Being a woman in today’s workplace can be tricky territory to navigate, especially in a sexist, misogynistic, and male-dominated climate. After watching the film Bombshell and seeing stories unfold from the perspective of three different women who got fed up and dared to expose the truth and take a stand against different poor practices in their workplace culture, I was reminded of how hard and challenging taking on this specific kind of fight could be.
“Other women will come forward” was a line from the film that resonated with me the most. It was almost haunting. It reminded me that while some women may feel alone when dealing with different hostile men and challenging the “boys’ club” mentality while moving through their workplaces, we’re not alone in this fight. Coming forward is scary, and it doesn’t mean that telling the truth and calling out what’s wrong will ensure peace, protection, or change. However, I do believe that other women will come forward and continue doing so until there are drastic shifts in how men behave, interact, and treat women in the workplace.
When the #MeToo movement took off, there was no going back. It’s clear that there are women who are not afraid to use their voices and take a stand when challenging systems that don’t protect women, especially in the workplace, but instead guard the reputation and reign of powerful men in charge. It’s obvious that silence is no longer an option.
The next generation of young women need to know that there are many women ahead of them, battling, protesting, and working hard to make sure that when it’s their time to take a new position, career opportunity, or accept a new promotion, they’ll be able to do so without looking over their shoulders or wrestling with fear that a man is coming to dismantle and destroy their confidence, futures, and everything they’ve worked hard for.
I’ve had different male co-workers talk down to me, insult my knowledge, and dismiss my ideas in meetings (and then try to use some of the ideas I originally presented and take credit for them). They’ve been able to get away with their behavior. I’ve heard horror stories from different women in their own workplaces who have told me that their male bosses and colleagues spoke harshly to them, disrespected them, made them cry, and stood in the way of their promotions and future opportunities if they didn’t play the games the men wanted them to play. And that’s wrong.
No woman should ever be put in a compromising position or have her livelihood or career threatened for refusing to engage a male boss or anyone else’s inappropriate advances or because she refuses to do something unethical to get ahead in her career. We can’t allow this to continue.