I’ve struggled about whether to write about this topic. Not because it doesn’t deserve attention or that women shouldn’t be victimized in the workplace, but because I’m not particularly angry or sad about any of the ridiculous things men have said or done to me at work. In fact, I say … thank you.
A friend of mine from college, who has a storied career working in corporate America, asked me what I thought when #metoo became a “thing.” And I said, “Be your own boss! Work for yourself. Problem, solved.” I stand by that.
Before opened my business, I guess you could say I worked in a perfect storm of male-dominated industries: politics, car sales, and investment banking. One might say, every day at the office was a #metoo day. Of course, I’ve made lasting friendships and shared great times with most of my co-workers, male and female alike. But like many women, I have some truly epic #metoo stories …
Like the time a well-known, respected political consultant took me out and told me he wanted to buy me a condo so I could be his mistress. Uh … tempting, but no.
Or the time political bloggers wrote posts that went viral about how I was sleeping with a reporter from a major newspaper. These bloggers contended that I was doing this to get my boss, a Congressman, better coverage during a critical re-election campaign. They couldn’t fathom that I just might actually be good at my job. What?! While I was flattered that these individuals were so interested in my personal life, none of it was true. As an aside, you can probably still pull these up on Google. You definitely could when I was applying to business school and my subsequent job, so that made for interesting interview conversations …
And then this is a classic, resisting daily advances from a co-worker both at work and out of the office. This gem of a human made threats against my job and on several occasions, called me at midnight to tell me he hadn’t finished his own work and that if I didn’t go in to complete it, I would be fired. After six months of that bullsh*t, I left to take another job.
These are just the 3 #metoo stories that immediately come to mind.
So, to all of you … Thank you for doubting my intelligence. Calling me stupid. Devaluing my contribution. Reducing me to a piece of meat wearing heels. Thank you for showing me what not to do as I build my own company and ultimately create a higher net worth than you.
Because that’s what these #metoo stories are all about, right? Power. Powerful individuals preying on perceived weaker subordinates. Today, most power is fueled by money and generating wealth. And the fastest way to create wealth is through business ownership or investment in real estate. Let’s solve this problem by giving woman more opportunities to be powerful.
The way to prevent more #metoo stories is not to have everyone go to some bullsh*t sexual harassment training or for offices to become more tolerant. The only way to correct this problem is for women to become their own boss!
Here’s your dose of reality for the day: you cannot change other people or their behavior, but you can change the way you react to them.
Tired of being treated second-class? Or worse?! Get out of there! Start your own gig. Be in charge of yourself. And then give back to provide a better place to work for others. Creating your own work environment is the only way you’ll have the power to prevent future #metoo stories.
There has never been a better time for a woman to own and operate her own business, and I am proud to be one of the many. To all the men responsible for my #metoo stories … thank you … and f*ck off!