I saw a lot of pain yesterday. I will see more pain today.
Pain from women saying that it’s back to the whisper network for them. Pain from women acknowledging the many faults of whisper networks.
Pain from women who do not want to be chilled — and who yet find themselves in the far north, with the wolves circling.
Pain from women who have seen their colleagues fail them before, and before, and before — and who have less hope now that the future of libraries will be any better.
Pain from women who fear that licenses were issued yesterday — licenses to maintain the status quo, licenses to grind away the hopes and dreams of those women in libraries who want to change the world (or who simply want to catalog books in peace and go home at the end of the day).
Above all, pain from women whose words are now constrained by the full force of the law — and who are now the target of every passerby who has much time and little empathy.
I will speak plainly: Lisa Rabey and nina de jesus did a brave thing, a thing that could never have rebounded to their personal advantage no matter the outcome of the lawsuit. I respect them, and I wish them whatever peace they can find after this.
I will speak bluntly to men in the library profession: regardless of what you think of the case that ended yesterday — regardless of what you think of Joe Murphy’s actions or of the actions of Team Harpy — sexual harassment in our profession is real; the pain our colleagues experience due to it is real.
It remains an unsolved problem.
It remains our unsolved problem.
We must do our part to fix it.
Not sure how? Neither am I. But at least as librarians and library workers, we have access to plenty of tools to learn, to listen.
Time to roll up our sleeves.
Unsolved problems by Galen Charlton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.