I spent a lot of time in union halls in the early 2000s, at first with union memberships and later with leadership as my role (and experience level) changed. I got to know a lot of people and learned a lot. More often than not, I would find myself alone with a group of men and we, once my supervisor left the room, would inevitably let the situation turn bawdy. Stories would be told, lies or truths, and we would reminisce.
I have been in two or three situations similar to the one depicted in the Donald Trump audio that is now everywhere. As a young guy, I often played the role of a Billy Bush. I would chuckle and go along for the ride. I would laugh as the alpha demonized a conquest or hinted at a situation like the one Trump described. I played along.
That was pretty fucked up. I was wrong to do that. I am sorry for my role in those situations.
Sometimes I was playing politics. Sometimes I was being naive about what was being said. But sometimes… I was going along because I thought that was how things should be.
I am sorry for being that kind of guy.
My confidence level grew and I started learning from men I admire. I learned that I could choose male allies, friends, and mentors. I recognized patterns in my own behavior that lead to bad relationships and stupid decisions. I learned and I grew up. I took responsibility.
I still do stupid things. But I recognize them as wrong and I apologize for them. I am not perfect. Most of the time, I am a very human mess.
My circles are different now. My introversion keeps me from maintaining a huge number of close friends, but the ones I do have aren’t Donalds and they wouldn’t tolerate a Billy in their lives.
I am sorry.
“We are what we repeatedly do.”