I was watching a programme on TV last week where they talked to one of the first women to use the, then new, legislation to prosecute for sexual harassment in the workplace. She was a very brave woman and her life was made a living hell during the process. At the end the interviewer asked her if she thought we were in a better place to-day. Her answer did not surprise me. As far as she could see the sexism and harassment is still as prevalent, but is now harder to prove as it is not so overt; slipping under the radar of regulation.
I started to think about those other lovely “isms”; racism, sectarianism and so on. Are we any better now than, say, the 1970’s, any more enlightened? I believe we should certainly know more about each others cultures, but apparently it does not necessarily follow that this leads to more tolerance.
Coming from a country where some used to claimed a legitimacy for murder because of religion, I believe it has changed, to an extent, but it will take a lot more than signatures on pieces of paper to remove the biases and bigotry of generations. Turn on the news at any time to see the evidence of this.
There are wonderful and inspirational examples of enlightenment within working environments and communities out there, but is this because of changes in law, or because of good people doing what good people have always done?
Maybe we are looking at a “Darwin-esque” scale of evolution before we can look at each other as human beings first, sex, colour, creed coming way, way after.
I’m laughing now thinking of Star Trek, Star Wars etc. Holy shit! How long did it take them to become so comfy with planetary aliens??