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Me TooThread Started October 22 at 9:57AM
It takes courage. Imagine...women have the audacity to confront, and finally...topple the code of silence,,,the code of silence that kept men of influence in power.
Some of us succumbed, allowing the power brokers to exact their toll, trading a ride in our genitals for a password that would allow --key word--allow--a female permitted to approach the throne of power.
Some of us had a little more experience--a childhood of abuse. We fought back. None of us were immune. Most of us had a wealth of experience.
Every single woman I know has had a Harvey Weinstein or Bill O'Reilly in their lives, Every single one. Yet, we raised our sins with love, devotion and deep faith we were not perpetuating power brokers.
Women have earned their rights--regardless if their position was horizontal or vertical.
Reply on October 22, 2017 11:20 AM << Modifed October 22 at 12:00PM >>
Thank you for posting. Yes, I do believe that each one of us has had the misfortune of dealing with such behavior.
In the late 80?s to the beginning of 2000, I worked in a highly reviewed 4 star restaurant in the heart of a Texas. Will not give the name but it was owned by a very wealthy family there who had a chain of other popular restaurants and eventually turned them into franchising opportunities. However, this particular restaurant was not duplicated at the time. To say it was exceptional in cuisine and atmosphere was an understatement.
After the birth of my last child, I needed to return to work and sought employment there. It was in my vicinity, but my vicinity of residence was low income and just a stones throw was quite a bit of wealth. I had never had the privilege of dining there, but I did seek employment. As I entered and applied, I noticed all the staff from ops manager down were men. He took my application, asked me to remain and went to the back. After what seemed to me to be eternity he came back, but suddenly, the restaurant seemed to be busy, busy with cleaning the front, though it was immaculate. Waiters who exited the kitchen door would walk over to a table, while eying our table and then they would give a chin up nod. Little did it occur to me it was signaling their okay in a male dominated environment. He then told me I would be hired to be the cashier. I politely said I needed to make more money and I would very much like to wait tables. He gave a sheepish laugh and said, ?""little lady, we do not have waitresses and you could not keep up." I did not argue, just accepted the position. Little did they know I had more energy and strength than all of the unfit because I was a fitness fanatic. After one night of cashiering, I observed the grueling fast pace of the floor.
I forgot to mention I was the only employee of this establishment of the feminine persuasion. I was subjected to a lot of overt suggestions but I chose to ignore. Why? because I needed this job. And yes, part of me, though I knew it was wrong, was flattered at the attention because I was not the least bit pretty. But in time, it became increasingly uncomfortable.
One evening 3 waiters did not show up and I simply rolled up my sleeves and took to the task. Now was my opportunity to prove I was not a wimp. I am proud to say my service was impeccable and fast and those heavy daunting trays were not an obstacle. Each time I went into the kitchen to retrieve another one, the guys would stand whistling and cheering me on, but it was not because they were trying to encourage me, in fact, quite the opposite. But I made more money that eve than I did on a weeks hourly salary and simply chose not to care.
Within a week, the store ops manager allowed me to start waiting tables. I was so excited because money was to be had. Patrons were gracious and taken aback because there was a female as part of the waitstaff. Once I was asked by frequenting business owners if we catered. We did not, but I blurted out yes, and from there the catering business began. It was a difficult and daunting task but I thrived in its challenges and my ability to use my creative and artistic tools. Over the years I catered many well know philanthropist, political activist, icons of entrepreneurship, athletic teams, and many sponsored fund raising events. It was very hard work.
Eventually I became the front ops manager as well as the catering manager but my salary did not match those in lateral positions and experience. However, my money was to be made in catering. I worked hard in that industry and fought to prove myself each and everyday. Still among a male dominated establishment. As front end ops manager I hired many, many waitresses much to the chagrin of the store ops manager but he conceded.
Still Ingrid, I endured on a daily basis sexual overtures. My downfall, as I would in time learn, I said nothing, just simply tolerated. And to add insult to injury, I became friends to many of the male waitstaff attending their family holidays and weekend barbecues. Nothing more.
In December of 1999, I had a very important catering function by a very well known family in Dallas. It took months of planning and two days of kitchen and supply prep. Time and perfect
organization was the oil in my well machined protocol for executing. At the 9th hour, meaning three hours from actual event, 2 of the waitstaff called in. I knew I had control, all was in place, and I simply went back to the restaurant to recruit the two new employees who were just training.
