The Whine-Wine Blog
Because every rant, rave or whine goes down better with a great glass of wine!!
You’re sitting alone with a male powerful figure. You’re a young eager ambitious woman trying to make a name for yourself and build your career. All of a suddenly this powerful man asks you to do the unthinkable. He asks you to sleep with him in order to further your career. You are shocked at first. Then you contemplate it. Not that you aren’t disgusted with what was being asked of you but because you are a woman in a man’s world and if you don’t play ball the way they play ball then you could be permanently out of the game.
In light of the Harvey Weinstein case actress Alyssa Milano went on Twitter this past Sunday starting the hashtag “Me Too” urging women to tell their stories of sexual harassment and assault. She felt that if there were visible and tangible numbers of women telling their stories then America would have to stand up and finally listen.
#Me Too. I was young and working on storm duty for a major insurance company. We had a storm in Charleston, SC. My direct manager was working somewhere else so part of my team was with him and part of my team was with another manager. I was with the other manager. He was an African American male. He never overtly asked me to do any sexual favors however subtly he would ask me to hang out and go out with him drinking. So much so that it was the running joke between the adjusters that he was after me.
He finally got the hint that I wasn’t in to him so I thought. When it came evaluation time, he told my boss that I didn’t know how to use the estimating system, that I went out and got my hair done when I was supposed to be working and basically, I wasn’t pulling my weight.
I was devastated. Here’s what actually happened. He was never around so he couldn’t get my software problem corrected so I literally had to hand write all estimates. On the day that I was supposedly blowing off my job to get my hair done, I wrote estimates for people that were not in my case load but in my area. The people would see me outside writing another estimate and asked me to do theirs because they never heard from their adjuster.
The manager never said anything to me after I told him that I didn’t want to go hang out with him. He tarnished my reputation and made my boss feel that he could never trust me. I was encouraged by another male manager that I confided in to report the incident as harassment. They did do an investigation however it was led by the company HR who’s for the company and not the employee. After that investigation, I was labeled a trouble maker and my career wasn’t the same.
Shortly after that incident, I stopped going out in the field and took a desk job. The manager interviewing me for the job essentially asked if I was an angry Black woman. I don’t quite remember how he put the question but I remember how it made me feel. I remember feeling like I didn’t matter and that I was permanently labeled. I eventually left the company.
Many women in these situations are made to feel that they were responsible for what happened to them. It’s a shame that still in this country and in this century, we are dealing with sexual harassment and intimidation. It’s a shame that after facing all we face in the work place we are undermined and drilled down to being objects and on top of all of that get paid less. But all of this goes back to male privilege. Again, I ask isn’t it time we get rid of this privilege?
Ladies please continue to share your stories. Let’s overwhelm America with our stories and just maybe we can effect change! #Me Too!
Until next time…Enjoy the journey!
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