As an adult I used to have a boss who never made eye contact with me because his eyes could only see my breasts even when I showed no cleavage. Most often upon my entry into a room I would find him readjusting himself, or as they say, playing pocket pool. I never dared to question his behavior as he was my superior and I worked in a hospital. Who would believe little old me, if I was to report a high ranking executive? I thought this was an isolated incident, but upon reflection, I realized that every male boss I’d had did the very same thing.
As a teenager I recall working for a local pizza joint which was frequented by our very own Boston Celtics. I was bent over cleaning off tables when I heard a male voice whistling at me. He screamed out “check out that prime rib.” I could feel the heat upon my cheeks as I felt embarrassment and shame come over me. Of course my boss then assigned me the table and instructed me to remember that it was my job to make our guests feel at home. With my order pad in hand, I approached the table of 20 eagerly excited men. One slapped my butt, the other pinched it. I told my boss that I didn’t need the tip that badly and refused to serve the table. He then preceded to tell me that I either served the men or would be tasked with washing the windows which of course I had never had to do before. A window cleaning service came in twice a week to do the windows both inside and out. I informed my boss that I didn’t do windows so if that was his best offer I he could take his job and shove it. I untied my apron, handed it to him, turned on my heel and walked right out the front door. I never looked back. I didn’t need the reference as I had two other jobs at the time that were more than willing to support my need for additional hours.
I share this with you as a preface to the disgust I feel for one of the most recent headlines involving Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein a man like Bill Cosby, was trusted by many who looked up to them with the utmost respect. Both men have been have been charged with assaulting and raping women. Women who believed in them. Women that could have been their daughters. What is wrong with a man that can’t be happy with the women they chose to have in their lives that they have to take what doesn’t belong to them from those who had such admiration for them. It’s no longer easy to believe in others without second guessing yourself or the person you want to believe in. I’d hate think that we are all on our way to becoming cynical, I prefer to maintain that the act of one is just that, the act of one. If we generalize and assume that all men that are idolized by many are nothing but sinners then they will become just that.
Women, I caution you to continue to follow your heart while trusting in yourselves to know what you believe to be right. There are good men and there are bad men. You are never the reason for their mistakes. Justice will come to those who deserve it. Every sinners meets their day of reckoning when it is ready for them.
Those We Once Looked Up To©
By Felina Silver Robinson