The speed of the cultural revolution sweeping through high-profile workplaces is breathtaking: Not only are women’s accounts of being harassed, groped or sexually assaulted on the job being taken seriously, consequences are ensuing.
Let’s not squander this moment. We must not respond with shrill vengeance but with constructive ideas that ensure the noxious behavior stops once and for all.
Rather than be satisfied to dance around the hot garbage of men toppled from prestigious jobs after sexual misconduct investigations, what actions can each of us take to make sure this movement sticks?
Those are the conversations with the potential to put the #MeToo campaign into the history books.
National columnist Kathleen Parker has ruefully labeled 2017 “the year of the groper,” as we’ve watch an almost daily unfolding of pathetic and revolting behavior as the firewalls of power and money crumble.
NBC fired longtime Today host Matt Lauer for inappropriate sexual behavior on the job. Public radio star Garrison Keillor was canned the same day because of improper conduct while he was responsible for the production of A Prairie Home Companion.
In Congress, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., faces a growing number of allegations of sexual harassment while Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., was popped Thursday with yet another groping accusation.
Who knows what new names may emerge between now and the time you read this editorial.
Was the catalyst for the “no more silence” culture shift the election of President Donald Trump a month after his crass 2005 brag about grabbing women “by the pussy” went public? Or the recent fall of Harvey Weinstein, one of the entertainment industry’s mightiest executives?
Whatever the reason, let’s not lose sight of what’s important here: Making workplaces safe for all employees, women and men.
While neon-light names have captured the nation’s attention, don’t forget about the mundane workplaces where similar bad behavior festers: The women waiting tables late into the evening, those up before dawn to begin changing hotel sheets, the ones standing in factory assembly lines.
Everyone at every job site needs to do better. We can all practice “see something, say something.”
For those of us who came of age when rules about acceptable behavior were still overtly tilted toward the men, outing old perpetrators likely is of little value. A far more effective strategy is to vow to be a strong mentor on this issue to younger female colleagues.
The many good men who make up our workplaces can do more as well, starting with taking a firm stand against demeaning talk about female co-workers.
Likewise, we can all be mindful of shades of gray. While some cases of inappropriate behavior are clear-cut, many others are complicated and even contradictory.
It’s worth a reminder to all who celebrate this #MeToo movement as a tipping point: Accountability falls on each of us to use this moment effectively.
— The Dallas Morning News