THE LIGHT OF FREEDOM GROWS DIM

     I watch in horror as the evil GOP crams through a tax bill that benefits only the wealthy and corporate world, that is funded and breaking the backs of the average working middle class citizen.  We don’t have to worry about the poor, they just fell off the charts, replaced by lower middle-class who is now the ‘poor’.  The polarization that has been creeping into politics for the last twenty-five plus years has finally gotten a firm toe hold and reared its ugly head.
The GOP has become the monster under the bed we feared in childhood.  This cannot happen in America, good citizens cry.  Alas, the apathy and non-involvement of good citizens in the democratic process the past few decades has breathed life into the dragon of discontent and allowed the ideals of liberty and freedom to dwindle, evaporating and slipping through our fingers like smoke as we try to grasp it in our meager attempt to hold onto it.  The bright light of our fight for freedom that many have died for during revolutionary, civil and world wars, that we pledged to keep aflame, has but a small ember remaining.  We have deprived it of the fuel it needs to grow; We have denied it nourishment, we have starved it with our apathy.
The lamp of Lady Liberty that has been steadfast in illuminating our path to freedom, liberty and our Constitution, our shining light of democracy, has been ravaged and starved, leaving only darkness and fear to those once hungry for a luscious taste of liberty and freedom.  In the twilight we reach blindly for the remaining hope we glimpse in the distance.  We took for granted it would always shine for us.  Who knew that which gleamed so brightly for all to see, harkening back to those who sought freedom from oppression and tyranny, could have its glory tarnished, its luster dulled, its hope besmirched.  Like a cancer that eats at the human body, this cancer is eating away the soul of a nation.  How do we keep the torch burning? How do we rekindle the hope and spirit of our democracy, liberty, freedom?                   Each of us must continue to fan the flame of liberty, government and our desire to be free and have a democratic nation, we must cry out in rage against those who spew lies, those who denigrate our freedoms for personal wealth, who would sell out our country to another nation to elevate their position..who enrich themselves and deprive our children by their treachery, we will fight, we will endure, we will not allow the light of liberty to die on our watch.
It should not be long now before the current Regime makes their move to totally take over government with a Totalitarian paradigm.  While stating ad nauseam that GOP wanted ‘less’ government, they have sought and authorized the autocratic authority of the Pretender-in-Chief, whose election remains highly questionable because of the interference of Russian hacking and slamming American social media with false information during the election defaming HRC, spreading lies and wreaking havoc on the public. Good citizens have banned together in an attempt to thwart the evil intentions of this Racist and elitist group of officials masquerading as a democracy, we stand together  against seeds of the dubious who would destroy us.   We cannot, we will not let American ideals be crushed.                      We do not need to “Make American Great Again”  America has ALWAYS BEEN GREAT and because of the Resistance, AMERICA WILL CONTINUE TO BE GREAT!

HOW A DICTATOR IS BORN

This was written several months ago: I have been away from Twitter and Facebook for a while, because I realized just how emotionally affected I was about what I believed was happening in this country. I needed to step back, take a breath and to take care of pressing personal needs. That by no means indicates that I have ‘left’ the fight and that I believe the fight ahead to take back congress is vital to the future of our democracy.

Each and every day I awoke knowing the usurping despot in the White House continued to undermine our Constitution, encourage racism, sabotage the press, and attempt to ‘stack’ the Supreme Court by nominating a candidate who appears to support the fascist views of the demagogue posing as the leader of this nation. The passing of Senator John McCain has left a large whole in the conscience of the GOP. The GOP used herein, is not the “Grand Old Party’ but the ‘Great Oppressor of the People’ has demonstrated this by their legislative endeavors the past few years which injure the rights of the constituents they represent. When elected, an official becomes the representative of ‘all’ of their constituents, not just those who voted for them. By not allowing those voices to be heard those individuals are denied their basic rights under the Constitution. The officials have a duty to perform as a representative of their communities; instead they have acted on behalf of their own self-interests.

