Opinion

By Greg Jackson

For years I have heard about the disgusting treatment of women in politics and wondered why folks stood by silently without uttering a single peep. I heard about the inappropriate comments, the inappropriate touching, the inappropriate propositions by legislators and wondered why the hushed whispers through the hallowed halls of the capital never materialized to resounding demands to treat the victims with the respect and professional courtesy they deserved.

While running for state office, I often times had the unique opportunity to be a fly-on-the-wall, so to speak, during conversations between legislative staffers and lobbyist, and to be quite frank it was as if I were listening to the recounts of a bad soap opera or an episode of the Jerry Springer Show. During those candid conversations, the thing that stood out to me most was that it was apparent that people knew about the improper behavior, but, no one said anything because the culture of inappropriate conduct is and was not only known, but widely accepted, and in some instances expected. I heard comments that nothing was said because it would not change the behavior. Some viewed it as an occupational hazard that was part and parcel of the job. However, most surprising to me was that many viewed the unsolicited, sexual advances as a sort of badge of honor, to be recognized and wanted by a person in a powerful position.

Power, sex, and corruption, whether viewed separately or together are not new, and they transcend all settings from churches to legislative chambers to law firms to physicians offices to film locations, military installations and the list could go on. We have become all too familiar with cases and stories where pastors, politicians, business leaders, educators, military generals, Hollywood elite, even presidents are embroiled in scandals all because they could not respect a woman’s right to exist free from unwanted sexual advances. But no matter the commonality or acceptance of such behavior there is no denying that it is wrong. To levy a position of power to take advantage of another human being sexually and without their consent is quite simply the epitome of bad. Not only is it bad, but it should not have a time limit, since it has been shown that once a person gets a taste of power and how to abuse that power, not only do they, and others, get comfortable with their bad behavior, but their antics more times than not continue, escalate and worsen. It brings true meaning to the words “absolute power corrupts, power corrupts absolutely.”

As a husband, father, and son, once I was trusted to lead and guide others, my position when working with the opposite sex has always been to treat women as I would want my wife, daughter, and mother to be treated. By following this simple, self-imposed rule, I have found it easy to conduct myself in a manner that would and will show respect. But, I do not want to make this about me. I want to take this time to applaud the brave women who have come forward to shed light on the disgraceful treatment of women no matter the setting. While I concede that some of the stories may be false or fabricated, it cannot be denied that even those tales have given others the courage to step forward. From a simple #MeToo post prompted by an actress, we are in the midst of a movement where politicians are now coming under fire. As women come forward in a proclamation to be silent no more, where powerful men are reduced to tears for their impropriety or asked to leave their posts, I cannot help but wonder how far this will go. But no matter if it lasts another day or twenty years I am very pleased that we live in a time when women can come forward and stand silent no more in the face of disrespect — in my humble opinion.


Greg Jackson

Greg Jackson is a former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Florida, a military veteran, current Orange County District 2 Representative on the Board of Zoning Adjustments, and General Counsel for the Community Redevelopment Agency. He has been as an active member of the Central Florida community for nearly 20 years. He was most recently a candidate for the Florida House District 45 seat.

 

29 COMMENTS

  1. Can’t say I am surprised about the sexual harassment in the Florida Capitol, but I am surprised as to how rampant the cases were, and are, with so many going on, and all those multiple cases of hanky- panky with the lobbyists, and the legislators, and with whoever else is in the intimate mix up there in Tallahassee. I didn’t have a clue to the extent of the legislators and their cronies playing under cover agents, until I read Scott Maxwell’s column in the Orlando Sentinel…..wow! Better gossip than grocery store checkout gossip magazines….lol

  2. Solution for stopping sexual harassment in the Florida Capital: ARE YOU READY FOR THIS???….A blank check purchase order, signed by the governor, for a few dozen of the new robotic women to keep in the closets of the chamber offices…..ha ha….LOL

  3. So attorney John Morgan is not going to run for Flori-duh governor? Plus he TURNCOATED TOO, against the Democrats? I hope his wife’s dog, Emma, bites him, that would serve him right!

  4. I had a nice day today. We went to the Via Port Mall and took my little boy doggie dressed up for Christmas, and went into the Pet Smart, and got one of their shopping carts, and put him in it, and rode him all over the mall inside. Went to the Christmas house store, that now sets up in the mall, with all of the handcrafted items people have made to sell. So many pretty and nice things for Christmas, that were there. I am going back again before they close the Christmas store on Dec 9th, as I saw some things I want to buy, as I didn’t have enough with me today. It is off to the side now, in front of one of the two movie theaters, near the food court. Saw some other items in some of the shops I liked too. I’ll go back before Christmas for sure……

  5. Decided to go by the Leesburg Veterans Memorial Park at Fountain Lake, which is in the front of the city hall at 6th St. and Meadows St. to walk around the lake with the fountain, and over to the original memorial wall and brick walk for the veterans to check on my 5 engraved bricks there for my daddy, my mama, and my great great granddaddy to make sure they were still there and not vandalized……they were fine.

