Men have been objectifying women for eons. Men have been “harassing” women for generations. Men have discounted the voices (and value) for women for centuries. (I just started reading Mary Beard’s manifesto, Women and Power, which traces the roots of misogyny to Greek and Roman cultures). So why is the issue of sexual harassment getting such attention? The answer involves some good news.
Even 40 years ago, in the workplace, women were absent, rare or primarily in low-level positions. Treating a secretary as a sex object was never okay, but secretaries lacked the voice to do much about it. Now there is a much greater percentage of women in the workplace – at all levels including at the top. The volume of women in power – and with voices – is why this is happening now. Maybe some men have just not noticed that women are their peers and deserve equal respect and the right to do their work without fear or discomfort. And that they now have the power and support to speak out. Well, wake up. It’s 2018 and this is not your father’s workplace!
Let’s hope it never will be again!