The Women Of The Weinstein Era Inadvertently Teach Us Self-Respect for our own long journeys

By Debra-Lynn B. Hook
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Writer Debra-Lynn Hook shares her personal experiences with sexual harassment and how the bravery of other victims has inspired her to speak up.

Tribune News Service

In the eight weeks surrounding Harvey Weinstein, a variety of brave women have brought accusations of sexual impropriety against some 40 men, many of them powerhouses in American politics, entertainment and the media.

The Today Show’s $25-million-a-year Matt Lauer, implicated in a number of incidents, was fired just a few days after co-hosting America’s beloved Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Pixar CEO John Lasseter, also accused of multiple infractions, took voluntary leave the night before his animated blockbuster “Coco” opened.

The number and names of the accused, averaging almost one a day since early October, has shocked an American public that idolizes its celebrities.

And yet every time a perpetrator is revealed for what he is, an angel of a sort gets her wings while the rest of us consider the pattern of her flight.

Initially emboldened just after Weinstein, I couldn’t record the details of my own stories fast enough.

Accompanied by the “Me, Too” hashtag, I took to task on Facebook the male relative who lectured me with my pants and underpants around my ankles for playing with matches when I was 5; the boss who fired me when I was 19 because I wouldn’t have sex with him; the prominent chiropractor who left his mark with serial advances a decade ago.

A supermom of three at the time, dressed in jeans, big glasses and turtlenecks with cardigans, I was yet chosen as a target, the doctor kissing me on the back of my neck and telling me “I still love you” after a painful adjustment; forcing me to place my hand on my breast and my knee in his groin when he was working on me; jerking my shirt up roughly and without permission when he needed to manipulate a hiatal hernia; glaring at me and calling me a “spicy vixen” when I dared to pull my shirt back down or move my hand.

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