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  1. I can’t tell you how many days over the last few years I have felt frozen. I was hurt in 2012 and I have not been able to regain control of my life in a normal way. Because of a predatory man
  2. I have started and stopped writing this letter a number of times.
  3. ( I don’t even know that this is a letter, maybe more of a notice of intent, statement of fact, with a tiny bio- but the point is that it is important to me to express and share this because I think that none of us should experience this)
  4. I was plagued by self-doubt and fear, I was led by women who stood up before me and said that they too had the experiences they have had and I knew it was my personal responsibility to speak up.
  5. Because of this I think that it is important to see how those problematic behaviors contribute and are influenced by the cultural behaviors developed over time in practice at PSNS, however I do not think that further punishment of these individuals is effective, I think they are open to learning.
  6. The #TIMESUP movement inspired by the #METOO movement have offered me strength. The sheer number of people who are ready to make a change and fight against predatory people is breath taking. It’s exciting. I am ready.
  7. Some are afraid. They are afraid that anything they do can be used against them.
  8. But for many women, transgender people, homosexuals, people of color and gender fluid people this experience of fear, is our lives. There is fear in many situations that a predatory person with power can take our power away in one form or another.
  9. Many of us are not aware of a time we did not feel this way. We have been told to stay small, soft, pretty, quiet.
  10. A beautiful whisper of nothing to be enjoyed and discarded. So many people without power being robbed by those with it.
  11. Many of us can recall the first time we were harassed, and it was when we were too young to understand what it was that the person harassing you was getting at.
  12. Many of us looked at our bodies in mirrors trying to figure out what we had done to deserve that treatment.
  13. After the Weinstein case broke and  Woody Allen called out to “be sure not to let this turn in to a witch hunt”….
  14. What an interesting phrase he chose to use. A witch hunt. When I hear that term I think about what a witch hunt was and is historically.
  15. A witch hunt is defined as a search for and persecution of a person suspected of being a witch. But it is more than that.
  16. If the crops died they chose a victim, if the infant mortality rate changed they found a victim, if a man was raping his servant she was a new victim, (she must have used her power to tempt this otherwise godly man…), if the system didn’t work they used paranoia to sniff out a person to blame.
  17. They named the victim a witch. They burned the witch. They used people with disabilities , people of color, homosexuals, and gender non-conforming people in the fire like kindling.
  18. But that is not what I am asking for. This is not coming from a place driven by paranoia we aren’t making this up. This not trying to persecute anyone the only desire is for it to end.
  19. I don’t want to burn innocent people in the name of fear.
  20. We only want to stop the predatory culture that we has been allowed to exist for so long. To shift the perspective of protecting the predator to protecting each other. To shift the lesson from don’t get attacked to don’t attack, everyone has value.
  21. I came to realize that what he was saying is don’t let the witches start hunting.
  22. What he really means is don’t let them talk they will destroy our predatory system. We protect the predator by stopping them from receiving any consequences. We are afraid that we will hurt their spouses, that we will hurt their children, that we will hurt their career.
  23. But we have no responsibility in that. All we can do is be honest and let the balance and consequences of their actions fall in to place naturally.
  24. I just kept hearing Woody Allan’s creepy child rapist voice in my head crying about the Weinstein case saying he did not want to see these allegations turn into a witch hunt……….
  25. So I started thinking why? Why should I (or anyone else) give this man one single thought.
  26. I started thinking it might just be time for me to hear the voice of the  brave woman who opened the door for me to speak Tarana Burke.
  27. Tarana Burke is the mother of the #METOO movement, she wanted to make us more not less. To show healing is possible and we can support each other. She did not create it to be a #movement but rather as a catch phrase that can be used to connect survivors that she worked with in her community with one another and to an idea “empowerment through empathy”.  As we know #METOO has grown and has made a difference.
  28. Social media movements have their place but I think that this is where we change it up.
  29. Let’s take this away from them. I want to, together make 2020 year of the Witch. What is a witch? A witch is a person who connects with the earth, many witches believe in a philosophy of no harm, a witch is usually not the problem. Witches come in many different forms.. But what I am proposing is not a sudden spiritual shift of all of the victims to witchcraft. I am just saying we take that phrase away from them. A unifying stance like that of Tarana Burke’s Me too, and the pioneers of the vision for the initiative “Time’s up” (an initiative that gives more funding to women in art and in media as well as helping people that literally cannot afford to speak out.) It is usually a distraction to call attention to the witch. It is usually a distraction from corruption, poverty, pain in a community. The witch is just a victim in a witch hunt.
  30. But if the witches are conducting the hunt, they are hunting the truth, they are being brought to life. We are talking about an entire community of people bonded by shared experience supporting each other exposing the people who start the fires for what they are; frauds and thieves, predatory humans that have fed on others for too long. I say things should change and we out number them if we speak out together. It is time to stop protecting those who are harming others. It is time all of us to stop holding up shields in front of those that mean us harm. I am tired of deflecting the consequences of their actions at my expense and the expense of others.
  31. I want to build on this bravery.  It is easier to do it together than it is alone. We now have the ability to connect all survivors of sexual assault and harassment with social media. I would like to get a network together of survivors, that are ready  to support someone live when challenging a predator. Let’s make this a moment where history can look back and say that is when everything changed.
