Actor Rose Marie shamed her harasser in 1954 and paid dearly for it.

To hear some critics tell it, sexual harassment and assault are modern problems brought on by loosening sexual mores, the infiltration of women into male spaces, and the abandonment of "traditional" values.

A tragic counterpoint is the story of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" star Rose Marie who, at 94, wrote an op-ed for the Hollywood Reporter about being harassed at work in 1954 and her heartbreaking experience when she tried to verbally shame her harasser.

Rose Marie. Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images.


Marie wrote that her moment came on the set of the musical "Top Banana." The actor and comedian clapped back at her harasser — a producer on the film — and, predictably, suffered professional consequences as a result.

The producer of the film came up to me after I'd run through the song called "I Fought Every Step of the Way," which had boxing references, and said that he could show me a few positions. He wasn't referring to boxing. I laughed it off, but he said he was serious and that the picture could be mine.

Well, in front of everyone onstage, I said, "You son of a bitch, you couldn't get it up if a flag went by." Needless to say, that didn't go over well with him, and all my musical numbers were cut from the film. I had no idea that his reaction to my refusal would be so bad.

I realized then that the rumors of the casting couch weren't jokes and why some actresses were getting breaks and why others, sometimes way more talented, weren't.



Marie's story illustrates why victims of harassment and abuse often don't "fight back."

A recent University of Michigan analysis found that less than a third of all people who have experienced workplace harassment reported it. Of those who didn't, most were afraid of being branded "troublemakers" and being subjected to sidelining, marginalization, or worse.

Those fears are founded. A 2016 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission analysis found that 75% of reporters experienced some form of retaliation.

If we're only hearing about these stories now, that may be because victims finally feel they will be believed.

Dustin Hoffman. Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images.

The stories themselves span decades. In 2004, former writers assistant Amaani Lyle sued Warner Bros. for racial and gender-based harassment she said she endured in the "Friends" writers room almost 20 years ago. (Lyle ultimately lost the suit in 2006.) Earlier this year, writer Anna Graham Hunter described being verbal harassed by actor Dustin Hoffman on the set of "Death of a Salesman" in 1985 — 32 years ago. And those are just the very tip of the iceberg.

When it comes to gender-based harassment and abuse, there was nothing good about the "good ol' days."

Women were harassed, abused, intimidated, and blackballed in the workplace back then too. Their overwhelmingly male bosses helped forge a culture of silence where victims were often too isolated and too professionally vulnerable to speak out.

We should be grateful that those days are, slowly but surely, coming to an end.

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I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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Policing women's bodies — and by consequence their clothes — is nothing new to women across the globe. But this mother's "legging problem" is particularly ridiculous.

What someone wears, regardless of gender, is a personal choice. Sadly, many folks like Maryann White, mother of four sons, think women's attire — particularly women's leggings are a threat to men.

While sitting in mass at the University of Notre Dame, White was aghast by the spandex attire the young women in front of her were sporting.

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Men are sharing examples of how they step up and step in when they see problematic behaviors in their peers, and people are here for it.

Twitter user "feminist next door" posed an inquiry to her followers, asking "good guys" to share times they saw misogyny or predatory behavior and did something about it. "What did you say," she asked. "What are your suggestions for the other other men in this situation?" She added a perfectly fitting hashtag: #NotCoolMan.

Not only did the good guys show up for the thread, but their stories show how men can interrupt situations when they see women being mistreated and help put a stop to it.

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