Ladies, we need to talk.
More precisely, I am going to talk and hopefully you will listen.
I have decided to devote some time to the discussion of sexual harassment in the WORKPLACE. This is not, I repeat, NOT an article on rape and sexual assault out in the world, I need to clarify that lest the corduroy pants crew start blowing up my mentions.
This is about the WORKPLACE only.
You: "Define WORKPLACE Mommy, Please?"
Ok here goes:
A WORKPLACE is the place where you do business. It is also an event or gathering where people with whom you work are in attendance. A WORKPLACE can be a phone call or teleconference in which you participate and for which you are compensated (you didn’t think you were off the hook, did ya , Toobin?).
A WORKPLACE is anyplace you go, not as a private individual, but in your capacity as an employee, manager, or public figure.
A typical WORKPLACE
Because I’m old now, Turned 50 a couple weeks ago, I am no longer filtering what I say (was I filtering though?). You are about to hear some hardcore truth kids. Buckle the fuck up.
Ladies, when a man assaults you, insults you, harasses you, abuses you, it has absolutely nothing to do with who you are. IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH WHO THEY ARE.
When this happens, at least in the WORKPLACE, you have a choice. You have the power.
You: "What do you mean Mommy? Please explain."
Ok, let’s use a real life example:
I examine this topic because the Cuomo brothers can’t seem to stop touching ladies without their consent. I did not wish to call any further attention to two absolute douchebags than is necessary, however, they are a very public example and germane to the topic at hand.
Yes, throw every fucking book available at these two dickheads, people need to understand that you cannot just put your grubby paws on someone in the WORKPLACE.
But this could have been over years ago.
Chris Cuomo grabbed a lady’s ass at a work party (WORKPLACE Alert!) I don’t care who she is or what was said or who was there or what anyone’s thoughts are on what their relationship was like or if they “all knew I was joking” or whatever.
I have a flow chart, it isn't a good flow chart because I'm not good at things, but I made it anyway:
If you choose say something, you say it right then and there. You say it loud. You say it boldly. You respond to the vulgar act with an equal amount of vulgarity. You make WITNESSES of everyone around you.
Like this, and I mean loud enough to be heard over a crowd.
“Is you crazy? Did you just grab my ass, you fucking pervert?
Awwwww HEEEELLLLL NOOO!”
Embarrass the crap out of him, make him look stupid.
If the people you work for reprimand you for this, SUE THEM. If they fire YOU instead of Hands McGillicuddy, SUE THEM HARDER.
If you choose not to say something immediately, please understand that also comes with some consequences. By this I mean, an accusation, months or years later, means a lot less than an accusation now. Harder to prove, yes. Impossible to resolve, nearly.
Why is that?
Your motive will be questioned. Why did you wait? If you waited because you thought your career would suffer, then you chose your career in that moment. You decided to prioritize your future at work over your right to not be harassed.
This is common, and it’s an incorrect way of thinking. Your silence positively reinforced the act, you let the ass grabber know that he or she can get away with it. As a result, you make it clear that you will do anything to protect your job, this will escalate the harassment.
Alas some folks wait because they think “Nobody will believe me.”
Why not? Do you lack integrity? Are you known to be a liar? You got hired, so they obviously interviewed you, vetted you in some way, why wouldn’t they believe you?
Even 20 years ago, no company, large or small, had any desire to be put on blast in the media, no business can survive the embarrassment of a scandal.
If they want to continue to engage in commerce and potentially hire more people in the future, I assure you, you would either be believed and the problem handled in an appropriate way, or you would be let go and you would have a lawsuit to win.
If you waited because you thought it would be wise to stay quiet until you are more established, so that your accusation would have a bigger impact, then you just paved the way for your allegations to be dismissed.
You look like an opportunist, a person seeking a bigger payout.
You, with your silence, have also allowed the offender to continue doing this to you and possibly others. How’s that for supporting your fellow vagina Americans? #metoo and such.
If you want to be the “Lady Boss,” like it says on your coffee mug or desk plaque, then you need to start acting like one.
A boss doesn’t allow shit to happen, a boss makes shit happen.
If you want to rid the workplace of offensive sexual innuendo, inappropriate touching, demands of “favors” in return for your continued employment or promotion, then you have to squash it immediately and let the chips fall where they may.
Were you looking for a shitty job when you found this one? Yes, you were, so be a Boss Ass, Baller Ass bitch, now. Silence isn’t golden, and neither is that parachute.