No one said Cultural change would be easy.
Our sexism and innate dislike of women is pretty much ‘in-bred’ at this point. We’ve spent thousands of years putting women at an extreme disadvantage in every way — except as a baby machine (and even then we’re usually ‘doing it’ wrong).
We, in essence, threw a light switch. The darkness of sexual harassment suddenly got flooded with light and Truth. This was happening. All the time. It was always a presence in every room — even if there were no women in it. Perhaps especially if thre were no women in it…
We went from sexual harassment being a grudgingly accepted piece of the architecture to that whole piece of the building being chopped off and blown up. Near full tolerance to zero tolerance in a heartbeat.
In a way, it IS like suddenly enacting Prohibition today then punishing everyone who dared to driink yesterday while it was still ‘legal’. In the case of sexual harassment, it should never have been legal in the first place. Because it’s that addictive…
A lot of men whose bad behavior was ‘tolerated’ yesterday will be following Matt Lauer out the door ‘Today’, tomorrow and into the future. But — that bad behavior WAS tolerated up until today. The rules of the game have changed completely and any man who tries to argue with the refs will find himself banished for good.
I look at guys like Lauer and Mark Halperin and Glenn Thrush and wonder — who the hell’s going to hire them ever again? They’re finished. F i n i s h e d — because of things they did before the rules changed. Doing things they knew damned well they shouldn’t have been doing it in the first place.
The only question I have for each of these men: If the rules had been the rules of NOW — would you have even thought to do what you did?
I wouldn’t let them answer. I’d be staring at their eyes — waiting for the instant BEFORE they actually answered. The Truth will be in their eyes. Would they have done it anyway or not? Only they know now. And — going forward — every man must ask himself the same question about his own past. If he can’t answer without giving the Truth away in his eyes — he may be another surprise shocking all his friends and neighbors.
‘But he was always such a good guy’ will be said about a lot of us as they begin the process of forgetting they ever knew us.
No one said Cultural Change would be easy…