  32.  
  33. This along with movements like #METOO and the initiative Time’s Up has the ability to change the way things are one forever.
  34. Because just this is more than a behavioral problem, the financial implications have left  many victims in a position of eat or stand up, worse yet many of the “witches” that are thrown in to the fire that feeds this predatory mess are parents; responsible for the financial security of not only themselves but those around them.  We need to build a support structure together that combines all of the beautiful aspects of these highly effective ideas.
  35. I think that it is easier to address this from the top up, but it isn’t feasible. I think that there are many of us working in blue collar no power positions  and that won’t change until we are united. That is daunting, we need one small person, with a story, one that is average- one working for some big group.
  36. That is where I think I come in. I am a small voice, with an ordinary story that is full of problems.
  37.  
  38. I work in the government. I am a civilian member of the Department of Defense. It is well known that the Department if Defense is problematic when it comes to sexual discrimination and sexual assault history. But I think that what I am going to show is that there is a culture of toxic behavior that encourages not only sexual discrimination but all types of discrimination in the Department of Defense as a whole, by specifically sharing  the incidents I personally encountered in my 9 years working at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The problem with my story will not be the sensational moments, honestly, it is that my story is not special or unique. There are many stories worse than mine. But my story should be enough, the stories before mine should have been enough, no one should ever experience this level of discrimination. That is why I am sharing this letter across so many sources.
  39.  
  40. I think that it is important to be direct about my purpose.
  41. It is important to me that I tell you my personal thinking that lead me to the place that got me here.
  42. It is important to know that this is not revenge, this is not anger, this is a solution.
  43. I do not want sympathy, I want action.
  44. I do not want attention, I wanted to work hard earn a check and go home
  45. I am simply addressing the truth.
  46. I was raised by a man that valued honesty and accountability above all else.
  47. I carry those lessons in every action I take, this is no exception.
  48. Every word I type causes me ferocious pain. My right hand was injured on 2/29/2012. My left hand was injured on another day also at work but I was too afraid to report it so I continue to suffer without help due to my own silence. My right hand was impossible to ignore. It is my dominant hand. Not only do I physically feel an unusual amount of pain it has caused me great emotional distress.
  49.  But the truth is this story doesn’t start there.
  50. I was hired on 1/27/2009.
  51. Like everyone I know that got hired that year, I had a half ass interview- mostly to determine that I knew how to show up on time.
  52. I was asked a few preliminary questions. “Have you ever worked in an industrial environment?” Yes, I worked at Harry & David on the assembly line.
  53. Looks me over nods.
  54. What are your hobbies?
  55. Um shooting, camping, stuff like that I guess.
  56. Then the truth.
  57. “Well I guess you know R* so you are hired, but I need to warn you. You have to have thick skin to work here. You will cry yourself to sleep if you let these guys get to you.”
  58. My name is Brandon- I am a woman named Brandon, that means I was a preteen girl named Brandon. I have heard  it all. I have learned to adapt by joking.
  59. I developed young, I was harassed before I even under stood what it meant, just like so many others.
  60. Many of us are not aware of a time we did not feel this way. We have been told to stay small, soft, pretty, quiet.
  61. A beautiful whisper of nothing to be enjoyed and discarded. So many people without power being robbed by those with it.
  62. Many of us can recall the first time we were harassed, and it was when we were too young to understand what it was that the person harassing you was getting at.
  63. Many of us looked at our bodies in mirrors trying to figure out what we had done to deserve that treatment.
  64. I have a bunch of blue collar uncles and two larger than life grandfathers that were the typical jokes made in bad taste types of men. My earliest memories were of my Grandfathers nudie dashboard calendar, and drink from the nipple coffee mug. I grew up with men that weren’t bad men, but did not all treat women like whole people, I knew how to deal with that.
  65. I worked in a number of environments, at a number of jobs. I have been a cocktail waitress, a busser, a DJ, a legal assistant, a night stocker, an assembly line worker, a newspaper delivery person, a waitress, a baby sitter, a nanny(they are different), fast food worker, apprentice, cook, house keeper,  chemical dependency staff support, training instructor….. and I have had more gigs than I can count. I have experienced sexual harassment, discrimination, I have heard transphobic jokes, I have been told I am worthless.
  66.  I am an addict, I was a single mother, I have lived in the slums, I have been many things. I still deserved respect, and until I worked for the DOD I felt like I could expect to be treated reasonably.
  67. I was harassed on the outside just like so many others. I was chased around tables at restaurants as a server, I was pinned up against the wall with a bread cart, I was groped as I sat down by a patient.  I was stalked, I was threatened, I was called a whore, I was called a bitch. All of these things are ordinary. No one is surprised by this. I was pressured into sex, I was molested, I heard my mother raped in the next room. None of this is unusual. None of this is out of the ordinary.
  68. There are many stories like mine. But I call the shipyard the inside, and everything else outside. I call it that because these walls have become prisons for so many workers. I call it that because so many feel trapped. I feel trapped. I have lost so much to this place. I know that I am not alone, the system here has become so corrupt that the problems can’t be contained any longer.
