The post I wrote yesterday is a period piece. My education and my profession were dumbied down.
I was putting myself first because I wanted this so badly. The only people I want to offend were the faculty at this school who had to do everything so politically correct.
An older man (74 then) at my field placement and in school sexually harassed me. He was past retirement age; I was younger and looked young for my age.
He was thrown out of our field placement for not being to able grasp the simplest thing, and for “counselling men not to take their meds,” and other things that should have been important.
He was allowed to come to our social work practice class without having a field placement. He would spend the first few minutes before class talking about how sexually provoking I was.
Trust me I wasn’t.
Many students offered to testify on my behalf.
Only his hearing kept on being postponed. I was supposed to understand that because he was older…..
He was a retired white professional who hated all women, and didn’t pretend otherwise.
Women were the cause of everything that had ever gone wrong in his life.
I was the only woman in the class who had been in his field placement so I became the woman who represented everything that was wrong to him.
No I didn’t understand.
His rights came before mine because he was in his 70’s.
I had never been a bitter person.
I had never been a person who could hate other people simply for existing.
I began to understand hate because of this man, and the faculty that was so into doing the right thing, that I was ignored, told by women teachers my age or younger, that this would be a defining experience of my life, and someday I would understand.
When I would ask for an explanation, suddenly all the rhetoric would be gone.
They kept on forgetting that they weren’t talking to an impressionable young girl.
They finally had the hearing. He was kicked out.
I have never been able to successfully explain this period of my life because I never understood it.
I will never allow anybody to come before me again. I’m tired of being so understanding, so nice
One thing that I did learn was that hate begets hate.
I refused to stay bitter or angry, but it still saddens me.
I kept this out of my post on my two years of listening to rhetoric, because it was my personal problem.
It shouldn’t have been. Once I went to the proper people in the faculty and told them that he would tell me–in front of an entire class how sexually assertive, and aggressive I was–when I wouldn’t even look at him, it should have become their problem.
But he could have sued them for age discrimination, and he told them that.
It never occurred to me to even think about suing; let alone threaten to sue.
That was probably a mistake.
I’m far from perfect. But I did everything by the book, and had actually felt sorry for him.
This incident probably colored my perception of my entire experience at school.
I expected school to be challenging but not in the way it was.
It changed my life forever. I am and was an optimist.
Nobodies life is ever always easy. I had always been a trusting person. Perhaps too trusting for a life long New Yorker. I learned not to trust.
Then came 9/11, and everything changed.