Midwest Principals' CenterAn Approved Illinois Professional Development and CEU Provider

MPC Essential Reads

Leading a School Culture Without Sexual Harassment

It was just about a year ago in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign. For better or worse, most Americans watched a video of men having a conversation about women. We heard about body female parts and men kissing and grabbing.  We heard one man reveal the privilege he felt he had to do so.  What happened next? One of the men, though he said he was embarrassed and ashamed at the lewdness of the comments, lost his job. One of the men, who described the conversation as “locker room talk”, was elected president of the United States. That man’s wife, now FLOTUS, dismissed her husband’s words as “boy talk” saying he had been “egged on” and probably didn’t know a mic was on. Though media waves were hot with the issue and conversations of offensiveness abounded, both men and women ignored it in the end. Both men have daughters. That didn’t make a difference in how someone else’s daughters get treated. Even some women were willing to condemn, no, not the perpetrators but the women who were victims of a male controlled system where sexual boundaries were vague and career advancement was too often accompanied by expectations of favors. But, maybe after a year, we can be a touch more optimistic. Maybe that video did crack open the door and begin to lift the shroud around the unspeakable.

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