If you asked most any woman what their #metoo moment was, you’d likely wait while they paused to mentally sort through the (often-time) instances where they’d been sexually harassed, inappropriately touched/grabbed or worse – assaulted. I’ve spent 15+ years in a corporate environment and I have had conversations with more women than I’m comfortable writing down who have all had #metoo moments.
Some of these women describe in detail their moment while others brush it off because they’re still trying to process it – even though it could have taken place a decade ago. Regardless of the “newness” of the moment – it happened. And growing up in a corporate environment you’re taught early on, by women sometimes (!), to keep your head down and your mouth shut unless you want HR or your coworkers looking at you. That sentiment has been incredibly present throughout every conversation I have had with a peer, a colleague or a friend; that in order for us as women to survive the corporate environment, it’s best we mind our own business, ignore what happens to us and to keep on keeping on. Ruffling feathers only gets you in hot water.
The #metoo movement hasn’t done jack shit to improve the working conditions some women have to endure each day. All it has come down to are revelations that exposed high-profile, high-powered men (some in Hollywood and in the media), who had been predators for years. To many, this was shocking news, but none of it was shocking to me, nor the women I’ve been fortunate enough to call my tribe and my sisters in the field. To us, this was business as usual. Modus operandi. And we’ve seen it play out for years and we’ve watched companies protect their own, so why would it be any different in Hollywood or the media? Please.
It consumed the American public for a minute and then everyone stuck a heart decorated Band-Aid on it, shoved a lollipop in our mouths and moved on. It’ll heal quickly, I’m sure.
When the genesis for this blog began, I had just successfully come through one of the most difficult working situations I’d ever been in, yet little did I know that later that same year I’d be faced with my very own (BIG) #metoo moment that would completely change me as a woman; a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend, a mentor, a manager and a person. To this day it haunts me in ways that unfortunately by now I had hoped would have passed or at least subsided due to the fact that time does – at least pretend to – heal all wounds. But it is still there, ever present in my mind; sometimes consuming my thoughts as the replay of it all takes over my attention span and suddenly it’s like watching a horror movie where you know something bad is going to happen, you’re just not sure when the exact moment is that you should be ready to jump.
I’m not ready to openly discuss my #metoo moment. (I know, that’s what this thing is for, right?) Maybe one day. I’ve shared my story with those closest to me – and some of those not so close, out of necessity. It involves a lot of pain, a lot of hurt and fear and a lot of things I’m just not ready to discuss to anyone outside of my therapist and my husband. But it happened. And just like the countless amount of women I have talked to about this “issue”, there is this idea or perception that because we’re not flaunting our moment on a t-shirt or being vocal about it, it must mean that we’re okay, that we have moved on and that we don’t care about it anymore. Trust me, we do.
We don’t need a fucking Band-Aid and a lollipop. What we need is change.
Today, I’ve scratched the surface – but the goal is to dig deeper. We don’t have to do that by dissecting every single tiny detail about the time our boss or coworker decided it was okay to put his hands where the sun doesn’t shine. Those moments are valid and valuable, but even if we aren’t ready to that there is still so much to discuss, that we need to discuss in order to make change. That is what this is for – ways in which we can be a part of the culture that truly does change the way our society views harassment and assault. It doesn’t only exist in the workplace – that is just what resonates with me the most because of what I do in my career.
So let’s do this. Let’s help each other as women, as mothers, as sisters in this tribe…we’re all in this shit show called life together, so we might as well make the best of it.
– Confessions of a Corporate Mom
*thank you to my fabulously awesome (and badass female) neighbor who so kindly helped me edit this to make my voice be heard, a little more grammatically correct. 🙂
**I would love to hear your story. I have been working to compile stories from brave and empowered women who wish to share and I’d love to share yours as well so that together, we can have this open dialogue, help heal each other and to know we’re not alone in this fight. Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to anonymously or openly share your story.
#metoo #confessionsofacorporatemom #empoweringwomen #harassment #change #tribe