Maybe you are tired of hearing about it.
Maybe you think the meaning of it has not been exhausted enough.
A lot of people have said things, blogged articles and recorded videos about it since the cases against Harvey Weinstein surfaced in the media.
Now it’s my turn. I want to try to expose my some of my thoughts on the #metoo movement, the lack of respect women get at work and how the two relate.
To be quite honest, I purposely stayed away from addressing the movement for different reasons. One reason is because it is a huge and very impacting subject for all of human society, not just for women and the men who have been victimized with sexual assault, but for all human beings. When I encounter a huge subject like this, I want to make sure that I always listen first before I say something anyway. I’m no wise guy, but the best part of knowing how to communicate is knowing when and how to listen.
I remember when the videos of the testimonials given by the women of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Program came out, I set aside time to watch many of the testimonials myself. As someone who is naturally curious about human philosophy, I was the most intrigued to actually watch the way these ladies give their testimonials. Hearing them speak is one thing, but watching them while they speak is a whole ‘nother thing. To see and hear the controlled, yet passionate anger that demanded justice made me not only feel sorry but also feel accountable to my own actions as a man. How so? Anyone with a conscience should have the common sense of when they are crossing the line when it comes to any abuse! Granted, some things might be harder to discern than others but I’d like to be that we have an innate aspect in our human nature to not cross those lines. As for me, I have been more heightened to how I treat the ladies around me. If they are ladies who I have grown a respectable relationship with, I’ll ask them if they are huggers and then I’ll offer a hug. If something was said to them that I thought might be offensive, I’ll ask them if they were offended by the statement, and they’ll say either yes or no. Women do not need me to be their superhero, but I know that many of them want respect and feel cared for by their male counterparts. Those are some of the ways to do that.
I know that sexual assault does not only happen to women and that women have done it to men( I am one of them.), but I still can’t help but feel angry when I hear of men disrespecting women in any regard, but especially in the physical sense. When I was little, someone very close to me was assaulted. In fact, she went missing for over a week because of what happen. I think that event instilled into me an automatic frustration that triggers wrath because of what happened and how it made me be overcome with deep sadness and anger as a child. Even as I write this blog, I am fighting back tears and this event happened over a decade ago. To think that a person can think that they have a right to abuse another human like that is unthinkable to me. Unthinkable.
Obviously viously, when such events occur there is a lack of respect for the victim. As I think about sexual assault, I also think about the verbal assaults and judgments women receive in the workplace. Just as women receive the lack of respect sexually when they are assaulted, the same lack of respect can be experienced in the workplace. Now context is very key if anyone is to tell their story should they feel that they have been apart of something as evil as assault of any kind, but if I hear from a female colleague that she was assaulted of some kind of way from a man, nothing else matters to me at that moment. I go into “What’s his name?” and “Where can I find him?” mode. Now granted, from all the moments that something like that has arisen, the females said that they are okay and nothing needs to be done.
Some of that anger comes from wanting to avenge the female but also some of it comes from the chauvinistic thinking that some guys have over women. I have absolutely no problem having a woman as a boss. That is not my current situation but when it comes to the professional setting, I have no qualms about being led by a lady. There are women who have fought tooth and nail through school to get an education that further confirms their ability to lead anyone in the respective fields that they are in! I’ll admit it, my education is child’s play to most women who are out there, wanting a chance to prove to the world that they are valuable, and as a man whom I believe has common sense, I am more than okay with following the lead of a woman who knows what she is doing.
When I got hired at the job I work right now, I was interviewed a by a female. This woman was great! She was the assistant manager of the front office. It did not take long to see that she was very qualified to be in that position(not that she needed my approval anyway). As I have had to privilege to get to know her and my colleagues, many praises were shared in her honor for how she had shaped the front office to be the backbone of the 4-Diamond hotel. She had a huge hand in the SOPs(Standard Operation Procedures) on everything the Front Office was supposed to do. She assisted everyone she could when an issue raised with a guest and/or their reservation. She corrected me or my colleagues with encouraging but firm ways of correction, even if she didn’t feel heard. This job was not easy for her by the way. Not only was she both the revenue and assistant manager, but she had to endure very mean and nasty rants from guests who acted like they had no heart. I have seen her ball her eyes out because of one female who bereded her with such harsh words that cut straight to her heart. THIS female that I admire endured the pain and still rocked hard as my assistant manager.