Fascism: (Marrian Webster Dictionary) A political philosophy, movement or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. A society ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people in which the people are not allowed to disagree with the government.

I have not strayed for one moment since November of 2016 in my belief of the following:
1. Trump gained the White House through support of a foreign government
2. Our election was grossly affected through interference of a foreign government.
3. This interference was through social media, the internet and ballot manipulation
4. There was and still is collusion with said foreign government.
5. Trumps rhetoric since ‘taking’ office has continued to be divisive.
6. People who disagree with Trump are branded as traitors and publicly denigrated.
7. He has continued to undermine the freedom of the press.
8. His support of the ideology of white supremacy has continued.
9. The goal of this regime is to replace ‘democracy’ with fascism.
10. I will do everything in my power to thwart this takeover.

Taking back the House and/or Senate in November does not eradicate the damage that has already been done. The flame of fascism has been ignited in the hearts of those who believe the falsehoods and lies spewed by the Usurper-in-Chief. And that my friends, is exactly how Hitler gained his stronghold over Nazi Germany. For those who disbelieve this, go back and reacquaint yourselves with history.

Since the Usurper-in-Chief took office, he has made friends with North Korea. That is a dictatorship. He has also claimed Putin to be our friend and ally. Technically Russia is a Federalist State, but since Putin (who has basically been in control since 2001) and his cronies control the media and other forms of communications like internet and cell phones, destroy, kill or jail opponents to his authority and position, and maintains a stronghold over the lives of the people, it is clearly a fascist regime. So, instead of other countries with democratic forms of government being our friends, we have Putin and Kim Jong-un as our leader’s playmates.

An individual who runs a company is vastly different than the individual who runs a nation. When you are CEO or president of a company, your first responsibility is to your stockholders, not to the employees of that organization. They are elected by the board, who are the major stockholders owning large percentages of the company stock. They are the money and wealth who hold investment in the company. Their goal? To ensure that the CEO/president make money for the shareholders and are answerable only to the board or majority stockholders, not the employees, to whom they feel no responsibility.

Elected officials are elected by the people and are answerable to the people who placed them in that position. Again, when any elected official takes office, they are responsible to all of the people, not just to those who elected them. This position becomes more tenuous when that elected official has not won the popular vote, but gained his position through the electoral voting process. The leader represents the people, not his own self-interests. A elected presidential leader is responsible for running the executive branch of the government. We have three branches of government established as a checks and balances to our democracy. When the leader attempts to undermine the legislative and judicial branches of government confidence in the holders of those elected or appointed officials begins to erode. When confidence in our democracy is diminished there is an opening for another form of government to be set up using power and privilege as a means to overthrow the current form of government and a takeover is put into motion. That is called a Junta; it is how a dictator is born.

Conclusion: This great democracy is teetering on the brink of self-destruction. There are many things that got us here to this day. The foremost is the apathy in a majority of our citizens for not taking part in government and not exercising their right to vote. You have a responsibility to your country by involving yourself in this election and voting process. Your vote is your voice, when you don’t use that voice to make your decision heard, you contribute to the erosion of our democratic process. Eternal silence be their doom….an apt expression. You have an obligation and a responsibility as a citizen to vote, because to lose what our forefathers fought for and established for us is a sin that stains our souls as well as the stench it leaves behind for our children and future generations. Do you want to be the one to explain to your children and grandchildren how you allowed our democracy to die? How you allowed a despot to take office because you couldn’t be bothered to get off your ass to vote? How you figured others would shoulder the duty you shirked?

Without the Bill of Rights, you have no voice, no freedom of religion, no right to free speech against the government or otherwise, no right to a fair trial, no right to vote, no right bear arms (yes guns will be taken away), your standing military will fight against its citizens, not fight defending them, no right to own property, to be taxed without representation. The tyranny our forefathers fought to eradicate will become your life. The once bright shining light of Lady Liberty will be extinguished, and the darkness of Hell will reign. For some of us…we will light one candle than curse the darkness; because to give up our democracy is to give up on life itself. I choose democracy with all of its foibles over any other form of government. They may take our lives, but they cannot take our freedom!

