So we thought all those tech guys had big working brains? And we must have at some point thought our members of congress did as well or we wouldn’t have voted for them?
However, harassment and ugly sexual acting out on the part of men in the tech world….. and telling women WHAT TO WEAR in the halls of government…. seem to be the behaviors representing “educated” men in our world. What’s going on?
The most basic thing I can suggest is that systems support the behavior. Our hierarchies are male dominated, in every part of our working world. Consequently, there appears to be no one to do the “smack down” until the behavior elevates to a level to get media attention. And sadly that fades fairly quickly too. After the flare of criticism and miss-belief, the burden returns and rests on the shoulders of the women impacted/ harassed/made frightened and often fearful of losing their jobs.
I don’t think we can assume all these men who act out had lousy parenting or think they are so totally irresistible that what they do will be considered okay…. consequently I return to systems theory. The majority of systems — government, corporations, churches, schools, media — define women as a group as powerless. Notice “as a group” so that you don’t discount the many women who ARE powerful. The challenge is being powerful alone….vs being part of a powerful GROUP. Individuals who take action alone are more likely to fail. Those who have the support of a group of like minded people have a wider and deeper power base for necessary support.
AND sadly, that is true when individual men act out, and a far larger group — the male dominated system — stays silent and supportive through that silence, maintaining power. Look how long it took for the female voices at FOX news to be heard. And today, we still do not know the extent of the back lash in the lives of the women who had the courage to speak….it took an increase in NUMBERS for them to be thought credible! And even as you read that last sentence, imagine how many people still question the legitimacy of the claims! That’s simply, clearly, the impact of powerful hierarchy…and the way such power shapes attitudes and feelings about women. If you doubt a woman’s claim of bad behavior on the part of men, just at least take a bit of time to examine the source of that doubt. It’s often subtle and complex beyond our awareness.
The courage of women to speak up is enhanced by the support of women, and I think, perhaps more importantly, by men! The combined voices of women and men speaking for equality, for balanced power in systems — from the elementary school to the high offices in all systems — would gradually make a difference. It simply means people who discriminate, harass, assault or otherwise try to take away the rights of any individual through language, behavior and/or legislation will be confronted by healthy systems that demand and expect equity.
I suggest everyone needs some reflection and self examination on the inequity of systems — and on our individual beliefs and behavior that either supports or confronts the way systems function today. If you want to read more of my thinking on the subject, see my book RELEASE FROM POWERLESSNESS: TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE. AND you’ll find more related blogs on my website. Let’s all educate ourselves, pay attention, and work to make this world a better place!