Mike — El Cerrito
One thing I think is missing from the conversation about sexual harassment is labor organization. It seems to me that the most effective way of dealing with this issue is for women and men to agree on demands that they can present in labor situations for preventing workplace harassment from occuring. To create accountability for that. And despite the number of actresses and actors who came forward in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelation, I haven’t heard anything from the Screen Actor’s Guild about this and I’m wondering why that’s the case, If I just missed it or if these members of the Screen Actor’s Guild never even bothered to contact a union representative about the issues they were suffering from.
Amy — San Francisco
What’s missing about the sexual harassment in the workplace is once people share their stories about what happened, oftentimes the employer responds in a way that is to protect them instead of making it better for the victim. And that causes so much more pain and hardship.
Oftentimes the victims are the ones that have to leave the job and the perpetrators of the sexual harassment or sexual violence are allowed to stay. This is a big problem and I’d like to discuss strategies to amend that.
I am a victim of sexual harassment. I actually filed suit, one of the earliest cases once Title Nine was enacted. We settled, like many other women I signed an NDA form, and my career came to a rapid close. I never worked again in that industry and ended up doing something else, and that was not my desire.
My comment is this, if we’re going to make progress here, then at least legally, these companies that settle need to also be required to assist the victim in maintaining their career.
Which means help getting a job someplace else that is the equivalent, if the victim chooses not to continue working for that company — which I think should be the victim’s right.
This is a cultural shift and that can’t just happen immediately because of somebody’s committing a crime. To this day, many years later, I am still filled with pain, the pain of having lost a very promising career. And I think California lost out too because I was doing some very cutting-edge work.
In regards to sexual harassment, I agree that things need to change. I think what is missing is — we need to talk about making changes in the laws, not just complaining, not just pointing fingers. I think we all need to sit down, men and women, and make changes in the laws and draw a line in the sand saying this is what you can do, this is what you can’t do, and if you do the wrong things you will get punished for it.
I’d like to remark on America’s focus and denial of sexuality and sexual abuse. [The] injustices that women put up with everyday have come to the forefront. In the meantime, Republicans have used this focus on sex and titillation and contradiction to pull off a grand heist, stealing our future, by doing a $1.3 trillion tax giveaway to their cronies. A massive tax bill, not reform, in which they demonize taxes and empty out the coffers of our government and our future. Let out the red carpet to austerity while they de-finance and get out our social programs, the funding for hospitals and schools, roads and infrastructure and the agencies that regulate and monitor criminal forces in our society. For shame.
Rob — San Francisco
I’m in San Francisco, California, which is the capital of innovation. [H]owever there are many startup companies that have grown up … economically, but not emotionally. They have an adolescent state of mind, even when they become unicorn companies, as we’ve seen it over, and they need to grow into elder statesmanship.
Very often the sexual harassment issues are pretty much played out in the workplace. It is a gray zone. What constitutes [a] workplace? Because people do not work in a typical office anymore from 9 to 5. They socialize together. People work where they live and they live where they … so one has to be very, very, very particular anytime. There is a situation where there is a breach of contact. It’s very difficult to lose a job and to start a job search, especially in the high cost-of-living area, so I would definitely highly recommend that people tread very, very carefully about what they do, and when they do it, and where they do it. Thank you very much.
Gus — San Francisco
I think what’s missing from the conversation is this: I’m deeply concerned about how the #metoo movement is failing to consider the problem of false accusations. The rush to judgment in the media, the speed with which companies and institutions want to establish that they are politically correct can and does result in reverse injustice. I personally know two men who were falsely accused and consequently lost their jobs. Both were relatively powerless part-time employees of community colleges. They received less than adequate hearings, and were dismissed. My heart aches for them.
Phil — San Francisco
What’s missing I think is communication, and respect, and process so that people don’t make false accusations, that everyone is taken seriously, and maybe even separately people are given privacy and respect for their individuality and perspective. A good friend of mine was accused across cultural lines, Latino to Asian, as in two females and “sexual harassment” just only based only on a compliment. My goodness. And that’s sad. And of course the fallout, and consequences, and humiliation, and shame, and destruction that falls into people’s lines is just not a good thing in terms of giving up jobs that they shouldn’t have to. Feeling shy, or dealing with the angst and anxiety of working in a hostile environment.
Jennifer — Berkeley
I think what’s missing from the conversation is the perspective of the male assaulters, and why they do it, and what it’s like for them to be caught. And especially what I would like is somebody who’s reformed, and did their bad activities a long time ago, but stopped, and what made them stop.