Befuddled and Betwixt

 

Paying the piper.

I just caught myself up on The Handmaid’s Tale.  Love it!!

One of my concerns is how it portrays men, not to exclude religious dominance or perception but as hypocritical bullies.  I hope we will never get to that point.   I love men, shortcomings and all. Obviously, the climate here is not one I would do well with.

I remember once many years ago, my daughter thinking she was in love with this handsome “older” man from Persia. He admitted that he had singled her out because, she was a virgin and young enough to be trained.  Of course, I nixed it.   It might be peaches and cream for awhile… until the luster waned. She was too much like me and she would not have taken such rigid rules for long. She’s been married three times since and is now off to fulfill her dream to be an actress.  I digress.

With all the hoopla going on about sexual harassment, women and other diversity issues, we sometimes tend to lose focus on other equally important factors.

What is our gauge?  I am specifically referring to the Academy Awards and the possible why’s of the selections made and that are up for vote. I’ve already been hearing murmurs from some that the selections may have been due to peer pressure, to filling quota’s, or shunning, because they thought other work out there had more merit but got vetoed.  I’m inclined to agree a certain amount of that has to be true.  A case in point might be the film by Harvey Weinstein’s company.  I’ve not seen all the nominations for best picture but I’ve read the screenplays and found them worthy candidates on writing alone … sans viewing them all.  All but one anyway.  It just didn’t rock my world, at least not beyond the first ten.

Is it fair to artists involved in his project (which was done prior to the scandal) have their work shoved aside because of his bad behavior? I read other comments that tend to agree with me on that, while at the same time it is understandable, after all, why should he profit?  I hesitate sometimes to bring up incongruities of this nature and as I’ve mentioned before, for so many years everyone knew this existed and what I don’t understand is why such a heavy ax coming down now when so much of the work in Hollywood has exploited such behind the scene “goings on”?  It was never right. Never should have been, but it was. It is aptly illustrated, if not a bit over the top, but very well done in The Handmaid’s Tale. 

Women in the past had no say and no recourse.

It really is not far fetched because that was basically the plight of women not that many years ago.  Now is this every man’s dream? To put us back in our place?  God forbid!  In God’s defense, He never intended it to begin with. That of course, is how I perceive it, given my knowledge of His word.  WE were, after all, produced of Adam’s rib, not his ass or his head or any other part of his body.  So, if we believe that, we are meant to be equal and at the same level, rib to rib, eye to eye, taking into consideration, of course the differences in our various statures.

Hugh Hefner, in his Playboy magazines reinforces men’s perceived entitlement and the attitude of the day with his cartoons:

 

Women having fought tooth and nail for years to earn the rights and privileges they have today and are only barely a step ahead of race, but only barely.

For awhile, I resented the big push for equality.  Not because I didn’t think it was necessary or appropriate but because of how forcefully it was being done.  Could there not have been a more congenial way?  I was living in a fantasy world. The reality is that sometimes you’ve got to club people over the head before they’ll listen.  That goes for all the hollering and noise being made to be heard and listened to.  Yes, at times it has been downright offensive.

It’s like, I hear ya, quit cramming it down my throat. I get it, I understand and agree. Yet, that’s just me and there are many more people out there of the same mind who have yet to come to terms with it.

My husband has a hard time with some aspects of the MeToo movement. I don’t believe he knows, not that I care, I’ve just never gotten around to bringing it up. (To be honest, I echoed it not expecting the explosion it would cause or how quickly it would grow.) He was raised by a single mom (his dad died when he was 8) and he never formed the machismo attitudes that has plagued men for centuries.  He was the guy I ever dated who didn’t run around to open doors for me, because “women aren’t helpless and there’s nothing wrong with their arms”.  You get the picture.  We mostly went dutch on dates. He lacked a lot of the finesse men learn from other men.  The only thing he cared about was riding his bike to a competitive level as a young adult. He wasn’t into playing the game. So, he doesn’t get it and doesn’t in a genuine way.

So to hear so many women out there emerging with stories he can’t conceive, is difficult. In fact, he worries that guys today may not be able to ask a woman out, tell her she’s hot or with an accidental touch while talking without finding himself slapped with a sexual harassment charge.  That’s his perception.  The latest episode of The Good Doctor had a young woman tell the doctor not to touch her. He had laid his hand on her shoulder to reassure her that everything would be fine. There was obviously no ill intention there.  He agreed readily, but you could see his mind processing it. I was waiting throughout the whole show to see if you would make more of it.  She didn’t.

It reminded me of the time, many years ago when I got “counselled” by the elders of my church that I shouldn’t touch when I talked even though it was only on the forearm or hand.  I remember being deeply  hurt by this, because I mean’t nothing at all by it and it was just a conversational mannerism. I did not process it well so I knew and understood what my hubby was saying. “They” said, it could be misconstrued and be a temptation to some man, whose home life may not be perfect. Yikes!  That’s their problem was my thought.  So, I learned to talk without touching and it was difficult.

We have often talked about these websites, like Tinder and other sites that hook up for sex only.  How does one navigate through these? It is a given or assumption that it’s all about the sex.  Isn’t it like playing with fire?  The implication being that the end goal is sex? How does anyone risk their job and reputations with a possible single misstep?  How does one know?  Not everyone is, as hubby calls it, socially aware.  Many people are ill trained to navigate through social situations adroitly.

women and sex2

I have been hearing, in the wind, the importance of teaching our young, both men and women of what is appropriate behavior. Yay!

