Is this the real Sexual Revolution?

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Is it ok to ask her out for drinks after work? To invite her to your hotel room for a ‘working lunch’? To ask her to look ‘sexy’ for a sales meeting with a client? Twenty to thirty years ago, the answer would have been a resounding “YES!”. Today, I don’t think the answers are that clear.

With the daily stories of inappropriate behavior ranging from suggestive sexual comments to full out sexual assault, I’ve been pondering whether or not we are experiencing a new sexual revolution.

But before we get to that, let’s define what a Revolution really is. It is,

1. an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.

2. a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure, especially one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence.

Back in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, the “sexual revolution” was marked with free love, bra burning, and women moving into the workplace. Since then, women have held some positions of power and they wear it as badges of honor. But that’s been pretty much it for the past forty plus years or so. While we did get a seat at the table, we’ve also been fighting grabs underneath said table.

For years women accepted the bad behavior of men and were often culpable in the shaming, demeaning, and dismissal of other women who were not willing to accept that behavior or who wanted more than a mere seat at the table. Let’s face it, most human resource departments that administer policies related to sexual harassment are filled with women. And they sat silently as the other women suffered. In my opinion, we can hardly count what occurred at that time as a revolution. It was more like a settling for something slightly better than second-class citizenry.

Women have been experiencing attacks from subtle to overt for many years. So what makes today different?

Is it the sheer volume of stories? Is it that women are finally saying enough is enough? Is it that women finally believe that their voices will be heard and not just tolerated? Are women truly ready to lead a radical and pervasive change in our society?

I am not quite sure. But I do know there are more women than ever running for political office today. There are more women than ever, leading major corporations today. Most importantly, there are more women than ever before, not scared of speaking up today.

I don’t know about you, but I can feel a definite shift and moving of the earth beneath me. You see, I was lucky enough to grow up in a time where I was taught and made to believe that girls could do anything. I was also unlucky enough be limited by the societal belief that girls SHOULD do anything. Especially girls of color. But today feels different. It feels like the start of a real sexual revolution. It is my hope we will be able to transform our society and that women will lead the way into a future that fully recognizes and celebrates the diversity of our humanness.

I say #metoo is a revolution! What about you? What do you think? Please share your thoughts in comments!

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