WE DO OR NO ME TOO!

#MeToo will become only a fleeting moment in history unless we commit to actively achieving three vital things to give life to the birth of this important movement in history. Organization, Legislation and Education.  This not not a female athlete or female actors problem, this is a societal problem and affects ALL women..

How are 150 girls sexually abused and no one, no one reports it?  Those to whom it was report who knew and did nothing, should they be held accountable?  And the offender’s sentence was what 40 to 175 years?  The maximum time is about one year for every victim….that we know of!  How many are still too afraid to speak up or come forward.  My husband worked for years in the field of Child abuse, incest and neglect.  After we met and he discovered what I had been through, it was through his encouragement I wrote my first book, A Crack in the Foundation.  Although in a fiction setting, it reflects with all of these issues women face each and every day.

A national group needs to be established with State and local Chapters established were ever possible.  Their mission should be to educate themselves first and then go forth to educate the public.  A statement was made innocently by one of the victims who said we need to find the abusers and weed them out.  That is the problem, if we knew who the rapists were or what they looked like, all rape and abuse would stop.  Unfortunately, those offenders are well established sociopaths….We need to go back to the behavior indicators of the victims of sexual abuse which were identified by Dr. Tenbensil at the University of MN in the 1970’s. Familiarize our members with those and give them information on identifying the abused child, arm them with information and have them educating and working in communities with the people who see children every day:  Teachers, doctors, nurses, pastors, priests and nuns.  We educate those people and educate them.  Establish a rapport the liaison officers in our schools and work with these people in identifying and helping the victims of abuse.  If you can identify the child who has been abused, then it can be reported and the abuser  identified, prosecuted and jailed. These offenders live in our communities, we work with them, got to church with them, socialize with them and have no clue who they are and what they want to do to our children.

All children should be educated as to what abuse is and how to report it if it happens to them.  We need to remove the social stigma of reporting and stop making them a victim of our law enforcement and judicial systems. All female children should take self-defense classes.  This gives them a sense of self-esteem and self-confidence.

That is where the legislation comes in.  Each state has their own laws regarding incest, rape and harassment.  These need to be strengthen, updated and enforced. The law enforcement agency established to investigate these cases along with the help of this organization and the victims will help to prosecute the offenders, get the help for the victims who need to deal with the trauma of the abuse and overcome the emotional, psychological and physical damage done to  them as a result of the abuse.

And it does not stop there, we must have a part of this organization actively going after companies who discriminate.  Sexual harassment in our work environment needs to be eradicated.  Most people do not understand what Affirmative Action was or why it was established in the first place.  Discrimination was so prevalent in our work environment that there was a need for the government to step in on behalf of women and minorities because they were under represented and not given opportunities for advancement in corporate America.  Sexual harassment was a way of life in these establishments and not yet perceived as a problem then and still is today.   Affirmative Action made companies comply by reporting the numbers of employees by race and gender and how many of them were in supervisory positions.  They were also forced to come up with a plan (Affirmative Action Plan) to give women and minorities the opportunity to move up the corporate ranks which had been previously denied to them.  I can guarantee you that 95% of the corporations and companies across our country do not have executive staff and a Board of Directors that reflect the gender and minority percentages in their communities where they operate which was one of the goals of Affirmative Action. Women still only make $.75 for each dollar a man makes in the same job.  This part of the new organization will also handle the investigation of sexual harassment allegations, and offer legal and emotional support and help for victims.  They should be working in tandem with the public and private sector of EEOC.  Hotlines should be established in each state and municipality offering a means for women to reach out for help.

