I hate to break it to Cal Thomas (“The country needs more good women in top jobs,” Oct. 25, 6A) but even when the “societal norm” whose obliteration you so mourn were in place, women were harassed. In my 50s now, I have dealt with it, in her 70s now, my mother did, and my grandmothers, who came of age before WWII did as well.
I never met any of my great-grandmothers, but I would bet you that at least some of them experienced it as well.
John Kelly said a few days ago that when he was a kid growing up, “women were sacred, looked upon with great honor.” Well even in those days, so halcyon in his memory, so full of “societal norms” in yours, sexual harassment was commonplace. It’s just that women like your mother and grandmothers didn’t talk about it. Why? Because the societal norms would have said they were to blame, for where they were or what they wore or what they did or didn’t do. Or said men will be men and boys will be boys. Or asked: What did you expect? Or noted that they once sent a thank-you note or said something nice to the jerk, so it really couldn’t have happened.
So I would celebrate the obliteration of the “societal norms” that have silenced women and discounted women’s experiences and allowed the jerks of this world to say and do things that all of us, including your granddaughter, have had to “laugh off” — or deal with in silence, feeling guilty and ashamed and demeaned and demoralized for something that someone else did to us.
We are not there yet. But your granddaughter’s work to educate her children — and her grandfather — is a step in the right direction.
Give Crystal my thanks.
Lee Ann Bambach, Suwanee