Guess What? 2021 isn’t the 1st year that women have been calling out for gender equality, gender equity and respect in the home and workplace. 2021 is also not the 1st year that women have spoken out about physical abuse, violence in the home and/or the workplace or sexual abuse & harassment.
However, 2021 is THE year that women who have experienced all of the above either recently or in sometime within their lives are linking arms and speaking out about it AND this time, refusing to be silenced.
Therein lies the issue. Not for women, they are gaining strength in numbers and momentum. However, for the perpetrators of any of the above, either recently or in some time in their lives.
Let’s go back in time. Whenever we seek any reference to equality in history, cultures and conditioning show clearly that it has never existed. There have always been the perceived roles that men and women should play in life and as society has grown and evolved those perceptions have simply remained albeit ‘redressed’ to suit the different timelines.
2020 was the year of Global upheaval brought about through a pandemic. It was also the year that exposed increased violence in the home, increased homelessness amongst women over 50 and so much more. It was the ‘change’ we had to have. Why? Simply because it was the precursor to the bursting forth of courage in the voices of women who realized that life is short. Women who realized that those who attempt to push their ‘power’ of control over them, really have no power at all and are cowards in disguise.
Now don’t misunderstand me here. I am not suggesting for one minute that all men are perpetrators or bad. I know countless men who are loving, understanding, compassionate, respectful, supportive and inclusive. However, for those who are not, their ‘fear’ of losing control and not being in power disabling their lives.
So, let’s assess the current situation in Australia.
On 25th January 2021 – Grace Tame was announced the Australian of The Year. Her acceptance speech was a #calltoarms for all survivors and it was powerful. – This is her speech
On 15th February 2021 – Brittany Higgins, a former Parliamentary Staffer – gave a life-changing and heartbreaking interview with Lisa Wilkinson on The Project which subsequently fueled Grace Tame’s initial call. – This is the interview
On 25th February 2021 – Janine Hendry, a Businesswoman in Melbourne, put up a Tweet that would ignite Australia to action – This is the Tweet
Ok, so what has this got to do with bullying?
Well in recent weeks these women along with many female journalists have been subject to disgusting victim shaming, character assassinations, family discrediting, and quite frankly nothing short of Adult Bullying from people within society and places of power who should know better.
The reports are plentiful and easily accessible on social media however one of Australia’ great sportspeople and humanitarian – Craig Foster – tweeted following one such attack on Grace Tame’s use of her Australian of the Year Status to speak out for positive change and give opinion for change –
“The @ausoftheyear role is to speak truth to power. One of the most important democratic rights we have. Grace is strong, unafraid & clearly not influenced by the benefits that accrue from supporting the status quo. She is a changemaker, we need more like her. Leave. Her. Alone.”
Change is never easy and in fact, more often than not, change can be debilitating and horrific. However, what history does show is that those of us who embrace change and contribute to its empowering new forms, can not only benefit however be a part of our future generations positive outlook.
Imagine if instead of bullying or trying to discredit those who have a voice and want nothing but the best for everyone, we all found ways to be part of the solutions? Imagine how the stress, confusion, anger, and negative community issues could potentially reduce to a point where together we formed a united, inclusive and powerful country?
– Heart Hugs, Jaynie xxx
Jaynie Morris is an Author, Speaker and Advocate for Women over 50. She is the Founder of SheroesUnlimited Global Community for Women Over 50.