Could #MeToo Have Called Out JFK Too?

 

#MeToo’s exposure of predatory males has been providing society a long overdue, much needed and invaluable wakeup call. For raising our awareness, we must extend our commendation, compassion and recognition to all the victims… as well as remind anyone, who has yet to speak up, to never suffer in silence.

While the high profile predators, typically, have been grabbing much of the media headlines, we must never forget that underreported, lesser knowns also employ the the exact, same sexual harassment, abuse and assault MO… indeed, such deplorable conduct spans and spoils workplace environments everywhere.

While it’s been disconcerting… at times painful… to witness once-upon-a-time respectable men being stripped of their sheep’s clothing veneer… see their lives and livelihoods in crash and burn mode… we must NEVER FORGET they have no one to blame but themselves… and they fully deserve society’s justifiable wrath. The #MeToo movement is absolutely correct to demand that blame be affixed where it truly belongs… upon the guilty predators and NEVER upon their totally innocent prey.

Of course, if we ever hope to cure society of such ills, our work has only begun. Parents must learn to raise their daughters to never take any predatory crap from anyone! Parents must learn to raise their sons to behave more respectfully and sensitively… not only within our workplaces but everywhere else, too.

More to the point, males must become fully aware of what a vile hormone testosterone can be… how… left unchecked… it can prod the weak-willed to go on a totally unacceptable and uncivilized biochemical rampage.

Let’s now expose the H-Word… Hypocrisy.

In my past posts… I’ve mentioned two males we / I used to admire… accused actor George Takei and the now convicted comedian / actor Bill Cosby. What makes such blogging especially difficult and distressing is how both talented guys used to be positive role models. Of course, big and small screen celebrity must never act as a smokescreen defense for inexcusable behavior. Moreover, even when they do wind up uttering their regrets this should be met with our skepticism. Are they truly sorry or merely sorry about having been caught?

Deconstructing this further, historically speaking, it’s already been a tough enough task to convince the narrow-minded not to judge entire demographics based solely upon the behavior of few bad actors. But, now that the malignancy of Takei and Cosby has tarnished the images of countless others, respectively, the vast majority of benevolent LGBTQs and racial minorities, the task of enlightening homophobes / xenophobes has become doubly (if not more) difficult. Doubtlessly, such predatory conduct can only (unjustifiably) perpetuate, their flimsy, eons old, negative stereotypes.

To avoid the stench of hypocrisy in all of my posts… I cannot continue to call out sexually predatory conduct (in general) and (more specifically) the present-day, so-called prez’s self-admitted misogyny and alleged infidelity until I turn my back on a past president who I’ve idolized since I was a young boy… one John F. Kennedy.

Misogynistic society has oft employed euphemistic terminology… e.g., dalliances and womanizing… to describe / downplay / romanticize JFK’s conduct. Romanticize? YIKES!!! Even had the sex been fully consensual, how could anyone ever deem it acceptable? One must never rationalize / dismiss the emotional abuse, pain and distress he must’ve inflicted upon his wife, Jacqueline. Even if an on-the-rocks marriage had been no fault of his own, a considerate man would’ve patiently awaited the official divorce decree.

To reemphasize and expand upon my earlier statement… celebrity… even martyrdom… cannot and must NEVER excuse caddish behavior.

Furthermore, were we to ever scrutinize / dig deeper into JFK’s life, times and untimely death… how could we ever say, with any certainty, that his surviving family members hadn’t used the considerable Kennedy wealth to commission and handsomely pay off some ugly history revisionists? For all we know, the Warren Commission, investigating the events of Friday, November 22, 1963, had gotten it all completely wrong.

Perhaps, the so-called, lone gunman in Dallas, Texas, in reality, had been the pissed off husband / boyfriend of one of JFK’s conquests?

Considering the testosterone poisoning, which fuels the typical satyr’s MO, perhaps the conspiracy theorists have, all along, been spot on with their contention that the lone gunman had plenty of armed company… i.e., plenty of other PO’d husbands / boyfriends had been figuratively and literally gunning for JFK?

 

 

A Low Ladder Rung, Lowlife Sexual Predator

 

My exposé emphasizes how workplace sexual predators are not always superiors of their victims and how entire, totally blameless, hardworking staffs can get caught in the crossfire and find their jobs/careers jeopardized.

