That M*A*S*H Scene Revisited

So here’s something… I woke up this morning with that scene from the M*A*S*H movie in my head – the one where Margaret Houlihan is trying to take a shower and Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John raise the shower curtain on her in front of an audience of laughing men. M*A*S*H was one of the biggest movies of the early 1970s – nominated for all kinds of awards, including best picture. I didn’t see it when it first came out – too young – but I remember enjoying it, for the most part, when I finally saw it a few years later. I never did like that shower scene, though – it made me really uncomfortable – I thought it was mean-spirited. And now here we are in 2018. I’m thinking that scene might not play well in theaters, anymore. And I’m really glad about that.

We have made progress.

Sexual Harassment

Dear class,

I’m wondering how many upstanding, well-meaning men are looking back on their lives right now and trying to remember if they’ve ever unintentionally done anything that might be seen as sexual harassment. And if you’re one of those men who’s going through the files in your head – trying to remember if you’ve ever done something that might have caused someone else to feel uncomfortable or awkward – bless your heart. I’m guessing you’re no Sen. Moore or Harvey Weinstein. I’m pretty sure neither of those guys have ever spent a lot of time going through the files in their heads, self-reflecting. (And if you found you’ve done something you now regret, don’t do it again, okay? Onward and upward.)

On another note – it might be helpful if we could all identify the difference between flirting and harassment: I think sexual harassment is a one-sided thing – one person gets something from someone else without regard to what that other person wants or needs. Sexual harassment leaves the victim feeling humiliated, disrespected, and/or repulsed. Flirting, on the other hand, is a back-and-forth thing – everyone involved WANTS to be involved.

Be kind to one another. Be thoughtful. Be decent. Do right by each other.
– Mrs. T.