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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Dolan

Why This Book - And Why Now?

My first book – The Not So Sexy Truth: Women, Men, and Sexual Harrassment in the Workplace – is out tomorrow.


When I talk about the book, I hear this question a lot: why this book, and why now?

For starters, this is my story of my journey through some of life’s not-so-pleasant stuff.  With the rise of social media and the idea that we ‘create’ our own content, I don’t think we’re as open and honest and vulnerable as we should be. Life throws us curveballs, challenges, complications, heartaches, tears. This is my story of my journey through some of that.

As well, this book is my answer to a gnawing gut feeling that I needed to do something about some of those challenges. I had always felt, “I have a book to write.  I have a story to tell… one day.”  And then I heard – and felt – my internal voice; that voice I believe is Spirit, God, challenging me to take on something bold. That voice got stronger and stronger.  I prayed… a lot.  I was still unsure exactly what to do about it though.

Long before I actually committed to writing an entire book about my journey with sexual harassment, I started writing the stories of the individuals with whom I had negative encounters. I thought, if nothing else, it would be cathartic. And it was – to a certain extent.

Then, one day, after writing off and on, and after repeated multiple offenders, after ending a twenty two year marriage and being on my own for the first time in my life, I felt frustrated to the point of tears. I came out of the office of one of my perpetually immature clients who was incessantly crossing boundaries.  As I strolled out his hall livid, he screamed down the hall, “ – but, I love you.” And, under my breath I said, “yes and I care about you, as well, but enough already.  I am done.”

I got into my car.  I placed both my hands on my steering wheel, I dropped my head out of frustration and mental and emotional exhaustion.  Then, what happened next is when this book came to life full throttle.  I looked up, and I said out loud, “Okay, I hear you, I will write this book on this topic.”

I asked to be shown if there was, in fact, a book to be written and if part of my life and my story might actually resonate with and then subsequently positively, hopefully, impact the lives of others in a meaningful way.

This book is the answer to that calling.

That day, in that parking lot, I made a vow to take back my power.  To rise up fully into my strong-take- no-crap-capable-of-setting-a-goal-and-making-a-dream-come-true self. I believed wholeheartedly that I could not be the only woman who was dealing with men leveraging their power over me and harassing me.  I hoped that, if I wrote my story authentically and shared my lessons of what I had learned, along with the solutions that brought me out of the darkness, it just might empower other women to not stay stuck as long as I had.  Or, if they had not yet experienced it, it would be a guide to educate them on the patterns and things they could do to circumvent it much sooner than I ever did.

On that note, one of the hallmarks of this book that is important to me is that it is solutions-driven.

And this solutions focus is real-world practical, too. Because perhaps it is not sexual harassment. Maybe it’s a personality conflict, or a bully or someone who does not respect and appreciate the value you are contributing in their organization and it’s time to move on to a healthier workspace.

So, then – why now?

This book was written in 2015. The world was still asleep to the massive prevalence of sexual harassment for women who are subordinates with males abusing their power.  It was rejected a number of times from publishers who didn’t feel sexual harassment was a problem to discuss. Those rejections ignited deeply rooted insecurities and fears in myself and my work. I stopped pushing it to publishers.

Then in May 2017,  I felt that Divine yet tap again. This time, it said: Catherine, drop the fear and publish your book.  So that same month, right before I turned fifty, I decided to take another run at it.  I polished my proposal and rough draft again that summer. Two weeks later, the Harvey Weinstein story broke.

If the last year has proven anything, it’s that it’s beyond time we lead and teach women from our experiences. Because we cannot give fear our power; we cannot stay stuck; we can longer tolerate behavior like this. Enough already.

Thank you for the support. Thank you for buying the book, talking about it, sharing it, buying it for someone else. This journey hasn’t always been beautiful, but it’s mine – and, my only hope now is that it empowers a new generation of women to reclaim the personal power with which they were born.

Buy the book now.

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