Summary: Sam gets an email from McKay and the various sexual harassment remarks have broken the proverbial camel’s back.
Sam pushed back her hair through threading fingers, then clenched them into a fist and held them there. She closed her eyes and breathed slowly for a full ten-count. The email she’d just received was one line crossed too many. She was not going to tolerate it, and thereby condone it through silence, any longer. She’d been doing that for years; it was part and parcel of male-dominated culture. Unfortunately. But no. Enough was enough.
In her long-experienced opinion, Hashtag MeToo had started way too late for her. Also in her opinion, the only reason it took off when it did was timing. The age of Obama and Trump. The former faked courtesy and respect and the latter condemned it, if not exhibiting outright obliteration.
Sam never thought of herself as political. When you’re trying to get things done as an officer in the Air Force, tolerance isn’t just required, it’s a prerequisite. The inherent bias and outright misogynism were rampant. It forced women to play along or get out. That was By Design not accident.
She ground her teeth as she mentally constructed a response to the email, staring at the blank email reply screen. Memories came to the surface, ones that recalled similar correspondence, by this particular sender and many, many others. Email, letter, phone, and in person, it didn’t matter. They were all relevant. Even though they weren’t all him, they were all still McKay.
She didn’t understand the man. He was in a relationship with Sheppard, who was an offender himself but nowhere near the same league as his partner. Why would McKay continue to harass her? Answer: habit. He thought he could get away with it, even though she was now a Lieutenant General and in charge of the Stargate Program. The hubris of civilians.
That didn’t apply to Daniel. Would that all men were like him. Thank the gods that Daniel had tamed the man, made him more sensitive and caring. God knows he’d needed it when she met him. He too had been an offender, though not quite blatant about it. O’Neill’s version of McKay was to call her egghead because, gods forbid, a woman couldn’t just be intelligent, never mind a genius, without having that appellation affixed to them. Again, thank god for Daniel Jackson. Their marriage had been the making of O’Neill in her considered opinion.
“Whatcha doin’?” asked Janet. The small woman came up from behind and slid her arms around Sam’s shoulders and planted a kiss on her cheek. She stared at the blank email. “Who’s that for?”
“McKay,” Sam said through gritted teeth.
Janet sighed. “About time, Sam.”
“You put up with it for years. You didn’t have to. You ranked him back then, you rank him even more now.”
Sam colored guiltily. “That was then.”
“What’s changed?” Janet asked after hugging her and taking a seat beside her at the kitchen table.
“Charlotte Meaghan Louise Carter,” Janet intoned with a lofty air. “Wish you wouldn’t use Charlie. It reminds me too much of Jack’s late son.”
“It’s an honorific,” Sam said with emphasis. “It keeps him alive, in a way.”
Janet jogged her head left, then right, acceding the point. “Fair enough.” She leaned forward, eyed the blank page, then gave Sam a raised brow. “Having trouble?”
“No. He’s a sexist asshole. I’ve said so from day one.” Sam grimaced. “He may be in a relationship with John, but he hasn’t grown up or gotten wise over the years. He’s still a dick. So …” She tapped the edge of the laptop as she got up. “Castrate him. Then come to bed.” She kissed the top of Sam’s head, squeezed her shoulder, and left for the bedroom.
Sam sighed as she stared at the screen. She knew what she would write. Had done from the beginning.
It’s happened. Again. Attaching the email. I know I should be writing this to McKay, but given that he’s *still* doing this, nothing I say will put an end to it. I can no longer stomach his offensive brand of repartee. Please talk to him. If he doesn’t change his damn ways, tell him that I’ll bring him up on charges. You know I don’t bluff, so make him understand. Please get him to take classes on this stuff. Go with him if necessary. I know that’s not fair but we brought this on ourselves by not doing something about it long ago.
That’s done. Now …
Hope the rebuild is going great. If you need any spare parts for the bike, let me know.
P.S. I’m sorry it’s come to me threatening him. Really, really sorry.
Sam hovered the mouse cursor over SEND, then clicked it and closed the laptop. She was committed. It felt both scary and relieving, with a bit of dread about involving John. But she’d meant what she said. She couldn’t stomach talking to McKay. This was the last straw and things had to change for him or the shit would hit the fan.
Shaking it off, she headed for the bedroom. Never go to bed angry, her father used to say. Whether at your partner or someone else. With Janet, that was never a problem.