My Thoughts on What Everyone’s Talking About (Plus My Own “Me Too” Update)
When our social media feeds were filled with women posting "#MeToo" I blogged about how lucky I felt to have never experienced sexual harrassment or abuse. But then I read a post from a classmate that struck a nerve. She mentioned the creepy guys who would prey on high school girls wearing uniform skirts. Ah, yes. That made me remember something that I had blocked out: Standing on crowded subway trains I was touched inappropriately on numerous occasions during my 4 years of commuting to Manhattan. It happened so often I would sometimes wear shorts under my skirt, to make me feel like I had a layer of protection. A barrier between the perps and myself. So I'm using this post to add my name to the "#MeToo" movement; and to say I'm glad it's raised awareness of a systemic problem in our culture.
But, like you, I'm struggling to process the news of Matt Lauer's firing. I've been a loyal viewer of the "Today" show, ever since Shawn put it on in the WOBM studio where we co-hosted the morning show together. So basically I've been watching and trusting Matt Lauer ever since he took over as anchor 20 years ago. That's a long time. His sudden departure is going to leave a void in our morning routines, isn't it? It's not going to feel like the same show without him.
NBC management had reasons to take such a dramatic step. I'm sure we'll be learning more details about why the network fired him. Lauer's co-anchor Savannah Guthrie and others who love Lauer are grappling with the question of how you can love someone who did or does bad things. I can be angry at those strangers who put me through those terrible moments on the subway. They're anonymous and dead to me now. But for Lauer's wife and kids and his co-workers... I honestly don't know how they can handle such news. And all of you who continue to encounter or work with people who hurt you, my heart goes out to you. This is a really challenging time as we learn people are not as wonderful as we believed them to be.
Everybody's talking about sexual misconduct nowadays and that's a good thing that's coming out of all this bad news. I sense the tide is turning. Society has to change. People need to be respected.
I'll end this post with a quote from comedian Sarah Silverman after her friend Louis CK was accused of sexual misconduct. "This recent calling out of sexual assault has been a long time coming. It's good. It's like cutting out tumors — it's messy and it's complicated and it is gonna hurt, but it's necessary and we'll all be healthier for it."