Tsunami of empowerment

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CyberLN's picture
Tsunami of empowerment

Over the last few days, I’ve had so many conversations with co-workers, family, and friends about the wave of (mostly) women coming forward (in the US) to report workplace sexual harassment. Without exception, every woman I’ve spoken with has said, “me too.” Every one of them.

I’m thrilled that this power in numbers is giving courage to so many and devastated (but not really surprised) it is being revealed to be so common.

How does this connect to atheism? It demonstrates that embracing the courage to say, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gunna take it anymore,” is a powerful tool in the path of humanity’s maturation. This path includes ridding the world of institutional favoritism based on religion.

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mykcob4's picture
I'm glad to see women getting

I'm glad to see women getting tough on their attackers. I have always advocated going after the criminal and not the victim. That being said there will be a significant overshoot. A come-on line isn't harassment in itself. It has to have a consequence attached if it is refused. Touching and groping is a whole different story.
A rude remark is just that unless it becomes a way to overpower a person.
For examples:
a) Let's say Jay is really attracted to Silvia. He only sees her at work so he can't find an appropriate time to ask her anything. So one day he sees her at the coffee room and says "you want to go out sometime?" That isn't harassment but it is unprofessional and inappropriate.
b) Let's say Jay always makes a comment to Silvia everytime he is near her, like "great breasts". That is harassment.
It is time for men to quit being little boys and stop acting like sexually curious awkward teenagers.
A workplace is for work. It isn't a sexual hunting ground. When you are at work, you are not in a singles bar, a swinger's house party, or an orgy.
Before I bought my business, I worked for a time for a small company. There was a shitload of harassment of every type. From sexual harassment to physical intimidation. The owner took great delight in verbal abusing every single person. Now that may seem funny coming from me, but I treat work far different than these forums.
I bought the company and fired all the offenders. No severance, no reference, just fired. Incidentally, most of the abusers were salesmen. The warehouse people actually acted in a highly professional manner. We had one female in the warehouse and they treated her just like everyone else.

Flamenca's picture
@Cyber, it's so great you

@Cyber, it's so great you bring up this topic, because the news coming from USA are really encouraging. Unfortunately, and despite the big rally that took place a few days ago against violence to women, I don't see the same strengh in my country's wave of reporting, as I'm gladly suprised it's happening in USA.


and not just sexual offences (one was an awkward episode in the subway I already wrote about, and some others that I don't feel like expanding in here), but also, as the vast majority of women, I've suffered several sexist jokes and comments during most of my life (at work when any of my female colleagues or myself dared to protest once in a while, we were called close-minded, bitter, and lately feminazis, etc., etc.); condescendension, objectification, mansplaining, etc., I could sadly say on a daily basis, especially when I was a teenager and in my 20s.

It's quite outrageous that so many men were astonished by this happening in Hollywood (Why not in Hollywood, it happens everywhere). Apparently some men don't really know that some of their male fellows behave so depraved when they are in private with a woman (well, and some even harrass in public, as Mykcob has explained).

How does this connect to atheism?

My answer to your question would be that first, it's also a matter of Human Rights and second, this process of public confessions is also like coming out of a closet: We need to speak out so decent men can also understand how their mothers, their wives, their friends, their daugthers... are been treated. According to UN Women: 45-55% of women in the European Union have experienced sexual harrassment since the age of 15. If that's the number in Europe, everyone could imagine what's happening to women from less egalitarian societies...

P.S. @Mykcob4: I bought the company and fired all the offenders. No severance, no reference, just fired. BRAVO. My post, of course, didn't refer to wonderful guys like you.

(edited to fix)

MCDennis's picture
Keep firing them until they

Keep firing them until they run out of scumbags to fire

chimp3's picture
This exposure of sexual

This exposure of sexual harassment is very healthy. I believe this will be one of the pivotal moments we look back on in future decades as turning points creating true change. How does this relate to atheism? Atheists know that the roles of men and women are not based on fairy tales. Hopefully, We will continue to use civil discourse, protest, debate, to argue in support of forward thinking social change and not wait for any gods or clergymen's permission. Hopefully, Atheists will not accept the 1st century bullshit expelled by supporters of Roy Moore as excuses for his behavior. Really, Mary was14 and I should be impressed? So, Atheism provides us with both ammunition and armour in these types of cultural battles.

Sky Pilot's picture
One consequence of all of

One consequence of all of this is that guys will become more inclined to buy androids as the androids become more complex and sophisticated. Women will price themselves out of the market.

chimp3's picture
Diotrephes: Androids? Meh! I

Diotrephes: Androids? Meh! I have never bonded with rubber. At this point in my life, give me a 50 year old woman who goes to the gym Sunday morning and listens to Henry Cow and the Minutemen!

CyberLN's picture
“Women will price themselves

“Women will price themselves out of the market.”

You would likely only find that to be a problem, Diotrephes, if any women wanted to be a commodity in your market in the first place.

LucyAustralopithecus's picture
I completely agree, but I do

I completely agree, but I do think we also need to be careful in what we call harassment, assault and so on.

as a young women I have had male colleagues hit on me lightly and I accept this is perfectly normal,
we just need to know boundaries, and what is socially acceptable.

I certainly don't take offence to being told I look pretty, and I tell men they look handsome.
for me this is fine, but obviously touching an being too forward is perhaps not a good idea unless you have that particular bond/relationship.

one of my professors was quite an elderly gentleman and I would hug him and by him coffee, this is because we had an almost daughter/father bond and loved to converse, and we still do to this day. so we have to be careful of automatically claiming all things like this are bad.

I fear in the event that it gets to a point where men will not approach or converse for fear of being labelled something they are not, when they are simply trying to be polite and/or funny.

Flamenca's picture
@Lucy: we also need to be

@Lucy: we also need to be careful in what we call harassment, assault and so on.

Totally, and boundaries depend on the culture (thus also its legal system, a misdemeanor in a country is an offense in other one) and, as you explain, the kind of relationship you mantain with that person.

But I think some comments and actions could be considered as "international boundaries". These are actual examples of approaches I've experienced at work in which I guess the line would be clear in any culture: Being told I look pretty FINE. Being told I look like I can perform good b*** jobs (in a room full of men who laughed) WRONG.

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