To the Current Manager

This isn’t your fault at all and believe it or not I actually feel badly for you. The unfortunate truth is that most professionals have witnessed work place abuse, frequently gender based, and done nothing about it. You didn’t actually witness it but you clearly had reasonable knowledge. I consider it extremely likely that your attempting to handle this in the ethical and legal fashion would have jeopardized your position at the company. It’s quite common that companies retaliate against the victims of harassment and anyone who aligns themselves with them. Since one of your supervisors had reasonable knowledge I feel confident that the corporate culture includes covering things like this up and turning a blind eye. Who knows, maybe they will prove me wrong. But, this wasn’t your fault, even if you were the one who referenced the perpetrators notes.

Honestly, when someone has to choose between their own job security and taking the ethical course of action most will chose their own job security. That is a complex moral decision, not a simple one. And, I’m not saying that’s what did happen it’s just an educated guess. It’s exactly why most people remain silent and turn a blind eye to this type of thing.  The bottom line is that one of your supervisors had reasonable knowledge and this isn’t your fault, at all.

Simply put, it isn’t ethical to hate someone or try to ruin someone because they did what is considered normal within their own society. However, as long as the silence continues these tragedies will continue. Some are teenage suicides due to bullying, some are sexual assaults that go unpunished by our legal system and even universities and others are cases of workplace abuse so extreme that they are traumatic be they harassment, assault or otherwise. We are also typically silent about domestic abuse and child molestation, both of which are disturbingly common.

In short, we are silent about abuse of women, other minorities and children. This isn’t okay. I have always been quite passionate about women’s equality and I see no distinction between women’s rights and human rights. If I were to remain silent then I would be an incredible hypocrite. Moreover, these are human rights violations and public health issues. Something must be done. And, nothing will be accomplished as long as silence is the norm. The silence can only be broken one voice at a time. And, every single voice actually does matter.

But, I don’t hate you and I hope that you aren’t used as a scrape goat or ostracized. What you did is considered normal by society and it’s what most people in that situation do. It’s the social norm that is evil and wrong, not you or your team members.

Hey peeps, this is a letter of apology.

Dedicated To: Hendric, Morgan and Ashleig

Hey peeps, this is a letter of apology. You were owed a world in which you all can live your lives safely and in peace. Less than fifty percent of you will inherit that. The horrifying truth for those of you who are female is that one in five of you will experience sexual assault or attempted sexual assault in college. You will find a legal system that will not provide you with justice. You are likely to find that your university is more concerned about protecting its reputation than your human rights. They might even try to silence you about the tragedy. Almost all of you will be the target of gender based disrespect or love someone who is. I am extremely sorry that we let you down.

This sounds like a digression but it isn’t. I was in high school during the nineties. Before the nineties gay and lesbian rights were virtually unheard of. Open disrespect of gays and lesbians was completely socially acceptable. Prior to the nineties it was dangerous for people to be openly gay because they might become the target of violent hate crimes and they had little to no legal recourse. They lived in fear. I know that it’s hard to imagine now, but it’s true.

There was a lot of activism for gay and lesbian rights during the nineties. Probably the most important part of that was the One in Ten Movement. I was a part of that one. There were three things that I loved about it. A friend of mine is a lesbian so I was helping someone who I love. Also, I was creating important social change. This is the mind blowing one. What you had to do to be a part of the One in Ten Movement was *almost nothing!*

So, I’m creating a model that doesn’t cut into your time for enjoying life because we want to keep our priorities straight! All that you had to do to be a part of that movement was learn to recognize homophobia and correct it when you saw it. And, back then it was so common and intrinsic to the culture that our gay and lesbian friends had to coach us on it and explain it to us. However, it’s now 2010 so I’m just including video clips. When we heard homophobic comments we had to say something like, “I have a lesbian friend and I really don’t appreciate that.” Obviously, around ten percent of you will need to be a little more motivated than that. But, I want to make this as simple and easy for most of you as it was for me.

