Many conservatives remain skeptical that sexism (or sexual harassment) are as widespread as women say they are, and they incorrectly assume that secular, liberal feminists are lying or exaggerating about sexism, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment.
As I was just remarking in my last post, I am a conservative woman (not a left wing feminist), and I have personally experienced sexual harassment and sexism both in and out of the workplace, which I mentioned to highlight the reality of it.
(The occasions when I was the subject of sexual harassment by men were not invented by liberal, feminists. Hello, other conservatives and assorted flavors of anti-feminists.)
I too, like the author of this piece, have seen a trend in the last two or so weeks, for the most part, by conservatives (and the occasional pearl-clutching liberal woman), who continue to worry that the “Me Too” phenomenon, where-by women are finally being believed when they step forward to report sexual harassment by men, is going to “harm” men.
This worry on behalf of men is misplaced and is the wrong focus, as it makes men the center of a long-lasting, prevalent problem faced mainly by women, a problem caused and perpetuated by men.
The focus should be upon women and seeking justice for women assaulted or harassed by men in workplaces; the focus (not in the midst of conversations such as brought about by the “Me Too” trend) should not be upon men, men’s fears, men’s anxieties; and not misandry.
If, in the coming weeks, we begin seeing an absolute deluge of hetero men stepping forward, one after the other, from the worlds of journalism, politics, Hollywood, and where ever else, insisting they were raped, sexually harassed, or otherwise held back by women bosses in their careers, then I’ll consider the notion we need to pause and reflect on men’s worries, concerns, and fears on such issues.
Until such a time, no, not really, I cannot muster up a lot of outrage or see a reason to stop the discussion around the sexual harassment and abuse of women by employers (which is not to say I do not have sympathy for men who have been harassed by women or men employers).
I am in agreement with this editorial:
The news of Matt Lauer’s termination added oxygen to the conversation about sexual harassment that’s been ongoing for weeks.
But unlike the collective shock and horror when the Harvey Weinstein story broke, or the genuine concern over the volume of women saying “MeToo,” that conversation now seems to be shifting.
This time I’m hearing a lot more questioning (“are we going too far?”), confusion (“the line between right and wrong is too grey”), and even claims that it’s all a #witchhunt.
[The author then recounts numerous examples of sexual harassment she faced in her workplace]
…In my 25 years working in the tech industry, I’ve had my share of #MeToo situations. I’ve been harassed, hit on, and asked by a direct manager to “show him my panty drawer.” The line was crossed countless times, but only this once did I actually report the behavior. As a 20-something in tech in the 90s, dealing with harassment was just part of the job.
We’ve come a long way, but the issue of harassment has barely budged. I was not at all shocked by the number of #MeToo admissions, nor has one single harassment allegation surprised me.
What has taken me off guard is the number of people who think a handful of high-profile firings is going too far and verging on a “witch hunt.” Yes, women are coming out of the woodwork, and people’s careers and lives are being ruined. It does feel like a lot at once, and that’s because it happens a lot.
Calling this a witch hunt delegitimizes the victims and returns us to the hostile environment where women feel like they can’t speak up.
… Many men are looking back at their careers right now and hoping they’ve never crossed the line and harassed anyone. This awareness and self-examination alone is huge. Shouldn’t we help educate by raising our voices when an offense occurs?
Read remainder here.
She’s concluded what I have (but have yet to publish in another post): that so many men purport to be scared and worried now about any of this is rather a good thing.
Why? Because some men, in light of the recent reporting of sexual harassment, are finally looking at things from a woman’s view point, having to consider how women think, feel and view the world (which they have not been forced to do previously), and, they are no longer taking for granted that their sexual comments or sexual misbehavior will or should be tolerated by women or by employers. Those are all good things.