On this day in 1978, I punched a major, international retail clothier’s time clock for the very first time… began slaving away in what I have oft referred to as Retail Hell. Such a moniker is well earned considering how my remaining employed oft necessitated my tiptoeing through the psychological minefield found within many of my superiors’ contorted minds.

Case in point, the very first regime I had encountered presented a weird variety of sexual harassment for all underlings to see… an upside-down hierarchy, which any in print and online investigative reporter would have had a field day exposing. I could write volumes about how a sexual predator nearly ruined our store’s profitability / success… but will CliffsNotes it instead.

Right from the get-go, a male underling began dominating / harassing our married female boss… let’s assign some fake names… oh… say… Monty and Dolly. It’s still unclear whether or not she had been a willing partner. That control freak had been so effing cocksure he hadn’t even bothered hiding this adulterous fling.

How bad was this? Well, I once had to prioritize my customer’s shopping list just to steer us away from literally stumbling over Monty and Dolly rolling around and wrestling on the carpet. Fortunately they hadn’t yet earned an R-Rating.

With no time to find a bucket of cold water, I intentionally increased the volume of my voice to subtly remind this “couple” that we were now open for business. Had they not picked up on my subtle “Hey, get a room!” cue, there’s no telling how far they would’ve gone. Clean up in Aisle 2?

Day in, day out… in plain view of all employees… they’d spend entire, eight hour long shifts seated across from one another at her “managerial” desk… Dolly all starry eyed… neither of them getting any real work done… all the while collecting their paychecks… all the while dumping heavier workloads upon their underlings to compensate for their figuratively and literally effing up everything.

Dolly wound up promoting her F-buddy into management… not based on his skills… that is… unless his adeptness at playing grabass and his cocksmanship were considered assets. I cannot begin to describe how disgruntled our staff had become… how low our collective morale had sunk.

To get a better grasp on the depth of Dolly’s calloused attitude and twisted mind, I now present a brief subplot to this story. Following the post Christmas seasonal cut in sales associates’ hours, one morning a co-worker (let’s call her Karly) came back out onto the selling floor in tears. In a hushed, horrified tone of voice she confided in me.

It turns out that due to Karly’s drastically smaller paycheck, she had recently moved in with Dolly… and now our boss was trying to shake down her roomie for half of their apartment’s rent.

After Karly had complained, “But you’ve just cut my hours. The only way I can pay you is if I either rob a bank or sell my body,” Dolly snapped back, “Fine with me… you choose!”

So, why did I stay? Well, it was my corporate loyalty. True, at that point, my job was akin to standing on the deck of a sinking ship, but since Dolly’s neglect and delegation… no strike that… abdication of power had in essence, made me the surrogate “Captain”, I felt it was my place to either go down with my ship or, if lucky, find a way to save it.

Eventually, Monty and Dolly’s superiors caught a whiff of their stench. They “moved in” and Monty moved on… little doubt… ISO another female to sexually dominate, harass and assault. Dolly got reassigned to another store in our district and eventually moved out-of-state. But, not before her husband (let’s call him Todd) had divorced her. It was unclear whether Todd had discovered his wife was cheating on him all on his own or if that bastard Monty had deviously found a way to clue him in… i.e. just to sadistically devastate her husband.

My new boss (let’s call her Mindy) had a tough job to do… had to find creative “solutions” to force out anyone who she suspected of still being “in bed with” the old regime. Her trust no old employees / guilt by association approach to corporate housecleaning, included me. Of course, her theory had been flawed because I had totally despised all the sloth and un-professionalism, which Monty and Dolly had stood for.

Hard to believe, but, a sexual predator, indirectly, had forced me to prove my loyalty to Mindy. To do so, I did what I’ve always done… showcased what I’ve always brought to every workplace I’ve ever entered… my superior efficiency and strong work ethic.

And, folks, that description is not self-aggrandizement. Mindy, herself (during my annual employee review) not only used those words to assess my work performance but to also justify my pay-raise.

I wound up staying on well beyond Mindy’s all too brief era as our store manager… to the tune of 20 1/2 years. Regrettably, after her departure, more negatively themed events made for more sad stories to tell and maybe, someday, I’ll blog about them, too.

America’s avarice and male hormone driven Republicans, many of them sexual predator suck-ups… some of them predators themselves… must drain the sexually toxic, workplace swamps. True, they won’t likely shive a git about the lost human dignity but were we to effectively present this problem as a corporate profit draining / lost worker productivity issue, might they zip up and listen?