We have all met our Harvey, and Harriet, Weinsteins, at work and play. Sometimes we wonder if we might be one, if we may have crossed the line between friendly banter between men and women into the darker realm of predatory behaviour. And that predatory behaviour usually comes from a power position, where a man or woman has control of money and decisions that can affect your benefits and your career and your life. Research shows it can also some or from a trusted relative or religious figure – a different kind of power that can still change your life forever.
My previously trusted “mentor”, is now disavowed and dead. He guided me into a wonderful career in Outdoor Education in the North York Board of Education from 1968 until its devolvement into the TDSB. Everyone thought he was a benefactor and a gentleman, but he was anything but the “gentleman” he pretended to be.
With gifts of outdoor education trips and bottles of white wine and promises of promotions, he attempted to seduce many unsuspecting and trusting women into sexual encounters. I became aware of this when women he had approached came to me for protection. Which I gave. But no one wanted me to follow up with the abuses. And I felt at the time that, because I was not the woman being accosted, and he was my superior, that it was not my position to report his bad behaviour.
Wrong. I should have called it out then. So dead and buried you may be now, but I hope you are burning in hell for your abuses of power. It is why I didn’t go to your funeral, why I gave no eulogy, why I piss on your grave.
Not Yours Outdoors,
Skid Crease, retired Program Leader Outdoor Education, North York Board of Education