There is a female supervisor that I know who I have a ton of respect for. She works in the restaurant that is in the hotel I work at. We were hired on the same day. This lady is the definition of professional in my eyes. I will not have any problem following this woman if I were hired under her. Here’s why. To me, she always seems like she knows what she is doing. Although I do not work in the restaurant, the Front Office does a lot of interacting with the personnel in the restaurant, so we get a little taste of how things are run there. At our office, people talk, especially at the end of their shift. All the workers from the restaurant come through the office to get out of the building. So there’s the whole “he said, she said” kind of thing that goes on. With this particular lady, I do not hear a lot of crap about her. If I do, I never hear anything that questions her professionalism at all. I have witnessed her professionalism through situations that I have been involved in or have had knowledge of. This lady has endured a lot of nasty and undeserving things like my old assistant manager that I have mentioned above.
I do not care that lady #1 is just a few years older than me and that lady #2 is about seven years younger than me. I would follow them if that is where my professional career would take me because they deserve respect and not the foolishness that targets women such as themselves.
A lot of epically fail to see how much of a gift that women are to the world! It’s as if they purposely blind themselves from the beauty that is within women. Maybe women deal with their emotions quite differently then men do but man, their intuition about situations shall be celebrated by every man! Also, I have come across so many women who embody the bravery and selflessness that is to be envied by every man on the planet. I just read about a woman who serves in the British army. She was awarded by a high ranking award by the Prince of Wales himself, Prince Charles. She is the first woman in the British Navy to be awarded the Military Cross. She’s just 21 years old and is standing at 5 ft tall. This article commemorates her bravery that I can say that I have never modeled in my entire life, and I have ten years (and 15 inches) on her!
No woman needed me to write this article. However, us men do need to create a help fashion a culture where women feel empowered and loved as the image-bearers of God that they are! If that happens, maybe the “psycho, crazy ones” will be less psycho and crazy. If that happens, maybe boys will see how to treat girls with respect and honor. If that happens, maybe domestic violence will be no more in a family’s household and wholesome families will become more of the norm.
Maybe, just maybe.
Gillette put out a great commercial about what a real man looks like, but it should not have come to that point where they had to put it out there. Many of us should know better. Some of us don’t because we grew up in that abusive household, whether it was physical, emotional, mental or verbal abuse. As to going back to that point of me being accountable, I know that this blog will not change much out there in the world. However, you might be a man who knows that you struggle with showing women respect. You may be searching within yourself for the answer on how to treat women. Here’s what I do. I first ask God. Straight up, I just ask Him. Who knows women better than Him?? Secondly, I would go to his word. Thirdly, I will simply talk and ask the women in my life things that will help me understand them. In my experience of life, most ladies like to be asked questions because it shows that you care for their well being as the woman that they are. These days, women feel like they cannot talk to a man because men give off this vibe that they don’t care about what a woman thinks!! Sad thing is, that’s usually true! I’m no saint in this regard. As much as I try to show respect to the dear ladies in my life, I know that traces of toxic masculinity were demonstrated by me, whether the woman knew it or not. My mom had pointed something like that out to me one time in a phone conversation. The way she had described how I bullied her before made me feel like the most terrible son ever. My mom NEVER deserves that kind of behavior! I am pretty sure that I have asked her forgiveness because I needed it. I only get to have one mama. She raised me with so much care and love, it will take me an eternity to recount all of that.
Bottom line: Men, treat women with respect unless they break the law and justice needs to be served, but don’t treat them harshly because they are women. God created the first woman and he knew what he was doing when he did create her. Women are beautiful. We do not have the authority to deem them as beautiful, that is just how they are made. Let’s strive to help them let that beauty shine in the world.