  6. When I got back there I noticed a lot of new memorials and there was a helicopter on a green steel pole up in the air, that was painted drab olive army green, had 3 people on board, and had ARMY painted on its side. Below that was a new black shiny marble memorial wall dedicated to the Vietnam war veterans. It had etched scenes or pictures on it, and here is the listings it had written on it: KIA…58,209…..WIA….153,303…..it had etching scenes of the battlefield cross, helicopters, POW-MIA, dog tags, an eagle, an American flag, and a scene of a service person coming home and greeting their family. It was nice and I had not seen it previously as I had not been there of lately. There were names etched on the wall, and that can be purchased for twenty dollars with a copy of your DD214, if you are a Vietnam veteran BUT unfortunately a requirement is you must live in Lake, Marion, Sumter counties, or the Villages, then you are eligible…the phone number to call is 352-314-2100, 9 to 4, M-F…..

  7. There were several new memorials. Another was of the battlefield cross, which was a pair of boots, with a rifle standing in the boots, and a helmet on top of the rifle. It is a honor for members of the military that have been killed in duty. I had not seen that newer bronze sculpture either, until today. I’m saying the rifle is in the boots, my husband is saying it is in the ground between the boots…..whatever, he is arguing with me, I don’t know, anyway……I’m sure somebody knows.

  8. Other new memorials were a whole entire section dedicated to women in the military. Several different granite memorials. Dedicated to WAC-Women’s Army Corp nurses in WWII…..WAVES-Women Accepted For Volunteer Emergency Services Navy nurses……WASP-Women Air Force Services…..SPARS….US Coast Guard Women’s Reserve…..Women Marines, US Marine Corps Women’s Reserve and it had a place dedicated to Rosie the Riveter. Hope I got those right, not sure……

  9. Another new memorial was a large one dedicated to World War II. This was another nice one. It had etching on the black shiny marble surface of newspaper front pages of years ago with the large headlines such as the newspaper front cover of the Mason City Globe Gazette of Dec. 8, 1941, the headline in huge letters exclaiming: US DECLARES WAR ON JAPAN

  10. Another front page newspaper etched on the black marble memorial: the NY Times, the war ended….V-E and German surrender, unconditional surrender, from the date May 8, 1945, and here is the part I love….up in the right corner of the NY Times is the newspaper price….3 cents!!!

  11. On another scene on the World War II memorial is a mushroom scene of the bombing of Nagasaki, and Hiroshima, in Aug. 1945 plus the death toll of 120,000 + with another etching showing Japan surrendered Sept. 2, 1945. Hope I got these correct, as I scribbled these down quickly to remember.

  12. Another scene etched showed where US declared war on Japan with Hawaiian casualties at 3000 (if I am reading my writing correctly) I did some scribbling, anyway, if you are in Leesburg’s old downtown, check it out, it is nice. There is also another new memorial to the Korean War. I think they may add more of each of the different wars….the Korean War Memorial was dedicated last year. The memorial stated: To defend a country they never knew, and a people they never met…..June 25, 1950 until July 27, 1953……KIA 36, 574……WIA 103,284…..MIA 8025.

  13. I think the Leesburg Veterans Memorial Park at Fountain Lake is going to be an on-going project, so it seems, with so many new memorials since I was there last time. They also have a computer on site to check out names and engraving on the walls of the memorials. When you stand there, and look at the numbers of those lost to war, it makes one wonder why anyone would be so quick to want to go to war! Give peace a chance, and only go to war if absolutely necessary….God bless the USA…Freedom is not free.

  14. Also stopped by the Aldi grocery on 441 up toward Eustis or Tavares, not sure what town it was. They were so busy! I am a little niffed because our Aldi in Apopka has been closed for the longest, renovating the frontage that wasn’t even old, and it looks the same as it did before the renovations, and is still closed here during the holidays, when I get the ads and see things I want, and have to go way off, if I want to get them…what were they thinking at the corporate headquarters when they decided to renovate Apopka Aldi frontage???

  15. I know one thing for sure after going to Leesburg today, and that is that the water levels in the lakes are still way up! Dead River, OMG, that restaurant on the waterfront there to the right going to Leesburg, is almost under water, and I say, almost, as the wall around the waterfront is almost up to the top, where the water level could go over the wall into the restaurant! I haven’t seen that in a long long time. Plus Dora Canal water level is way up too. If it rains again, that Dead River Restaurant may get flooded, if it hasn’t already been flooded….at least that is how it appears to me, I could be wrong.

  16. Channel 35 showed people fist fighting in the stores over the bargains on Cyber Monday. So ridiculous….then they showed the Amazon warehouse with the workers working, and the packages flying down the belts. This one dark headed worker at Amazon, I swear, that poor guy looked totally exhausted and half a sleep, with heavy sleepy zombie eyes. Poor guy!

  17. All the politicians possessed over getting the humongous Amazon warehouses to set up operations in their cities…..what a bunch of baited hooks…. I have been reading the newspapers on just how they work their employees with timed bathroom breaks, and impossible work duty quotas…..don’t know if the news articles are true or not, but the politicians have stars in their eyes, with the thoughts of big bucks coming their way. Get the stars out of your eyes, and also think about the other businesses that are already operating in your cities, and how this mega operation has been putting a lot of other businesses out of business! ALLEGEDLY, of course…….