Affirmative Action has gotten a bad reputation the last decade or so.  There is a reason that colleges must adhere to enrolling women and minorities in certain percentages.  If Women and minorities cannot go to college, how are they then able to achieve equality in the workforce competing against a requirement of a college degree for that job?  This was was also used as a tool to prevent women and minorities from move up the corporate ladder.

I see this organization offering mentoring programs to help girls and young women in lower income communities learn about leadership and the need for their active participation.  I also see this same thing being done across the globe, we are not the only nation with a discrimination, sexual harassment and rape problem.

The reality of this is that right now women have the voice, the media attention and the strength of a sense of sisterhood that women never have had in history.  We need to take advantage of that momentum and pave the way for “her-story” not “his-story”; A baton of strength, self-esteem, confidence and equality we can hand off to our daughters and the generations who come after.  I don’t want to die knowing that we had the opportunity to do something but didn’t and twenty years from now be exactly where we are right now.

The women who fought for our right to vote, people like Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B. Anthony spent their entire lives fighting for the right to vote and rights for women and died not seeing the fruition of all of their hard work become a reality, however, they did hand that baton off to the next generation and those women marched, demanded that right and got the right to vote.  The Equality thing hasn’t happened yet.

And any young white male out there who dares to belly ache about this affirmative action, walk in my shoes for a week….I have been in the oil and gas business for almost 40 years.  I still see white males getting opportunities I have never gotten, because I am a female.  And how do they keep the females out today…well, we don’t have that college education.   Hmm, I am good enough to raise the children of the next generation, but not smart enough or able enough to have a vital role in a company?  The role of a parent is far superior and a more integral part of our society.  I was told I would never go  anywhere in the business.  I have had to work twice as much, twice as hard and twice as long to earn less than men doing the same or similar work.  That’s okay, I wrote a book about it, something 96% of them will never do.  Oh, and I have five more in the works.  I am being smarmy…..I have been held back, I have been denied, I have been a victim of sexual abuse, a victim of sexual harassment.  And it has only made me stronger because I am a survivor.

The last and most important thing to remember is, these awful things in life that happen to you can either make you or break you.  I will not be broken….I will not give in…I will not be beaten, I will fight for my rights to not be subjugated, abused or harassed.  That should be our mantra!
<span;>Helen Reddy’s career went down the tubes back in the seventies because she recorded a song that still resonates with me and should resonate with all women.  “I am woman, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore….You will notice in the video I have chosen with this song that back in the seventies and eighties there was a movement of women called NOW.  We marched, we protested, we supported each other.  The burning of our bras back in the day, rarely occurred; however, it was used as a reminder that women were independent from men. Back then The Women’s Liberation Movement was a fight for our independence. My husband and I were members of national, local and state NOW. They helped to support what I was doing to fight sexual harassment.  I dont’ know where they have been the last couple of decades, but I am sure that many were marching last year and this year, and certainly the spirits of those beautiful strong, enlightened women who first began this march for equality were with those who marched.  Women began this quest in the 1840’s!  That is how long we have been fighting for equality!  How long must we fight to achieve that basic human right?  How long must we fight to achieve a work setting free of sexual harassment that fosters the equal opportunity and equal pay for women to be all that we can be?  It is up to each and every woman to stand up and take her rightful place in society….as an equal.  Because we are!

The Shackles of Silence

To my blog readers, I am sharing these two letters that wrote years ago. because at the time I was struggling with the issues of sexual harassment I was also forced to struggle with the issues of being sexually abused as a child.  I realized at that time that the shackles of silence increased the burden on my psyche and prevented me from moving forward in my determination to overcome this.  Each victim must choose their own path in their courage to heal, however, if you do not continue to move forward to repairing the emotional damage from the trauma, you cannot become whole.