  69. I am tired of whisper networks. Person to person quiet warnings “hey,  be careful around J Baker he is a creep with a violent temper” “hey don’t take an invitation from Matt S to the bar he took advantage of a girl and while she was passed out he took nude photos and shared them with his friends at work during work while she was in the same room… “  
  70. There are predators everywhere. If they are in your life call them out, if you can’t do it alone I want all of us survivors to be there with you. I want to build a team that has all of the skills we need to help each other out of these situations. I want to get job placement for those who are standing up and speaking out, if we reach out we can find job resources. I want to see funding to get housing for when a person is standing up to a predator in their home. I want that resource to come out of the predators pocket. I want to see some consequences. I want to watch this system crumble. I want to have groups work together on plans to get these people out of these situations and into whole new productive lives while calling out the predators in a format that does not make excuses
  71.  
  72. So here is my story, no censorship, no lies, no paranoia.
  73. My first day at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton Washington was October 13th 2009.
  74. From the beginning, I noticed that things were outdated, attitudes were outdated, even the diversity in the group was outdated.
  75. We were told in training by the video that harassment is illegal and to report it but the years of conditioning to protect the predator was stronger than that… the culture is stronger than that video we all make fun of.
  76. The conversations about what b****** those women were, about how they know they liked it… how she just  RUINED his life the conversation held in front of the instructor in the smoke shack quickly taught me to keep my mouth shut. I did not want to be a bitch, I did not want to be a problem, I did not want to ruin the lives of others. I just wanted to work and go home like everyone else.
  77. In our in dock group there was a guy that behaved like a fool, he was loud, rude unapologetic, he nearly got kicked out of class. His behavior was accepted otherwise as  impish but mostly welcome. Although he was a distraction and had no place the female instructor that almost had him removed was the person who took the brunt of the blame.
  78. Now this may have been coincidental, at the time I really didn’t think about it, but now after reflection on the actions of the shipyard as a whole it may have been an indication of problematic behavior…. Especially because that same guy is now a white hat who pulls the work truck over to “check out that ass
  79. He and I came in the same day and he makes twice what I do. I completed the school portion of the apprenticeship, he only passed helper school (basic tools and fractions) with my help. His father was a leader in the shop, his father was a good ol boy, he was promoted quickly, over more qualified employees.
  80. After we completed in dock training I was sent to basic rigger orientation. I was the only woman. There was only one man of color. The other eight were all white guys that had gotten in on their fathers names.
  81. It was palpable, the tension to see a woman in class. There was this feeling that I was being tiptoed around, I never wanted to be a problem. I wanted to work.
  82. I was repeatedly asked by my new coworkers if I knew what I was getting myself into, if I knew this was man’s work.
  83.  While I said “Hey man I have got this it not big deal I have been doing tough stuff my whole life I am not intimidated by dirt and sweat” all I could think was what the fuck does that even mean?
  84. WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK RAN THIS PLACE WHILE NO MEN WERE HERE? It was the women. WE KEPT THE SHIPS FLOATING AND THE MILITARY SUPPORTED. This was women’s work before many of these men were even born.
  85. But then John found me, outside waiting to catch the ferry and warned me again that :“women don’t really belong in this shop and I should try to get myself a nice little secretary position where I would fit in better.”
  86.  I spoke up and said I don’t think you have any idea who I am
  87.  (In retrospect I should have said I don’t think you get to decide if women as a whole are well equipped to do any job. Because we are not a monolith, you cannot assume that the feminine appearance you see is going to excel at this task or fail at that one)…. But I was not aware of how this is a picture of society in that moment-
  88.  I only felt intimidated
  89. But I thought I had stood my ground and that might be enough. I wish I could say standing up to John mattered, but it didn’t he continued.
  90. He continued to say it to me for months on end in front of whole crews, he told the other women around me they didn’t belong either. I listened to this shit for months. I know I am not the only person on the only crew he has said it to, it became part of the whisper network. “avoid John , he says awful things” Or  “ John is a creep he leers at me all the time. Can you walk with me to the bathroom? So I don’t have to pass him alone”
  91. This continues today. He was let go for a while on suspected drug use charges but he fought his way back in and won. The management knew what he said to women, it was not a secret. He would get reported and the upper management in 740 would cover for it, sweep it under the rug move him somewhere new.  
  92. Management like J Rider, who heard him say those words, yet he stayed. JRider was far more concerned with the leave use of the employees ( you know the benefit we all work for that is such a big deal to have- well here if you use it you are reprimanded.) She was at the helm of 740 resource while I was being removed from the shop.
  93. This problem is at literally every level of the shipyard, in every division, in every office, everywhere.
  94. I learned that this was the best way to survive. The network feels bigger than the individual. The network of good ol boys. That fun name they give themselves. Isn’t it funny the way words work… they protect each other because they are all just good ol boys having a good time. I am not excusing myself from my personal responsibility to help be part of protecting others from this experience. I do not believe in regret but I do think I would make my choices regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment differently if I had to do it again.
  95. I was so afraid of never being able to work hard enough to earn respect for myself at my job if I spoke out.
  96. On my first month here I was assigned to the miscellaneous crew in the lobby where the rigging gear is stored. There was a slow period in the work because they has to get us all trained. Well in this particular environment because there were so many new hires coming in at the same time we were often doing nothing. I come from a blue collar family, I was raised to believe that at work you work. So I sought out work. I met the loft crew. The Loft crew liked me and I stayed there for a while.
