Posted by Kathy's Notes on October 17, 2017 March 4, 2019 Mindset Historically we were encouraged to duck and dive the challenges across the male/female divide. At home, girls are raised to follow their mothers behaviour and instruction from their fathers. If discussion and argument are prohibitive, if shouting and powering over was the “normal” then girls learned to placate and please and be nice and develop the ability to “read” the situation for its potential danger. Better to tuck under and placate then risk greater punitive challenges. In the recent article BY CANADIAN ART Many authors offer commentary on the abuse of power in the world of Art, Theatre, Music however, I really, believe we need to talk about sexual harassment in every area of our Culture: politics, health care, education, science, medicine, research, film and theatre… I cannot think of one area of our culture that doesn’t have this associated with it. I feel as women we need to stop making “nice” with it, and call it what it is. Recently in our Meditation The Way of Effortless group, three young women shared things experienced in this past week, sharing there experiences and what they chose to do about it, here: The 1st one: She had just had her hair done and feeling joyful and delighted with how she looked, she was walking down the street in Vancouver, when an older man approached her on the street, and said “Nice” and winked at her. Instantly she rejected his comments. She turned and quietly said in a very steady voice “I did not ask your opinion” She turned and walked away. (she didn’t do the usual, accept his “compliment” uninvited as it was, and then try to make NICE with it and ensure he felt complimented back by his comment) She felt fully empowered and yet needed some assurances too, as this was certainly “not a normal thing to do” sharing she had never done this before. The 2nd one : She was walking back to her office and felt a man FOLLOWING her, entering into her building she saw him come in with her. When she got on the elevator, she had such a strong feeling she had to do something, even though there was a group of others in the elevator, as she entered it, he did as well. She suddenly stopped pushed the door OPEN button and got out, HOLDING the elevator door, she held her hand up in the STOP position and asked him to get out. She then said to him, “stay right where you are, I’m calling security”, stepping back into the elevator she called security as the door closed leaving him there in the lobby. Others in the elevator with her where shocked, and she felt she had saved him getting to other floors where he might have done something. Listening to her intuition and the strong feelings within, she stepped beyond her comfort zone and took action. The 3rd one: The woman was on a dating site, when the emailer started referring to sexual actions and she said to him “Excuse me?” in the text response, He responded with “well what do you expect” she responded “to be treated with respect” and deleted his account. NONE of the women were upset, they just acted with volition in the moment. They took their power and said NO. When we are in fear, of losing our jobs, losing the part, threatened outside our comfort zones, there have been times where we stopped and just let it go, pretend it was not feeling like it was really feeling, that pressed down, panicky feeling wondering what’s going to happen next. And often when the thing passed without anything further happening – it was like a “lucky break” so I won’t talk about it, I won’t complain, I’m just so glad nothing bad happened. And yes, even when bad things do happen, we fear retribution and tuck under and just hope it never happens again. This is abusive of power, it’s no difference in the church, or any other place where some have an inaccurate belief they hold some kind of power over others, and it’s an abuse of power. In the past women agreed to make light of the issue and just get past it, however, when we do that, we create issues for ourselves in our beliefs around who we are, and what our real power and purpose are. We are not hear to subjugate ourselves for anyone, especially when forced. In the case of Sexual Harassment for anyone (because men get it too) it is not very far off bullying, this powering over – because they can. Make no mistake, this “locker room talk” is not about sex, it’s about the abuse of power. “I have power over you, and I’m going to show you just how much.” It assumes a weaker person will give in, under the pressure of the one with power, Like Jennifer Lawrence who agreed to a naked line up and still remembers the feeling of the degradation even now. That is a psychic rape and it is abusing power. Anyone in a position of power over others, has a due diligence to take responsibility for that power, using it with care and service to the other. Just as parenting can draw out an abuse of power over the child, we as humans must rise above this inane behaviour that creates a sick addiction to subjugating other humans. There doesn’t have to be anger or charged hysteria. We can say no. In fact, No. is a complete sentence.