  18. And to the consumers, get off your duff, and off of the computers, ordering everything online, and go to your local stores in your town, and nearby towns, and support them at their physical locations. If everybody ordered everything online, like through Amazon, we would not have any stores around! They are moving in on the local grocery stores after their business too! Sure hope they don’t succeed in running off our local grocery businesses! I don’t want to have to have a drone drop a pack of hamburger down on my frontyard…LOL

  19. OH MY GOSH, if Amazon corporation came to the Apopka City Council to discuss possibly setting up operations in the COA, the Apopka City Council members would knock each other over, as to who would dance the ” Texas two- step” dance, the fastest, trying to lure Amazon corporation into the City of Apopka, with their offerings of big $$$$$$ incentive packages, to get them to come to this city….hearty har har….!!! Dream on…..!!!

  20. I saw an Almond Kringle ring that looked oh so good, yesterday shopping. I resisted buying it, but it looked so wonderful! There used to be a business in Mt. Dora, that made those Kringles. I wonder if they still are there?

  21. I love those Bear Claws too….not the animal ones, the foodie ones….Almond Bear Claws….yum yum! I must stop thinking of sweet treats. I must think of sweet treats as poison, for me, so says my doctor….I must think of an image of a skull and crossbones, so says my doctor….I repeat, poison, uh huh….yes, my own personal poison…..

  22. I am so turned off, and totally disgusted by that jerk of a man, Donald Trump, that I can’t stand him! This latest incident of his name calling of Elizabeth Warren, referring to her as Pocahontas, is ridiculous, especially since it was at an event, meant to honor the Native American veterans, that he chose to use the name Pocahontas, to refer to Elizabeth. I would vote for an Elizabeth Warren/ Joe Biden ticket for president in a heartbeat. Elizabeth Warren is miles above Trump in knowledge, and common sense, too. What is Trump’s problem, honestly? He is so pukey!

  23. Remember when one person demanded Elizabeth Warren to release a DNA test on the origins of her ancestry??? Right, when hell freezes over, or when Donald Trump releases his full INCOME TAX RETURNS to the public!!!

  24. Another thing, Trump calling Kim Jong Un, short and fat….and further throwing fuel on the fire, regarding the nuclear threat…..has Donald Trump viewed the photos of himself, out of his loose business suit, and in his polo knit golf shirts and golf pants….???? He doesn’t exactly look like a GQ model, FAR FROM ANY GQ MODEL….he looks porky, and he calls Un fat??? LOL…huh!

  25. There is a school inside the Via Port Mall at Leesburg. 5th grade through 12th grade. They had a sign at the entrance that stated: ” quiet, in session”. That wasn’t there before, last time I was there. Next door is a Lake Co. Sheriff’s substation in the mall. Sears, Books A Million, a dance studio teaching line dancing was in there, and they were in there dancing, Belks, several jewelry stores, a barber shop, beauty shop, Pet Smart, 2 mult-theaters, a food court, an art store, a shoe store, a figurine shop, clothing shops, an sporting store, and many other stores. The JC Penneys that was on one end was gone, as well as the Dollar Tree store that was inside, and the internet café, of course. There is a small bakery inside too…….the mall had bass boats for sale set up all down through the mall too. The food court was very light, shiny, and attractive and clean….glad the owners have worked hard to keep the mall as a local place to shop…..a lot of people heading to see the movies considering it was a Monday mid morning.

  26. As I am sitting here on my laptop, looking over the news tiles, and seeing one, and reading that now, over the past weekend, that Trump is now claiming that the Access Hollywood tape of him, and Billy Bush talking about what Trump says himself and how he claims he is allowed to get away grabbing women, because he is a “star”, and that he can grab them by their “P” and kiss them, and grope them….well now, he claims that the tape may not be “real,” as in” fake news”….the same tape that he explained before, by saying it was only locker room talk…..oh yeah. As I am looking at this latest ridiculous crud of Trump’s … of his latest “fake news” claim of this ” fake tape” discussing his sexual conduct…. I get a ping on my computer of the latest breaking news….which is Kim Jong Un has fired off yet another ballistic missile……??? Now what??? I am not thrilled that Trump holds the nuclear code button. Should I go get the under the bed and cover my head????? Hawaii seems to take the nuclear threat seriously! Not to mention another news tile has a government shutdown looming within a week or so……would Trump start a newly declared war to keep from being impeached???

  27. Prince Harry and his girlfriend, Megan Markel, are very distant cousins. Go back to the year 1480, and that fellow born then, Ralph Bowes, is both Harry and Megan’s great grandfather in common, or I should say the word “great” in front of the word grandfather X 14 times…..like great, great, great, etc. X 14 times grandfather….isn’t that something else? I think I spelled the name Bowes correct…..

  28. A press conference just held in Tampa has announced that the Tampa serial killer that has been wanted for the last 51 days in the murder of 4 victims by gunshots has been arrested. He is a 24 year old fast food worker that worked at an Ybor City McDonalds, whose co-worker there called police after the co-worker became concerned when he saw that his fellow employee had a gun there on the jobsite.

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