There are so many thoughts, legal theories and emotions swirling around and within me, as a 35-year lawyer (here, I mean practicing law for 35 years, not 35 years of age!) watching the #metoo movement unfold.
First, social norms are so well ingrained that we, as a society, often do not question what should be questioned. The line between appropriate behavior and inappropriate but- we-have-to-put-up-with-it behavior is simply blurred. I am grateful beyond belief to those brave souls, those who question the way things are, for shinning a floodlight on these deep dark not-so-secret societal norms.
Second, my own experiences are like an onion. The outer skin protects a lot of interior sections of which I am not always so cognizant. When peeled back, the memories are hazy but powerful. My outer skin is: no, no, lucky me, I am fortunate and have not been subject to sexual harassment. But it isn’t true. I feel this way due to years of denial and a well-honed ability to minimize. It is my denial mechanism that has made me a successful lawyer and advocate. But this ability to minimize, ignore and excuse doesn’t help change society, and change is what we need.