As I talked to friends this week, we recounted incident after incident, minor and major. They were like rites of passage for every friend of mine in her first job out of school. The writer whose boss made innuendo and creepy poetry part of her everyday work environment, where she often had to be alone with him. The friend who changed the major she loved to escape an elite professor who would have had tremendous power over her academic career.
The friend who had a married co-worker who became her married stalker. When she rejected him, he, incredibly, reported her for making his workplace hostile. Please walk yourself through what actions on her part would have made his workplace comfortable. The implications are infuriating. I had forgotten so many of these stories, even some of mine.
The sad, common thread in all these incidents, reported or not, was that they were eventually resolved by the victims moving on. It was our way of life that was disrupted. It was our plans that changed, our career trajectories shifted. We made adjustments, physically and emotionally, while the offenders went unpunished, and sometimes got promoted. That is, to put it plainly, wrong.