Community//

Are the (fill in the blank) ____steins anomalies or the tip of the iceberg?

Do we become desensitised to 'terrible' or is it just too 'painful' to address?

I just watched the Weinstein documentary and wish I could have reached out to those women at their lowest and most isolated. Nothing makes my blood boil more than injustice and bullying! You would hope that by 2020 we are culturally and emotionally evolved as a species. But are we really?

In the (ahem) ‘good’ old days when we lived in what was essentially a global patriarchal society somehow there was, it seems, a transparency and ‘honesty’ to the ground rules of equality or lack thereof that we don’t seem to have now. The man did the ‘man’ things and women were to be seen and not heard; I’m being flippant but you get the general gist. Before you holler, I consider myself a modern, self possessed woman, so I’m not OK with that paradigm at all. However, you could argue the ‘rules’ were clearer and, if you chose to break them, probably the consequences of doing so were also clearer.

In these times of supposed “evolved equality and diversity” we are of course not subjected to such naïve ignorance, or are we? Has it become more insidious, harder to call someone out on ‘bad behaviour’ because the patriarchal ones have evolved too? Who was to blame on the Weinstein case? For the acts, no doubt, he was but you don’t cover up multiple acts for 4 decades without lots of enablers; males and females turning a blind eye, accepting it as the norm and actively defending or assisting depending on how you look at it. Now who am I to sit in judgement; what do I know other than the media stories, but I wonder when did we become so lost that doing our job came before our basic humanity? Doing our job triumphed over our conscience about standing up for what’s right and addressing ‘poor’ behaviour; when did doing our job become greater than the need to support those women that spent decades feeling isolated, worthless, frightened and in some instances bullied to the point of trying to take their lives? Women just like you or I that have been subjected to systemic, chronic, patriarchal, personal combined with corporate bullying.

Futhermore, where do we define corporate boundaries in this instance? Is it as simple as Miramax, or as wide as the US movie industry, or even wider as in the global movie and media industry? You could argue culpability at every level. Well only in Hollywood right? But is it? Look around our globe, world leaders decriminalising domestic abuse, overtly disrespecting women, etceteras. The UN States it will take 100 years for gender equality. Of course we’ve barely moved forward since the days of the Wild West.

I reflect closer to home, on my own experiences of being an authentic, self possessed woman, not easily intimidated by the powers that be and it seems to be those things is hugely threatening in the corporate world. Let’s not lay this just at the door of Big Corporates the NGO sector is not immune. Ironic considering the raison d’etre of many NGOs is to address global issues of inequality and inequity. The reality is talking the talk and walking the walk are worlds apart.

We as a species have proved ourselves as master’s of looking the other way, look at the basic ingredients of most major wars. Many of the originators for those wars were just that a single human being so how did it happen? Because they had support, even if that was passive i.e. looking the other way even though you may have whole heartedly disagreed with the fundamental beliefs of the persons in question. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (let’s say people) to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke

So why do we find it so hard to do the right thing? The harsh reality is standing up for another invariable results in a personal cost to the ‘champion’. We are motivated primarily by avoidance of pain and secondly by pleasure. So if it’s gonna cost ‘me’ to assist another you’ll very quickly find the number of willing advocates dwindles quite considerably. I don’t say that from a place of judgement just as an understanding of inherently who we are and how we have survived as a species. The reality is the humans that were keen to jump in the way of the hurty stuff didn’t tend to get much opportunity to pass on their DNA and the avoiders did!

As a species of avoiders, yes I know the odd champion is still out there but for the main part, how do we resolve to make a stand against this massive global corporate monster of insidious corporate bullying? By uniting. As the #MeToo movement showed it’s easy to silence individuals but when they are brought together to form an army of authentic, ethical voices it becomes impossible for the world to ignore regardless of how much global inertia there may be surrounding the issue.

I’m not expecting someone with a magic wand to get rid of the patriarchal nonsense. No what I desire is for women to find ways to join hands. For there is no greater way to create change than to embody the very values we desire to see! I have faith that if there is enough momentum generated the storm WILL make way for a rainbow of change. Ladies make it your mission to find a way, a group or just to find A.N. Other’s hand to hold and let’s make the sun shine without having to wait 100 years! “ALONE WE CAN DO SO LITTLE; TOGETHER WE CAN DO SO MUCH” – HELEN KELLER

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