At that time, in the early 80’s, the psychologists who worked in this field were taken aback by the steps I opted to take in order to heal myself.  I did all of this on my own and knew in my heart that I had to confront the abuser in order to move forward. I share these letters in the hope that others who read these will realize that the benefits of emotional healing can only begin when your silence ends.  It is the aggregate silence of the victims of abuse, which allows the perps to continue to abuse others.  I could not live with knowing I could have stopped it and did nothing.  I took the risk, and have never had one regret in my decision. Was it painful?  Yes, however, the self-esteem I acquired was well worth it, because I was bound no more by the Shackles of Silence

Dear Mother:

Whether or not you choose to read this letter is up to you.  That fact that I chose to take the time to write it is all that truly matters in the end.  I found recently that in my endeavors to right the wrongs of the past, that in order to move on I needed to confront those family ghosts who have haunted my life and finally put all of that behind me.  I have remained silent all of these years in the hope that someday my father would admit his sin against me and to make our family whole again.  Little did I realize until recently that the hatred and animosity he held was shared by the entire family,  hence, I now truly understand the reason no member of my family has ever endeavored to get in touch with me.  We are I have realized related only by blood;  emotionally and spiritually we are as different as night and day in how we have chosen to live our lives.

I did not realize until after dad died, just how much the cycle of abuse was embodied by my siblings and other family members.  I know this because had it been otherwise, someone from my family would have reached out to me long before now, or, responded in some way when I reached out, although, it was the response I received recently from Julie, that created the ‘ah-ha’ moment for me.  It was then that I realized that I did not need to repair the rift with my family because I discovered that I did not need you at all.  What an epiphany!  After all, you have not been there for the last thirty years and I managed quite well by myself, why do I need you now?  I have got to tell you, that lifted a ton of emotional weight from my  shoulders that I carried all of these years.

The question you must ask yourself, is all those many years ago when I confronted my father about the sexual abuse, what did I have to gain by admitting that it happened?  More importantly, what did I have to lose?  I had nothing to gain and everything to lose.  Why would one lie about such a horrible thing as sexual abuse?  The reality and statistics prove that few ever do.  I was tried and convicted without ever being given the chance or opportunity to defend myself.  Not one person in my family bothered to ask me about the abuse.  I am certain as I’m sitting here, that not one of you cared to ask, because you really did not want to be forced to confront the truth.  It is a sad and heart wrenching thing when one’s own mother turns her back so mercilessly on her child.  It is even harder when one’s siblings do the same.  That is what you did and it is something you will have to reconcile with your maker in the end.

What is most appalling is just how much animosity has been created and continues to grow like a cancer in your hearts and your lives; but, It rules your life, not mine.  You see, I do not hate you.  God knows I would have reason to.  I often wondered what stories and lies you have told to explain my absence all of these years.  No matter how you try to run from it or ignore it, it hits you right in the face every day that I am not there.

It has been difficult to reconcile what I know about you and Dad with what has transpired the last thirty years.  I know that because of your love for your two daughters at the time, you started in April to gather scraps of material to make clothes for the Barbie dolls you purchased for Christmas that year for us.  That you stayed up late every night hand sewing the clothes for our Barbie dolls until our neighbor, Barbara Anoskey, loaned you her sewing machine to make this task easier.  I know that 90% of the wardrobe for our Barbies were hand made by our mother.  I know this because Barbara told me many years later.  I also find  it hard to reconcile that my mother at the age of nine tried to commit suicide.  What in God’s name would make any child of nine wish to end their life?  What in that child’s life was so horrible that living was too much to endure?  I can only try to imagine and loved her all the more because she did not succeed, because if she had, then I would not be here.  I know this because your friends told me.  They would have no reason to lie and only wanted me to try to understand my mother at the time they shared this information with me.  What mother re-decorates their daughter’s Easter hats each year so that they looked new?  It is hard to know these things about such a loving mother and to realize that the same mother has chosen not to contact her daughter in over thirty years.

