Thursday, November 16, 2017

Mad About Harassment? Me Too.

I'm really angry at all the powerful men who have been abusing their positions to degrade and undermine women they work with through sexual harassment.

Who do the hell do think they are? Where is their judgement, their ethics, their basic human decency? In what world do these odious creeps think it's okay to whip out their wormy dicks or show up in a towel to meetings with younger women and expect sexual favors? It's disgusting, vile and wrong and paying a few million bucks of hush money doesn't clean up the mess. Yet guys like Harvey Weinstein and Louis CK and Bill O'Reilly and all the endless other men we're hearing about - talented men, funny men, smart men, men with influence - continuously prioritized their sexual urges and puffed up egos over treating a woman fairly and professionally. It didn't bother them. They just kept on doing it. Year after year after year. Did they feel they had earned the right to treat women like playthings; a perq like a trip on the company jet?  Or were they simply confident that their money, position, and minions would protect them from any consequences? Well, those days are gone, guys.

I'm really happy about #metoo. In a time when the internet seems to be a thicket of lies and ugliness, the #metoo movement on social media is like a rose rising from the thorns.

Because women who have been victimized by these assholes are able to find one another! The aren't isolated anymore. When one brave woman speaks out against a bigwig, it's her word against his and she's either dismissed or vilified for daring to open her mouth. But five women making the same claim - twenty, fifty?  It shouldn't take that many, but their combined stories are credible. Together, the women gain power and their abusers - at least some of them - are held accountable for their actions.

I know that most men would never treat a woman the way these clowns we're seeing in the media have. However, I don't think the type of man who commits sexual harassment is gonna stop because of his conscience or some newfound professionalism. I think the way to get these men to stop the abuse is if they fear the consequences of their actions. My hope is now, when a guy feels the urge to grab a woman's pussy, masturbate in her meeting, or force her to massage his hairy rump, he'll stop and think of the risks.

I imagine him pondering the situation, "Dude, messing with this chick could lose me my job, ruin my reputation, cost me my family, or even land me in prison. For my own good, I better just stick to business here."

Self interest can be a powerful motivator, and although it's not the ideal solution to workplace equality, if it makes women safer and gives them more opportunities, I'll take it. And for those men who want to protect their careers but aren't exactly sure what behaviors cross the line, I've written a guide over at makeitbetter.net to help them out.

Update - I just found this cartoon that expresses what I'm talking about - credit Scott Stantis at the Chicago Tribune. Follow this link to see more of his brilliant work.