  97. All but two of them were predators.
  98. I don’t even like to think about D Burr existing. I wrote his name and I feel cold run through my body. But I will tell you that I only have respect for two of these men I worked with at this point in my career. Honestly I think that even that is more than is earned, I was raised with accountability.
  99. However that is why I still have respect for them. I have taken too long to speak out, it was always equally my responsibility because I should not have allowed fear to control my actions. I feel that if I had spoken out to Justin Ackerman and Mike Zimmerman they would have done their best to help their way.
  100. When I started working with the loft crew, I felt at home. These guys were just like my dad.
  101. My dad was 20 years navy Boatswains mate, so were all of these guys. They had worked together and treated each other like family. When I came  over it seemed that they treated me like family too. They seemed to admire my work ethic and my responsively polite nature.
  102. They showed me the ropes they introduced me to people. They brought me on jobs they treated me like a valuable employee. They made me feel like I was ready to take on this new field.
  103. As the crew that I came in with began to be assigned more permanently the numbers started to dwindle, but I remained.
  104. I worked with the loft crew for quite some time. I would occasionally go out and do simple tasks, but I was not assigned the same kind of work as my male counter parts typically… I might tie up blocks, put together a wagon, carry shackles… but I was not assigned to lift the tilly crane, or do the main engine, I was not ever assigned real complicated jobs, I was assigned fluff.
  105. Now this was pre J Rider HR this was George P. But regardless this is not an individual matter this is a culture so that is less the problem than the general overall behavior.
  106. As the crew dwindled I felt more and more at home with these guys, they taught me a ton.
  107. But I started to learn that women are not welcome to speak up.
  108. The posters of women up on the walls straddling bikes seductive looks. The creepy comments here and there like I may need to take my heart pill if you get any closer to me sweetheart… or the trips across the yard in the vehicle that has no suspension (when the truck was available and a better choice)….
  109. So I bounce the whole way there alone with Robert Herman.
  110. Robert H who was assigned to the loft because he was retained after his EEO case against O.L.. Robert H was at a potluck with “O” and she brought salsa, she is an attractive woman of Spanish descent.
  111. Robert H asked her with Vienna sausage in hand if he “could dip his weenie in her salsa”  he laughed as he told the story with bravado to the group.
  112. They spoke about “O” and how she was trash, how she was a whore, how she was not worth sympathizing with…. That attitude remained.
  113. She was blacklisted. She was that person now, she was moved around, she was mistreated and disrespected from that moment forward. We bought into the propaganda. I failed her.
  114. I listened to the group share about whores, I listened to them share about young women’s asses I listened to them talk about life from this perspective.
  115. I did not recognize that I was not kept around because I worked hard, although I did deserve the recognition my accomplishment had nothing to do with me being there with them.
  116. They would hug me, all of them, it never struck me as unusual.
  117. Until D Burr. D often said things that made me feel uneasy, but I assumed the problem was with me. Because I was taught to be polite… to take it as a compliment.. not to be snobby….
  118. One afternoon we were all going upstairs for break, everyone else had made it up ahead of us.
  119. He grabbed me from behind and spun me around, he took a deep snort of my hair and told me how pretty I am and how soft I am and how good I smell in this long breathy creepy growl.
  120. He would wink as he passed me from then on.
  121. I didn’t want to work with him. I wanted to stay home.  
  122. I know how people feel about women speaking out.. I didn’t, he was reassigned eventually. But because I was afraid, I left him to continue this behavior. By not speaking out I was condoning this behavior.
  123. After that I stopped caring so much about my appearance, at that point Guy H started mentioning losing weight as an option for me. Guy Suggested I “get under 200 pounds before the summer because I knew how fat fries…” I lost my drive to keep coming. I was reassigned. I found that Justin Ackerman and Mike Zimmerman were there to help me become a better employee, they did take me to jobs that stretched me, they did tell others of my work ethic, they did support ME and they never made me feel less worthy because I am a woman. My only qualm with them is the same qualm I have with my own behavior, I knew, I saw it, I didn’t stop it. Mike was not a supervisor at that time, he did have authority and should have stood up, but he was not an active supervisor. I did feel like I could turn to him. I still feel like Mike and Justin are trust worthy people.
  124. The shipyard like anywhere has it’s heroes too.
  125. I had good influences, people that gave me hope that this place and others like it can change.
  126. Mike Zimmerman, he broke the ice with humor, he was approachable knowledgeable and an all-around amazing mentor.
  127. Brian Mendenhall, he led the way with a positive attitude, he stretched me in to a better employee, he challenged me. He took interest in all of us. I would to this day work side by side with this man. He took care of all of us.
  128. Mark Farrell, he was direct, he led me around and introduced me to all of the pieces of the puzzle. He showed me the ropes and I am eternally grateful.
  129. Deborah Chard, she was an amazing mentor. She was encouraging, she pushed for her team, she backed us up. She made me feel like there was more to the shipyard than just what meets the eye and we have an opportunity to take care of one another while we are here.