I know that my dad wore a hand me down coat that belonged to his father for years, so that his children could have new clothing for school.  I know that my father reinforced his shoes with newspaper so that his children could have new shoes for school and Easter.  I know that both parents went without so that the Christmases they gave their children outshined any Christmas they had as children because they both came from poor families who did not have the luxury of purchasing toys for Christmas.  I know that my dad worked on his days off and any spare time he could find to ref football games in order to pay for the Christmases we had as children.  I know that he purchased 20 tickets to the Senior Class Play and gave them to his friends when his daughter was the star of the show.  It is difficult to reconcile that love with the sexual abuse.  It is only a daughter who understands the difference between the behavior of the person and the character of the person who can forgive them.  I know that my father loved me dearly.  I also know that he abused me.  It took me years of personal growth to realize and understand that I could still love the father who demonstrated such affection for me and hate the man who abused me, even though they were the same individual.  It is that capacity for understanding the difference and acknowledging that there is no explanation they could give for why they did that ugly thing that has enabled me to overcome the trauma and emotional damage and to heal psychologically and to grow emotionally.

I forgave you long ago for turning your back on me.  I forgave you for not believing me.  I forgave you for not being there for a daughter who needed you oh so many times in her life.  I forgave you for choosing not to be a part of my life the last thirty years.  I forgave you for the pain, sorrow and hurt you caused my children.  I forgave you for all of the opportunities you had to reach out and comfort your child and you did not.  I forgave you for missing the opportunity to see the fine young men your grandsons turned into and I forgave you for never taking the opportunity to get to know the beautiful great-grandchild you have.  I can forgive you this because I live knowing that the cycle of abuse for my children and grandchildren has been stopped.  I made that happen by dealing with the abuse I endured and all the crap it created in my life.

It is important for me to know that I can finally finish out the rest of my life knowing that I did all that I could to make this right.  I am only responsible in the end for my own behavior.  I am only responsible for my own feelings and the choices that I make in life.  It no longer matters to me what you think, whether you believe, how much you might hate me, or how you choose to live the remainder of your life.  I am content with who I am today.  Despite your ill treatment of me, I overcame all of the emotional problems you created and grew into the well adjusted and deserving woman I am today.  I am a fortunate woman.  I have many good and kind people who were a part of my life these last thirty years.  I had a wonderful husband for 28 years who loved and adored me.  I have two sons who love me and believe I am good mother, and a number of grandchildren who think I hung the moon.  I have been blessed with many wonderful friends over the years who love and care for me.  God willing, I know that there will be many more loving, caring people who will touch my life and my heart.  Something I remember you telling me once, “it does not matter in the end how many people you love, but how you were loved by others. “

So, I want to assure you that you and my brothers and sisters can go on with the rest of your lives and not fear that I might friend you on facebook or on some other internet site.  I am at peace with my life and find that I no longer need you, any of you.  I no longer have that desire and hunger to make my family see the truth.  I know what the truth is and that is the only necessary component for a happy and fruitful life for me.  I am finally free of the emotional  shackles that bound me to you and am over ever needing  any of you; however,  I do ask that you put the blame for all of this not on the messenger, but on the one who created it.  It was my father, not me, who created this horror.  It was he who abused me, it was he who denied his sin, it was his denial that kept the hatred alive in the family all of these years.  I was the victim, not the perpetrator.  So, in keeping all of this in perspective, remember I did nothing wrong.  I was an eight year old girl who trusted and loved her father when he abused her.  The only mistake I made was in believing my mother when she told me that to be good I needed to always tell the truth.  I have always endeavored to have truth and veracity at the top of my list of character traits.

I leave you with only one caveat.  If I ever hear that my name has been besmirched by any of you, I will seek swift and justifiable legal action.  I find that I can live without you, but I cannot live with my character being maligned by you.  So, be careful to whom you bitch, moan or groan about me.  Word does have a way of getting around.  Always remember, no matter how this finds its way into court, the fact that my father sexually abused me will always be at the heart of the issue and I would revel in knowing that this was made a part of the public records.  Although I loved him, I find that I also have a very strong desire for justice.

