It’s hard to believe that one year ago this week I was talking about sexual harassment. Recalling the victims of Daniel Holtzclaw, the veteran police officer now serving a 263-year sentence for multiple rapes and grotesque sexual violence, and thinking about the accusers of comedian Bill Cosby, by then numbering into the dozens. Discussing the pain caused by Holtzclaw and Cosby felt like a crass discordant note in the holiday season.

I could not have imagined that exactly a year later, I’d still be talking about sexual harassment, and it would be much worse. I could not have imagined that sexual misconduct would not only dominate headlines, but also corporate boardroom discussions and dinner table conversations. And I certainly would not have predicted that an anti-sexual harassment movement started 10 years ago would become a nationwide slogan for women who understood firsthand what it means not to be believed. Tarana Burke’s “Me Too” found a broader audience when actress Alyssa Milano used it to spark a hashtag campaign in the wake of the revelations involving Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The already robust list of women who never told anyone continues to grow every day.

Since those first nasty stories about Weinstein, I’ve been rocked by the door-locking button-under-the desk tawdry tales of men who insist their actions were consensual, or that nobody ever complained, or it didn’t happen that way, and the time-tested defense, "these women are lying"  — this last statement embraced by both the leader of the free world and an accused child predator who misses the good old days of slavery.

During these last months of nearly daily revelations, I’ve ping-ponged emotionally between, “Oh no, not him,” to “I’m not surprised,” as both bold-facers and no-name regular guys in large and small workplaces are exposed. It’s also left me and a lot of other women considering how best to respond to the wide spectrum of sexual misconduct. Already, there have been a few women embarrassing themselves publicly by making excuses for men they like. No question, those who forced themselves on and threatened women into silence deserve firing and loss of reputation. Some deserve jail time. There are those who suggest that obscene “jokes” and sexually tinged comments are not as bad as, say, masturbating in an office plant. I say you’ve missed the point. It’s an assault — and I am deliberately using that word here. Ask the women who’ve been regularly pelted with verbal vulgarities if it feels less dangerous.

No, we don’t need to send all sexual harassment offenders to solitary confinement. But we are inviting a return to the bad old days if we characterize certain misconduct as "not so bad." None of it can be given a pass.

I sure hope I am not talking about sexual harassment next December, but I know we’ve still only harvested the low-hanging fruit. There are, no doubt, numerous perpetrators yet to be identified hiding in plain sight. So don’t talk to me about backlash — there’s many more reckonings ahead. And it ain’t over until the mad ladies sing.