  130. I met people like Sherri Vollmuth, who kicked down every barrier and did every job that she could get her hands on. She has always been the secret driving force in the shipyard. If it was fun and different Sherri had her hand in it. But they were simply out numbered. The culture has bred and grown for decades. It is time to start over from scratch.
  131. After being reassigned from the loft to a special work crew. I found it was more of the same.
  132. I met DG there, she was one of the many women that had belittled and subjected to harassment and hate every day. DG was once a bartender, they made fun of her intelligence, her sexuality, her clothes, they talked about the way her vagina smelled.
  133. They made her into  a monster, they called her a vulture, they said she would “fuck anyone”, they called her lazy, a bitch, they called her, anything they wanted and got away with it because they did it in a pack. I watched men do nothing.
  134. I watched this language of hate and discontent about this woman be spread by the whole group. I did nothing.
  135.  It feels like the power is sucked out of you. Even now, just writing it, makes me feel like I am wrong. Like those people shouldn’t be uncomfortable.
  136. But the truth is that is conditioning, to be polite.
  137. I moved on and on collecting different moments.
  138. I went on hearing more from the whisper network. I learned who to avoid, both by whisper and by loud rowdy conversations around the lunch table. I would hear about this b**** or that.
  139. Kevin S pulled his dick out at work with a room full of other people. His penis- at work -on a table as part of a game. He SLAPPED his BOSS with his PENIS. He was promoted less than a year later. He was caught given a suspension and given a millionth chance. He has broken so many rules that it is impossible to keep track. Now don’t get me wrong, Kevin is a fun guy, he is funny, he is charismatic- these are great qualities in a leader that is the fucking problem.
  140. He should not be a leader because he is a good leader teaching horrible values to a new generation of employees.
  141. I worked side by side with Kevin, from my perspective: I think he believes he is a good leader. I think he is a good employee in the sense that he understood his job and taught others the important parts of the job well. I think that he is smart and understands the job well. I think he is bias against women and it shows.
  142. I think this is the most controversial thing I am saying in this open letter because I think many see Kevin’s behavior as just being one of the guys and having a good time but he doesn’t mean anything by it…. Well that is great but Kevin is a predator.
  143. He is teaching predatory behavior.
  144. I watched as they looked at and rated women by their looks on their phones, showing each other vaginas(this is not a figure of speech literally looking at naked women talking about and judging their vaginas…) Literally grabbing each other’s balls calling each other pussies….
  145. Right in front of supervision. Right in front of new employees.
  146. Young women who quit, because they would rather just find a new job than report it and be one of those women.
  147. Kevin, Carl Jr., Ryan Fo, all participated in a game of fuck or nah in front of the whole room while Dale H sat in the office ignoring their banter.
  148. Dale H has eternally been about to retire, Dale would send women on easy jobs and speak ever so softly to us.  He didn’t want to stress us out we are so sensitive… But nothing has ever changed. He wouldn’t give us challenging or physically laborious jobs because we weren’t equipped for that it is man’s work- so we would never really get a chance to evolve as employees we would not be able to grow in a our careers because we were never given the work.
  149. Carl  was one of the worst. He used his family to move up as many employees in the shipyard do. But he is such a creep. 740 management, (Jana Rider enabler and victim blamer) would move him from place to place to avoid him getting in trouble. I remember working with him, listening to him, speak about going down on a mother while the daughter went down on him. I watched him laugh at ‘fat ugly bit**es that think they are all that in front of Dale H and other work leaders mentors and mechanics. This is the culture that is taught in 740, in 700, in production, in the shipyard, in the navy, in the DOD, this runs rampant in the government- with  civilians- and military. This is behavior that is literally everywhere.
  150. I watched people get treated like shit. I saw it with my own two eyes as they passed around a photo of a new hire talking about how gross she was, how she thought she is sexy and it a joke… judging her like a winning sow in a 4 H competition. They suggested that she was blowing someone and that is how she got the job.
  151. I sat there silently horrified, too small in the moment to speak out where I should.
  152. I was an apprentice. I earned my place there. I did not get it gifted to me I worked hard, I showed promise, I am smart and I applied.
  153. I scored in the top 10% of the group that tested in the shipyard. I am not a charity case.
  154. But being a woman it was on the lips of every student in the school the women assigned were given their placement due to gender.  
  155. They had to meet a quota. It was known. There were two women, two men of color, and eight white guys in my class.
  156. Of that group both women are out of the shop both injured… two were fired one for sexually harassing women. He taped money on a woman’s locker. He called her child a half breed. He humped her things. In front of people for months. He was considered the victim to men in my class. His accomplice in this Mike Wwas not punished.
  157. He bragged about it regularly. It was known. He bragged about sexually harassing women. But he charmed so many that it never seemed to mater.
  158. Their mutual friend my frequent coworker and class mate Mike F would talk about the uselessness of women. About how they hated to have women on the team. That they couldn’t really do the work. They would whisper and wink at each other when women came in to the room. They would laugh and talk under their breath and point.
  159. I worked my ass off for 3 years as a single mother. I went through personal tragedy, I have a special needs son, I had a child with medical sensitivities, but I tried to do everything I could. The system is not set up for the person who is trying, it is set up for the good ol boys network.
