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.