18 October 2017
Sexual Harassment: 9 Years After The Fact, I Am Speaking Up and Speaking Out

Like most people with an internet connection, I read last Friday’s New York Times piece detailing legendary movie producer Harvey Weinstein’s decades long campaign of sexual harassment and assault. I wasn’t shocked to hear that a man in such a rarified position of power used his standing to sexually coerce, cajole, and intimidate young women who, it should be noted, were not remotely on the same playing field. Give me a show of hands if you’re a woman surprised to learn that a man exploited his place of power for his own gratification. Disappointed? Sure. Exasperated and disgusted? Yup. Shocked? I don’t think so. If I am wrong, please, escort me to this magical land in which you live, where inequality doesn’t result in those with a buggy moral code acting out their basest impulses with impunity because, quite frankly, they can.

What did shock me was that women were finally coming forward to publicly describe their harrowing hotel room experiences with Weinstein. After thirty plus years of monstrous predation without consequences, the dam of silence surrounding Weinstein broke, revealing that each woman is not alone in her experience and, collectively, they no longer have to fear retribution for being honest. In the face of so much sadness, trauma, grief, and the recognition of careers and lives thwarted, the act of defiance through speaking up was exhilarating to behold.

Sometimes we tell a friend or a parent. Sometimes we tell no one. Sometimes we are over powered or try desperately to be polite, still holding on the to dwindling wick of social norms. Sometimes we say, “Get your fucking hand off me.” Sometimes we back out of the room and keep running. Sometimes we are paralyzed and get rolled, go home, take a shower, hope that it was just this once and now we will be left alone. Sometimes the shame and horror derails our lives, our relationships, our art, and our bright futures. When one person holds all the power, even if that power is perceived or illusionary, that’s mad math to do in a split second in order to continue moving forward with your career, to continue doing the art you were born to do, to continue to afford your bills, or just to get safely out of the room.

20 September 2012
Free MP3! End of July with Jan Garrett & JD Martin
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