It’s been interesting seeing how the mighty are falling by the wayside. Of course, I’m talking about the Harvey Weinstein/sexual predators scandal. Some I’ve noted (read men), seem to think this is a new phenomena with women suddenly being offended by words or gestures; some think we women simply can’t take a joke. I can, and I have. I realize I’m past my “most likely to be leered at” age but I do still have my memory. And that memory is vivid.
I can handle most jokes; one just gives a strained half-smile and moves on. But the assaults are not so easy to ignore. Actually, impossible to ignore. For many women, including myself, the assault was rapid, unexpected and impossible to avoid. I do not know the names of my attackers, but the memory of how they made me feel is a forever scar.
One happened in a workplace where I was assaulted by a customer who had been allowed into a secured area. Going to my supervisor was worthless. His advice was “Now, let’s calm down, Linda.” Apparently, he wasn’t reading the signs plastered all over the job site condemning sexual harassment.
Women heard Trump make the word “pussy” into simply a harmless locker room term. He also made a statement threatening the rights of women and children in our country. As a result, after his inauguration, thousands of women marched in towns and cities across the world.
If only all those women had voted perhaps we wouldn’t be headed back to the ’50s. Regardless, there are men out there shaking in their shoes, men we respect, men who are now disappointing us. I’m not saying they should all be drawn and quartered, but they must make some sort of atonement for their lack of judgment. It won’t take away our pain, but it may help us forgive although we will never forget.
The memory just makes us stronger and perhaps even helps us make wiser choices at the voting booth. We are powerful in our numbers.
The conflicts we are in now don’t take American lives every day, but men and women serving our nation or just living in it – like those who died on the bike trail in New York – are killed often enough that the flag is frequently set at half-staff. This is an old custom going back to the 17th century and one I respect; I am not at all for actually changing it but a thought has occurred to me regarding it: with the ongoing roster of people our country is honored to mourn, we might fly the flag at half-staff as its every day hoist, raise it to full hoist to salute our fallen, and thereby declare, as our national anthem does every time we sing it: “Our flag is still there!”
On page 13 of the November 2-8 issue of The Northern Light, a headline read “Blaine High School alumnus arrested.” It was highly unnecessary to mention BHS as if it was the failing of the school and staff that the young man in question went adrift. It also reflects negatively on BHS and its students. The headline should have been “Blaine man arrested.”