When it’s not exactly #MeToo… but

When it’s not exactly #MeToo… but

I follow Sam Baisla, CEO & Co-founder of NEXEL and on my LinkedIn Feed, his post landed up containing the screenshot of a text message from a man to a woman, entirely professional in nature, sending her a kiss smiley while addressing her as ‘madam’.

The receiver, of course, had been quick to point out to the man about the use of that particular kiss smiley and he had apologised.

Yet, Sam Baisla had asked the following questions: How can you send “kiss” smileys to a girl you barely know? 🤦🏻‍♂️ How should a girl respond if someone does send something like this?🤔 

Guys seriously need to learn how to talk to ladies. 🙄 Rules of public interaction must be made a mandatory teaching in schools and homes. ✌️ It’s ironical that there is no formal discussion/teaching on this.🙄 I think this small thing can be a very significant step towards curbing violence against women. 😍👍 What do you say?

That sparked a conversation. Because just the day before, I had on my professional network, received a Whatsapp forward containing this:

Disgusting, right? So how should I respond? Knowing that the man is someone I professionally interact with.

This uncouth human being actually thought he was justified at sharing such a piece on a group that included women. And no one called him out on this group.

He has a family, including at least one daughter. When I reminded him he’s on a professional platform, he neither apologised nor did he delete the post. he simply moved on saying that I was right and that he should not have posted such a thing.

So this is my reply to this creep:

Tarana Burke was born and raised in The Bronx, New York, at a time when it was one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in that area. She belonged to a low-income, working-class family and was raped and sexually assaulted both as a child & as a teen.

Unlike most rape victims, she rose from that trauma and as a teenager, started working to improve the lives of girls who undergo extreme hardship. At college she protested against economic & racial injustice & inequality.

Tarana is single mom to daughter Kaia.

You’re judging this beautiful, strong woman through your ugly eyes that only see a woman as an object of pleasure. I hope the women in your family are blessed with the wisdom necessary to deal with someone like you.

If you think men rape women because the women are pretty then let me tell you, every single woman, without exception, would want to be ugly. I will not even comment on your family life because I think your action should be your personal, individual humiliation and not on your family.

Finally, assuming you’re right in your asinine way of thinking that ugly women don’t get raped, I’d like you to set your bar somewhere. Tarana, if you think is too ugly to be touched, you should think of just how desperate your fellow mates must be. It is the same depth of desperation that made you share something as vile & disgusting as this, didn’t it? 

This shame is on you. 

Of course, I exited that group on which this rubbish was shared.

Now circling back to Sam’s post: How should women respond?

Men’s only defence is that “Come on, I wasn’t thinking like that!! You know me. I’m a family man!!”. This is just a joke.”

The defence of that defence needs to stop. This is not a joke. If this man had said something like that to me, I would tell him to crack another involving his mother or his wife. Exactly.

The joke stops there. And the buck stops with us all.

Respond by calling them out instantly. Openly.

Don’t think about who’s supporting you or who’s listening to you and who isn’t. Don’t tolerate ugly BS in your personal or professional sphere. Don’t let abuse fly under the radar. Draw that line for your personal well-being.

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