Me Too

For the prompt at Real Toads. It is about the “me too” movement, feminism, empowerment. Until the world undergoes a massive change of hearts and minds, this kind of assault will continue no matter how many come forward.  Thank you Sherry!

The Writing Group
1976:
The year of the American Buyshit-tennial.
It seemed everywhere there was stuff to buy to celebrate.
I had become aware of the Feminist Movement –
1973 it was.
I had joined forces with a Lesbian-Feminist
writing group.
We were intense –
We were angry –
We were strong –
e didn’t take any shit from anybody
Including each other.
I had taken a part-time job
during the summers at University.
It was at a small deli.
I loved that job.
After I had worked there a few weeks,
the owner began to rub himself against me
as I sliced meats and prepared party trays
as I began to pre-make sandwiches
and salads for the rush crunch.
I began to hate going in early
to start the day’s work.
I knew he would come behind the counter
to rub himself and to hoarsely whisper –
Feel how hard I am.
I tried to ignore him.
His wife would come in sometimes.
She watched as he did this.
She said nothing to him –
She ignored him.
One day I picked up the big knife
I used to cut open sealed rolls of
Meat and cheese.
I whipped around and I said to him –
Touch me again and I will cut your dick off.
He laughed.
I threw the knife down on the counter.
I left.
“Me too” doesn’t begin to cover the half of it.
I loved that job.
I learned a couple of years later,
his wife left him for another woman.
I told my writing group about the assaults.
As one they said,
We’ll come in one morning.
We’ll cut his dick off for you.
I laughed. It felt good.
I loved that job.
Years later I gained my chef’s certification.
I discovered the head chef was terrorizing
one of the waitresses.
I confronted him.
He laughed.
I went to the restaurant manager.
That day I became the head chef,
She fired his sorry ass.
I loved that job!

chef’s roll of knives – public domain image

29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Timeless Classics -- Poetry by Ana Daksina
    Dec 07, 2017 @ 14:58:37

    Thank you from all of us

    Reply

  2. Kerry O'Connor
    Dec 07, 2017 @ 15:03:54

    It takes a lot of strength to stand up to these archaic patriarchal principles.

    Reply

  3. Victoria C. Slotto
    Dec 07, 2017 @ 15:45:02

    Oh, I wouldn’t use one of those big sharp knives. I’ve got the itty bitty manicure scissors for just such an occasion. :0/

    Reply

  4. Sherry Blue Sky
    Dec 07, 2017 @ 16:18:18

    Toni, good for you. What total sleazeballs. I especially love the second scenario. And I LOVE the strong women in the writers group. Great show of solidarity. Thanks for writing to this prompt. I have a hundred stories I could tell which resulted in me not being able to choose, lol. No shortage of material. Every woman has a story. What would shock me would be to hear from a girl or woman who has never encountered such things. Which is very sad.

    Reply

  5. kim881
    Dec 08, 2017 @ 07:50:43

    Reminds me of our writing group in Cologne at the feminist bookshop! Especially the lines:
    ‘We were intense –
    We were angry –
    We were strong’.
    Harassment in the workplace is one of ugliest scenarios. I think we’ve all experienced it to some extent. Nobody should hate going to work. I’m surprised and angry that his wife ignored what he was doing and so glad you stood up to him and the other guy. Congratulations head chef!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Dec 08, 2017 @ 16:57:13

      Thank you Kim. I worked there for three years before going back to university to get my engineering degree. I still keep my hand in at the Food Bank kitchen.

      Reply

  6. Susan
    Dec 08, 2017 @ 07:51:49

    Here is a saga worthy of a poem, with “I loved that job” changing meaning throughout. Thank you.

    Reply

  7. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Dec 08, 2017 @ 16:29:42

    I have to say that I really believe you loved that job in the end… love how the repetitions changed meaning until that final line which deserves an exclamation point!

    Reply

  8. paul scribbles
    Dec 08, 2017 @ 18:17:20

    Knife was too good for him. Mincer next time 😉

    Reply

  9. Jim
    Dec 09, 2017 @ 12:03:24

    Thanks for sharing, Toni. A person doesn’t forget things like this, ever. Getting revenge is a victory (you had one of your own later) but it does not erase. Nothing does (remember my blog’s comment by me). But that man doesn’t forget either, none of them should ever forget. St. Peter will make them confess if now one else can.
    ..

    Reply

  10. Rommy
    Dec 10, 2017 @ 06:28:25

    Speak out and then stand up for all of us who can’t – yes!

    Reply

  11. Trackback: dVerse: Haibun Monday | kanzen sakura
  12. alisonhankinson
    Dec 11, 2017 @ 15:51:20

    Well done. I am glad you stood up for yourself.

    Reply

  13. lillian
    Dec 12, 2017 @ 07:15:07

    Came to this, Toni….by way or reading your haibun this morning. I am so very sorry this happened to you….and has happened to so many others. There is a power in the telling……even years after. I have admired you since the day I joined dVerse, Toni….and now there is still another reason for this admiration.

    Reply

  14. pramegha
    Feb 18, 2018 @ 08:14:27

    Amazingly written. 😉Its true, when people come forward to support you, you feel the power. And we must speak up against all wrong.
    #iempowered

    Reply

  15. priyankagupta
    Feb 26, 2018 @ 10:51:57

    Reply

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