A few months back, my young great grandson, in kindergarten, got called out for  possible inappropriate touching.  I didn’t get the whole story, but I immediately got a visual of a cartoon I’d seen many years ago (I’m guessing in the 50’s or 60’s) with two children of the opposite sex, looking down their shorts, realizing they were not the same.  It’s interesting how this was once considered a joke, whether appropriate or not and not taken seriously.  I don’t recall the comment that went with it but that alone surmised that kids will be curious.  In the 50’s sex wasn’t really discussed at least not in my experience and the word alone was bad and not mentioned, period.  Times have changed and perhaps that’s the biggest reason all this media attention. Needless to say my granddaughter had to have a sit down talk with him and explain the why’s and wherefore’s, which he is, even at 6,  savvy enough to expect. Once explained, he got it.

I am so glad this teacher had the decency to call my granddaughter first rather than making more of it than necessary. The other parent was also a party to this discussion. End of story.  That’s how it should be done.

Yes, WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT NOW!  Or, at least we should.

There is a scripture in the Bible that I always liked and that regardless of  religion or personal beliefs. It makes sense and one to consider as the first step for most things.

Matthew 18:15-17 English Standard Version (ESV)

If Your Brother Sins Against You

15 If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

____

There was a radio talk show Saturday that asked the audience to call in with grudges they still had against someone who had wronged them in the past.  There were so many and these people were willing to air them and admit they had not let go. The point of the show was to give the worst experience a prize. I wondered how many of them made an effort to take the above steps?

Basically,  if you have a grievance against another, go to them and not blab it to everyone.  If the party in question is not amicable to a remedy, then call in another as witness that you made an effort to fix the problem. If at that time it is still not working then you call in a higher authority. In theory this would be the best solution, but for some it isn’t enough and perhaps it shouldn’t be.

There’s the added danger here that if sexual harassment is not exposed and out in the open, it could occur again with a more timid victim or someone who finds the whole experience too embarrassing to reveal.  That’s what has occurred in the past. So how do you nip it?  Put it out for everyone to see.  20 years ago or so Monica Lewinsky and others  like her were derided, ridiculed and humiliated for their efforts.  Today, women are being applauded for coming forward. It is a different time.

Right now, it’s people in power and those who have money being exposed. I wonder if there are those and how many who have paid a hefty price to keep “their garbage” out of the media?  I know it seems as though we’ve heard an excessive amount of dirty laundry being aired, but I would bet there’s more out there than we know about, those we never hear about.  I’m wondering how much has not been exposed but instead hushed or kept quiet? Is it even possible? I’m guessing not if there’s money involved. What about Joe Blo at your typical workplace?

50 years ago —

When I was a very young girl, I had a doctor who molested me.  Of course, I said nothing, but… many years later he was found out when several women came forward. He lost his license and was prosecuted.  By then he was quite old.  I never added my name to the list. Why? Because it was embarrassing to me plus I questioned my own perception of the event and I didn’t want anyone to know.  When the others testified against him, I realized it wasn’t just me but by then it was enough for me to see it finally caught up with him. He died soon after.

I have a friend who came forward when she was about 15 and instead of being protected, she was humiliated and put in a sanitarium for trying to expose the person, who happened to be her father and the mayor of the city.  Her sister who was also molested, was angry with her for airing their dirty laundry.  No one came to her aid. This was over 50 years ago.

Even though a good many men and women are wriggling in discomfort over these issues coming to light (including myself, after all I am from another generation), it is a purge to endure. In that way I am befuddled and betwixt.  On one hand it’s uncomfortable but on the other, it’s necessary.

Perhaps in the end, it will be a good thing.

Yes, times have changed. I wonder how it will play out in the end? I’ve posed this question before, and still not heard about the women who abuse their power?

A film with Jennifer Anniston illustrates this in Terrible Bosses. In my mind, sexual harassment is sexual harassment. Could there be a possibility of a backlash? Hmmmm…

when women vote

 

Please note: All photos are from the www and I’m hoping these were old enough to be fair game.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Befuddled and Betwixt

  1. I am glad women are coming forward. And yes, if a female boss is harassing an emploee, then they should be pointed out too. I’m glad because I believe this will frighten a lot of men and stop a lot of harassment and assaults.

    I’m very sorry tyo hear what happened to you at the hands of your doctor. My oldest daughter was groped by her teacher. My youngest was close to assaulted by her boss. He grabbed her while they were in a walk-in fridge and shut the door. She got away, and then found out he had done the same to another young girl.

    My father molested me when I was young. Long and sad story. My sister were molested by a visiting uncle. My older sister was raped at college by a professor and later by a student. She never reported either one.

    Needless to say, I want it shouted from the rooftops that if you touch a girl or a woman, they will tell on you. You will pay.

    Like

  2. Yes! Thank you! Excellent post!

    Time’s Up for all who abuse power…Men and Women alike. It is great that we start with the men…but we have to keep the momentum going, as these men do not live in a vacuum. The problem is embedded in our society and although a lot has changed for the better already, we cannot stop now, as there is so much more…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s a hard thing to see. I remember when I posted my own experiences two years ago. The response I got was formidable and it’s frightening. I remember how hard it was for me to hit “Post”, sending it out there for the whole world to see. Every time, someone new appears to expose a perpetrator, I get that shaky feeling, knowing how hard it can be, knowing too that you’re out there with your “stuff” for everyone to see, from the supporters to the critics that think it’s bullshit. Thanks!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s