No, It wasn’t just a “touch on the knee.”
Another day of stunning sexual harassment: we woke up hearing about Matt Lauer and ended lunch with the news that folksy Garrison Keillor had acted, well, a bit too friendly with a few women.
It’s too early to know (much less process) all of the details that led to today’s big news stories, but there’s one thing for sure: every man we know is in disbelief while every woman we know is saying “well, of course.”
What’s concerning to us is the disconnect between men and women’s reactions. How could our good friends and colleagues have such different viewpoints? How could women have so much awareness and certainty and how could men be so seemingly clueless?
Most of all, how could men (the good men we know) react as if women are OVER reacting?
Notwithstanding the many variables that surround sexual harassment and abuse, here are a few things we know to be true and just have to say.
1/ Women know the difference between a friendly hug and harassment/assault. So men, don’t tell me you are afraid to hug me when you greet me (that’s how we do it in Texas). A chaste hug is not full body and it lasts less than one second max. You know this.
2/ Women will do almost anything to feel safe, even if that means taking counterintuitive actions like not reporting harassment or even rape. We will go to great lengths to pretend “things” did not happen because it mortifies us to face how truly vulnerable and unsafe we really are. That’s why we have not been clamoring to report abuse and chase men down in courts and in HR departments and offices that further shame us and make us feel unsafe.
3/ Men know the difference between right and wrong. No need to explain this one.
4/ Women are speaking up now because we, as a culture, have reached a tipping point where it is now acceptable and somewhat safe to speak the truth.
If you are ready to speak up about workplace harassment or abuse, please contact us for a private consultation regarding your legal options. Here’s how: email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 469-518-1937.
You are not alone.