Toxic Culture:  When Does Individual Opinion Become Collective Wisdom?

By Karetta Hubbard, Lynne Revo-Cohen, Gwen Crider, and Dr. Chris Kilmartin

After each article we ask for comments from readers, and interestingly, receive many responses representing various opinions.

The following represent individual opinions that taken together represent the conversations occurring across America.  Note the different perspectives, but especially the commonalities. Please feel free to answer each question if you choose, and we will post those too.

Reader No. 1:

Great piece as always. You may want to write about generational differences in this issue. Had lunch with a publishing colleague and we were swapping notes. She told me that the 30-somethings in her office were militant, but the 20- somethings were not. And I agreed! I had a discussion with some 20-something women this past weekend who felt that the whole issue had just become a trend that would pass soon.

I worry that the deeper more critical issues are being lost in everyone wanting to have their own trendy #metoo moment in the light.

It might be interesting to see what your reader base sees in their communities and workplaces on generational differences.

By the way, no reason on why the older millennials are more militant than their younger peers – or their older “sisters”. Thoughts?

Fascinating stuff.

Reader No. 2: Thanks for sending this which I read with interest.  I have fingers crossed for long term improvement. Going forward, I think a challenging moment will arrive in about three to five years when there will have been significant turnover in these organizations, but the urgency of this moment will be in the distant past. What will happen then? I surely hope the changes of this moment will endure then!

Reader No. 3: I once wrote in my now defunct blog, an issue entitled “The Forgiveness Factor.” It was an attempt at rationalizing for those knew what they knew, and when they knew it, but don’t tell. It’s about sexual misconduct, but it’s also about all of what’s wrong, when something is going wrong. Think Enron.

Who’s next?… rumor has it that Matt Lauer was “doing” his stuff for many years, but the NBC morning ratings are VERY important to network earnings…so live and let live…until you get caught…or until public opinion was too strong to ignore. Now of course Lauer is gone, disgraced, wife divorcing him, having to live on his savings…and a few Execs lost their jobs, but they waited until the pressure cooker of public opinion blew the lid, so to speak.

Of course, the big “whale” a financial industry term, is Harvey Weinstein, in the entertainment industry. Now let’s get something clear here. I was a little kid, barely able to speak when I listened to the radio and learned of Hollywood’s jokes about the “casting couch.” I don’t think there is an American who hasn’t heard that expression. Somehow it was always said in jest…There was never a visual in those days…no starlet ever said out-loud, “Gee, I got the part because I had sex with Mr. Louis B. last night…”

It was a big joke, probably with 99% truth to it. There was no forgiveness factor needed because in the eyes of the American public men and women had their own roles, and nobody was offended that a starlet might have had a romp on the casting couch. What was to forgive?

Then the world changed. Civil Rights, Equal Rights, Women’s Rights, Sexual Preference Rights…et.al…  and when the rules changed the cuteness of the casting couch became the battle of “rights” and “law” and harm and threat. So Harvey, you opened up a great big door through which you could drive a proverbial tractor-trailer truck. Women who said NO…others who knew and allowed it to happen for profits (yes, Harvey, like others you made a lot of very profitable movies and made a lot of money and had a lot of influence)…women who were demeaned, threatened, embarrassed, changed their careers, …for your ego? For your influence?

So now there are a million stories in the press…many are legitimate, blasts from the past, 99% accurate…and they get men to quit their jobs, or not get elected (BRAVO ALABAMA), or in the latest event to get fired (Bye, Bye, Steve Wynn).

But… I have a concern…   seems this all applies to famous people in high profile jobs.

What about all of those nameless, faceless Male and Female Americans who need our culture to change in order to have a voice…who is attending to that?  If a 50 year-old woman said that her postman abused her 30 years ago…what’s her recourse…what factor was operational for her 30 years ago? Who would have listened?

There has been a tiny change…but we need a Sea Change…led by a government and business that supports these valueswithout a FORGIVENESS FACTOR…honoring the rights of all peoples…who have all varieties of preferences…and where YES means YES and NO means NO. And finally, where the rule of law applies equally to all.

We welcome your thoughts and comments. Each contributes to the conversation which is the key to understanding and culture change.

Please send them to WATExplorer@gmail.com and we will publish them. Thanks!

About KHubbard LRevo-Cohen GCrider Chris Kilmartin Maria Morukian (26 Articles)
Since 1984, the founders of NewPoint Strategies, Karetta Hubbard and Lynne Revo-Cohen, have built a strong reputation for delivering extremely effective prevention training in high-risk issues such as sexual harassment/assault. Contributing Author and Lead Consultant, Chris Kilmartin, Ph.D, Emeritus Professor of Psychology from the University of Mary Washington, is an expert in Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention, specifically Male Violence Against Women, Gwen Crider, a diversity and inclusion strategist with over 20 years of leadership experience in non-profit and private sector organizations, and Maria Morukian is an internationally recognized diversity expert