Then-Publisher and President Mi-Ai Parrish being interviewed about harassment at the Arizona State Capitol.

Change takes courage. Without the brave women who spoke up, you wouldn’t know any of this.

Sen. Don Shooter made a sexual comment to me, and that’s not OK.

Originally published in azcentral on Nov. 10, 2017.

‘You look like a dominatrix’

In my 20s, my boss’-boss’-boss’ boss called me to his sprawling office, where, with his shiny shoes on the desk, said, “Your column needs a new photo.”

The similar thing Don Shooter said

Because years after that boss said my professional high-collared, long-sleeved, black dress and Asian-American face made him think “sex object,” Don Shooter said something strikingly reminiscent to me.

The long-ago newspaper column mugshot a top editor said made the author “look like a dominatrix” and needed to be replaced.

A colleague apologized. I said it was OK.

This time, all these years later, I didn’t get the whoosh in my ears or feel mortification for anyone other than the male colleague sitting next to me.

Why it really wasn’t OK

I say every day that it’s important to make a difference. That I care to make the world around me just a little bit better.

We have reached a tipping point

I ask myself what can I possibly change? Maybe it helps to change toxic cultures when we say “no more.” Maybe it empowers more people to run for public office. Maybe it causes more kind and thoughtful men to listen, to act, to step up.

MAP Strategies Group CEO Mi-Ai Parrish speaking on the importance of keeping your promises and how one courageous person can make a difference.

Media innovator, teacher, do-gooder, vampire slayer, entrepreneur. Love 1st Am, democracy, truth, kindness, kale salads and coffee. mapstrategiesgroup.com

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