Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meaningless Harassment

Just saw a Facebook post that said that a politician’s actions of sexual harassment were considered “meaningless.” Yeah, that’s probably right. After all, no one actually gets hurt being harassed, right?

Bullies are everywhere and sexual bullies are just another type of bully. No big deal. It’s just the dark side of King of Wands, the abuse of power and energy. Happens all the time, right?

Victorian Trade Card Tarot
(c) Copyright 2010 Marcia McCord
After all, these people don’t really mean anything by it. It’s all in fun, isn’t it?

That’s why parents are getting together with schools to institute anti-bullying programs, because it’s no big deal. So what if your kid gets teased to the point of suicide, right? They should have been tougher stuff, probably. After no one on your side of the family ever had that kind of problem or dealt with it that way. Did they?

Take racial prejudice, for instance. Why, no one had a problem in the old days when everything was OK and people knew their place. Musicals like South Pacific contained songs like “You Have to be Carefully Taught” because those show business people aren’t like regular folks anyway. They’re too sensitive, for one thing. And a lot of them, well, nice people just don’t talk about that of course. It’s just too bad if parents didn’t like who was coming for dinner or didn’t want to call him Mr. Tibbs instead of “boy.” That’s their choice, right? A person is entitled to their opinions and it’s nearly obligatory to share those opinions because where would this country be without the freedom to hate anyone you choose?

And what if your kid is some kind of freak, right? Like they have something really goofy going on, like maybe a life-threatening disease or a life-altering accident or maybe they were just born that way? Maybe it’s a birthmark or the kid flinched and they could tell he was afraid. Maybe she wasn’t as pretty as she should have been at 13 or 14 by all our Western standards. Maybe she liked science or math and not girl-subjects. What if he wanted to dance?

Isn’t it a person’s right to point out the truth that your kid is, well, you know, different, like a puddle of oil that a person should walk around so they don’t stain their shoes? So what’s the fuss all about in schools with the bullying anyway? Let those kids buck up and take the real world for a switch instead of being coddled and told they are loved and told they can actually do something because everyone just knows they can’t. OK, so Stephen Hawking is maybe an exception or probably a fraud, you know? But that’s not like the usual brand of goofy.

I mean if a kid switches his letters around, he might just not be worth a person’s time. Or why on earth spend the money on an adult literacy program to teach people who don’t already read or speak English very well or, heaven forbid, have some kind of developmental disability? Just because Sue’s daughter is now reading to little kids when people thought she and her fellow clients at the ARC would never learn to read at all, I mean, is that any reason to invest any money in folks with problems? Of course, if they had jobs and paid taxes, that would be different. Oh, hey, right, OK, some of them do. Come to think of it, they are all consumers of some kind, if nothing else clothing and electricity and water and other stuff. That’s the stuff that gets taxed. So, yeah, they pay taxes, I guess. Somebody buys gasoline to cart them around. Now, that’s a lot of taxes, right? Hoo boy!

But, seriously, sexual harassment? I mean that’s just flirtation where she changes her mind, isn’t it? Aren’t they all like that? Then they turn on you. Doesn’t a girl know how to get places anymore? They pretend they are shocked or something when they know the score.

Take me for instance. Well, don’t, actually. But I could be an example, let’s say. So in my youth, I was a vibrant young lass. Sure, I got offers. I turned them down. After all, why sit on the Operations Manager’s lap for a cuddle when all he was offering was the chance to be his secretary. I mean, that’s a lateral transfer, for goodness’ sake. Or one of the Engineering Managers who sat on my desk and wouldn’t go away, even when I told him if he were the last man on earth and I were the last woman, I’d give myself to God: Just because he interrupted my work, the work I needed to do to pay my rent to live and just because the Operations Manager was ticked that I didn’t take him up on his offer, was that any reason to feel like the Boys’ Club was going to vote me out of the treehouse if I didn’t play along? I was such a risk-taker. I said no.

Or how about the attorney who was about twice my size who kept blocking my way in the hallway, trying to cop a feel? Meaningless, right? I mean I could always go to my boss and, well, wait. He was one of my bosses. It was all in good fun so why wasn’t I having fun like I was supposed to? I did make something of a game of it. I worked to find out what scared that guy the most. It turned out that he didn’t fear bruising of tender parts, the loss of his reputation, the possibility of disbarment or sanction, the disapproval of his senior partner, or even the wrath and heartache of his wife. I was pretty stunned that none of these things seemed to faze him, considering he was an up-and-coming young attorney with a reputation for putting deals together and being sharp. Nope, but I did find out what he was afraid of: his mother. She came into the law offices at least once a week just to see her baby. Something about what she knew about her baby made him think twice about having (more?) reports of sexual harassment by this successful, young, intelligent husband and father with a comfortable career and a thing for investing in larger carat diamonds. It was meaningless, right? I mean, what possible importance could I have in the scheme of his career? Oh, and never mind about what it would do to mine. After all, I was just a secretary then, nobody. I’m pretty much still nobody, so what’s the harm?

After all, it’s not like these guys were like the stalker the police picked up in the public library one afternoon after the librarians noticed he was following me as I went from ancient history, to antique glass, to metaphysics, to Agatha Christie in rapt attention to the books on the shelf, paying none to the sex offender in the green Army Surplus jacket. That guy just wanted to get to know me. That’s what he told the police. He only had a knife after all and the police escorted him away from the library. I mean, sexual harassment and bullying isn’t like that, is it? It isn’t the strong preying on the weak without empathy or regard for the other person, without understanding that the object of their attention is actually a person, like them. Is it?

It’s not like my own father who, when informed that one of his grandsons was gay, announced that the grandson was not welcome in his house and that there’s never been anything like that on his side of the family.

Not even when I replied, “Daddy, what makes you think they would have told you?”

Nope, nothing like that. It’s pretty much meaningless.

**Please note that if anyone somehow mistakes my point of view for one of trivializing bullying, sexual harassment, political dissembling, stalking or hate crimes, please re-read for content and understanding.  There will be a test.  It's called Life.

Best wishes.


Just had to share this TV Broadcast on PZTV where I was the guest speaker!  That cat pin on my jacket was created by the lovely and talented Sharon Bloom, so check out her site if you love whimsy and need to buy a fabulous gift...even if it's for yourself!

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