Friday, October 14, 2016
The Code of Silence
We were raised to be polite, respectful, not to "make waves" and to always "be a lady". We did it too.
Teachers, ministers, relatives, friends of our parents and others were all part of this group.
Then came our days of not having the protection of living at home. A whole new ballgame, to put it mildly.
Not everyone in the "outside" world lived the Golden Rule. It was shocking to me. Having been raised in a relatively religious family and gone to Catholic girl's school for a great part of my life, there was a whole other world out there.
Marrying at 19, it was not necessary to fight that world for long. I had the protection of my husband....so I thought. But, when the time came that I had to work, wow, that was something else.
I'm not going to go into the details of the sexual moves, inuendos, repercussions of telling someone "hands off" or worse, but suffice to say, I'm a battle worn woman just like all the other women who have been shocked to our core by the video recording last Friday, followed by the unbelievable comments of some people who act as though it was not the words of a sexual predator.
Even though I thought I had seen and heard a lot, believe me there IS a whole other world out there that thankfully most of us had never heard of.
Who had ever heard of alt-right, Breitbart, Bannon and ad nauseum? We all knew about the candidate as there was an opportunity to see him on a TV show previously and to read his comments which, even at the time, were disgusting........and still are abhorrent.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday night I could not sleep. The whole saga kept replaying in my mind along with the things that I had experienced in my life.
It was a relief yesterday to hear someone else say they were shocked to their core - Michelle Obama. Her heartfelt speech will go down in history as the "words of women". She said it all so eloquently and with such great dignity and empathy that I thought, "Okay, I'm not alone. Someone else was as horrified and affected as I."
The code of silence of my generation, hopefully, is over. My freedom from sexual harrassment and sexual assault occurred when I started my own company and had the financial and moral assurance to not associate with those kind of people. I wish this for all girls and women. Freedom.
As Michelle Obama said yesterday, "Enough is enough!"