Friday, October 16, 2020

I Confess - Mother Was a Sexual Harasser

 In light of the inquiry to Amy Coney Barrett, about whether she had ever harassed or made unwanted sexual advances towards anyone, I feel it important to come clean.

My own mother was a sexual harasser.

That's right. Fortunately, she passed long before she could come to account for her crime. But, it's now weighing heavily upon my conscience, as - when she told me the story - I stayed silent.

I failed to confront her about her disgusting behavior. In short, I was an aider-and-abetter of sexual abuse.

Here's how it happened:

Both my parents worked at Ohio Bell. Dad was a janitor. Mom worked on the switchboard (at that time, there were a lot of women with that job classification. You needed an operator to make a long distance call).

My mother, and several of her co-workers, were riding the elevator back to work after lunch. The girls started giggling about how cute the new guy (my Dad) was.

My mother, the hussy, said, "he sure is", and proceeded to whistle at him.

My Dad saw her do it, and, rather than approach her directly, found someone who knew her, and asked for an introduction.

Which he got. After which, he asked her out.

That was in the fall of 1947. By Valentine's Day, 1948, they had eloped.

Dad was a saint. He stayed with his harasser for 46 years. He even laughed about his abuse.

So, there it is. I'm the daughter of a woman who blatantly pursued a man, and forced him to pay attention to her.

At work. Which made this Workplace Harassment.

But, you may say, the fact that he agreed to date her means that he wasn't unwilling.

Uh-uh. Because, at the time she whistled (treating him like a DOG!), she had no reason to believe that her harassment wouldn't be unwelcome. Which makes this an Evil Action.


Col. B. Bunny said...

And to think that woman had a hand in how your were raised.

Cederq said...

My mom, a student nurse during WW2 was singing in the local Baptist Church choir kept flirting with my dad, a Aviation Cadet at the local college. One of the Church matrons caught her doing this and was wise enough to introduce them. I too have a shameful Hussy as a mother, she was so bad, I ended up with five other siblings and my parents enjoyed 54 years of wedded bliss before passing within four months of each other.