Men Of A Certain Age And Sexual Harassment
“Is this what growing into an adult woman is—having to predict and accordingly arrange for the avoidance of sexual harassment?”
It is true that sexual harassment won’t go away on its own. The focus on the problem is good.
For women of my age, it was an inevitable part of life, unpleasant but expected. As a female, I learned to adapt my behavior in order to prevent, avoid, ignore, and ultimately dismiss the unwanted attention.
As these experiences start to accumulate in your life, over time it becomes normal. You stop looking up when the construction workers yell and whistle. You avoid the men at work who call you honey and baby. You pass on the job when the person interviewing you puts his hand on your shoulder and leaves it there.
I’m sure that my mother and my grandmother had these stories. But my daughter does not.
How we interpret all the news about sexual harassment is generational. Grabby, gross guys in the workplace were inevitable and I am not shocked to hear about it. But my daughter has grown up in a different world. Her dad was involved in her upbringing. The headmaster of her elementary school and her doctors were women. More women are in college than men and equality was something she has always heard about it. My daughter will not tolerate the stuff that her mother and grandmother did and will speak up at the time if anything should ever happen. Her generation won’t wait decades to come forward with accusations. They were stunned by the Hollywood headlines, the length of time it went on and how long it took people to come forward.
I also think that to her generation harassment and assault are viewed in the same way- which is great for the future. But, I’m not going to make my voting decision based on which older candidate didn’t make an inappropriate comment to women. That was the world they knew and had learned from their fathers- just as my generation of women learned to keep silent from their mothers. It is not that these issues don’t matter to me. They matter a lot. But they are not disqualifying to me in a candidate that I think has the best chance to win the Presidential election.
Are You A Republican Or Democrat In The Time Of Trump?
“Thinking is difficult. That is why most people judge.” Carl Gustav Jung
Whenever I ask someone if they are a Democrat or Republican and they are Republican, there is always a silence or I am asked if that will make a difference in how I treat them. That is how I know that they are Republican in the time of Trump. There is such a widening divide between Democrats and Republicans these days. The divergence is everywhere from Washington to my dinner table. We avoid discussing politics in”mixed company” more than we ever have before.
I think part of it is the media. We all don’t listen to the same objective news anymore. Our news is biased. Republicans watch Fox News and Democrats watch MSNBC or CNN . Opinion news is our new reality. Between the internet and all the cable networks, you can now get the news with whatever personal bias you choose.
If someone on the phone tells me that he is Republican, that fact alone would make me think that he is not black, lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual or nonreligious. If he says that he is a Democrat, I would assume that he is not Evangelical Christian and does not live in Kentucky. There are plenty of people who break their party’s stereotypes but it is not the first thought that comes into my mind.
We can always blame the Russians. It is said on my news stations that the trolls and bots (still not 100 per cent sure I understand these words) help to increase the fact that life in America is no longer great. It’s now well-established that Russia attempted to influence the results of the 2016 US Presidential Election though the propagation of online misinformation. Whether it did influence the election, and to what extent collusion occurred and by whom, remains a matter of partisan debate. It is a subject we intensely avoid with people who do not share our political beliefs.
As I learned from traveling, when you talk to people you find out that we are not as different as we think. If we have different political beliefs, we can always find some common ground. Democracy is based on the idea that people from different cultures and different political beliefs can sit at a table and find a solution for the greater good. What is best for America is more important than whether our party wins or gets what it wants.
We have always been a country where anything is possible and our destiny is in our own hands. We face huge challenges but so does the rest of the world. We have always had “the right stuff” to ride out the coming storm. We are not a perfect country but we are founded on the loftiest ideals that any country has every articulated. We have to learn, progress and grow.