Early on in my career, I briefly had a despicable boss who tried to manipulate me into a relationship with him. I found him repugnant but tried to politely avoid his unseemly attention and advances. I would come home and cry at night because of the things he said and the way he behaved. He knew that he could get away with making my life miserable on a daily basis and that my career would be in jeopardy if I ever sued for sexual harassment. I eventually quit a job I needed because of him. Thankfully, I was able to find another job, but I should not have had to look.
Apparently, I am not alone. Actress Alyssa Milano asked women who have been sexually harassed or worse, assaulted, to take to their social media pages with the hashtag, #MeToo. Twitter has reported that the hashtag has been tweeted over half-a-million times. I’ve seen friends on Facebook use the hashtag as well − women I’ve known for years but had no knowledge that they were part of this awful club.
Some of the women I saw post are much older than me, but why should that surprise me? Sexual harassment has been an issue since women entered the workforce.
According to a 2015 survey from Cosmopolitan magazine, one-in-three women have experienced sexual harassment or assault in the workplace, and 71 percent did not report it. And why would they? Stats from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) report that over half of claims are found to have resulted in no charges. The risk of losing their jobs or being blackballed in their industry are just too high.
Hollywood in all its excesses is, of course, the perfect incubator for the worst in human behavior. The Harvey Weinstein story is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s my hope that Hollywood’s Pandora’s Box is open, because of the brave women who have come forward to tell their stories. Yet it’s not only the women who have suffered at the hands of powerful men.
Child actor Corey Feldman has courageously spoken out against the culture of pedophilia in Hollywood. He said it wasn’t only him, that his friend Corey Haim was raped as a child. Yet, while he wouldn’t “name names,” he maintains that one of his attackers is a prominent person who still works in the Hollywood business today. This is only the beginning of the offenses in the entertainment industry. I hope Corey starts naming names soon.
Sadly, this is one of those rare issues in which people of every political ilk can find common ground. This issue is not about liberals or conservatives, race or religion. It’s about something deeper and more primal. This is about our sinful human nature left unchecked and given over to evil. Man (and Woman) is fallen and in need of redemption. If we every doubted our need of a Savior for our souls, all we have to do is look in our Facebook feed. #MeToo