Immediately after completing the blog of yesterday morning I called Cousin Gail to inquire about what I was wearing for my stand up comedy appearance held at a local pub in London in May of 2015. Cousin Gail is so handy and thorough; she said she had a picture and immediately emailed it. I am using it with her permission. I triumphantly emailed:
Me: It was a scarf and I still have it! Re enactment here I come. Can I use the picture on my blog of tomorrow??? Your cuz!!!!
Then it was off to the gym for a session with Hottie. The gym was packed, overflowing with people all frantic and furtive. The gym has been practically empty for the past two weeks but it was bursting at the seams with everyone following through on their New Year’s resolution.
Me: Let’s train outside! All these people are bugging me.
Hottie: OK. I will get my coat.
So off we went and actually cheated at some point and stopped for coffee. (But let the record reflect that I did not have a donut.) There was a newspaper announcing that there are sexual predators in Canada as well. Canadian filmmaker Paul Haggis joins Albert Schulz of Soulpepper Theatre. I was naively thinking all of this was a USA phenomena but alas and alack they are with us in Canada as well. This is a bummer, the whole topic is depressing me totally but it seems I must finish up with insights and knowledge from “F Guy.” “F guy” is another one of my brilliant friends and he has made a previous appearance on the blog on February 19th and March the 7th where he illuminated the topics of passive aggressive behavior and misogyny. He is extremely well qualified. Here is what he had to say.
“I’ve given a lot of thought to the issue of sexual harassment, and frankly, I can’t come up with a single coherent theory of why it occurs. Like a lot of evil in the world, it occurs because it can. It occurs because human nature is is not fully human. There is an eternal history of inequality between men and women in our societies. And while the inequality is considerably less than even a half century ago in many cultures, inequality between men and women is still a very significant force in the United States. And any inequality is associated with vulnerability.
Workplaces are bastions of inequality. Whoever is in charge controls those in the hierarchy below. Personal characteristics such as narcissism and bullying have helped many people rise to the top of their area of influence or control, whether it be an organization, an industry or a political/cultural sphere. Leadership is too often tainted by narcissists and bullies. If people want to rise to the top they often have to endure outrageous treatment of various sorts. In fact, just existing in an organization often requires enduring physical or psychological pain. Slavery, servitude, physical and psychological abuse, including sexual exploitation are notable legacies of inequality and the imperfection of human nature.
It seems to take societies a long time to recognize and acknowledge inequality and exploitation sufficiently that the society is motivated to change. It will take the courage of victims of discrimination coming forward to tell their stories and make their case for change. That is difficult to do for many victims because such advocacy may increase the precariousness of their lives long before it empowers them. Look at the time it has taken to only partially deal with widely recognized and acknowledged racial discrimination or discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation.
I offer an editorial that I saw recently as further explanation. It is more specific on sexual exploitation. The link is https://opmed.doximity.com/letter-to-the-medical-profession-re-sexual-harassment-43ddc18d64be”
I urge readers to link to the editorial, it is very informative and offers a peak into history that I had almost forgotten – the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearing.
All of this is distressing, gave me pause and encouraged me to apply it to my own life. I laugh about suddenly becoming a man magnet but what did that consists of? Often men making unsolicited sexual advances toward me. I had not been a sexual being for about twelve years but then in April of 2016 the tables turned. I did a count – twelve men in both the United Kingdom and Canada wanted me. Most I laughingly brushed aside. However, one turned into a ‘relationship’ that has sporadically lasted for almost two years. Recently the men are ones with considerable power. Need I remind readers that I am seventy-four years old? I enjoy a number of friendships with men and I have many meaningful encounters with men – none of these are sexual. These men seem to want to know me as a person. The twelve wanted my private part and most women’s private parts are pretty much the same. Our personalities differ widely but probably not our private parts. .
But onto some mind blowing material. I asked Chris for some up to date statistics and it blew my mind. During the last seven days 484 visitors made 1,392 visits. During the last thirty days 1,679 visitors made 6,500 visits. Since the beginning of the blog, almost a year ago 25,467 visitors made 105,399 visits. I am gob smacked and in a state of shock. I simply cannot take it in. That and the twelve men.
So at least the photograph is cheery. I am clutching a non alcoholic beer by the way. It was during my non drinking days.