Thoreau writes that, “Wisdom is not gained but lost with age.” It’s similar to Jay-Z’s, “Forever Young.” Warren Bennis, the world’s authority on leadership, observes that leaders see what, “could be” rather than what is. There is another group who is capable, willing to, and excited about seeing what could be. It’s you! It’s one of the wisdoms that Thoreau refers to. I hope that you all will keep it for the rest of your lives. And I hope that you will use that wisdom today. Obviously, some of you will need to do a little extra work, but for about ninety percent of you creating real social change is as simple as watching a few short video clips and making a few simple decisions.

A world in which one is physically safe and treated with respect is a birthright.

Go claim your birthright!

To the Perpetrator: If a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound?

Rubik's Cube in scrambled state

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You isolated my three biggest strengths as creative problem solving skills, communication skills and consultation skills. You were praising my creative problem skills. Systematically giving approval for creative problem solving won’t strengthen those skills at all. The only way to teach creative problem solving is by setting an example of seeing problems as opportunities. Anything else is ineffective.

You represented a reputable firm when I met you. That firm is a nationwide name in real estate. Business consultants were attempting to teach agents to apply a certain innovation. Indecently, the fact that pricing appropriately and doing the basics of marketing and consultation well is considered an innovation is bizarre, but I digress. Anyway, you had no confidence in your ability to apply that material and you did have confidence in my ability to apply it. Obviously, you had absolutely no business trying to teach me anything about communication or consultation. You should have been asking me questions!

Here is an underlying problem with all of your selections. None of these are specific skills. They are all skill sets. You build the skill sets one skill at a time. You are doing a process that most people can’t feel in a way that is completely ineffective.

If a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound?

By the way, the answer is no.

To The Perpetrator: Every voice matters including mine! (language warning)

WASHINGTON (March 26, 2010) A poster supportin...

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Every voice matters including mine, mother fucker!

You and the entire management team counted on my silence. As little as a decade ago a woman’s only option was the mainstream media.

Guess what, modern technology makes it exposing the truth simple!

I may well go to the main stream media also. But, I’m taking this excellent opportunity to illustrate the point.

The primary reason that women remain silent about harassment and assault is fear or retaliation. Frequently we fear the company or educational institution as badly as the perpetrator, and for excellent reason. In “Transparency” Warren Bennis observes that the ease of publishing that the blog sphere provides makes a lot of the ways that companies traditionally retaliated ineffective.

Moreover, I have a little fucking news flash for you. What the public wants is to see the silence around sexual assault, sexual harassment and domestic abuse broken. And, most people don’t like people like you, at all!

It’s worthy of note that this is tagged comedy and creative non-fiction. My best guess is that the average world citizen will find it amusing.

Some might even respect me for it!

Quick note to readers: “Workplace Issues” is a work of creative nonfiction based on my true story of being bullied. It’s told in a series of open letters.

 

Politics & controversial topics.

Human Rights

Image by h de c via Flickr

I personally am a liberal and a third wave feminist. Sexual assault and other gender based hate crimes are a moral outrage regardless of ones political or religious views.

There are plenty of things that we can disagree on. But, the only people who actually want to see these crimes continue are the perpetrators themselves. We can all agree on that, I hope!

Typically liberals get credit for working for women’s rights. I know of one conservative Christian church in Atlanta that is doing excellent work at rescuing sex slaves and preventing human trafficking. I know of another one that is helping poor people, including sex workers who were coerced into the industry and are frequently addicted to drugs. There is excellent work being done on both sides of the political arena.

Moreover, it’s apparent that we have extremely serious issues with bullying in schools and on campuses. This isn’t just an LBGT problem. Bullying can cause post traumatic stress disorder regardless of the nature of the abuse. We also have problems with bullying and abuse be it gender based or not, in our work places. The reason that we have this pandemic problem with bullying in schools is because we are a society of adults who ignore and partake in bullying and victim blaming. This is the fault of adults, not children.

