Silent No More

“In practice, the standard for what constitutes rape is set not at the level of a women’s experience of violation but just above the level of coercion acceptable to men.”
                                                                     Judith Lewis Herman

It seems I can’t listen to a news broadcast or read a newspaper the last couple of months with seeing another article or story relating to a powerful non-female harassing or abusing women. (Sorry, but I refuse to use the word man when referring to these individuals). Almost everyday there is another woman, or group of women, describing, in detail, the degradation they endured while working or attempting to find employment in the field where these sub humans wielded the power to destroy a career or make their lives so miserable they would suffer humiliation and fear rather than speak up. Children were also part of this disgusting behavior, as evidenced by the more than 100 children, (now women), who were abused during their gymnastics careers by a renowned team physician. Producers, actors, doctors, clergy, journalists, politicians, CEO’s, studio heads; the list of those individuals abusing power for their own satisfaction is endless.

In many cases years have gone by since these incidents took place and yet I don’t question a woman’s reasons for not coming forward sooner. Unless any one of us is in that position, how can we ever try to understand their thought process. Fear and intimidation are powerful weapons being used by powerful people. Circumstance is not ours to judge, especially in a society that continues to view women differently than non-females. A society that has failed to mature and grow up to the standards each of us deserves.

In these cases, the more powerful the abuser is, the greater his ability to define and arrange his arguments. Power is always wielded against the most vulnerable amongst us.

What angers me as much as the abusers are all those who knew about the actions of these individuals and did nothing about it. They share equal responsibility. They swept the complaints under the carpet, created non disclosure agreements, ignored the repeated problems that continued to be voiced and generally maintained the good old boys club be kept intact. They turned away. All these powerful and outwardly respectable sub humans didn’t think the voices that were raised were worth the words that were spoken.

How sad is that?

My guess is we’re in the infancy stage of this story, though I do question whether the press will ever reveal the true extent. Too many friends in high places, too much money to be lost by revealing the truth. But we’ll see,
Equally important is what happens now. How we move forward from this. There are more layers to this problem than what’s been revealed. While where we’ve been should never be forgotten, where were go from here is a question each of us must answer in his or her own way.

The responsibility is ours.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” 
                                                                                              Abraham LIncoln

35 thoughts on “Silent No More

  1. Osyth

    Every word of this should resonate with every one of us. I agree that this is, tragically, just the tip of the iceberg and that we will hear more and more sickening stories over time, the only barometer to what we are allowed to hear being the press themselves. Be brave, reporters, and do not allow yourselves to be bought. But what really resonates with me is your correct assertion that we must do all in our power to ensure that this behavior stops. One woman or child abused is one too many and we must all take responsibility and never ever allow ourselves to turn a blind eye. The fact is that we must all adopt a zero-tolerance approach and vow that if something feels wrong that we don’t cross the street but we intervene. I’m in, I always was.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. George Post author

      Perfectly expressed, Osyth. Women have to be their own advocates because, unfortunately, no one else is looking out for them. But once they’ve come forward, as has been the case, the rest of society
      must support their claims, not dismiss them as we have in the past. Thank you for your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. JT Twissel

    I think what happens is many women are willing to put up with the casting couch mentality in order to get ahead and the men can’t distinguish between the women who are willing and those who aren’t. Or they’re just plain pigs!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. George Post author

      Many are just plain pigs reinforced by power. Unfortunately, there are more men in power than there are woman who have a difficult time just surviving let alone advancing themselves. Corporate America is no stranger to this type of mentality either.

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      Reply
  3. Ann Coleman

    An excellent post, George! And it’s a complex and world-wide problem, really. Think of all the and countries that don’t allow women the same rights as men, so they can never come forward with their tales of abuse. The men have all the power, and the woman, if she was believed, would be punished. And despite the woman’s rights movement in the USA and many other countries, women are still routinely preyed upon my “men” in power.
    I honestly don’t know what the answer is, but I do think that women speaking out and supporting each other is an excellent start. This has got to stop!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. George Post author

      Agreed and you’re right, Ann, it is a world wide problem. Obviously this problem won’t be solved overnight because just like racism there are people who are ignorant, insensitive, single minded and refuse to understand basic humanity. But the more women speak out, the more things might begin to turn. I just hope there aren’t women out there who aren’t saying something happened when it didn’t for publicity or financial gain. That would take away from those who really were abused and give the doubters reason to dismiss these claims as some are already doing. This second class citizenship has to stop for all who have been hurt.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Ann Coleman

        I know…it occurred to me too that this is a little bit like the Salem witch hunts, when all it took was an accusation for someone’s life to be ruined. And that’s not right. But worse than that, if false accusations become the norm, then it is that much harder for women who have been victimized to come forward and tell their truth! So I really hope that we can get through this with our integrity intact, because only then will women be granted the full rights they deserve.
        And seriously, thanks to you George, for taking this so seriously and for writing about it. I honestly believe it will take real men as well as women, to work together to solve this. And real mean are never a threat to women….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. George Post author

        Thank you, Ann, and you’re right. I believe the majority of these women are honest and have been treated unfairly, but you know there are always a few who want their fifteen minutes of fame and who knows what else. The press will be all over those stories.

        Liked by 1 person

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