With the revelation of the rampant sexual harassment and assaults in the media and entertainment industry, many supporters on Social Media in the ‘METOO’ coalition are accusing Oprah of colluding with Weinstein or directing aspiring actresses and actors to approach Weinstein to further their career. As if she was intentionally setting the person up to be abused—i.e. his accomplice. They post photos of Weinstein and Oprah posing in a friendly manner for the camera at an event. My question is—What do these photos prove?
Let us not assume because Oprah was friendly with Harvey Weinstein that she “KNEW” he was a sex offender harassing and assaulting actors and actresses.
I have assisted sexual abuse survivors and sex offenders in their recovery process for 30+ years. Sex offenders are cunning and clever in their quest to act appropriately when necessary. Sex offenders target vulnerable, insecure and/or needy women/men. Oprah is an empowered and determined person, who sets boundaries, therefore, she is unlikely to be targeted by a sex offender.
Women/men need to learn how to STOP being a sex offender’s target. Each woman, who has been raped by a known person or stranger have unwittingly become a target. Sex offenders choose their targets carefully based on Body Language alone, followed by Tone of Voice and Choice of Words. The more vulnerable, insecure and/or needy the person is the more likely one will be considered a target.
USE these tools to end being a sex offender’s target:
- Be confident. Know who you are and what you are about. Speak assertively. Stand up for your rights. Use firm eye contact versus fleeting eye contact, thus you become known as an empowered person. If you are unsure about your empowerment read, “The Art of Everyday Assertiveness: Speak Up. Say No. Set Boundaries. Take Back Control,” by Patrick King. Or if you need more guidance take an Assertiveness
- If you experience any unacceptable behavior or sexual contact whether someone else would object, you have the right to object and set a boundary immediately. “Do not touch me—keep your hands to yourself.” “STOP putting your hands on me, stop it.” Or if someone is disrespectful or rude, you can state, “Your statement is offensive do not talk to me that way.” “Don’t talk to me that way.” “I don’t know who you think you are talking to, because I don’t tolerate your rude, disrespectful comments.” Make your statement in a firm, clear, concise, emphatic, and empowered tone.
It’s not easy for many people to speak up and that’s understandable. No one wants to be considered a poor sport or worse a bitch. It is important to speak up the first time you experience unacceptable verbal behavior or unwanted physical contact. DO NOT wait until the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th incident. Waiting is a message to the offender that his/her actions were acceptable. Then, when you object on the subsequent time, the offender chalks it up to you being in a ‘bad mood,’ and will on subsequent opportunities touch you or speak inappropriately.
3. If that doesn’t work or if you do not feel comfortable with what someone is doing the next person to talk to is the human resources director. The HR Director has the responsibility to then work with the employee to educate him/her on appropriate behavior.
4. If Human Resources fails to attend to the issue or is unable to create compliance, you have the right to pursue legal action. While this is usually not necessary, the option is your right.
In situations when the inappropriate behavior is outside the confines of the work environment, then you need to decide how you will take action—such as legal assistance and distance yourself from the person.
Pleading or attempting to reason with the offender is NOT a strategy. Your rights are not negotiable. Therefore, it is imperative to speak firmly, clearly, concise, direct and take action.
We are all in this boat called life….your rights and boundaries are yours to decide and manage with clear, concise and direct communication, behavior and actions.
About The Author:
As a leading edge Executive and Business Health Consultant and keynote speaker with international experience, International Best Selling Author, CEO/Founder of Genesis Consultants, Inc., Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Ph.D. has provided company-wide business improvement initiatives to optimize all resources to deliver strategic advantage with measurable outcomes.
Dr. Dorothy has mentored and coached executives and entrepreneurs worldwide to experience their highest potential through powerful Eastern/ Western strategic tools and leading-edge focus on Cultural factors, discovering and resolving mental blocks, indecision, and self-hindering beliefs.