A hard truth about harassment…

New Blog June

Often, I have an idea for this Blog and feel a passion to write but talk myself out of it based on “do I really contribute to what is already out there”. This Blog does not have many readers and that is OK. It is meant to be informative and not too outspoken as to invite rather than to push away readers. Being a mental health provider, some of my readers might know me in that role, and as I highly value confidentiality, I fully understand that this results in less followers and likes.

My last post was critical as I took a stand against those, I feel perpetuate artificial differences between generations. I feel that these discussions do not add any wisdom, but rehash mythical and biased opinions and do the opposite from learning from each other and unite, based on shared values and ideology.

And then there are the articles written by the very same columnists that need to be highlighted, shared, discussed and maybe also debated.
In yesterdays’ Globe and Mail, Johanna Shneller (Globe and Mail, Wednesday, December 18, A15) writes about the story of “Bombshell”. I am not discussing the new movie, which opens soon, but I want to support Johanna, who states: “If all of us – all genders, all races, the marginalized mistresses of the universe alike – agree that no one should be sexually harassed, then no one will be.”

Ms. Schneller bravely confesses that she had less sympathy for women being subjected to harassment when these same women are Fox news anchors and support “racist, sexist and homophobic rhetoric” all in the name of news that blatantly and unapologetically support one of the worst white males who uses his position in power to continue to harm and hurt.

I agree, I too feel that many of these women are not my sisters and I do not understand them. Maybe I am missing stuff and have to delve deeper into their intent and motivation to be paid by a network such as Fox news.

Fox, however, is out there, but what about the many companies, that allow, condone, dismiss and ignore the signs of bullying, harassment, abuse of power and authority and who refuse to see, learn and change despite all the media reports on how wide spread the abuses really are. Is it indeed true what Johanna writes that “most people do not believe in sexual harassment until it happens to them or someone they know..?”

This might be hard for some, but I want to invite braveness and ask of each and everyone to look around at their workplace and critically evaluate whether all the nice policies have made an impact and if their workplace is truly a safe place. I want to follow in Johanna’s footsteps and make a change in how I process often very complicated and inconsistent information and come out as one of many who state that no one should be sexually harassed. That does not imply that all women are our sisters, but it means that all who have been hurt and harmed deserve our support and solidarity.

Rather than what many smaller companies tend to do, which is to have employees “participate” in a brief Online course on diversity & sensitivity (with the option to print out their own completion certificate), companies could offer opportunities for more in-depth workshops with interactive components that foster insight in our own biases and that invite participants to openly discuss these complicated issues.

Elisabeth

3 thoughts on “A hard truth about harassment…

  1. I’m currently struggling with this movie also, Elizabeth. While I do feel Gretchen Carlson was brave to come forward, and kudos to Megyn Kelly for stepping out and being an advocate to other women at Fox News, I’m still troubled that each of these women actively chose to work at such a place to begin with.

    Megyn Kelly in particular has always struck me as a bit of a paradox when it comes to women’s issues; she advocates for fair treatment, fair pay, and obviously against harassment of any kind. Yet, she pushes back at the fuller agenda because of her own loyalty to conservative social dogma.

    In the end, I suppose the movie will do some good. If devoted Fox News watchers see it and understand that Roger Ailes was a ruthless pig, perhaps some will start to think a little more independently. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Marty,
      It is so foreign to me that some people seem to be able to someway and somehow justify obtaining endorsement, payments or support from an institution that trashes human rights and that they themselves proudly proclaim to not to be influenced by these dogmas. I do see these people as part of the problem…but maybe the movie and the discussions will elicit some insights…We shall not lose hope!

      Liked by 1 person

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