This site and this project isn’t about pro-choice or pro-life, Democrat or Republican or liberal or conservative. It’s about human rights, being a team at preventing hate crimes and making sure that survivors of hate crimes are treated with dignity, respect and have a voice!

Every Voice Matters

A teal ribbon, which is an awareness ribbon fo...

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With sexual harassment, sexual assault and work place abuse silence is the norm. With gender based hate crimes silence is the norm. Silence cannot create social change, ever. The norm is completely unacceptable.

As Bennis observes in his work “Transparency” it is nearly impossible to suppress information now. These usually are not actually instances of he said and she said – or he said and he said – but instances of all of the parties who do have reasonable knowledge being complicit and unwilling to speak.

This is a model that most victims of severe harassment or bullying could duplicate effectively. It holds the perpetrator accountable for their behavior. It holds the company responsible for neglect. It’s effective at correcting unjust damage to a victim’s reputation.

This is a real situation and I personally was assaulted. The company acted with gross neglect and flagrant disregard for law. Unfortunately, this is still common with gender based hate crimes. It happens in work places and universities.

Companies, intuitions and perpetrators count on the victim’s silence. It’s the new millennium, let’s speak!

In preventing gender based hate crimes and breaking the silence around them every voice matters, including yours!

Dear people who know me personally,

Lady Gaga holding a speech at National Equalit...

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Well, only people who know me personally are reading this right now so, hi guys. Here is the drill. I don’t have a vendetta against the perpetrator of the abuse *at all.* Abusive people are miserable anyway.

One of my primary issues here is that the reputable firm involved acted with gross neglect and blatant disregard for law. Unfortunately this gross neglect and disregard for law is extremely common when it comes to abuse of women in work places and universities. These institutions are counting on the victim’s silence. Frequently women do remain silent and it’s out of fear of retaliation.

Often women fear retaliation by the PR office. I’m addressing PR here but this model by passes PR. Unless the company is named in the main stream media PR will do nothing. I’ll make that clear in my modified about page or how to section.

By the way, I’ll lose the pseudonym when I execute on the project. It’s for my own safety for now. I’ll be cleaning up my Face Book page and keeping it at a PG rating as well. But, it’s worthy of note that this would be equally effective with a pseudonym. Moreover, all content is copy written on any blog and any URL can become an error 404! 😀

Now, most of you or all of you know that I’m a feminist. For anyone who doesn’t know I’m in the third-wave camp biased on age and views on sexuality. Lady Gaga is a third wave feminist. We are sex positive, pro sex workers rights and anti man bashing or hating. If you have any questions about that, ask me.

The US Department of Health and Human Services includes severe harassment in the definition of sexual assault. Since what happened to me caused PTSD it qualifies. RAINN is pointing out that most instances of rape and sexual assault are hate crimes. The legislation that Obama passed in 2008 makes many crimes against women hate crimes legally. They always were ethically. If this wouldn’t have happened to me if I were male, and it wouldn’t have, then it’s a hate crime.

The company involved tried to cover this up. They actively damaged my reputation and did everything within their power to suppress the truth. The way that I see it, I was the target of a hate crime and a large company tried to silence me. I have an excellent sense of humor in general but I’m not amused over this, at all.

What happened to me in that regard is disturbingly common. Women are frequently silenced. This is an ethical, legal and effective way of exposing the truth. And, as long as women remain silent these types of abuse will remain disturbingly common.

Many of you know that my spelling is remarkably bad. Any help with copy editing is welcome. I was debilitated by nightmares and flashbacks during the years that social networking became main stream. I’m purchasing a few books to get myself caught up. Help in that regard is welcome. This is under a pseudonym so feel free to FB and Tweet but it’s probably better to do that once I have the site more organized.

Naturally, feedback about anything at all is extremely welcome. You have all been wonderfully supportive so far and I’m deeply appreciative. – Much Love!