I read the article about Micheal Weatherly this morning after my best friend mentioned it. Let me preface this rant with, I am a survivor. I was molested at a very young age. I have been sexually harassed for most of my teens and my adult years. One boss called me Sugarfoot. I was the only female on the security team. I handled it. One of the store managers at the same job called me Officer Hot Body. I laughed and told him he was a jerk. I’ve been groped, I’ve been kissed by people I had no interest in and really thought I hadn’t led on, I was set up to be raped and thankfully couldn’t show up that night. I get it. It’s a really tough world in which to be a woman.
However, the bullshit about Mr. Weatherly annoys me. It belittles the true agony that we, as women, experience. Yes, he was a dolt. He made a couple of jokes in very poor taste. IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. Ms. Dusku had the ability to tell him that she found his jokes lacking in couth. And you know what he did. HE APOLOGIZED. Immediately. In his public statement he says he was mortified.
This story should not be the one causing buzz. In my opinion, it shouldn’t even be a story. They were two adults. Adult man said something stupid. Adult woman told him he was being stupid. Adult man realized he was being stupid, apologized, and respected her through changing his actions. The only story here is that he did it right. He showed her the respect that is afforded to her through her circumstances as a human being. YAY! A positive example!
But that’s not how it’s being portrayed and that pissed me off. It pisses me off because there are millions, yes, millions of times each day that women throughout the world are forced into situations where they can’t speak up for themselves. They are raped, they are assaulted, they are groped, they are fondled, they are made to feel worthless through the actions of others. THOSE are the situations that need prevention.
As a society, we seem to be able to survive as strictly puritanical or strictly hedonistic. Speaking as a survivor, as a woman, as the mother of a teenage boy, I hate the puritanical bent we’ve now shrouded society in. I don’t want to live in a society where my male friends are afraid to tell a dirty joke around me. Chances are, my mind is a lot dirtier than theirs are.
So there it is. I expect I’ll get a lot of backlash from this post, but I’m mad. I’m mad that the men in my life walk on eggshells every day to avoid accusations that can literally end their careers. I’m mad that my teenager has become afraid of meeting new people because our society is so touchy over everything. Make one wrong move, and it’s splashed across the media.
I am in no way saying that harassment is ok. But I think we’ve taken the idea of harassment too far. What ever happened to sitting down, as adults, and speaking about our boundaries? It will not work for true harassment. But the Weatherly story? That goes too far.