By Rhonda E. Frost
I was talking to someone recently about how the sexual harassment secrets being exposed daily and the public response, has become the new Civil Rights movement for 2017. He and I both agreed that it is, but this time, the change is for women. It is historical in every sense. Women are speaking out on rich and powerful men, who’ve lived their lives as undercover sexual predators violating women at will(in the workplace and beyond), people are listening, and companies are taking swift action. This is unprecedented!
The cat is out of the bag and it’s running around, opening cracked doors, tearing at window coverings and scratching up everyone in the room. There is a change in the air and it feels mighty powerful. This issue went viral because it affects so many women. One study said, “54% of women have experienced sexual harassment at some point in their lives”. It’s crazy how someone’s brave moment, can spark a revolution, like Rosa Parks saying, no more back of the bus for me, I am tired.
No more will it be hidden. No more of women just taking it in stride to keep a position or to get in the door. No more will powerful men be allowed to harass, or sexually violate women, because they can. It will never, ever, go back to what it once was. Times have changed. Women are demanding their power back and this time, yes…this time, people are listening and taking action.
I applaud all the brave souls who put it all on the line to say what it is, or was. This behavior has been going on since forever; remember Anita Hill and her revelation about Clarence Thomas? Furthermore, men have violated girls, teens and grown women from the beginning of time, with impunity. No more! It’s bigger than men losing jobs, it’s bigger than sexual harassment, it’s about the bigger picture of our bodies being used as objects, our bodies being touched or talked about when that wasn’t something we wanted, and it’s about women being demoralized and victimized and not having a platform or safe space to talk about it. It’s about taking what isn’t yours, because you can, because you are bigger and stronger, more powerful, have more money, or a bigger office.
And no, I am not saying every complaint is legit. I am not saying all women are victims and all men are evil sex fiends, but I am saying statistically, men sexually violate and harm women at an alarming rate globally and it’s rampant in all areas, starting at home with uncles, dads, “male friends of the family”, etc., and continues on up into the corporate world.
Finally, we can stand and know that someone will listen! This is another historical moment in our time. I am so glad to live to see it!
The takeaway: our body is not yours, unless we give it to you willingly, coherently and on purpose, without fear or intimidation. Your secrets will no longer be kept. The whole world is watching. Treat women, how you want people to treat your daughter, your sister, aunt and mother. If the proverbial shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn’t, keep it moving. #metoo #timeshavechangedforwomen #thenewCivilRightsMovementisinfulleffect