event.

    Like you, I yet have to find one woman who hasn't been sexual harassed or worse. It is deeply shocking to find out. I hope the #metoo movement will have good a good effect, I think it will. And yes, men have to talk about this with women and with men.

    I hope one day you will write a post on young women posting selfies in social media. It feels like begging for 'likes' and inviting bodily comments is such a step back in time. I wish women didn't do that. But they will say it is a celebration of their bodies or a coming out, but is it? Can't that happen without social media exposure?

    I hope you will move further into book writing and journalism. Your voice and thoughts are much needed.

  6. Thanks so much! I usually try to write about happy things here, but I'm too obsessed with the news these days to ignore this topic. There's quite a bit that could be said about all the selfie photos, the obvious part being the physical beauty of a girl is the most important thing about her, and that's a huge part of our current culture. The other things are the narcissism and isolation people are feeling and trying to get through by getting enough "likes". Lately I've been painting, but I think I'll get back to more writing in the future. Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. You suffer from a luxurious problem, Linda. Your pen and pencil are equally skillful.