Yes, today I am blogging about surviving #MyHarveyWeinstein which is the correct hashtag to use if you want to talk about your experience in a blog post, on line, wherever.
I feel most women walking this earth have had a #MyHarveyWeinstein problem, and some from a very young age.
We all have a story from the little touch that just did not feel right, or the invitation to “come sit on my lap” to full blown sexual assault.
Meet my predator. I cannot reveal his name but I will use his initials, meet R.S., MD. Yes, a doctor, a medical oncologist and former surgical oncologist at a well-known cancer hospital I once worked for, and where I became a woman literally in the hands of a sexual predator, #MyHarveyWeinstein.
I was in charge of a sub-department under radiation therapy. Most of my patients were dying but as it is in the world of cancer we will all try just about anything to live longer or even perhaps be cured. I was hired to give patients a treatment that did work in certain cancers and for others was a last hope.
I worked alone in a small area with a treatment room and a small office area and I truly loved my work. I had worked most of my nursing career in Oncology.
When I was hired I was sent for training to Houston, and then on to Los Angeles. I spend the first two weeks learning how to treat patients, and my 3rd week Dr. R. S. came to learn too under the watchful eyes of the Medical Oncologist who had pioneered this therapy and it was now being rolled out to the world.
Nothing happened while we were in California, we kept long hours in training and did not even fly back home on the same flight. I respected him, he was a well-trained Surgical Oncologist, little did I know he was a sexual predator.
As time went by Dr. R.S. would show up in my outer office and perch on the corner of my desk and we would discuss his patients. Eventually though the conversations went from friendly and professional to personal and very unprofessional. He knew my husband traveled for his work, and he started to call me at home asking me to meet him. I never did, I rebuffed his advances, and after a while I feel that my constant cold attitude pissed him off.
It did not take him long to escalate his advances, he moved from sexual comments to touching, except it wasn’t really touching, let’s call it what it was, groping.
He would come up behind me and grab my breasts whenever he could. I talked to administration about this. I filed a complaint with HR. I am writing this to tell you they did nothing. He was their money-maker. He stalked me, touched me inappropriately, and assaulted me.
The final straw was the day he was walking down the hallway with the CFO of the hospital and he came up to me flipped open the lab coat I always wore and said “Are you surprised to see she has breasts under this lab coat?”
That was it. The CFO while embarrassed did nothing. I did something. I called an attorney who was well-known for handling sexual harassment cases and by the time she was done investigating this hospital, this doctor, more women filed complaints.
We did not go to trial; everyone settled which is why I can’t name names. In fact I had forgotten his name until the news broke about Weinstein and it all came back to me immediately. I googled his name, he is no longer affiliated with the cancer center. I am sure he never has stopped being a predator, and I can still see my attorney when she deposed him and asked him what he believed had given him the right to touch women inappropriately. He replied saying that in his country when a woman smiles at a man she is giving him the okay to make sexual advances. My attorney tipped her chair back slightly, folded her arms across her chest, informed the court reporter that she was going off the record and said “You better table that bullshit answer right now because there is not a jurist in this country who will allow you to use that as an excuse.”
I moved on in my career knowing that I now had more power than ever before and #MyHarveyWeinstein, while a memory, will continue to happen to women and young girls. We need men to step up and speak out against the friends and family members they know behave badly. Weinstein’s family knew, they looked the other way. Money talks, bullshit walks, well not any longer. We need to stand tall, stand strong and be heard. I often wonder what would have happened if I had called the police that final day.