In this post I am replying to an article I saw published on Elephant Journal entitled: “Dear Men: if you answer YES to any of these questions, you may be the reason someone else says, Me, Too.”
I am not anti-feminist, in fact I am a strong supporter of women’s rights but too much is too much. Although I enjoyed reading the above mentioned article and found a lot of truth in it, I would like to point out where, in my opinion, this #MeToo movement is taking things too far.
Here’s my take on the author’s questions; both from personal experience, i.e., similar or same experiences that have happened to me, and from my point of view:
Below, the questions raised in the article and my answers to them:
” Have you ever touched a person without his/her express consent?”
Well, I’ve been touched many times without my consent but no big deal, usually a firm WTF ends the unwanted attention.
“Have you ever asked a woman why she wasn’t smiling or told her she’d look better if she smiled?”
OK, this happens a lot and I admit that it is extremely annoying — especially if one’s cat has just died — for it portraits the nasty stereotype that women should just smile and open their legs, no matter what. So Kudos Here to the author!
“Have you ever sent an unsolicited message commenting on a stranger’s looks?”
Very annoying but easily dismissed.
“Have you ever catcalled another person?”
Hello! I grew up in Italy. is this a joke? Daily, of course. It’s harmless and might even make one smile as she/he walks away.
“Have you ever made an inappropriate sexual joke?”
Better an inappropriate sexual joke than a racist, anti-Semitic one. Just don’t laugh — lest you find it funny — and look at the person with a long, blank stare instead.
“Have you ever shown your genitals to someone without their express request? This could be in person or by message. (If you’ve ever sent an unsolicited d*ck pic, this is you.)”
I was seventeen, it was late evening in Winter, I was walking down a very dark, narrow street in London when, pushed against a brick wall, really close to me, a guy opened his raincoat and flashed me. Bit of a shock but I walked on unharmed. Much worse that time in Italy when the same thing happened — albeit in broad day light — and the guy proceeded to show me what looked like — to my very quick glance — a cut-off penis on a piece of cardboard. Walked away more quickly than in the instance above and remained — to this day — rather puzzled but again nothing to keep me up at night.
“Have you ever flirted with or made sexual advances to a person who could be considered subordinate to you in a professional situation?”
Oh, please, of course they have. Most of them if they had a chance. Perhaps to the secretary with the fake boobs, the short skirt, high heels and fake lips? Plain Jane, I assume, was spared the un-wanted attention and the huge amount of work that it took to keep them at bay while keeping the job. I am not contradicting myself here. Let’s not forget that just as (most) women have an instinctive protective nature, (most) men have an instinctive urge to spread their semen to populate the World. Some things are just in the genes and it takes a very evolved person to correct that in themselves.
“Have you ever laughed at jokes about rape or assault?”
I guess things like Trump saying, “they want to be pussy-grabbed.” Bad taste is bad taste. Without action on intent it isn’t illegal.
“Have you ever put your hands on a man/woman without their permission while dancing in a club or bar?”
For real?! Does the author live in a Mormon community?!?!
“Have you ever had sex with a person who was inebriated and, therefore, incapable of providing consent?”
Well, if you have, that’s RAPE. (Finally a decent — no pun intended — question).
“Have you ever continued to touch someone who said no?”
Of course they have, sometimes it takes a bit more effort to push them away but, as long as the final result IS to push them away, again, not much harm done. Life’s a bitch; assertiveness is a daily constant, not just physically but — even more difficult to realize — emotionally too.
“Have you ever made repeated sexual advances to someone who has said no?”
Well then you are a resilient son of a bitch who, I hope, got punched in the nose and now feels like a total idiot – that you are – yet, if your “repeated” sexual advances were successfully aborted, there’s no legal case there either.
Why am I, a woman and a feminist writing this? Because I have had most of the experiences described above — and much, much worse — through the course of my life thus, I can make the difference between sexual harassment and idiocy.
Also, I am no celebrity looking for publicity (thank god), and I’m smart enough to acknowledge that if I walk around scantily dressed and acting provocatively I might be sending out “wrong” signals.
A final example. In my late teens, at a casting, the guy took me to his office and asked me to perform a fellatio on him. I told him he was disgusting, walked away an enrolled in university. Personal choices…
Let’s cut the average bloke some slack and concentrate on real sexual offenders, of which there are many, in varied, disgusting forms. Shall we?
My dear friend,
Thank you for your letter and my most sincere condolences for the loss of your friend.
All you say is very true and well, indeed.
