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Days of Wink/Wink Sexual Harassment Need To Be Over

February 28, 2020

This week's GUILTY verdict in the sexual assault trial of Harvey Weinstein, once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, was a long-awaited WATERSHED moment in our centuries-long fight for safety from sexual assault and "boys will be boys," toxic work cultures. It took the tenacious reporting of Pulitzer Prize-winning, NY Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, as well as 90 women courageously reporting painful details of their Weinstein's assaults to finally stop the predator's decades-long crime spree of grabbing, groping, raping then silencing his victims. ("If he heard the word 'no,'it was like a trigger for him," testified one of his victims.) 

Let's celebrate this important victory, while reminding ourselves the war is yet to be won. 

For women to be believed and our judicial system to send a consistent message to men that "the age of impunity" for harassing, assaulting and disrespecting women is over, all generations of women and our male allies need to raise our voices COLLECTIVELY to demand change. It needs to happen at the grassroots level in every work place and, YES, EVERY TIME a woman is sexually demeaned, harassed or bothered by a man. That's what "no tolerance" policies are supposed to mean. NO TOLERANCE. 

It is younger women, Millennials and Gen Z's, who are leading the #MeToo & #TimesUp movements. Fewer of them are willing to tolerate what previous generations of women felt we had to put up with in order to be accepted in male-dominated professions where we were trying to prove we belonged. But let's not insist that younger women tolerate the intolerable because we had little recourse. If they are ready to lead on this issue, it's up to their older "sisters" to have their backs. 

That's exactly what's happening in the Michigan legislature now where a Senator with a pattern of sexual harassment is finally being held accountable. 

Senator Pete Lucido thought he was "just having fun" when he made a gang rape joke -- in front of a large group of high school boys -- at the expense of 22-year-pld reporter Allison Donahue.  She had the courage to object to him and then to use the power of her pen to report on the incident. Lucido thought he could brush it off as "a misunderstanding," until additional women came forward with stories of their own experiences with Lucido's pattern of sexual harassment.  The news coverage went viral.

My POWERING UP podcast guests this week are two of the women who raised their voices to help hold Lucido, a powerful senator, accountable for "wink/wink" sexual innuendo that needs to end.

MichiganState Senator Mallory McMorrow and Detroit Free Press Journalist Julie Hinds both spoke up -- after Gen Z Donahue led the way.  My POWERING UP podcast conversation with them is is compelling and can be found wherever you get your podcasts, as well as through my AnneDoyleLeadership website. 

I hope you will listen and share it with others who will join us in insisting that #TimesUp!

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