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Hi, everybody! It’s January, and I’m pleased to see that the #MeToo movement hasn’t become the everybody-hates-men-circus that people predicted. Although it’s never too late for the bottom to fall out, I suppose.

Instead, many people are having serious discussions about how companies can protect all workers from abuse and harassment. TLNT is hosting an event, later this month, to help HR professionals get serious about eliminating workplace harassment. WorkHuman has a historic #MeToo panel, as well. Lots of good conversations are happening all over America. It’s better than I expected.

You know where good conversation is also happening? In my inbox. Even when I don’t agree with it, I’m hearing from earnest and hardworking HR professionals who want to be helpful but are frustrated with the #MeToo movement. Take this note from a former human resources executive that I knew when I was just starting my career.

OK. I just have to say something about sexual harassment. I am getting tired of hearing about things that happened 20, 30, 40 years ago; long after it’s too late for someone (who might be innocent), or not, to defend or to find witnesses.

I was just watching a panel of 12 women on with Megyn Kelly. The word powerless came up. Really?! In this day and age? I knew two women who worked with me. One reported their bosses boss twice to me. I reported it. Nothing happened then. The second one came to me and said — Can you help me? It was the same person. To make a long story short; my persistence and testimony, coupled with past reports, got the person fired.

It would not have worked if the women had come forward 20 years later. Ladies, stop whining and using the word powerless and talking about training men. Do something about it now.

Laurie, I have been around the block a few times. I have investigated numerous harassment claims. I realize that a trust relationship between women being harassed and a senior manager/HR person is most important, but if nothing else report it anonymously. Thoughts? You are one of my favorite people because you are smart and brave.

Listen, the person who wrote this note has a huge heart. Nearly twenty years later, he still reads my work and cares enough to check up on me. And, he’s also right that waiting twenty years to report sexual harassment and abuse makes it hard to fire someone who’s hurting people right now.

But my friend and I disagree on why people wait and how HR can fix things. I thought about my response and eventually wrote back.

Good to hear from you, buddy. I feel like some things are happening in society that makes it safer to complain now compared to a few years ago. First of all, there’s safety in numbers. More women are speaking up, which empowers other women. Also, many of the accused men are powerful — but they are almost always over the age of 40 and not as powerful as they used to be. Easy to take someone out when his power is waning. Finally, we didn’t have social media back in the day. That’s unmistakably different. It’s a new way to report abuse that didn’t exist 20 or 30 years ago.

So, while it seems absurd for accusations to emerge YEARS after the event happened, it also makes sense to me. Especially if you’re poor or a sole breadwinner.

I don’t think it’s helpful to be irritated with women for not saying something. I think the individual accountability lies with men who abuse power. I’m mad at them. There’s no statute of limitations on my anger. They did this — whether it was in 1995 or 2015 — and, now that we know about it, they are responsible the actions that follow.

Yikes, how did I do? It’s not easy to have conversations about the #MeToo movement. But, if someone approaches you earnestly and with an open mind, have that discussion. Whether it’s in real life or via a mobile device, listen to someone else’s point-of-view and seek to understand.

Then, when it’s your turn to talk, slow down. Speak (or type) clearly. Take your time, trust that you’ll get more than one shot to make your point, and be measured. You won’t change the hearts and minds of your colleagues by saying something inflammatory or divisive. Be brief, be thoughtful, and be kind.

If you’re ready to have less awkward conversations about #MeToo in the HR community, I hope to see you at the TLNT Summit or WorkHuman. And, as always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.