“Inappropriate Actions” is the new phrase for all kinds of horrible male behavior.
This harmless sounding term is very troubling. More reports surface every day and the list of men is too long to go into. It’s apparent this term is a way to not only avoid salacious language, but to create an acceptable catch-all saying.
And that’s wrong.
“Inappropriate actions” files the edges off horrendous behavior that has droned on for decades without consequence.
No matter how many women have the guts to actually report it, they are never believed, and THEY suffer the consequences. Year in, year out, droves of women have to find other jobs, give up their dreams and choose an entirely different profession to get away from comments, hands that grab, the rub in the copy room, etc.
I am one of those women.
My goal was to be a journalist. I created my own opportunities in college and landed an internship at a news radio station with a prominent journalist. A few days in, I asked my mentor what we were going to do. He answered, “We could go to my place.” I felt the sweat cover my back immediately. My scalp felt prickly. “But you’re married,” I blurted. He quickly replied, “I’m married when I’m married, and when I’m not, I’m not.” My rebuke was categorical and a silent ride followed.
Every day after that was torture. He refused to make eye contact with me and stuck me with office busy-work instead of taking me out to cover stories. I found a reason to leave the internship two weeks early.
My second internship was in television and within weeks the exact same thing happened. The invite into his office after hours. The closed door. The removal of pants. The Diane running the heck out of there never to return.
I decided to not become a journalist.
Times have changed. In trying to make us power-less, these idiots have made women more powerful! It’s a movement that has keeps growing. No longer are these “isolated incidents” kept under wraps. Corporations make public apologies and reparations for their male employees “inappropriate actions.” Would any other horrific behavior towards another human be reduced to such a generic term?
I hope not, just as I hope “inappropriate actions” cease altogether so the specifics of this awfulness will not have to be uttered. But until that happens, let’s call these men sex abusers, bullies, horrible humans, or some term that holds them accountable for who they really are. That seems appropriate.
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