Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Are you starting to get this, guys?

Wick's World


December 21, 2017

Earlier in life, mostly the decade covering the 1990s, I became the sexual harassment awareness trainer for the United States Postal Service. I covered an area from Hinckley up to Ely and south to Hayward, Wisconsin. I loved the job, mostly because it got me out of the office. More importantly, I loved teaching, especially when the topic was as hot and controversial as this one. I can’t claim a whole lot of success. Often, I had the feeling that I was talking through the people, not to them. Very few took the lessons seriously. Even worse, there always seemed to be some joker in the crowd like the deadbeat from Spooner, Wisconsin, who blurted out, “If it’s raining out when I’m done working, can I say I’m going to go get my rubbers?”

I replied, “If you say it like the dim-wit you just sounded like, I’m sure no one will be offended.”

As I look back, I probably could have been called on the carpet by my superiors for calling the idiot a dim-wit. I was given a lot of leeway in teaching; anything that would capture the attention of the workers. I was even allowed to begin with this phrase: “Show me with a raise of hands, how many of you think harass is two words?”

For me, it was worth taking the chance. It caught the workers' attention. I’d never get away with that today. Back then, the Postal Service and other government agencies began conducting sexual harassment awareness for financial reasons. Basically, there was what seemed like a $300,000 bounty on the head of any institution that condoned sexual harassment. For the Postal Service, they simply wanted it stopped before any claims came in. That meant roping the horse before he got out of the gate. To my knowledge, I don’t remember one single sexual harassment charge over the 10-year span I was teaching classes.

Although I’m not taking any credit for being responsible for the clean record, I will say this: I had the experience to teach this class. I can say, “Me, too!” as a man. However, unlike the women who are courageously coming out of the closet and accusing men of sexual harassment and sexual assault, my “Me, too” is an admission of being the guilty male party that committed these acts. For me, it was almost a way of life. I continually thought I was being funny by putting a sexual innuendo on almost anything I said. It was part of my dream to be a stand-up comic. It didn’t work. I never made the stage. I think Al Franken’s earlier career gave him the same attitude — one for which he paid a heavy price. I brushed it off as it simply being a part of the changing values and traditions left over from Haight–Ashbury and the Hippies. My attitude, along with many men of my era, seemed to be, what’s wrong with pinching a girl in the butt? What’s wrong is that it is unwanted behavior and that is exactly what constitutes sexual harassment and assault. Are you starting to get this, guys?

The male-dominated past is not like today. Back then, feminists had been demonized by the King of Dim-Wits, Rush Limbaugh, as Femi-Nazis. For the most part, the power that women gained in the '60s and '70s had been pushed under the counter as the nation once again became a male-dominated society.

Sexual harassment didn’t just come to the forefront overnight with the stunning accusations across the political spectrum. They began at the presidential debates. The accusations against Donald Trump were endless. However, the Teflon-coated genius of the art of the dodge brushed it off with the simple denial; they are all lying. Yes, Donald got away by saying 16, 24, pick any number of women from all around America, somehow got together and made up the same lie. For a while America bought it. The man got elected and once again sexual harassment simply didn’t count.

However, it counted for me. More importantly, it counted for many brave women who were willing to put their head on the chopping block and say, “Me, too!”

There you have it. I am just as guilty as The Donald, Al Franken, Judge Moore and every politician who is resigning on an almost daily basis. I am guilty of sexual harassment. I stopped it long ago and it is time to join me. The past has come back to haunt us. The juries are out all over America and are spreading worldwide. The verdicts are coming in one by one — guilty. It’s a new world, guys. Get with the program.


Reader Comments

wiggy writes:

Dang that was impressive Wick


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