Last week, around the time that Matt Lauer was being exposed as the sexual deviant du jour, I found myself asking the question of how, in 2017, sexual misconduct in the workplace could be so prevalent.
I have worked in construction the past 15 years. It’s a male dominated industry, and while there are women in our workplace, I can count the number of women I have worked with in the construction industry on one hand. The few women times I have had women on the job, I have never seen the types of stuff I have seen going on in Hollywood.
Much of Hollywood’s sexual misconduct epidemic I chalked up to men with lots of money not excepting the word “no”, and that the Hollywood work place of television, music, and movies was stuck in some Mad Men-era time warp. If that sounds like a justification for awful behavior, forgive me because it isn’t. It was, however, me chalking up actions like Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K.’s to working in an industry that played by their own set of rules, and was out of touch with the way the rest of society conducted themselves.
I was wrong.
That same day I happen to stumble upon a tweet from a woman named Nicole Sorce, a woman living her dream and making a career in the world of professional hockey. She has worked in ticket sales and media relations for teams in the AHL and NHL and is now scouting for Higher Hockey Management and modeling for Sauce Hockey. She tweeted a post from her blog titled Sexual Harassment: We Won’t Take It Anymore. The post is a long list of specific instances of sexual harassment that Nicole has had to deal with while trying to navigate her career.
The instances Nicole chooses to share are in chronological order by her age. It starts at the age of 18. As a father of three girls involved in sports, two of them being 18 and 20 years old, my blood began to boil as I read this:
“Age 18: The guys on the team thought it would be funny to set me up on a date with a desperate guy, who actually PAID THEM to do so. I thought they were being genuine.”
It doesn’t get any better from there, and I strongly urge anyone who may have the least amount of sympathy for the men in these situations to read Nicole’s blog post.
I’m not naive, I know men chase some. I’m a man, I’ve done it, shit, we all have. There is something called a time and place for that, and it’s not while someone is trying to do their job. There also is a respectable way to let a woman know you are interested, and whipping your dick out, or locking her in your office with a secret button under your desk isn’t it. That should be obvious, but if the stuff in the news is any indication, it isn’t.
The instances Nicole laid out in her blog didn’t happen with some out of touch mogul, and it didn’t happen in Hollywood. This happened in minor league sports, in places like Allentown, PA. Let that sink in for a minute.
What I learned from reading Nicole’s blog post was that sexual harassment is still prevalent everywhere. This isn’t a problem in Hollywood, it’s a problem everywhere. There’s probably plenty of instances of it a lot closer to home than you think.
Maybe the most upsetting thing about Nicole’s blog post is the fact that she still updates it with instances of sexual harassment. Hopefully, she won’t have to much longer.