I knew I could not pull the seasoned off the floor because it was an extremely busy time of year. My store ops manager of 11 years yelled across the kitchen to these two new recruits
?" Go with Jimi, and be sure to make her treat you well afterwards, if you know what I mean" Then he began laughing. I knew what he meant for he had been saying disrespectful things like that about me and to me for 12 years. And I allowed him to keep on, thinking simply ignoring would shut him up. But why, it never did. The whole waitstaff was in the kitchen and many just started laughing, but a few just stood quiet. I was just a wisp, but had a huge plastic tote in my hand filled with more kitchen ware. I had had my fill and humiliation.
I walked up to him, standing to his face, dropped the whole container at his feet, barely smashing his toes, then in a very tired, hurt, and shaken voice said, ?" This is the end of the line, I have put up with your sexual innuendos, overt suggestions for 12 years. Why, because I needed a job. But no more. You are below contempt and beyond redemption. The event is all yours, deal with it. You have two hours." He panicked as I walked out coming on my heels not apologizing but demanding I do as he said. Not on your life. The only saving grace was that the clients did not truly suffer because I had left in charge back at the camp a waiter and waitress who both had the ability to manage and lead and that they did.
I never returned, but instead sought a lawyer to see if I had a case for sexual harassment. More difficult to prove as I soon found out. Why? Because I allowed it for 12 years, never saying a thing. My witnesses would not come forward due to fear of reprisal. And ?according to store ops manager" I was ?friendly" to many of the waitstaff. What a horrific thing to imply. Yes, I had made many friends with the waitstaff and their families but to imply I was ?friendly" in a sexual way was a true lie, slander, and unjustified. I was going to fight ?a losing battle" I just walked away.
Reply on October 22, 2017 11:24 AM
I could, very accurately say, 'me too'. But I haven't. And there's a reason I haven't joined in with this, which I know I'm probably going to get shot at dawn for.
Yes, these men exist. And they are pieces of crap. But there's a very real danger that we'll go from women routinely not being believed, and not only that, being too afraid for their livelihoods, reputations and even lives to report it, to believing every single allegation simply because a woman has made it. I watched in some sadness as a facebook thread unrolled before my eyes on an article about a woman talking of being raped by an Olympic medallist, and I wondered what happened to 'innocent until proven guilty'? She said it, therefore he did it. If he denies it, he's a liar. Trial by facebook.
I used to work in theatre, as you all know. My boss was a sleazebag (never with me, I wasn't his type, fortunately). But his wife was just as bad. I remember stage-managing a show, and a male member of the company asking me not to leave him alone with her, as she kept making improper suggestions.
I also remember a couple of young women who deliberately flirted with the known sleazebag. When one was moaning to me about him having asked her to the opera, and how he made her skin crawl, I said, 'well, don't go'. She didn't say, 'if I don't go, he'll sack me', what she said was, 'well, I'm using him because he's got contacts, and I want to get into RADA'. Well, sorry, love, I don't know how much sympathy I've got.
I know that probably sounds terrible, but as a woman who has never been able to use her sexuality for any kind of influence, I've observed, in a kind of detached way, how others do it. It's more of a two-way street in the entertainment business than people think.
I hate the power used by men to get their way with women, but I also hate the way some women have played up to it, and I don't totally agree with the current 'women are fragile, innocent victims who are totally above using their sexuality for personal gain' rhetoric.
I have my 'me too' stories, not from my time in theatre, but from other times. My comments here relate more to entertainment-industry specific incidents.
Now, ready, aim, FIRE
Reply on October 22, 2017 11:44 AM
No one will aim and fire at you Emma. You have made some great points.
Women do use their sexual prowess to manipulate and gain. I agree. But there are the many who simply allow the advances and innuendos for different reasons too, as we all know. Most of us will all endure some kind of pain to achieve a certain goal or dream or simply because of fear. Do not know if I said this right.,
And I am quite sure men too have had the same challenges and experiences.
Reply on October 22, 2017 12:09 PM
Thank you, JS. There's been so much about all this lately, and I've seen much hatred aimed at people for saying what I just did, which is why I was wary.
