Thursday, October 19, 2017


The #metoo movement has swept across social media over the last couple of weeks, bringing awareness to the widespread epidemic of sexual harassment and assault. Here’s my beef:  those two occurrences are light years apart. Galaxies. It's not comparing apples to apples. It's comparing apples to tennis shoes. Imagine one friend saying, “I’m an apple.” And the other responding, “oh, I once was wearing tennis shoes and passed by someone with an apple.”

They’re simply not the same thing and it frankly makes me incredibly uncomfortable to lump the two together. In this iGeneration, rife with countless social media platforms and outlets, we users get caught up in movements. It’s 21st century crowd mentality and, I’ll admit, sometimes it’s fun to jump on the latest bandwagon. It’s why I posted a video of someone dumping a bucket of ice water over my head a few years ago. It’s why I posted “dirty beige” in response to the call for us ladies to all post as our Facebook status the color of the bra we were currently wearing to bring awareness to Breast Cancer. 

Have I been the victim of sexual inequality and harassment? Yeah, absolutely. I dare say I don’t know any females who haven’t. But have I been the victim of sexual assault? Thankfully, no.

Harassment comes in more colors than dryer lint. For instance, the male math teacher who told me “girls struggle more with math than boys do.” I believed him. There were the sixth grade boys who thought it was fun to pop girls’ bras and the coaches and teachers who looked the other way or shrugged it off as “boys being boys.” At the age of 23, newly married and in my first real-world job, I asked for a raise at my review. My male supervisor acknowledged that I had met all my goals, gone above and beyond, and was a terrific asset to the team. But I was denied a raise because “your husband probably makes pretty good money so y’all are fine.” That was 1998. After working tirelessly on a presentation and leading the team who developed it, I was told at the last minute that a male teammate would be leading and giving the presentation as the client “has a bit of a boys’ club vibe and we think it will sell better coming from Ted.” And, last but certainly not least, is a pervy little squirrel I worked with who offered free workplace shoulder massages and tried to kiss the top of my head. Strangely, after bringing this to the attention of our boss, one of the owners of the company, he realized our profits weren’t meeting the annual goals and there were layoffs, including my position. Stranger still, pervy squirrel was unaffected. 

Yes, pay equality and the wage gap are a real issue. Creeps like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein exist and so, too, do the nameless, faceless cohorts who abide, turn a blind eye, and enable. Am I a feminist? No, I’m not. In fact, I’m much harder on women than all of the men in my life. What I am is a female with strong opinions that I mostly keep to myself until I’ve had enough and, this time, I felt like I had to set the record - and the facts - straight, because Alyssa Milano didn’t*.

* The #metoo movement began when fairly inconsequential, typical liberal actress Alyssa Milano used her Twitter account to encourage women who’d been sexually harassed or assaulted to Tweet the words “#metoo.”