Did you hear about the one where Weinstein finished off in a plant? Dude...A PLANT.
There was a lot of sick ish in these stories.
I've always had a good relationship with men. I never really thought about it to figure out why...I just did. I grew up with 3 brothers and I was/am a tomboy so I've never had a problem communicating with them.
I've always had male friends and I mean friends for real and not a situation where someone was waiting on a romantic overture from the other. Because of this, I've always been aware of "dude" language and, more importantly, "dude" body language.
I've never had a problem with being sexually harassed at work even though I've been tested.
There was the time when a dude, much higher up the food chain, said he'd never been with a Black woman before but that he'd like to. I looked him in the eye and said, "Well good luck with that." We never spoke of it again. There was the time when a colleague came a little too close to me in a copy room when he had a lot of room to move around. He had a stupid grin on his face and I said, "Keep playing, here?" as only a Black woman with a crazy daddy could.
Cuz we all know that is a question that's not really a question. It's more of a warning.
There was the time a client asked me if I wanted to grab a nightcap with him and I pretended I didn't hear him and there was the time the big boss told me to come up to his hotel room, on a work trip, with a stack of files and I gave them to the concierge to deliver them. Just didn't feel right, you know? Room, bed, man, woman...I'm good down here.
I've been around guys at work where they said some pretty inappropriate stuff but I never saw it as a big deal since I knew that guys were pigs and well...I can hold my own in a dozens conversation and I also know how to completely and unequivocally shut shit down.
All of this sexual harassment talk in the news has put the conversation on the highest volume possible and we can't do anything but listen and read. And man...some of the stuff sounds super crazy. Makes you wonder, did Weinstein start off by trying to sidle up and touch a co-worker in the copy room? Did he just keep doing small things like that until he was in charge and able to press harder? Or, did he not come in contact with someone who said to him, "Keep playing, here?" so he thought it was perfectly fine to get bolder and bolder? Makes you wonder if I should have considered those encounters sexual harassment and reported them.
What if I was 23 and hadn't had a lot of male friends so I was able to peep game and my boss asked me if I wanted a massage? Would I have let him massage my shoulders? My very powerful boss who could pave the way for me to do anything I wanted to do? What if I let him and then he was at second base? What next?
And how would it feel to believe you had no options other than to deal with whatever dude dealt you?
What do YOU consider sexual harassment and have you ever encountered some version of it and not reported it? If you shut it down...does it mean it didn't happen? Are we enabling men's bad behavior and emboldening them by not taking the proper channels to report them?