How is it that this conversation seems to be excluding male victims? Why has it become another reason to promote sexism and prejudice?
When did it happen? That the only people who have been victimized and hurt by exploitive and narcissistic people are women? This culture war seems to be getting its marching orders from the very kind of people it is outing.
People with an agenda who most likely are just as guilty as they are victim.
Initially, I thought to avoid this entire topic. Most likely because it is far too close to home. Because, I a self identified heterosexual male have also been victimized. And have also been guilty. I have been on both sides of the battlefront.
That is why it is probably important to use this conversation to create and establish clear boundaries. If you have ever read anything I have written; than you know that I am a proponent of boundaries. And maintaining them.
I have not always been this way. For most of my adult life, boundaries in relationships were flexible spaces that had plenty of gray in them and lots of room to maneuver. When I set boundaries in my personal and professional experiences, they were set to please me. I created the boundaries and I could change them at will.
It was not until recently that I started to realize that boundaries are not like some demilitarized zone that is negotiated. They are firm lines in the sand. At least for me now. When I set a boundary, it becomes sacrosanct.
You may wonder how I came to this place. Where I can now discern an appropriate boundary. And keep it without difficulty.
It was a painful road that included plenty of rejection and introspection. Plenty of misunderstandings and loss. Plenty of difficult choices and sacrifice. It was not something that I read about in a book or blog.
Some guru did not come along and enlighten me. I did not take classes or go to school and get a degree to figure this out. I have lived it. And have had to somehow reconcile the failed and lost relationships with my own failings and faults. My own weakness and desires coupled with sorrow and grief have led me to a place where I would rather keep a boundary than breathe. Because I do not want to hurt anymore.
And my relativistic view of boundaries is what has lead me to a lot of hurt. Lots.
Where did it start? At work. My first real job. I worked in a place where I had lots of free time and few people around. I had a coworker. She was interesting and lonely. I guess she was horny and also had a murky handle on appropriate boundaries. She was married too.
So it began. Sex at work and with a married woman. Bad Choice. Rather then go any further with the story, suffice it to say that it ended badly. I became so afraid of the consequences of our actions that we agreed one day to end it.
I also became so emotionally attached to her, that when we did end it; I was heartbroken. I ended up alone and afraid. And sad. Shortly after that, I also lost my job. And my sense of right and wrong in terms of personal relationships. All the work that had been done in church and at home in terms of parenting went right out the window.
I lost track of what was right and wrong when it comes to having a personal intimate relationship. Did I mention that she was older and had seniority? Does it matter? I was a willing participant because of my own desires and weakness.
From there, it just got worse. I started having sex with anyone that was willing. Just trying to fill a hole in my own heart. Trying to somehow find the moment of comfort and acceptance that I had. It never worked. After numerous lovers, I was still lonely and afraid. I was still missing that one minute of time where I had felt attractive and desired. Where I felt like I was competent and acceptable as a lover.
Trouble was, I was already bent by that first affair. I was bent towards a predilection for seeking and being with people who already had personal commitments. I did not realize it at the time. But a part of me was thinking that I could somehow get back to that moment by mimicking the first one with similar circumstances.
And that delusion led to a psychosis. That it is somehow possible to have intimacy with another person who is previously committed to someone else. So for years, I kept trying to get back to it. That one moment.
I got back to minutes like that. And even had some long term intimate relationships. But they always ended in disappointment and heartbreak. Every single fricking time. And people getting hurt. Even people who NEVER asked to be hurt, being hurt badly by my problems with intimacy. People who never even got a chance to decide if my bad choices would hurt them.
So was I a victim? Not really. But I became a perpetrator. I was so desperate to get back to that moment in time, that I started preying on people. I started looking for people who were also lonely and horny and had trouble with boundaries. And I found them. Where else? At work of course.
I recently realized that I was doing this. And have changed it all up. The only way I can figure to do this is to determine what boundaries I will hold myself at. To understand where the boundary is and to keep it with all my heart. No matter what the other person may say they want or need. No matter how easy it may look to get what I want.
Although it seems altruistic, it is really self serving. For whatever the reason, I keep those boundaries. Whether it is because I do not want to be hurt, nor do I want to hurt anyone else. I keep those boundaries.