  160. When I started the apprenticeship I was a WG5.1 today I am essentially a WG 5.5 it has been 9 years since I started. My husband who graduated with me is a WG 10. I lost 500 hours of potential overtime a year which is what I was earning at the time. I lost my career path. I lost my future. I lose sleep still because of the injury I received at work.
  161.  The injury that stole my path and changed my life.
  162. I helped my classmates study, I took notes for anyone who needed it, I would answer the phone in the middle of the night while I took care of my own life. I made every meal for my children, I did homework with them, I cleaned, I tucked them in and I did my school work while helping others pass the class.
  163. Tyler D would team up with me because he knew I would do the work. I did his labs. I worked alone most of the time. And he is a work leader now.
  164. The top apprentice would call me at all hours of the day would lean on me for support with physics and math. I really didn’t mind helping, I still don’t mind.
  165. What bothers me is that we completed the same program, and I have no right to the reward of that because the system is set up to push people aside and let the problem solve itself, rewarding predatory people. Now I do not think that Tyler or the other person are predatory, but they are examples of this type of behavior that is trained into the culture of the shipyard.
  166. The apprenticeship was grueling, I was not well liked and I was harassed, I was not interested in being well liked. There were many experiences that shop clear examples of how all forms of discrimination are alive and well inside of the shipyard just from that class.
  167. One incident that stands out from that experience is when the woman that is in shop 11 I think K walked by, they said some shit transphobic joke about how that shop makes their women….
  168. This woman. K. She has fought, her story is not mine, but it is amazing. I hope that she will agree to write something to go along with this case at some point I think that she has the potential to change the world. The transphobia in the shipyard is unbelievable.
  169. There was a rape in the class the year before ours. One girl was discharged for using drugs on the property and openly admitting it TO ME and security.
  170. I wonder what could have caused the girl to be so distressed that after a party with her class mates where they shared pictures of her passed out along with the teacher and there was a rape at the same party why she would have started using drugs to cope?
  171. The rapist is still employed, the girl he raped is not, she stopped showing up to work and developed a drug problem too.
  172. The other girl from the party is gone too.
  173. Our actual fucking teacher was at that party Ira Ruben F. He stopped attending student parties at that point.
  174. He made fun of both girls to our class after the incident.
  175. Calling them dramatic, whiners, lazy… I did too. I bought it too. I didn’t see the whole picture yet. They were victims.
  176.  S & C I am sorry. I let you down. I failed you.
  177. That should have been alarming, we are so accustomed to violence and aggression towards women I really felt like it was all so normal.
  178. We all made dirty jokes, and we all messed around. I don’t know where I stand on all of that. I think some of it is healthy I think some of it is dangerous. I think I participated in both. I think I was an accomplice to both and I know I have seen all of it from the smallest micro aggression having a man laugh at my name and tell me to give it up and up to and including physical sexual assault.
  179. The overwhelming feeling that you are nothing to the shipyard. I know this desperate feeling. I know that it takes your breath and your voice away. I know that it is paralyzing. I know that I am not alone.
  180. Just during the time I was still in the shop during my injury I met others who were injured (E)was hurt right before me, but the shop had named him employee of the year the year before, so they took care of him. (which honestly I am grateful for, he is a great person. However they have the ability to work with limitations and assign work as able, Jana R made choices on who she kept and who she lost)
  181. Like TB like KS they were both hurt, they were both capable, they had very different fates.
  182. TB was hurt and she was sidelined, they kept her on a forklift for years. They tried to stop her from rating up, although there are plenty of supervisors that never go on boats. She is still treated as a burden. They watch her all of the time. Every hour of leave, every assignment she has… she is on letters. She has been harassed, the shop has even got others talking about her “leave abuse” you know the leave you are given so you can leave…. She uses that for doctors’ appointments… and they want to claim she is abusing her leave.
  183. KS was worn down, he was injured due to occupational injury. He had busted his ass running up and down stairs for years and his knees gave out. They tried repeatedly to deny his claim, they tried repeatedly to get him on leave abuse charges, they tried to call out his ability. The shop slandered him. They belittled him. Management would speak ill of him loudly.
  184. But the real problems were whispered about.
  185. I am tired of whisper networks. Person to person quiet warnings “hey,  be careful around John B he is a creep with a violent temper” “hey don’t take an invitation from Matt S to the bar he took advantage of a girl and while she was passed out he took nude photos and shared them with his friends at work during work while she was in the same room… “  
  186. Both of those are real things whispered to me… at my job… because we are trying to protect each other without exposing the problem.
  187. That man Matt S was sent on a trip and she was fired because she was sick to her stomach every day and couldn’t go to work- but she was afraid of the repercussions of speaking out so she just doesn’t have a job today- because she didn’t have “good enough” attendance in the first year.
  188. He stole her right to privacy, and her job. He has no consequences. He still comes to work every day, where he is admired, others look to him as an example of what you can become.
  189. He is a leader today. She is without work.
  190. It was not a secret that this happened, but the good ol boy network protected him and failed her.
  191. I failed her.
  192. All of the people who heard the little signs of what a creepy predator he really is and ignored it, we all failed her.
