29/30 NOVEMBER – Saying no to sexual harassment
In this class we’ll explore the concept of consent and how it works in a world where men are encouraged to appropriate, and women’s bodies and sexuality are commodified.
We’ll explore the ways we’ve been conditioned to be complicit in our own harassment.
We’ll look at the ways we minimise our own discomfort and the magnitude of our experiences (using phrases like ‘it wasn’t that bad’).
We’ll examine men’s responses to the word ‘no’ and the fear we’ve all internalised about the consequences of rejecting a man.
Finally, we’ll heal some of the wounds we’re carrying as a result of our own experiences of sexual harassment.
In our society, women have long been bound to silence when it comes to sexual harassment. Here’s what happens; we’re taught to behave, to comply, to not cause trouble. We’re particularly expected to keep the peace with our colleagues and to please people in positions of power.
Amongst the first people she pleases are her parents or caretakers, as well as her teachers, and then her bosses.
In addition, society imposes a structural hierarchy on humanity. Men are given primacy over women. White over colour. Higher socio-economic status over lover socio-economic status. Ably bodied over people with disabilities (which, when you’re reliant on a caretaker for physical support, puts a woman in a particularly vulnerable position).
Of course, there are many other intersections that could be named. Here’s what’s important to know; the greater the number of intersections, the greater the ties that bind.
Here’s what else the patriarchy teaches women; your value is intimately linked to your appearance. The more attractive you are, the more praise and attention you will receive. You’ll be promoted more regularly, you receive more media coverage, you’ll be paid more. And the definition of ‘attractive’ in the eyes of the system – as perpetuated by the media – is white and ably bodied. It’s feminine. It waivers on the role of breasts and bums but it’s clear about one thing; overweight is not allowed.
In the context of sexual harassment, the most significant message we all learn as women is that men’s needs come first. Here’s what we’re taught; When we’re giving you sexual attention, it’s a compliment. You should receive it as such, even if it’s unwanted. Your needs or desires are not relevant in this equation. Ours – mens – are. You should be flattered that we deem you worthy of our attention.
What then are you to do when this unwanted sexual attention is directed your way? How can you possibly speak up? Every single aspect of your conditioning tells you not to. It says Brush it off. Smile when a guy pays attention to you. He didn’t mean any harm. They won’t take it well if you bring this up. He has all the power, you don’t have a choice. You have to accept this.
You’re also well aware that men can shift from complimentary to violent in the blink of an eye. So you smile and tread gently to stop things from escalating. Better to be harassed than raped or killed, you think.
If #metoo reminded us of anything it’s that we are in the midst of an epidemic. I doubt there’s a woman alive who hasn’t been affected by sexual harassment or assault at one time or another.
This is what it is to be a woman in the world in the 21st century.
To stop the epidemic, we need to speak up. We need to be confident and comfortable with saying No more. We need to remove the ties that bind. We need to find a way to be vocal in the world without the threat of repercussion. We need to do this for ourselves, for our sisters, and especially for our daughters, nieces, and granddaughters.
That’s what this visibility block clearing class is all about.
NB: There isn’t currently another Saying No to Sexual Harassment Class scheduled at this time. Please email us at admin(at)samanthanolansmith(dot)com if you’d like to be notified when the next class is scheduled.
What do we do in the classes?
Our meetings run for 90 minutes. During that time you’ll:
- uncover and clear out some of the common narratives that women collectively internalise about speaking up, and being seen and heard in the world
- be taken through a series of deep healing and energy clearing techniques to release those stories and make way for a new collective experience
- participate in clearing out some of the individual stories and experiences of the women in the room
- learn techniques to use in your own life to continue the clearing and the healing after the call
- anchor into what it would feel and look like to make different decisions, to behave differently, to be fearless in the face of societal conditioning that would otherwise keep you playing small, and
- pave the way for the warrior woman within to come to the fore in your work and in your life.
Wondering what people say about my work?
Your thoughts on the worldwide problem of women and their oppression/lack of power/permission to be visible attracted me to your work. You are honest, spot on, and without gimmick. That’s so refreshing.
— Shalagh, Maryland, USA
I love what you do, and you have without a doubt completely changed my life.
— Samantha, Sydney, Australia
I really like that visibility has been approached from a much deeper, richer, intellectual perspective – the history of women and power which I really connect with and is very motivating… I am really re-thinking and trying to work differently, much more gently and in tune with my body… I feel so much better about being visible.
— Libby, Sydney, Australia
I had the biggest clearing of my life on Monday. Sam you are a wonderful practitioner. You dealt with the cosmic and the pragmatic and the sublime and the (completely) ridiculous, without missing a beat. I am experiencing the world so differently now… and it’s a sweet place to live. So much gratitude. So much love.
— Belinda, Gold Coast, Australia