Thursday, April 5, 2018

Me Too Part 2

In the past year, there have been numerous public accounts of sexual misconduct against women. These cases sparked a tabloid avalanche which shattered the silence unlike anything else. But is the women's movement going in the wrong direction? According to female activist Leeza Carlone Steindorf, standing in power, not anger, will balance the scale for equality.

I had a chance to interview her to learn more.

  • What is "MeToo Part 2"?
It is the next step in moving women’s equality forward. It gives purpose to the avalanche of awareness that the #metoo movement set into motion. Part two is where we intentionally utilize that momentum to shift the earth beneath the male female imbalance in our culture. It is now time to step into our strength and responsibility, to look closely, and to act strategically.  When we put clear focus onto what specifically has been going on behind the public eye in gender inequality and insist on official review and revision of the policies and practices that have tolerated such deeply seated and long-term unjust behavior, we will finally balance the scale. That means that all will be benefitted from collaboration and cohabitation, and not only a selected group.
  • Why is it important to make sure our actions come from a place of power, not anger?
Anger and outrage at harassment, bullying, and misuse of power, is a justified and understandable response. Strong emotions have their place in this saga and are important for us to feel and process. However, standing in our power and not anger is going to be the most effective and impactful when it comes to taking action intended to permanently turn the tide, that will establish procedures in businesses, conversations in the public arena, and legislation in our government. When we outline the facts and speak our truth from a place of clarity and calm, rather than charged with anger, accusation and revenge, we will be heard. The credibility of our claims and the obvious rational of needed changes will be glaring. With that power we can insist on due process, on bringing justice and issuing appropriate restitution or reprimand. We will finally establish the equality of treatment that our equality of value logically demands.
  • How can women be strategic in their reactions to gender inequality?
With strategic I mean smart, thought out and with intention of purpose. The biggest thing is to identify the injustices as a two-sided coin. On the one side is the personal experience of the subject - the disrespect, pain and degradation that a woman goes through in situations of inequality, not to mention harassment or abuse. On the other side of that coin are the disrespectful or inappropriate actions of the individual or group, and the tolerance of the system, that allowed that maintains the erroneous concept and active dynamic of inequality. So, the strategic action must address both sides of that coin. Here are three things we can do:
o    Process to find peace. If you have been subject to overt or covert inequality, harassment or abuse, get help and work through what has happened. Speak to trusted individuals and professionals to help you process your experience. Be kind to yourself and allow all the emotions that are naturally associated with being belittled, disrespected or violated.
Remember you are not ever responsible for anyone else’s behavior or actions, but you have 100% responsibility for how you deal with other people’s actions toward you. You are always in the power seat of your own perspective and your internal world.  Get the support available to shed the anger, shame and guilt you may carry so you can feel your beauty and power again. And then only allow people into your life who uphold your self-worth and support you in being you.
o    Find a tribe and build a campaign. Find those who will stand by you. Others who have experienced the same or those who are passionate about creating a level playing field for all.  With that support at your back, take decisive action. That can be anything from a conversation with your supervisor or human resources director if the situation is work related, to raising public awareness through the media of widespread disrespect and inequality at institutional levels, and all levels and type of action in between.
o    Educate the young. Find forums and groups, online and local, and get active. Empower young women to know their value, be at ease in their power, and never tolerate treatment that is even a smidgen below their worth as women. Teach young men about their responsibilities as men and how to treat women especially with respect and honor.
Let us bring up a new generation that sees, appreciates and even celebrates the differences between the genders, without the competition, imitation or condescension. Help young women and men to know themselves well, and love themselves well, for then there is no need for anyone to be below or above. When we know our own value and love ourselves for who we are, we stand easily in our power and encourage others to do the same.
  • What can women do to make a difference?
    • Women have the right to care of themselves first. Respect and give space to your emotions. When you have processed, turn your attention to shifting the situation. Be clear on the facts of what happened (without the commentary and judgments that inevitably arise) and make your statement clearly, insist on due process, proper channels and fair conversations about what has happened where all sides are heard.
Facts are powerful tools when used at a level higher than struggle and anger. Einstein taught pointed out that “problems cannot be solved with the same mindset that created them”. So, what we women can do to make a difference and create permanent equality, is to rise above the mindset that created the belief in inequality in the first place.  From that vantage point take powerful action with purpose and intention knowing the equal value of both women and men alike.

Copyright 2018 © Leeza Carlone Steindorf
Leeza Carlone Steindorf uses her powerful message and practical tools to help individuals and organizations break through their limitations to create radical change. An inspirational speaker, personal transformation trainer, seasoned business consultant, and award-winning author of Connected Parent, Empowered Child, Leeza is a Women Undaunted Facilitator, Tony Robbins Results Coach, Canfield Success Trainer, Mastermind Coach, Strategic Planning Facilitator and Mediator. Please visit 

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