6 February 2001 | Castor-11
A well-worn path worth travelling again
I'm on a roll...for the second night in succession I've seen a film worth talking about, again, on the Women's Television Network.
This time, it's the same old same old - yet another story of sexual harassment - this time, in the workplace. It's very well done, and I'm sure it's basically true from the viewpoint of the female victim, the original Kerry Ellison herself.
What's changed this time, is the eye of the beholder. In the past, in my male prime and feisty if I've watched movies about sexual harrassment at all, I wondered what all the fuss was about. What the women would call "harassment",looked to me like acceptable male flirting. Surely the best compliment I could pay a woman, was to have a great guy like me let her know how attractive she was to me, by means of commenting on her looks, her love life, and her obvious affinity with me?
This movie puts down such "flirting" as scary, driving the woman in question, into nightmares, out of her job, and, ultimately, to a lawsuit. It's a story that's been told many times lately, as more and more women emerge from their fear of being labelled hysterical, over-imaginative, and above all concern that the MAN would suffer e.g. loss of his wife/job/reputation if HER truth be told...that is, truth distinct from his, which is, of course, that it was all good clean sexual interplay between equals, namely "flirting"
But, this movie avers, it is not between equals, if one participant is bigger,stronger, more influential, and has a louder voice(all of which means that it is, still, a man's world, after all) -then it becomes sexual bullying.
This movie, though entertaining and interesting in itself, does not bring much that is new to the discussion...it's that I, myself, have changed, at 70 have become vulnerable, like any woman - every other male is so much bigger, stronger, influential, and has a louder voice than I, and I find it...intimidating. I am far more sympathetic to complaints of sexual harassment than once I was. Finding myself wondering how the lead male in the movie, deeming himself so romantic, could come off looking so dumb and boorish. But for the grace of God...oops! Been there, done that!