Posted by Anonymous.
I think the appropriate place to ask this is in the Basement.
A few months ago there was a lot of talk about feminsim on various blogs, what it meant, etc. I didn't weigh in, because to me it was a non-issue. Not that I didn't care. I just never thought about it that much. My mom is a feminist, and she raised me in an environment where I never questioned women's rights.
I still don't mostly.
Except for one thing in my life.
I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb here if I say that a lot of women have dealt with the issue of their sexuality in the workplace before. I have. My friends have. Being a woman is not easy. Entering the work world, unless you are in a decidedly female environment introduces you to it. Sometimes, I use it to my advantage. Not in the sense of sleeping my way to the top, but I know that sometimes some men are more willing to help me out because I'm pretty
But then something happened that shouldn't have.
A man, who I used to respect, and still do respect, did something he shouldn't have. He said stuff that I won't repeat. I was shocked. I was a little angry. I was mostly just surprised - partly that he felt that way and partly that he would express himself.
It was the situation. It was a social setting. Drinks were flowing. We were enjoying ourselves chatting. But, then he said some stupid things. I didn't know how to reply. So I didn't. I just let him talk. At the time, and looking back, I know it was a shitty moment for both of us. But we've all had them. We go for drinks with friends and colleagues. We say dumb things. It's the alcohol talking. And then the next day we wake up and think "shit. Did I say that?" And we hope that it's not the scandal of the day. We hope that the person we made the comment to gets over it, is maybe flattered by it (depending) and moves on.
This is how I took it. A booze induced slip of tongue that shouldn't have happened but did.
The problem? It was overheard. What's more of a problem - that now it's growing and lots of people know and lots of people want me to fight for my (feminist) rights.
My question - should I?
I have already spoken with him about it. I've already cleared the air. I was okay with it the next day. I'm not embarrassed to see him. I don't want to do anything about it. I want to accept that he made a mistake. I don't feel the need to "speak to someone about it". It's not that I don't think the various options available to me aren't great. I just feel that in this situation they are not necessary. It was not a huge deal.
I've closed the door. I'm not willing to re-open it.
But now there is a feminist backlash. There are the naysayers. The ones who are telling me that by not using every option (i.e. harrassment policies) out there I'm setting women and the feminist movement back. All the rights that my mom and my grandmothers and all feminists have been fighting for - they are all being destroyed because I won't do anything about this and I am willing to forgive him.
When I said no to laying any sort of charge I thought this was over. I really did. But I just found out (this week) that since I refuse to claim harrassment it is being claimed for me. The reasoning, because I am too "weak" to claim it for myself. There is literally nothing I can do. The charge is going ahead. I can't stop it. My only choice is to fight back and defend him and say none of this is true - but I don't want to do that either. It did happen. But, I want to say he made a mistake, apologized and I fogave him. How do I do that?
So here's my question - by refusing to claim harrassment was I hurting the "cause" of feminism?
And, an additional question. What now? Now that this is over my head and I am the unwilling victim how do I stop it?