With the new #MeToo movement on sexual violence and harassment starting on social media, allow me to explain how this is an across the board issue.
I’ve never been harassed by a woman, but twice I’ve been the victim of sexual harassment. Once when I worked at the Costco gas station in 1999-2000. I was 18-19 years old and a male customer came to the gas station and would aggressively flirt with me. He would come to my work and tell me how much he thought about me and wanted to hang out with me. He would corner me when no one was at the gas station. One time I hid in the little hut and he banged on the door to see me. I went to management. They laughed. Eventually, it got too much. He was asking people about my shifts and coming in. Once he touched me on the arm. But since there were cameras he had to be careful.
I quit. I left a job because people didn’t believe me. And they laughed. I wasn’t sure how to tell others about it. My co-workers knew about it, but since I worked alone most shifts, they never saw it first hand. Eventually, after I quit, he tried to find out where I was working next. When the co-worker said he didn’t know, the man got verbally violent. I was told they took away his membership. But no one wanted to reach out to apologize.
When I was coaching, an obnoxious assistant that was hired with me, would make gay slurs at me. I’m not gay. But he was jealous of my success and decided to spread rumors that tarnished my reputation in the community. I had coaches in the Fresno areas calling me about this guy’s harassment of me.
Eventually, he was released from his coaching duties, but his remarks to me were hard. This wasn’t simple playing, this was a man trying to ruin my life by painting me as a potential predator, because his own homophobic ideas led him to believe if others thought I was gay, and if he called me names, others would ask for me to step down.
So I understand the fear and the frustration of having to show up to work everyday knowing there are people who use this power over others. Don’t victim shame. Don’t ask “why didn’t they speak out?”
Maybe they did and no one listened. Maybe they didn’t because they knew what happened to those who did.
Just know. I understand. #MeToo
Leave a Reply.
Paul Douglas Moomjean Blog's About What's on His Mind
Blogging allows for me to rant when there is no stage in the moment to talk about what's important and/or funny to me.