As someone who’s tried it twice in the last year – and God only knows how the Hell I am still alive – well, what I wanted to say is that sometimes it’s just too much; and yes, someone could have tried harder; how could I do this to those who love me and I have responsibilities towards and all the rest but, in the end, it makes no difference because the truth is that, sometimes – please note that this is a daily struggle, often a few times a day too; a struggle with a life we don’t want to keep on living and the survival instinct that makes us say: “Maybe, tomorrow.” – it’s just too much and all we long for is the peace we know and remember being our true selves. And then it happens: an enormous calm enters one’s body and mind and without further ado one commits the act. No thoughts whatsoever, just an automatic response in an almost dream-like state.
I’m not going to add how the decision then happens for I don’t want to put ideas in anyone’s mind. I stop here.
Blessings to you all and to the ones you have lost.
WOH…Don’t you throw your negative energy at me!
l’m neither a psychologist nor a psychiatric (who must be immune to it or else are not superficial and selfish arseholes).
l’ll only talk bullshit as, you see, l’ve been brain-washed by Compulsive Positive Thinking (CPT), which–by the way– goes a long way to keep lay people in their places to the benefit of those in power.
In fact, in this Fear-Based Society, be scared, be very scared of the smallest negative thought for its consequences will be but certain catastrophe.
I can vouch for this by the multitude of people who are living horrible lives thanks to my negative opinions of them. If only…
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for mindfulness but all within limits.
Imagine, if you will, someone like Mother Theresa telling the leprechauns she dedicated her life work to, to stop whining; to stop suffering; that their negative thinking had caused their illnesses.Yeah, maybe, perhaps…who knows for sure.
But the real question is: Where is your heart? your compassion? your empathy?
Countless other examples could be made which would mean nothing unless one was walking in the other person’s shoes in this dualist world we ALL live in.
Brilliant and inspiring piece, everyone should read, by the lovely Ms Lisa Colburn 🙂
There has been a common theme lately with folks that I have been encountering, either in my personal life or with my healing work. After taking a few weeks off article writing, unsure of where to go next with things, this topic jumped out to me and I knew right away it was something that needed to be discussed. As an intuitive and empath, I can feel the energy of the collective, which is very different than an individual energy. Many people can feel this energy and are tuned in, but do not realize it is far greater than just their own feelings. It is far more powerful and the vibration feels like it literally extends through the entire earth and into our core, connecting is to all souls and the Universe. This often happens when many people begin to feel similarly, at the same time or are dealing with…
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Clicking on the link below will take you to you tube to listen to a Luverly guided meditation by Deepak Chopra on opening and activating the seven Chakras–or energy centers– whilst taking some time off from the hectic pace of life.
A concise description of the content of the meditation is written below the link, for your convenience.
1st Chakra ~ Root Chakra ~ Located at the Base of the Spine ~ The Colour we visualise is Red ~ Mantra: Om Dakini Namaha (I Activate My Security) ~ to Gain Peace, Security and Safety; to Find Grounding ~ Focusing thought: My Life Energy Protects and Secure Me.
2nd Chakra ~ Sacral Chakra ~ Located just Below the Navel ~ the Colour we visualise is Orange ~ Mantra: Om Rakini Namaha (I Activate My Happiness) ~ to Activate the Ever-Present Source of Happiness, Creativity, Pleasure and Joy ~ Focusing thought: My Life Energy Is Bringing Me Pleasure.
3d Chakra ~ Power Centre ~ Located in the Solar Plexus, Navel Region ~ The Colour we visualise is Yellow ~ Mantra: Om Lakini Namaha (I Activate My Power) ~ To Activate a Balanced, Power Centre bringing Confidence, Self-Esteem and the Strength to Meet Life’s Every Challenge ~ Focusing thought: My Life Energy Organises Life Effortlessly.
4th Chakra ~ The Heart Chakra ~ Located in The Heart Centre ~ The Colour we visualise is Green ~ Mantra: Om Kakini Namaha (I Activate My Love) ~ To awaken the true Nature of Love, to Encourage the Flow of Life Energy that can Heal Feelings of Loneliness, Isolation and Anxiety: The Symptoms of Lack of Love ~ Focusing thought: My life Energy is Love.
5th Chakra ~ The Troath Chakra ~ Located in the Throat ~ The Colour we visualise is Light Blue ~ Mantra: Om Shakini Namaha (I Activate My Creativity) ~ To activate our True Voice so that we may Freely Express our Unique Gifts and Perspective with the world; accessing our Creativity and opening to the Free Flow of Authentic Expression ~ Focusing thought: My Life Energy Expresses Its Truth.
