The ME TOO craze gives me angst. It makes a moral equivalence of rape and sexual harassment. Doing so trivializes rape.
Ponder This About Rape
The word rape covers a number of varying experiences, all horrible, but all different and some more horrible than others.
1. Raped and killed.
2. Raped and seriously injured.
3. Raped, penetrated but few or no physical injuries.
4. Raped by someone you knew and trusted with varying degrees of the above; then threatened with harm if you revealed the assault.
5. Raped after drugs or alcohol used to make you more vulnerable.
6. Frequent sexual partner forced intercourse after you said “No.”
The closest I’ve come to being raped was when the judge who officiated at my wedding French Kissed me. Yuck. And he was a good friend of my father. It made a happy event a less happy memory. But it was not rape.
I am lucky that counts as the worse rape like attack I have experienced? But also is why I cannot say “Me Too” to rape. Very grateful about that.
Ponder This About Sexual Harassment
Defined, sexual harassment means any unwelcome verbal or physical conduct by another toward you that is of a sexual nature.
Therein lies one of the difficulties. Take compliments about your looks. Some take them as compliments and savor them; others see them as a prelude to sex and therefore as desirable or undesirable.
Things get clearer when such behavior occurs in the workplace. Then such acts violate your civil rights. That happens when the behavior is a prelude to sex and agreeing to the sex is mandatory if you want to get a job, keep a job, or advance in a job.
More subject to personal interpretation is a work environment that makes you sexually uncomfortable. It can also include, at its worse, any of the behaviors I listed as rape. However, it most often refers to telling dirty jokes and the like.
Every woman I know can claim at least one and probably many more incidents of sexual harassment.
Certainly, my list of events that could be labeled sexual harassment, is a long one. When I was young and just started to work, I worked in a hospital. I quickly learned some of the men there would hug or try to kiss me if I happened into an area where I would be alone with them. Unpleasant, but only a bit more unpleasant than being groped on a subway or in a crowed elevator. Not enough for me to say ME TOO in terms of having been sexually harassed.
However, I worked almost 14 years at an agency where my boss was known to hire mainly young attractive, sexy woman. He didn’t hire me. In fact he tried to get me fired after the woman who had hired me, left the agency.
At one point and by the powers that be, he was told to stop dancing with his stable of young sexy woman at agency social events.
At another point the agency was sued by a disgruntled female he had hired. There was some sort of settlement, and he kept his job.
At another point he lost his licence as a therapist because of a complaint by a female patient. When I asked a Human Resources person how it could be he kept his job, I was told a licence was not required for his position.
I needed my job. Moreover, I loved the work I was doing, I loved most of the people I worked with. Finally, he never made an inappropriate sexual advance toward me.
At one point, he did remove $60,000 from my budget and gave it to one of his more favored programs. At least I think that happened. I reported the discrepancy to the honor committee; along with my suspicion. I got no feed back, the money was not returned to my program, but a new auditing procedure was put in place.
I was not personally harassed but my comfort level and need to plan carefully to protect myself and others was seriously diminished, particularly when He was in the room or even talking to me on the phone.
How did he get away with all this? He was good at making allies, particularly among the people who held power over him. He was also very good at getting people to talk to him and confide in him. I don’t know for sure, but I think that meant he had something to hold over lots of people’s heads.
As you may have noticed, I do not hold much back. I just never trusted him enough to confide anything of importance. Moreover, in time, he came to see me as somewhat of an ally.
As he put it, “You manage upward well.”
I did. I sought common ground, praised what he did right, pointed out where I disagreed with his actions, but tactfully and always recognizing he was the boss.
At one point, he wanted to hire one of my sons to so some private work for him as a building contractor. My son certainly could have used the work, but I never told him of the offer.
Sigh. Does the above allow me to join the ME TOO sexually harassed victims. I don’t know. Not legally. Probably emotionally, but not in my eyes. When in doubt I usually do nothing until things become clearer.
Am I failing sexually harassed women by not joining? I know some will think so. But I do not want to join the movement; for me it makes harassment the equivalent of rape. I suspect given a choice to get rid of one or the other experiences, raped women would prefer sexual harassment to rape. Just my opinion, but the thought that started this post.
Here’s another point to ponder. PTSD triggering. If you have been raped, your brain’s trigger for recalling danger makes sexual harassment a trigger for recalling the rape. Confuses things. Means living in more fear and pain. Sadly, it is the way the brain works. Danger is danger, but not a thought through danger, just 911 siren calls.
And a final point to ponder. The more one recalls the terrible things that have happened without putting them in perspective the more they continue to hurt and pain.
I am not saying deny the bad, that does not help. Instead I suggest greeting such memories or thoughts by saying “That was then, this is now.”
That was the point of the push for a rape victims to see herself as a survivor and not a victim. So when you say, “That was then, this is now.” Add “I am a survivor.”
So here’s the Emotional Fitness Tip related to all of the above. Two words cannot begin to cover complicated issues.
Thank you and stay strong: Practice Kindness right now by liking, commenting, or sharing this and EFT posts, free downloads, or other products.
Links of Interest
Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- The five components of emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
- An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents (amazon.com)
- Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises.
Disclaimer one: Emotional Fitness Training is not therapy. Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much. Take their advice and mine carefully. Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart. Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others. As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest. Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here; I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what like me. Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability, Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense. If you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.