I am wondering if I should join the #MeToo movement. I imagine that most of us in my generation can qualify.

No, I have never been sexually assaulted, unless you count being forcibly “French-kissed.” I do count that. It was disgusting.

But I don’t qualify under the terms now being discussed by young women today. Do you remember hearing about the “casting couch,” whereby starlets were allowed to get good acting jobs in Hollywood. That was a practice so common nobody even questioned it. I guess Harvey Weinstein epitomizes that group of men.

Men have almost always been in power. Women have always had to fight for everything they got. The #MeToo people may be doing more to change the world than any army that ever marched.

Going to the car dealership and really dickering with the salesman to get a new car is what made me think about where I have come, power-wise. Power all us “gals” have attained without even thinking about it.

I remember when I was newly divorced and pretty helpless, I was traveling with a woman friend when I had a flat tire. The only thing I could think of to do was call my ex-husband to get his directions on what I should do.

My friend was embarrassed for me, and told me so in no uncertain terms.

But she had been out earning a living, operating as a real person. I had been for many years a stay-at-home mom.

Getting out and earning a living helps women to be stronger, but the men who have held all the real power have not done much to help those women succeed. That’s why this new #MeToo movement is making so many good changes.

At a First Amendment Conference in Austin at the L.B. Johnson Library, I got to visit with Barbara Jordan, one of my heroes. I asked her which had been more of a handicap to her, being black or being a woman.

Without hesitation, she said being a woman.

I’ll bet she is feeling proud, from heaven, of all the women and the shackles they are casting off today.

I hope all the women who have been sorely mistreated are able to recoup their dignity, along with serious monetary rewards.

I hope some women are not lying in order to get all those rewards, but I fear that’s going to happen, too.

One of the main things I hope we all remember is that while we are punishing all those errant men, we don’t forget to love the good ones.

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She may be reached at cgillentine1@sbcglobal.net.

(3) comments

Diane Turski

When the "Me Too" movement began some people seemed surprised that there were so many women speaking about their own struggles against this discrimination and harassment throughout their lives. Of course, I was not surprised. My first thought was that if the question had been asked as "Who has not been a victim of sexual harassment or discrimination" the answer would have been a deafening silence. So, I am glad the question was asked the way it was, because the answer has been a powerful, continuing surge of "Me Too"!

Michael Guarino

Another great column Cathy. Thanks.

Carlos Ponce

When a woman is called in front of an audience of men and asked to turn around so they can see her "backside" they call that harassment.
When a man is called in front of an audience of women and asked to turn around so they can see his "backside" they call that great fun - and so did I when that happened to me. Where? George R. Brown Convention Center, NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) Convention. Throughout the seminar, women recognized me with, "You're that man!" Don't know what they were excited about - not much back there.[unsure]
When I had my behind pinched by a teen girl not of my acquaintance on Seawall Blvd. during a Mardi Gras parade recently, I dismissed it as part of the revelry. One of the band students remarked, "Looks like you Christmas Goose early this year!"
I learned long ago never touch a member of the fairer sex without her permission and not to say anything to upset her. Difficult since there are occasions when a man is considered wrong - when he says something and when he says nothing. Also when he does something and when he does nothing.
Vive la différence![beam]

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