#metoo….to say this is a great thing is not a statement I wish to make. Don’t get me wrong, it is. Confused? Join the crew. For me, this is the classic good news bad news scenario. The good news? So many women have come forward with their story. The bad news? So many women have come forward with their story.
Yes, it is extremely important that these stories get told. And yes, it is great that they feel supported to do so. But it is sad that there are so many women with such stories. That’s the bad news part. Some stories describe behaviour and assault that took place decades ago. Others are very recent. It just goes to show that society really hasn’t dealt with this very effectively, if at all. From Anita Hill, to Bill Clinton, to more recent cases, Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore and Al Franken, to name a few. Sad.
I don’t have mine own story, thankfully. Yes, as a woman, I’ve been “hit on” but nothing that I would perceive as harassment. And that in and of itself is an issue. What I perceive. Is this all somewhat subjective? I would argue no. If any behaviour is threatening to a woman and they say no, it is harassment, not flirting. Doesn’t matter if you say you are naturally a “warm” person, who has very small personal space, who likes to hug a lot (Al Franken), no means no. Does that sound familiar??
In addition to the incredible number of stories coming out, what is also surprising to me is how they are being received. What it has revealed, at least to me, is a double standard. One for the private sector, and one for the public sector. If allegations such as those being levelled at Roy Moore, were to be made in the private sector, companies would immediately be taking action and distancing themselves from that person as quickly as possible. Case in point, Charlie Rose. Organizations, concerned about public image and share price, would not takes weeks or months to deal with it. People are fired or at the very least suspended pending an investigation, if criminal charges are pending.
But in the public sector, there seems to be a different standard, different process. Yes, okay, they are talking about making changes. However, leaving that aside for now, as it hasn’t happened, I still maintain there is a different standard. Look at what is going on now. Roy Moore is still on the ballot. Al Franken is still sitting in the Senate. What is done? Nothing!! Are your friggin’ kidding me!! There are photos of Senator Franken, and an admission. As for Roy Moore, while there is no admission of guilt, there are a number of women providing their stories and accusations, all which many people believe, including republican senators.What is being done about it?
Politics seems to trump what is right. Where is the morality? I mean, look, after admissions of assaulting women with unwanted advances by then candidate Trump, he is still elected as President of the United States. Are you kidding me? Yes, there has to be due process. But the process is flawed. It takes too long. Takes the word of decision and policy makers concerned, mostly men, mostly white, mostly middle age, and delays if not denying, any semblance of justice and accountability. This has to change.
What has this got to do with me? Even though this is all taking place south of the border to where I live, as a woman, it matters. It matters to woman all over the world. If the U.S. claims to be the standard bearer of human rights and democracy in the free world, it has the responsibility of setting the standard. Others watch carefully as to how the U.S. deals with such things. On this front, they are failing, spectacularly. I’m not saying Canada has it figured out. But come on, when is enough, enough?
No means No….Doesn’t it???