Monday, 16 October 2017

I Would Never Want To Go Back There

Just a longer response to a former student's "nothing will change", in her response to the Harvey Weinstein mess - the #MeToo hashtag and the MeToo Facebook postings. Need I say that she also was part of "MeToo".
If history and personal stories tell us one thing, it is that things do change. Sometimes it seems like it is for the worse, but in the case of sexual abuse and harassment of women, things are getting better - if only by millimetres.
The stories that I and my peers could tell about the "good old days" would remind everyone that they weren't that good - in fact, they were horrible, but even then there were always men who did the right thing.
Just one example. In the early 70s, I was working as a teller at National Trust in Montreal (St. Catherine's branch near Concordia (Sir George Williams at the time). I had one customer (dirty old man) who constantly harassed me - came to my till and made remarks, asked me out & wouldn't take no for an answer. I finally told the branch manager about him. The branch manager called the man into his office and told him in no uncertain terms to leave me alone (there was an or else in there as I was told). I was forever grateful to that manager - the man never came to my till again, nor did he harass anyone else in the bank - a small victory, but a victory nevertheless. Don't remember the manager's name, but I do remember his face. 
I only wish that all harassment outcomes went as well - I and every woman I know could certainly write more than one book!
History teaches us that for women, there is no such thing as the "good old days". Things were just hidden behind closed doors and we had little recourse. 
And I would never want to go back there.

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