The irony of it all. Personal and professional boundaries are ridiculously easy to discern and keep. They are created by social conventions and good old common sense. They are pontificated by every “morally correct” person riding their high horse in to solve the problem. You know who you are. The Generals and Colonels of the #metoo movement who have yet to cop to their own failures.
What is the upshot of it all? Decide for yourself to keep the boundaries come hell or high water. And when someone crosses your personal or professional boundaries, call them on it. Do it quick and without mercy. Don’t try to spare their feelings. Don’t try to keep or get that job. Just tell them to their face they are trying to cross your borders and they are not ever, ever getting there.
If they back off, great. If they do not, then take it to the next level. Take it to the streets if you need to. Blow the whistle and stand on the rooftops shouting out the truth. If they still do not back off, take them to court. Involve the authorities that are charged with dealing with people who do not understand boundaries.
If you are still afraid or concerned, then let me know. I have ways of discretely persuading people to back off that you will never need to know about or have any personal involvement in. I do not charge for this service either and no one will ever know we spoke of it except Jesus.
Some things I like to do for the pleasure of it. I just enjoy it. But, that is another story for another time.
Photo 2017 Opens this Saturday March 11, with Deshawn Scott from 7-9 PM. Deshawn Scott will be the Featured Artist. Deshawn has been working here in the Mahoning Valley as a photographer for over 2o years and is eclectic in his choice of subjects for his pictures. I took a few minutes to peruse his website and he does really good work. So if you can head out there on Saturday, you should have the opportunity to meet with him in person. Here is the Art Gallery’s Contact Information for more information.
Trumbull Art Gallery– 162 North Park Ave. Warren, Ohio 44482
Back in the day, I used to love MTV. When it was all music videos. Interesting visual expressions of popular music. Now a days, people get their Music Videos from Youtube mostly. And MTV changed it’s format and added a few channels so it could still air music videos but not on it’s main channel so much.
For a long time, I bemoaned this change. I love Music Videos. The whole idea of adding a visual element to a song that I enjoyed just made it all the better. Well, many videos were enjoyable. Some were kind of stupid and some were rather exploitive. But, for the most part Music Videos were usually pretty high on my list of TV I wanted to watch.
Did you know that there is still an MTV format playing every night. And it is on free TV. Everyone knows how much I like free. It is on the our local PBS affiliate. It is called Fusion. If you pay for TV through Cable or Satellite, you would have to look it up. WNEO Fusion. Every night they are playing Arts Videos. Mostly all of them contain some kind of music. And Dance. And Short Films. It is awesome.
Public Television has been around for a long time. And although it is free, sometimes people take it for granted. But the fact is that our local PBS Station offers some of the best TV available. And it is free. Did I say that? It is listener supported. Much like this Podcast. It is founded on the idea that if something is good, people will support it voluntarily. And people have supported PBS for years. Over 40 years in fact.
Founded by Hartford N. Gunn Jr., PBS began operations on October 5, 1970, taking over many of the functions of its predecessor, National Educational Television (NET), which later merged with Newark, New Jersey station WNDT to form WNET. In 1973, it merged with Educational Television Stations.
Unlike the five major commercial broadcast television networks in the United States, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW – which compensate their affiliate stations to carry their programs – PBS is not a network but a program distributor that provides television content and related services to its member stations. Each station is charged with the responsibility of programming local content (often news, interview, cultural and public affairs programs) for their individual market or state that supplements content provided by PBS and other public television distributors.
In a television network structure, affiliates give up portions of their local advertising airtime in exchange for carrying network programming, and the network pays its affiliates a share of the revenue it earns from advertising (although this structure has been reversed in recent years, with the network compensated by the stations). By contrast, PBS member stations pay fees for the shows acquired and distributed by the national organization. Under this relationship, PBS member stations have greater latitude in local scheduling than their commercial broadcasting counterparts. Scheduling of PBS-distributed series may vary greatly depending on the market. This can be a source of tension as stations seek to preserve their localism, and PBS strives to market a consistent national lineup. However, PBS has a policy of “common carriage,” which requires most stations to clear the national prime time programs on a common programming schedule to market them nationally more effectively. Management at former Los Angeles member KCET cited unresolvable financial and programming disputes among its major reasons for leaving PBS after over 40 years in January 2011.
