Foto: shutter stock

#METOO

SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE LEGAL DEPARTMENT

 

Monday Morning. The smell of fresh brewed coffee in the office:

„Hopefully your hand is not the only part of your body that is wet like that, Mrs. Tutschka.“ –

replied my boss Dr. Michael Johannes Schmidt to my „good morning“ after giving me a  smile and a handshake – usually a common greeting form in Germany, even in the legal department of an international automotive company like this. My colleagues smiled the same way my boss did. Seriously?!

„I’m not a victim. Never was.“

At that moment I had held my law degree for several years already, had worked in huge law firms, had just finished my PhD – and was married as a mom of three. Seriously.

I would never greet a colleague like that, not my assistant, nor my boss. And my colleagues wouldn’t either. Young lawyers – intelligent, good mannered, standing for equality and justice. Friends. I saw in their eyes that they hated it. They would never say this either.

„But in this moment, actually their silent smile did.“

And I felt sorry for them. Men like Mr. Schmidt need the audience: It was never about me. It was all about him. But an audience builds a culture. We all are building this culture.

I personally can handle a slimy behaviour like this.  I’m naturally blonde. I experienced this my whole life. There is always a simple mind like his in the room.

But my colleagues were trapped: to be part of this game or to risk their jobs.

„At least they had a choice.“

And I write this, my personal #MeToo experience, because I want to encourage them to choose. Like all these brave women who decided to break their silence and tell their stories. Breaking the silence is never easy. Being part of a hated game isn’t easy.

Being offender and victim at the same time is even worse.

I’m not the victim. Never was. They are. By choice.

„#Be a game changer!“

Today.

Dr. Geertje Tutschka, ACC

www.geertje-tutschka.com

Dieser Beitrag erschien im Original im Blog JurCoach von CLP.

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