March 5, 1995 in Features

Barney Fife Deputized In War Against Sexual Harassment

By The Spokesman-Review
 

The woman’s essay begins: “I was blessed (yes, blessed) with a form that can only be described as buxom.” In the March-April Utne Reader magazine, the writer describes encounters with a coworker named Jerry. He said things such as “I like my women meaty.” One day, he said: “You look like Lauren Bacall today.”

How did she handle it? Read on: “Regardless of his intentions, I still felt the atmosphere was all wrong. I said the first thing that popped into my head: ‘You look like Don Knotts today.’ And with that one seemingly simple phrase I triumphed over eons of eyeballing, decades of depravity, and centuries of sexual harassment. And it was all achieved without pissing, without moaning, and certainly without licentious litigation.”

Home builders: Community women are working together to build a home for a low-income family through Habitat for Humanity Spokane. Habitat’s goal is to have 400 women volunteer at least one day of labor and raise a minimum of $100 toward building expenses. Interested? Call Dia at 456-0335 or Carol at 534-0230.

Balance time: A Women’s Leadership Conference, sponsored by Associated Women Students of Spokane Falls Community College, will happen Friday at SFCC’s Student Union Building. Some of the topics to be pondered at the daylong conference include: “Me and My Mom,” “Change, Change, Change,” “Party on a Budget” and “Dreams: Creativity and Healing.” It’s free to SFCC students and staff and $15 for non-students. Call 533-3188.

Speak up! On Tuesday evening at 7, hurry on over to Auntie’s Bookstore which is celebrating the third anniversary of “Women’s Words.” Since 1992, women of all ages have shared writings from their journals, poetry, and essays during the informal Tuesday gatherings. The public is invited to share tea, birthday cake and, of course, some words. Call 838-0206.

More Donna Reed: Why do men whose wives stay home earn more and get promoted more often? Some additional theories, courtesy of our readers. A 44-year-old wife and mom told us: “After having been in middle management for years, I believe I can suggest what might be happening. I’ve actually had upper management advise me that I should hire or promote one candidate over the other, as he was the sole provider for the household. There is also the perception that anyone without kids is more devoted to their job. This means men without kids or men whose wives stay home and tend to the kids, so the kids aren’t a work factor.

“Although I don’t necessarily agree with those thoughts, women in the workplace do take advantage sometimes regarding their kids. If you’re hired to do a job, the company relies on you to handle that. You cannot miss work or come in late every time your child is ill.”

MEMO: Common Ground is written on alternating weeks by Rebecca Nappi and Dan Webster. Write to them in care of The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210-1615. Or fax, 459-5098.

Common Ground is written on alternating weeks by Rebecca Nappi and Dan Webster. Write to them in care of The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210-1615. Or fax, 459-5098.


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