gmhTODAY 19 gmhToday April May 2018 - Page 69

the RELATIONSHIP dance WITH VICKI MINERVA What Makes Sexual Harrassment or Abuse a Problem? W e’ve been hearing more and more about sexual harass- ment in the workplace with allegations coming from various high-profile sources. In addition, the response to the “Me Too” movement has been overwhelming and caused some men anxiety as they wonder if a well- intentioned hug might be misconstrued. So, what is it about this topic that has created such a tidal wave? First off, while the majority of victims are typically women, men have also been affected. This is primarily due to the differences in power, whether it is in size and strength or positions of power and control. Men are sometimes unaware of just how intimidating their physical presence can be. There have also been cultural mindsets that have inferred that women shouldn’t be too aggressive, powerful. Women should be nice. The dynamics and dangers associated with sexual harassment are on the same spectrum as those associated with childhood sexual abuse because of the differential in power. In fact, one of the greatest predictors of trauma and abuse in adulthood is the presence of abuse in childhood. There is damage done to the sense of self as you’re growing up, which establishes the boundaries and expectations that you SHOULD be treated with respect and dignity. That self image can change, so it doesn’t mean that you’re condemned to a life of abuse, but it often requires a commitment to change what you grew up believing about yourself. The net result of sexual abuse and harassment is the belief that you don’t matter, that your worth is based on your appearance and ability to please oth- ers. You don’t know you have the right to be treated with respect, or that your physical and emotional safety is even possible. Whether outright trauma, or the more subtle but still powerful feeling of shame, the effects can last a lifetime. When I asked friends for input, one described a process of “grooming” that she had seen. A person in power can begin with seemingly innocuous behaviors that may be both flattering and slightly crossing a line. It can range from ձȁ͹ȁɄ)Ѽ́ͱѱ䁙хѥ́ȁɄ)ѕѥٔ%ӊé͔ͥ)ѡѕѥѡ)ѡȰͼɅͥȁɕ丁%Ё)Ёɽ̰ѕѥ)ȁѡ䁍ɽɔԁɕ)ȁͽչɴQЁѡ)ɕɕѼЁѼq͕ϊtЁ)ՍɔՉѱٕѼхи ѡ)ѥ׊eɔɕ䁍ȁѡ́ͻeЁ䰁)ɕхݕ׊eٔ)ѕѼ͔׊eɔ͕)͕Օ́ԁɔͽ)ɕͥ)Qݽ$ͭȁЁ)ݡЁɥѕ́Ѽѡqɕtѽ)ͥȁѡ́Ѽͅ丁Qɗéѕ)ͥɕѥ͍ɥѥ́+q́ȁͭɅݳtqѡ)х́ѡȁtɔ)ѽ́ѡЁԁ׊eɔѡ)ɕ͕ɕѽȸA䁅ѕѥѼ)ѡЁ)=ݽ͍ɥѡaѽdѽ)ѡ՜́ѽѥЁѡ́ɔѽ)ܰѡхѽ͔хɔѽ)Qɔ́ɕɐȁͽ)ѡЁ́ЁЁ丁Qɔɔ)ͽݡeЁɕͽՕ)ݕ䁵ͥѕɕЁѕ)́٥хѥѼѼѡЁѕ)MѥЁ丁=ѡ́ɔɅѕ)ѼɕєͥѼ͠ѡ)I䁹Ё丁́ͼ)ɥѥѽȁ䁥х̸)'eٕٔͅѥ́ݥѠ)ݡٔɕ͕ɸЁѡ)ѥ́ͥѕɕѕ!ѱ䰁)ԁٔѕѥ̰Ёݽ)ѕѡɕ]'eɔ)ѡɔɔݽݡ͕ٔ)͕ѡɽ̰ѡɕɔ)ѼͥЁѡȁЁ)ٕٔݕѡ͕́Ѽ)ѥՔȁѽ͕ѡ)՝ɕ͕́ɕѱ)%׊eɔɹЁȁѥ)չѽ͕ͬ)ԁݽձٔѽ݅ɑ́ͽ)ԁɕeЁɅѕѼͽ)ɕи%ԁ፡ѡѕȴ)ѥ׊eɔɹЁݥѠ)ͽȁɅȁ͔)ɥ׊eɔɽ䁙%ѥ)͕ѥȁչѥ́݅)ѡЁ丁Qսє䁑՝ѕȰ+q%Ё͕́ѡɗéݽѡЁͭ+áѡ́dЁեѡQ)ѕѥѕɹѥٔЁͭ)ȁє٥ѕݥѕ)եѡͭ́͡ɕ)ɔḾɥѥ)t)ѡ́́́ɽ՝Ё)݅ɕ́ѼՔѡЁ́ѕ)ɕٕȸ'eݔхЁи)1ӊé͔Ёȁ)Y5لٕ́)ݽɭѡ)MѠ չ䁅ɕ)5ɥ)QɅЁȁٕȀ)啅̸!ȁՍѥ)Ց́4ظɕ)ɽձȁM䁅)45ɥ) չ͕ɽ)Mф ɄUٕͥ)٥ل)5䁝́Ѽɽ٥ԁݥѠͽɵѥԁ́ѽ́ѡЁݥԁٔȁȁɕѥ́͡ѡȁ̸݅)Q́ɵѥ́ЁՉѥєȁͽչ͕͡ձЁхЁѕиQɔɔɕхѡɅ́ѡMѠ չ䁅ɕ͡ձԁѥ)%1I=d5=I8!%10M85IQ%8)AI%05d)ѽ乍(