Women across the world were ready for an answer. As Donald J. Trump stepped onto the stage of Washington State University during the second debate to address the NSFW remarks that cost him many valuable endorsements from within his party, how would he justify them? Even though we knew he would somehow blame Mexico, China or ISIS for his gaffe, we were not prepared for the phrase he used as an excuse.
According to Donald, his stomach-churning words about women were simply “locker room talk.” No harm, no foul. Trump told us his comments merely reflect the honest way men speak about women when they are not within ear shot. The Republican nominee did not flag his diatribe as an aberration or a mistake. Instead, he let us know that his words represent his actual worldview off the campaign trail. To Donald, women exist to be ogled and fondled by wealthy men, whether they consent or not. And the women he isn’t sexually interested in? Pigs. Fat pigs.
Locker Room Talk, according to Urban Dictionary: The crude, vulgar, offensive and often sexual trade of comments guys pass to each other, usually in high school locker rooms.
Donald J Trump, the world is not a strip club, and neither your money nor your celebrity is enough to make women fall at your feet. Your reign as professional woman judger has ended, as have the days when you could speak about women, African Americans, Latinos, or members of the LGBT community in such sweeping generalizations. Stop being such a fear monger and a separatist. What we need more than ever is unity.
WE KNEW HE WOULD SOMEHOW BLAME MEXICO, CHINA OR ISIS FOR HIS GAFFE.
Donald Trump does not speak like someone who respects women. Period. He is offensive about our looks, he uses rape as a campaign tool, and he blames a woman for her husband’s sexual transgressions. Donald Trump is a man who is easy to write off, easy to hate, but harder to learn from.
Clearly there is so much work to be done. Whether or not we like it, more than 40 percent of Americans will vote for Donald regardless of how he sees and speaks about women.
Obviously, one place to stand up against Trump’s sexism is in the voting booth, but we must also realize that there are people around us each day who are not phased by unbridled misogyny. They didn’t even blink an eye. What does this mean for future generations?
We are here to say judge us by the content of our character, and we can’t believe we have to say that in 2016.
Women today are not the women that exist within Donald’s mind. We are nuanced, we are powerful and we won’t back down to bullies. Despite’s Trump’s oft-repeated message that women should be judged or dismissed because of their looks alone, we are here to say judge us by the content of our character, and we can’t believe we have to say that in 2016.
Women in the workplace have always experienced a certain degree of discrimination from male colleagues, and according to new studies, it appears that it is becoming even more difficult for women to get acclimated to modern day work environments, in wake of the #MeToo Movement.
In a recent study conducted by LeanIn.org, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, 60% of male managers confessed to feeling uncomfortable engaging in social situations with women in and outside of the workplace. This includes interactions such as mentorships, meetings, and basic work activities. This statistic comes as a shocking 32% rise from 2018.
What appears the be the crux of the matter is that men are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment. While it is impossible to discredit this fear as incidents of wrongful accusations have taken place, the extent to which it has burgeoned is unacceptable. The #MeToo movement was never a movement against men, but an empowering opportunity for women to speak up about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment. Not only were women supporting one another in sharing to the public that these incidents do occur, and are often swept under the rug, but offered men insight into behaviors and conversations that are typically deemed unwelcomed and unwarranted.
Restricting interaction with women in the workplace is not a solution, but a mere attempt at deflecting from the core issue. Resorting to isolation and exclusion relays the message that if men can't treat women how they want, then they rather not deal with them at all. Educating both men and women on what behaviors are unacceptable while also creating a work environment where men and women are held accountable for their actions would be the ideal scenario. However, the impact of denying women opportunities of mentorship and productive one-on-one meetings hinders growth within their careers and professional networks.
Women, particularly women of color, have always had far fewer opportunities for mentorship which makes it impossible to achieve growth within their careers without them. If women are given limited opportunities to network in and outside of a work environment, then men must limit those opportunities amongst each other, as well. At the most basic level, men should be approaching female colleagues as they would approach their male colleagues. Striving to achieve gender equality within the workplace is essential towards creating a safer environment.
While restricted communication and interaction may diminish the possibility of men being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, it creates a hostile
environment that perpetuates women-shaming and victim-blaming. Creating distance between men and women only prompts women to believe that male colleagues who avoid them will look away from or entirely discredit sexual harassment they experience from other men in the workplace. This creates an unsafe working environment for both parties where the problem at hand is not solved, but overlooked.
According to LeanIn's study, only 85% of women said they feel safe on the job, a 5% drop from 2018. In the report, Jillesa Gebhardt wrote, "Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don't seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable." Unfortunately, only 16% of workers believed that harassers holding high positions are held accountable for their actions which inevitably puts victims in difficult, and quite possibly dangerous, situations. 50% of workers also believe that there are more repercussions for the victims than harassers when speaking up.
In a research poll conducted by Edison Research in 2018, 30% of women agreed that their employers did not handle harassment situations properly while 53% percent of men agreed that they did. Often times, male harassers hold a significant amount of power within their careers that gives them a sense of security and freedom to go forward with sexual misconduct. This can be seen in cases such as that of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Men in power seemingly have little to no fear that they will face punishment for their actions.
Source-Alex Brandon, AP
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and founder of LeanIn.org., believes that in order for there to be positive changes within work environments, more women should be in higher positions. In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sandberg stated, "you know where the least sexual harassment is? Organizations that have more women in senior leadership roles. And so, we need to mentor women, we need to sponsor women, we need to have one-on-one conversations with them that get them promoted." Fortunately, the number of women in leadership positions are slowly increasing which means the prospect of gender equality and safer work environments are looking up.
Despite these concerning statistics, Sandberg does not believe that movements such as the Times Up and Me Too movements, have been responsible for the hardship women have been experiencing in the workplace. "I don't believe they've had negative implications. I believe they're overwhelmingly positive. Because half of women have been sexually harassed. But the thing is it is not enough. It is really important not to harass anyone. But that's pretty basic. We also need to not be ignored," she stated. While men may be feeling uncomfortable, putting an unrealistic amount of distance between themselves and female coworkers is more harmful to all parties than it is beneficial. Men cannot avoid working with women and vice versa. Creating such a hostile environment is also detrimental to any business as productivity and communication will significantly decrease.
The fear or being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment is a legitimate fear that deserves recognition and understanding. However, restricting interactions with women in the workplace is not a sensible solution as it can have negatively impact a woman's career. Companies are in need of proper training and resources to help both men and women understand what is appropriate workplace behavior. Refraining from physical interactions, commenting on physical appearance, making lewd or sexist jokes and inquiring about personal information are also beneficial steps towards respecting your colleagues' personal space. There is still much work to be done in order to create safe work environments, but with more and more women speaking up and taking on higher positions, women can feel safer and hopefully have less contributions to make to the #MeToo movement.