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November 16, 2016

IT’S ABOUT TIME

After many generations, we are talking openly about a blight on our society, the sexual abuse of women. Whatever you may think about the recent election patter or the candidates, you have to agree talking about the sexual abuse that women have long suffered in silence is a good thing.

It’s not that we didn’t know what was happening. Women heard jokes about the “casting couch” in Hollywood. The newly employed were warned to drive themselves to a meeting and not accept the boss’ offer of a ride. They worked hard   to keep their jobs while they avoided being alone with a coworker or moving away from his too-close stance.

In years past, women didn’t talk publically about demeaning sexual abuse for many reasons. Among them: They might lose their jobs if they complained; they tolerated the abuse as the cultural norm; and they depended on men for financial and emotional support.

But now, women are more independent and feel equal to men. They can train for any career that interests them. They’re confident and expect to to be treated professionally and paid equally with men doing the same job. But companies still see the need to train their employees on avoiding sexual harassment and often will transfer rather than fire a man who is caught.

Women in this country applauded Michelle Obama’s speech on October 13, 2016. It wasn’t a political speech; it was an impassioned plea on behalf of all women to bring this societal blight into the open and force us to discuss it. She understood that women had pretended that the abuse didn’t bother them just to keep peace or to hold onto a job. But it does bother them and they have to talk about it. To their daughters, to their sons and to all the men in their lives. And, of course, among themselves.

At long last, thanks in part to the exchange of political complaints and denials in the United States’2016 presidential election, men and women are widely discussing the sexual abuse of women.. One man said to me, workplace sexual abuse is wrong now, but it wasn’t considered wrong years ago. Women knew it was wrong back then, but they also knew that it wasn’t to be mentioned. They accepted it on some level. But that is changing. And changing fast, thanks to this election.

Any kind of workplace, home or casual sexual abuse, public or private, is more culturally unacceptable today.  Instead of joking about it or ignoring it, we as a culture must talk about it. It’s the healthy thing to do.  The 2016 election controversy started the discussion. It’s up to us all, men and women, to continue it.

Let’s talk. What are your thoughts on this? My readers and I would like to hear them. Please reply to this post, or email me at clw@clwoodhams.com.

 

Peace,

 

  1. L. Woodhams, prize-winning author

The Outreach Committee

Available at clwoodhams.com and Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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