After watching CBS This Morning featuring TV reporter and photojournalist Ann Curry, I could not hold my tongue any longer. When speaking about the recent scandals at CBS that led to the dismissal of Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer, she conveyed a clear awareness of behaviors, yet weighed her words very carefully to not cause colleagues more pain. Then said without missing a beat: “I do not know one single woman that has not experienced some form of sexual harassment.” Wow. Not me.
If you are thinking that I have not worked in a male dominated environment, not true. When I was in my late twenties I worked for Kendall, a division of Colgate-Palmonive, in a medical sales position where my boss was a man. As it often is in sales, we would have days together ‘on the road’ and there were regular sales meetings – with plenty of male senior managers – at hotels and even resorts. No problems to report.
Was I not attractive enough? Was I just lucky? Or did I clearly convey a ‘don’t fuck with me’ attitude? Not even sure I know, but I do know one thing: there are usually two sides to every story.
There are blatant, inexcusable, criminal cases of sexual harassment with the likes of Harvey Weinsteins…YET – with all these #metoo stories I can’t help but wonder how and why some women react the way they do in certain situations. How some women choose to go along with certain situations because of what they hope to gain. Money. A promotion. A leading role in a movie. Or how others allow themselves to be victims by putting themselves in OBVIOUS inappropriate circumstances, such as going to a man’s hotel room when you have no interest in sleeping with him. Sorry, the answer is no. I am not victim shaming here, I am saying that if you are a grown woman, use your brain, use common sense, and be proactive to protect yourself. Don’t be naive. Always be aware. Uphold your standards.
Another statement made by Ann Curry is that women in society have not been valued. I have to laugh. Certainly we have had societal stereotypes over the years with more men in the workplace, but there are PLENTY of highly successful women in the business world and beyond. Speaking for myself, I have always felt highly valued, for who I am and what I do.
How about you?