  193. I remember standing with Matt one day he catcalled a woman AT WORK across the road while she was on her way to an important meeting.
  194. When I said “that isn’t cool”.  
  195. He replied “sure it is you women love that stuff, I mean I am sure you used to anyway”.
  196. When I countered that he has “no idea how frightening it is.”
  197. He replied “women need to be a little afraid” his friends laughed.
  198. This was all with in the ear shot of John D the supervisor at the time.
  199. It is condoned it is taught it is bred. I know that when I send this out to John D and Matt S they will likely not read this, but maybe when I submit it to the news they will. I hope they do.
  200. I want you to know that your behavior has consequences, and they should no longer be the burden of the victim.
  201. I woke up on February 29th 2012 and went to work. I knew I shouldn’t. I didn’t feel well.
  202. I had low leave. I was already under scrutiny. I was already afraid for my job.
  203. I was up until that point a single mom. I have a son with special needs and no support. I work my ass off, I have always been willing to give every minute I have, but I was degraded regularly for being a mother and needing to take time off.
  204. It was a weird leap year day.
  205. It was snowing the wind was blowing, I was so sick.
  206. I had a fever of 102 I had strep, I didn’t know that then.
  207. The wind was blowing, it was snowing, and he wanted to do a controlled lift with the crane, into a tight space, with me on the roof, lifting the broken door.
  208. Larry Marquez knew this is a problem. He told me I was lifting the door.  
  209. A hatch style door, the other door had a button but this door was broken so it had to physically lifted up, in the wind, in the snow, by myself, oh and I am afraid of heights!
  210. - I asked Larry if someone else might be able to do this job today, he said no- he said I needed to quit complaining, I said I just didn’t feel safe, he simply was not concerned.
  211. The wind blew the door down, it tore up my hand, I tried to stop it from smashing my knee, and it crushed the top of my hand.
  212. I still struggle to use it today that was in 2012. I am in pain every day.
  213. Larry Marquez is still making mistakes and works with those even less safe places.
  214. The day I got hurt was not the only time Larry put me in danger.
  215. I came in for the docking. This is a normal process.
  216. We use hand wenches to pull the ship in. Once the ship is in a few of us are sent over in the man basket. When it is time for us to leave; he tells us to climb across the top of the service ways.
  217. Service ways that are; slick, round, covered in oil, covered in steam, not connected, no guard rails, 50 ft down in to a cement dry dock.
  218. Asking employees who are soaked, tired, and have been physically working all day to climb up on a service way, then up to the service stations on the side of the dry dock.
  219. I shook, I was nauseous, I never should have been in that position. But I was because that is the man that Larry is, and now he is in charge of all of the dockings.
  220. I spent 3 years completing the school program for the apprenticeship, and none of my overtime hours none of my hours previous to the program, count toward my promotion I was nothing.
  221. I was sent home even after begging to stay.
  222. I was sent home when Jana knew there was stuff for me to do, she did not want me to get my hours the “easy” way. I begged to stay I volunteered for extra hours.
  223. I offered to do anything. I found myself placement, she would not.
  224. She wanted me to be punished. I sat home for a month before my surgery, I was told I would not be able to come back until I had my limitations up, I had surgery and she called me back right before the holidays because she was tired of paying for me to sit at home she said, she also knew I would not have leave for the closure and she told me that I was welcome to complain to resource (she was resource….)  I was not the only victim of Jana, she tortured many.
  225. The shop loved her. She handed out leave abuse letters like candy she had no remorse for anyone’s personal situation and she promptly reminded us that it was not her problem.
  226. They are not required to care.
  227. That is true. But this is not the way a person trying to do their job well is treated. My injury is not special they have done this to thousands of people. So we are talking about all kinds of discrimination bred into the fabric of the community at PSNS IMF and I believe in my heart all shipyards and DOD installations.
  228. I was treated differently from that moment forward. The less attractive I became the less help I received. The less time I could come in due to my at work injury the less help I received. I was constantly treated as if I was trying to steal from the government.
  229. My doctor assigned by the OWCP said there was nothing wrong with me.
  230. I am feeling it getting harder for me to do tasks with my hands every day. It has been 6 years next month. I don’t sleep. I can’t always draw, or write, I can’t play basketball with my kids, I can’t wipe my ass, I can’t bowl, I can’t chop up vegetables, I can’t open jars….
  231. I was a single mother with a manual labor job. I never encountered a task I could not do before this injury.  I am forever different.
  232. I tried to stay positive.  I tried to get better.
  233. I couldn’t, there were paths for me to stay in the shop. Jana rider made a character judgement about me and had me sent to OWCP.
  234. I had been hurt in February, 2012. I am in more pain every day it is January 2018.
  235. I was given a new job assignment, they took away the Apprenticeship contract. Everything I worked for was taken.
  236. I left believing still that it was just a matter of hard work, and a great attitude, I would be on my way up.
  237. I entered 380.
  238. It was completely different here. There is no penis grabbing, there is no testicle touching, there is no penis slapping, there is no hand swipes down pants, there is no casual boob grabs… I thought that meant there was no discrimination… albeit naïvely.
  239. Then I met Gary K. Gary is a sexist creep that uses religion to back up his behavior. He is a predator that wears sheep’s skin.