6th Chakra ~ Third Eye ~ Located Between the Eyebrows, in the Middle of Forehead ~ The Colour we visualise is Purple or Deep Blue ~ Mantra: Om Hakini Namaha (I Activate My Intuition) ~ To Awake our Inner Vision, Inner Wisdom and Intuition ~ Focusing thought: My Inner Vision Wisely Guides My Actions.
7th Chakra ~ Located at the Crown of the Head ~ The Colour we visualise is Violet ~ Mantra: Om Katyayani Namaha (I Activate My Pure Awareness) ~ To Activate Self-Awareness, Creativity, Intelligence, Joy and Effort-Less Flow of Life ~ Focusing Thought: My Life Energy Radiates The Light Of Being.
Om: is considered the most elemental sound of creation. This sacred syllable represents the primordial sound of the universe, the underlying vibratory power behind all existence. As we repeat Om we open to our essential connection to all this is, we align ourselves with the vibration of the universe, and we affirm that we are one.
Namaha: When mindfully repeated during meditation, this sound creates a sacred energy vibration which flows outward to the world, and then abundantly circulates back to fill us within. It is a way to gently lean into–and surrender to–the divine presence within your deepest heart while affirming the same divine presence that dwells in the hearts of all beings and in the entire universe.
My ex husband introduced me to running back in 1984.
Being in Italy, I put on my best outfit and set off with an astonished Canadian professional-league Hockey Player (Aka my ex), Armani model, and later actor, to run around the Castello Sforzesco in Milan.
Although looking great, I soon realised that having started smoking at fourteen, I could just about make it to the first lamp post.
Needless to say, the ex was laughing his head off, both because of my outfit and my lack of performance; or maybe due to the combination of the two factors.
The most valuable thing he taught me was that Italians have no idea about casual dressing, in fact they get it totally wrong.
This has proved right many years down the road.
Abercombie &Fitch in Corso Matteotti, Milan, a shop my son and my ex wouldn’t set foot in unless somebody was threatening to shoot them, is probably the tackiest place one can find in Milan.
At the front entrance, naked–from the waist up–male models (I’d rather have the opposite), and girls in skimpy dresses.
Back to the main subject.
Since 1984, I have been running – on-and-off – for the best part of my life.
Eventually I came to realize that I was spending so much time either running around Hampstead Heath in London, U.K., or on the treadmill at the gym, that I might as well make money out of it and became a successful personal trainer.
I quit the job when caring about the cellulite on someone else’s thighs–together with having to remember the date their children had their violin concert exam–somehow crashed with the life changes I was going through in my personal life.
Yet, as my ex-husband–and nowadays best friend–always told me, if I had been born in the U.S. I would have become a professional athlete; so I kept up what, by then, had become a passion, albeit a selfish one (yes, another one), of mine: exercising.
At present, I’m running at the “Montagnetta” in Milan, Italy, an under-estimated haven in this city of cement.
I get great pleasure from looking at the the outfits of some of the fellow runners I meet on the way but, mostly, I am astonished at the gadgets and, most of all, at the expression on their faces: they simply don’t get it!
Running is a form of art. A form of meditation where, finally, we can open our minds and stop creating thoughts in our heads; when thoughts can come and go freely, or not come at all.
All that is required is to listen to one’s body and being in tune with one’s energy level which vary from day to day.
There are times when you will run fast, others when you will run so slow that you might as well be walking but that is not the point. The point is to lose oneself in the act of running, to effortlessly observe the surroundings, to feel at One with Nature and with one’s higher self.
The expression on your face should be one of Serendipity, your shoulders should be low and totally relaxed, your neck should be feeling no strain and your steps should be those of a panther strolling easily through the Savannah, ready to sprint when so inspired.
Lastly, the aim of the whole enterprise of running should have nothing to do with weight-loss or toning up–which are just to be thought of as welcome outcomes–and all to do with being in the moment, thought-less and worry-free and–most of all–TIMELESS!
Timeless, or the ability to live in a time-less zone is what exercising is all about, no matter the sport one chooses.
Hence, throw away those use-less gadgets that tell you how many calories you’re burning; how fast you’re running; whether your heart rate is above or below the ever-sought-after 70% Heart Rate and just enjoy yourself for once.
FYI, Heart Rate training zones are calculated by taking into consideration your Maximum Heart Rate (HRmax) and your Resting Heat Rate (HRrest).
60% to 70% Energy Efficient or Recovery Zone; 70% to 80% Aerobic Zone; 80% to 90% Anaerobic Zone
Forget all that.
Just set out to enjoy yourself and experience the Real Dimension of Time that is constantly being stolen from us in our every-day, time-obsessed lives.
That’s what is all about…
You can do it!