The #MeToo Movement & Lifeguards

Blog written by Lifeguard Chief Ed Castillo;

There is no doubt that the Los Angeles born #MeToo movement is having a huge impact all across the nation as evidenced by the recent rise of sexual harassment/assault claims being made by women. The local and national news is dominated by such stories and more keep coming in on a daily basis. What started as a Hollywood entertainment thing has now reached into the political arena as well. It seems that it could go even further.

We have all seen the results of this movement with the latest accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the recent sentencing of Bill Cosby to a sentence of 3 to 10 years for his role in sexual assault. There have been numerous other high profile cases and I am sure that there will be many more to come especially in the political arena.

What I have observed along with my colleagues is that accusations/claims of sexual harassment/assault can be legitimate while others can be politically motivated. Some women may even have a personal vendetta against a man they do not like or some other motive.

Fortunately I have not heard of claims occurring in the world of lifeguarding which is surprising because we all know that women’s uniform suits are showing more skin than ever before however I see the writing on the wall which no one is addressing. All I hear is how to present very thorough sexual harassment training but is that enough? What is to stop a female from fabricating a claim? I predict that because of the #MeToo movement’s power of influence, more female lifeguards will be emboldened to act on that whether they have a legitimate claim or not. How will the rise in claims affect future lifeguard operations?

So it won’t be long before some female lifeguard decides that she does not like a co-worker or a supervisor and will try anything to get back at them. She can do this simply by making an accusation of sexual harassment/assault. One of the most notable observations I have made with the #MeToo movement and the most disturbing is that their narrative is a man is guilty until proven innocent. The general consensus is now that a woman must be believed no matter what! The best example of this can be seen in the Kavanaugh case where the claims being made are 35 years old, no witnesses, no evidence, etc.

This attitude is creeping on deadly ground that is a cause for alarm among men and giving life to a counter movement by men called #MGTOW. All it will take is for a woman to make a claim of sexual harassment/assault to destroy a career and life. If the claim is in fact true with supporting evidence, then I feel a man should be definitely be accountable for his actions. He should go to jail!

So what happens now? Do facilities or hiring managers opt for an all female staff or all male staff? How will this movement affect the lifeguard industry? Will it deter many from being in a job that exposes too much skin? The #MeToo movement will forever change how things are done and it will be interesting to see what develops.

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