Former WA first lady on sexual harassment: 'We've reached a tipping point'

Former First Lady of Washington state Mona Locke reflects on #MeToo movement.

Among those praising the women who've come forward in recent high profile sexual harassment cases is a former journalist and first lady of Washington. 

Mona Locke is also a victim of sexual harassment herself.  Not once, not twice, she says, but multiple times.  She says it happened early in her career as a television news reporter and in the political arena as well.

"I have been in the situation where there were other guys and they just turned a blind eye when someone would grab my leg or any other physical contact, when you know that is wrong.  And because of the power differential a coworker would not say anything," recalled Locke.

%INLINE%

She first shared the details of her personal and painful experiences with sexual harassment in a 2016 Facebook post.  At that time, Locke also created a "safe space" on Facebook and encouraged other victims of sexual harassment to stand together and tell their stories.

"We can't ignore it anymore," she said.  "For a woman who has been harassed or assaulted, it lives with you forever."

In recent weeks, from the case of Harvey Weinstein to Al Franken, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, and others, Locke has been in awe of the women who've come forward.

"I think we have reached a tipping point where it's okay to speak out.  And if you're not the person being harassed or assaulted, then stand up for someone.  When you see it, call it out.  Don't be afraid.  Because if we don't speak out, the culture will never change," she said.

She believes it's important for the conversation to continue, far beyond recent headlines.

"My hope is that it cascades down not just to high profile people, but to everyday people that are affected in their workplace.  Affected outside of their work places.  That we really shift the culture," she said.  "I think the change has to occur.  We have to teach our kids when they're in the house, when they're young, that inappropriate jokes won't be tolerated.  That we need to respect men and women."

© 2017 KING-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
TRENDING VIDEOS