  240. He said “Nice to meet you sweet heart, you know I have been calling women sweetheart here for 20 years waiting for a sexual harassment charge… but they never come because they like it.”
  241. He said this to me. But I was paralyzed. I just stared at him in horror and disgust, for both of us… him for saying it, me for not standing up.
  242. Gary speaks over women, Gary does it on purpose. He interrupts to invalidate women. He speaks over to drown their voices.
  243. Gary says creepy stuff like “I love seeing a woman do dishes”
  244. Gary reads the bible loudly to tell teach others about how homosexuals, transsexuals, and feminists are sinners.
  245. I would hear him and Tom T speak about how disgusting homosexuals were, and how this “new gender fluid shit” which is not new…. Btw
  246. Listening to them use passages of the bible as artillery against anyone who didn’t align with their personal views.
  247. Gary K is not a PSNS employee. He is a contractor. This is in every faction of the shipyard.  Gary works along great men who dare not speak up.
  248. Joe K, worked with Gary,  Mr. quote the bible at my government job and at his part time job. Telling women that we are beautiful because we are God’s incubators. … Are you kidding me?
  249. Joe K is the leader of Quality Systems Management & Processes Improvements. YUP.
  250. Mr. Joe K is better known as Coach K, the coach that wouldn’t stop praying… the guy who against the schools orders lead “optional” prayer before the games…
  251. Mr. K is not our only famous dirt bag who breaks the law yet stays employed.
  252. Recently there was the case of the Warren ave flasher. The man photographed taking out his penis for a woman in the car next to him.
  253. That man’s name is Jerimiah J. Jerimiah, is a work leader at PSNS for c 740.  He turned himself in. When Jerimiah came in to the shipyard, he came in with a DUI, he came in after me and he was advanced faster than I was. He was on house arrest wearing an ankle bracelet when I worked with him for the first time. I was a second year apprentice, he makes more than I do now.
  254. But some say 740 has improved, they say that more women were hired, but how many are retained?
  255.  I also know that Ruben F was responsible for the hiring of many of the people that came in after 2013, I remember how Ruben described his hiring process.
  256. “He was looking for bikini baristas that him and his wife might both like…”
  257. I know that the upper management was given what was called an “estrogen shot” by a member of my management.
  258. I also know those women.
  259.  I have worked with them, I am happy that they are being given some advancement. I also know that while they deserve their positions, they are not treated as if they do.
  260. They are called Coyle’s Angles you know after the Superintendent.
  261. The superintendent who was quoted as saying when he was still a white hat….  
  262. “yeah NL get’s away with being a mess, because NL is a HOT mess.” Now NL works for him.
  263. In fact many of the women in the upper management of 740 have been harassed by Coyle when he was a white hat.
  264. But that is pretty standard behavior.
  265. I could go on forever, with names and details, I know a hundred more creeps, I have thousands more experiences.
  266. The man who pinned me against my desk when I was all alone, who forcibly kissed me in my office whom I reported, is now a stand in supervisor.
  267. The man who trapped me in a room alone with him and chased me got a job at Boeing.
  268. The man who grabbed me and kissed me, retired as a supervisor.
  269. The man that called me a nice little piece is still here as a project superintendent
  270. This is being taught here.
  271. As recently as two weeks ago I got into an argument after walking in on A conference call
  272. The management in the room were talking with a representative that could not be there due to surgery.
  273. One member of management asked if it was for GENDER REASSIGNMENT SURGERY!
  274. I was stunned I thought surely someone will call out this person! But no, they didn’t they laughed. It continued he pried further about the original orientation saying that he couldn’t tell what his initial gender was. The others all laughed…
  275. I waited until the conversation was over and approached the person who made the jokes. I told them that it was not ok for them to make jokes like that, he was shocked!
  276. He said that I WAS IN THE WRONG! It wasn’t until I asked how HR would feel did he change his tune.
  277. .
  278. It is time for us to ask “WHAT CAN WE DO TO CHANGE THE SOCIETY THAT CREATES THIS POWER IMBALANCE.”
  279. When you learn you have done wrong either by reflection or by being told you should be accountable. Now it is time for them to take accountability.
  280. It is a problem that women are so afraid to reject their partner that they will just not say anything. It is a problem that women are saying they are pressured by men.
  281. We have to figure out how to change these behaviors.
  282. We are not welcome to police the tone or play innocent or try to play captain justice.
  283.  You can be accountable for your actions, you can call out others when you see them behaving in creepy ways, you can address any of your own behavior you now recognize as problematic, but you don't get to tell women who to judge or why they should wait to judge.
  284. I think #timesup
  285. There are a million people with stories just like mine.
  286. There are a million more pieces.
  287. I have more than proven my case against the Department of Defense.
  288. I have shown repeated discriminatory behavior, particularly sexism, primarily discrimination and harassment I have experienced personally.  I think I have more than shown it is in all segments and that it is in fact being taught. I think it is time for all of us to get justice.
  289. I think that we all deserve to just go to work. I think we all deserve to feel safe around our coworkers, to be promoted for hard work and for predatory people to be removed.
  290. I hope that others stand with me against the DOD.
  291. It is time for predatory people to hear the voices of those they have harmed.
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