Cynthia Dill’s May 27 column, “More courage needed to advance from #metoo,” promotes a tired narrative on sexual harassment that blames Jessica Lacey (said victim of sexual harassment) for being histrionic and overreactive, while also citing her lack of courage in her failure to make a difference after disclosure of an unwanted sexual advance by Kevin Thomas (Ms. Lacey’s previous boss and current owner of the company Maine Media Collective). Somehow, Ms. Dill tries to connect this to the 52 percent of white women who voted for Trump. I’m not buying it.

This commentary is a baseless and incoherent attempt to blame (“fragile … insecure, beautiful, skittish … privileged”) women for abuse they suffer by (often male) superiors in positions in power. She actually states that “a reasonable jury could boil Lacey’s story down to a very simple narrative: She had too many drinks with a boss she knew to be a scoundrel, was kissed, it was awkward, and later she said was ‘water under the bridge.’ ” I would have expected more from Ms. Dill, attorney at law, and especially from the Portland Press Herald before they published this unfortunate rant in the Sunday paper.

I would also suggest to Ms. Dill (again, attorney at law) that she remember it is against the law for a superior to make unwanted advances toward an employee, and it is not Ms. Lacey’s responsibility to do anything other than be a woman who can decide to speak her mind whenever and if ever she so chooses, even if it’s by (gasp) writing a blog post rather than pursuing charges in a court of law.

Ms. Dill’s advice to Ms. Lacey – “Chin up, old girl. Use your mind. Go to a deeper place” – is demeaning, insulting and undermining to anyone who has experienced unwanted sexual advances and harassment in the workplace.

Sarah Maloney


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