The,"#MeToo" movement had to happen. When people of power use this power to subjugate the people who they can dominate, with this power, eventually, someone will blow the whistle.
Taking advantage of people who are afraid to protest, because the person has power over them, has been going on for a longtime.
Sexual subjugation is one of the things that grow well in the dark. Lately people are shining a light on this and it cannot be ignored when this happens.
I did not mention gender or race in this because it crosses all these lines. It is true that it is mostly done by white males, but that is because they are the people who are apt to hold the power in our society. There are exceptions, Bill Cosby comes to mind and a veteran in Canada, who was suffering from PTSD, accused Christine Moore of sexually harassing him.
The movement took off because women of talent and power in their own right went public with their stories. These were women who had a lot to lose, some were envied for the life they had achieved. This made them more believable, and started the ball rolling.
This movement had to happen and it outed some very powerful and famous people. These people had been doing these things for years and getting away with it. They are now being forced to pay the price and so they should.
Like all good things though, people can take it to the extremes.
There was a woman who said she was sexually harassed because someone touched her and made her feel uncomfortable. The whole story was that someone put his hand on her shoulder and whispered in her ear. No sexual words or innuendos were made.
Another person charged harassment because the person got too close invaded her personal space and made her uncomfortable.
Another person claimed her boss yelled at her made her uncomfortable. Some of these people who were accused were suspended, some were demoted and some lost their jobs.
Sexual harassment should receive zero tolerance. I think other forms of harassment should be looked at differently. These should be done on a case by case basis and no action against the accused should be taken until the accused is found to have acted in a manner that needs to be addressed.
There is a difference in what some races see as personal space. We in North America consider this to be three feet, some Latin countries and some Asian countries have a much smaller personal space. Also, some people are just touchy people. They will put a hand on your shoulder or back and lean in to have a personal word. They think this is a friendly thing to do.
As for a boss who hollers and screams, you have two choices: quit or put up with it. Let’s not be too quick to act, we have time to get the facts. A commentator said not so long ago, "if sexual innuendos are going to be the criteria, then every man of power over 45 should be uncomfortable "
Walter Jones is a freelance writer living in Amherst. His column appears weekly in the Amherst News.