Although PBS has a set schedule of programming (particularly in regard to its prime time schedule, while many members carry a feed of night-time programming from the PBS Satellite Service), member stations reserve the right to schedule PBS-distributed programming in other time slots or not clear it at all if they choose to do so; few of the service’s members carry all its programming. Most PBS stations timeshift some distributed programs. Once PBS accepts a program offered for distribution, PBS, rather than the originating member station, retains exclusive rebroadcasting rights during an agreed period. Suppliers retain the right to sell the program in non-broadcast media such as DVDs, books, and sometimes PBS licensed merchandise (but sometimes grant such ancillary rights as well to PBS).
With the advent of streaming TV to just about any portable communication device, WNEO is offering a member only service that allows just that. So if you are able to drop $5.00 a month you can stream PBS programming. Check it out. And support Public Television. Their Membership Drive is going till March 13, but you can join anytime. The Membership Drives help with budget planning. Still considered one of the most trusted TV Programming Providers in this country, it is worth every penny.
Tomorrow, March 8 is International Womens Day. International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others.
“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. Thus International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been occurring for well over a century – and continues to grow from strength to strength.
1908 Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women’s oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
1909 In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.
1910 A second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs – and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament – greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result.
1911 Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women’s Day was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events. 1911 also saw women’s Bread and Roses’ campaign.
1913-1914 On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Women’s Day ever since. In 1914 further women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women’s solidarity. For example, in London in the United Kingdom there was a march from Bow to Trafalgar Square in support of women’s suffrage on 8 March 1914. Sylvia Pankhurst was arrested in front of Charing Cross station on her way to speak in Trafalgar Square.
1917 On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for “bread and peace” in response to the death of over 2 million Russian soldiers in World War 1. Opposed by political leaders, the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women’s strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.
1975 International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975. Then in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.
1996 The UN commenced the adoption of an annual theme in 1996 – which was “Celebrating the past, Planning for the Future”. This theme was followed in 1997 with “Women at the Peace table”, and in 1998 with “Women and Human Rights”, and in 1999 with “World Free of Violence Against Women”, and so on each year until the current. More recent themes have included, for example, “Empower Rural Women, End Poverty & Hunger” and “A Promise is a Promise – Time for Action to End Violence Against Women”.
2000 By the new millennium, International Women’s Day activity around the world had stalled in many countries. The world had moved on and feminism wasn’t a popular topic. International Women’s Day needed re-ignition. There was urgent work to do – battles had not been won and gender parity had still not been achieved.
2001 The global http://internationalwomensday.com digital hub for everything IWD was launched to re-energize the day as an important platform to celebrate the successful achievements of women and to continue calls for accelerating gender parity. Each year the IWD website sees vast traffic and is used by millions of people and organizations all over the world to learn about and share IWD activity. The IWD website is made possible each year through support from corporations committed to driving gender parity. The website’s charity of choice for many years has been the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) whereby IWD fundraising is channelled. A more recent additional charity partnership is with global working women’s organization Catalyst Inc. The IWD website adopts an annual theme that is globally relevant for groups and organizations. This theme, one of many around the world, provides a framework and direction for annual IWD activity and takes into account the wider agenda of both celebration as well as a broad call to action for gender parity. Recent themes have included “Pledge for Parity”, “Make it happen”, “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum” and “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures”. Themes for the global IWD website are collaboratively and consultatively identified each year and widely adopted.
2011 saw the 100 year centenary of International Women’s Day – with the first IWD event held exactly 100 years ago in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In the United States, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 2011 to be “Women’s History Month”, calling Americans to mark IWD by reflecting on “the extraordinary accomplishments of women” in shaping the country’s history. The then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the “100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls through International Exchanges”. In the United Kingdom, celebrity activist Annie Lennox lead a superb march across one of London’s iconic bridges raising awareness in support for global charity Women for Women International. Further charities such as Oxfam have run extensive activity supporting IWD and many celebrities and business leaders also actively support the day
2017 and beyond. The world has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation may feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.
However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so each year the world inspires women and celebrates their achievements. IWD is an official holiday in many countries including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more. Many global corporations actively support IWD by running their own events and campaigns. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google often changes its Google Doodle on its global search pages to honor IWD. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status.
So make a difference, think globally and act locally!
Make everyday International Women’s Day.
Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.
When you are using your favorite social media platform, hashtag #BeBoldforChange and click this link to make a personal commitment.