2 minutes reading time (442 words)

The Silence of the Men

"Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides." ― André Malraux

We live in a world of unsaid truths.These realities fail to emerge because of the fear of retribution, the power of money or misplaced loyalty.They can be somewhat innocent when you cover for a co-worker who is late for work or heinous by turning a blind eye when your boss harasses a friend.We all operate in a world of 'white lies'.While this prosocial behavior is usually linked to compassion,[1] it is equally likely to be a slippery slope to the justification of more extensive lying.The current outrage at the revelations about the Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, and his extensive dalliances reminds me of the line by Captain Renault from Casablanca, "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" (as he is handed is winnings for the night).Weinstein's transgressions were suspected by many, known by some but spoken of by none in a position to do anything about it. "The uncomfortable truth is that Weinstein's behaviour [sic] sits at the extreme end of a spectrum that starts with low-level verbal abuse on the street and inappropriately sexual office "banter". Fail to challenge the catcalls and the lewd jokes and we enable a chain of behaviours [sic] that somewhere, at some point, leads to a Harvey Weinstein."[2]

It is sad enough if Harvey Weinstein was the only instance of sexual harassment by a powerful man but, alas, it may be somewhat common for men with narcissistic behavior.We have other examples of alleged and admitted harassment by not only celebrities as Woody Allan, Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby and Bill O'Reilly but also other powerful men as Bill Clinton, Mark Foley, Clarence Thomas and our 'beloved' President 45.Many of us work in larger corporations that have Human Resources departments that profess to have strict guidelines on conduct of this type.If you are harassed you should report this, with details.Depending on the intrinsic ethics in the company, the results may vary.Some large multi-national companies seem to support ethics in practice, in contrast, closely held companies with a strongman leader are prone to cover up harassment.

With the airing of the dirty laundry of harassment in the public forum there is an opportunity to speak upand say #MeToo.This is a Twitter hashtag, started by actress Alyssa Milano.She is urging any woman who has been sexually assaulted to write two words on Twitter: "Me Too."As of 10/16 there were over 200,000 #metoo tweets.It is time for women and men to break their silence about what they know are happening to themselves and other.If you are silent you are complicit!

[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/media-spotlight/201707/telling-little-white-lies
 [2] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/15/sexual-harassment-predatory-men-harvey-weinstein
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#MeToo
 

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