Your story, by the way, is awful. Kudos for what you finally did.
Reply on October 22, 2017 03:40 PM
That is a powerful and devastatingly truthful statement.
It's stunning to read in its clarity, especially since there is zero sensationalism attached, no Hollywood intrigue or powerful politicians or billionaire moguls involved. It's simply the way it is in ALL walks of life at ALL levels. And when we read it, we know immediately that it is true.
Emma, the gals you refer to re well known to us all. However, I wouldn't judge them too harshly. They are victims as well in my view. They are dealing with the world they live in and using the tools deemed to be effective in that world. Is it wrong on their part? I suppose so, but what are their alternatives? Do they shove a resume in the face of these men in lieu of what the men are really interested in? I doubt it would get much of a response. In any case, theirs is a response to an existing circumstance not of their making, no?
It does affect men, true. But it isn't a problem for men. I've seen it all my life in the attitudes of women towards me simply in social interactions. I can see if I take a lady out to dinner the thoughts occurring to her. "What is the PRICE of this meal?" They are often resigned to PAYING a price for the meal. Other times they feel it necessary to inform me that they are NOT going to PAY for the meal in what they assume is the expected manner. All of this without me saying a word or implying a thing. On the other hand, the fact I go out of my way to NOT be "that kind of guy" scores me major points. Should it? Of course, not. Since when does being decent become an attribute and not a given?
Well, my mind is wandering now to White Supremacy and the ladies marching with the men. How deluded are they? White pride? Proud of what? In my opinion, women have had a similar experience to slavery. I can't say it's as brutal or bad, but then, I can't say it's not. I can say, the struggle for equality is NOT over for either.
Reply on October 22, 2017 06:43 PM
The real question is, why are Weinstein and Cosby run out of town while Donald Trump basks in the glory of the Presidency?
I get that perhaps some men might like a country where grabbin' some titty and pussy is acceptable behavior. But is that okay with women too? How could any woman support this man? Yes, that is a question.
Reply on October 22, 2017 06:57 PM
And a good question at that. Have no earthly idea.
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Reply on October 22, 2017 08:30 PM
Whether this will be believed or not, I can add this to the conversation...I didn't get a position that I really wanted, and was qualified for, because of what I tried to ignore...until it became quite clear, HOW, I could get that position...some of those around me, hinted, and suggested, what would happen..I just didn't believe them...when I was called into the office, (more than once for an interview)...although I was never touched, and words can be used in such a way, that the listener will be accused of misunderstanding the comments should a complaint be made...I knew just what was expected of me.
I was no raving beauty, just 5ft tall, and about 110 pounds, (at that time)...but I guess any woman would have satisfied that creep...
Oh yes I knew what was being said, but when I looked at the man sitting behind that desk, I just couldn't allow myself to acknowledge his words, and so thanked him, and left the room...Did I pay for that, yes I did, of course I didn't get the position.
I can understand those women whose careers, jobs, and fear of reprisals would not have said anything to anyone...Perhaps I was in a different situation, I had a husband at home, and although I really wanted that job, had I said anything to him, about the situation, I know he would have reacted...(negatively) out of anger, causing him trouble...but I just couldn't allow that slimy thing, sitting behind his desk, looking at me with a nasty grin on his face to insult me...at any cost...I couldn't even imagine how I would have allowed him to touch me, in any way.
Weinstein, O'Reilly, Cosby, and yes trump too, are the lowest of the low...No settlements should replace jail time...especially when there are so many woman involved..
I'm glad those women are coming out, I only wish they would have done it earlier...
Just Some Thoughts!
Reply on October 22, 2017 09:59 PM
I believe you wholeheartedly Victoria.
But as a side note I believe you are much more beautiful than you see yourself.
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Reply on October 22, 2017 10:47 PM
Some people flourish, use power and money to help then exact a pledge of honour between themselves and a higher calling. Others wield entitlement and enjoy the blood. Thanks for e
I would have slept with Hitler if it meant the difference between life and death for my child. I''kk never judge, but I'll always try to change the rules.
I doubt there is anyone reading who has not learned the phrase 'casting couch'. Yet, we accepted the realiity without measuring the cost. In my day, dignity was a cheap commodity for women.
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