It’s dismal to think about all the people throughout history who have been silenced when those in power have harassed or abused them.
I know what it’s like to have someone do something inappropriate and not know what to do.
When I was a young woman in the 1970s I didn’t have words for what we would now call sexual harassment by my male bosses and in one case, a college professor. It happened so frequently I thought that’s just how things were. It was disgusting and demeaning to me yet I don’t ever remember thinking I should or could say anything about what happened.
The inner dialogue when a person is harassed or abused goes something like this, “Should I say something? Should I ignore it? What will happen if I speak out?” And many women I’ve spoken with about this add, “I don’t want to get anyone in trouble or hurt anyone’s feelings.”
After many years coaching, writing, and speaking about women’s empowerment and worth, I’ve learned that speaking the truth is the best option—even when it is unbearably uncomfortable. Read more about “sweaty-palm” truth telling in my book.
The truth exists; it’s in the space. We hear a lot about “alternative facts” and “fake news” but there is such a thing as verifiable truth and fact. For the person being abused or harassed, it’s very real.
Some people in power will still cause confusion when they are accused by denying it or casting doubt on the believability of the one speaking out. This is a new form of suppression and oppression that will no longer be accepted.
One of the ways we will have more respectful relationships overall is by opening the choir of leadership to diversified voices. I hope you’ll answer the call to do what you can do by joining me for my online (or phone) seminar Women Leading With Heart.
Because of the #MeToo movement and societal conversations, many new stories are emerging from women and girls (who are disproportionately affected). Each voice and each story emboldens another to do so.
My heart aches for those who absolutely cannot speak up when they are harassed in the workplace for fear of losing their job and the ability to feed, cloth, and house their families.
When we can and do speak out, we lead with heart and affect positive change for others going forward.
Have a beautiful week, empowered and blessed by truth.
Love and blessings,