You see, I may be an optimist in my heart, but my intellect operates in reality.  Of all of the traits I inherited from you, mother, I am thankful that I was blessed with a very apt and analytical intelligence.  If I am anything, it is not stupid.  I have spoken with attorneys over the years about my rights and what actions I could take, especially those concerning dad’s estate.  Never underestimate my ability to defend myself, legally or otherwise.  I have chosen to take no legal action all of this time because there really seemed no point in it except as a salve to soothe the emotional wounds my family inflicted on me.  I chose not to be the small-minded individual who feels justified in getting even with those who hurt me.  Besides, I was never capable of being that hateful person.  It is the love of her parents that was given to  a small child that is remembered, not the hatred of the same people later in her life.  I do not need to instigate a fight nor do I seek retribution, but I will defend what is mine; my honor and good character being chief among them.

I hope that you all have a wonderful life for what remains of it.  I know I have and will for whatever time God grants me.  I bid you farewell and will happily enjoy getting on with my own wonderful life.  I know it has been and will be wonderful, because my heart tells me it will be so and my heart has never been wrong.

Sincerely,

The daughter you never really knew, appreciated, understood, or loved.

Hedy Marie Salazar

 

To my brothers and sisters:

Enclosed is a letter that I wrote to our mother last year but never mailed.  I wanted to make sure that it was something I wanted to do before I actually mailed it. Unfortunately, destiny or fate made that decision for me so I need not have to worry about it.  However, in thinking all of this through, I decided to send a copy of it to each of you so that you would know what I had to say and why.  I believe it is important that you know this.

The letter I wrote was not only addressed to my mother, but to my siblings as well. Whether you choose to read it is up to you and at this juncture in my life I don’t care whether you do or you don’t.  What is important is that I send it to achieve the sense of closure that I need.  Know that I am not asking for nor seeking forgiveness for any wrong doing because I did nothing wrong.  This in no way is an attempt to reconcile because I believe that it is impossible for us. You lost me on the day you turned your backs on a sister in need and you have lost her more each and every day you continued to do so.

There were three things I needed to accomplish so many years ago when I, not only confronted my father about his sexual abuse of me, but reported it as well.  Now you know that deep dark and closely guarded secret.  By the way, the confidentiality in reporting cases of abuse is maintained to protect the victims, not the perpetrators.  I chose to take the steps that I did, one, so that I would be able to move forward in my emotional healing as a direct result of his sexual abuse of me; two, to protect my youngest sister and to either get her out of the house if she were in danger and to stop the further sexual abuse of her; and three, to ensure that the perpetrator would not abuse again. The one thing people seem to forget is that this is not some personal problem between my father and I; it is a criminal act.  I was past the statute of limitations in bringing a criminal charge against him myself or trust me I would have done so in a heartbeat if that had been available to me.  The one thing I have never been as an adult was afraid of my father and I was willing to put it all on the line knowing what nasty ugly things he and you, my brothers and sisters, would say and have said about me.  I was willing to risk everything in order to seek justice for the crime committed against me.  Think what you want, believe what you want, I frankly don’t care anymore.  Neither you nor my parents can hurt me anymore.  I know what kind of person I am and that is all that matters.

I knew the risk I took in confronting him, but took the risk anyway, because you see I could live without my family, but I could not live with taking no action at all in stopping the cycle of abuse.  My conscience would not let me do that.  I also knew that there was a 90% chance that Julie would never admit to the sexual abuse.  Why?  Because she saw how I was ostracized by the family and frankly, emotionally she could not endure that.  I understand that coming from a young teenage girl.  She may still deny it today, but no one will ever convince me that nothing happened, because he did it to me.  And strangely and factually, if one daughter is sexually abused by a parent, the other sisters are also be sexually abused.  You may not like it, but you cannot argue the facts.

With the death of my mother, any hope for this to be repaired died with her.  You see, I always kept that tiny glimmer of hope alive in my heart that she might come to terms with this and attempt to contact me.  Actually, our father dying without cleansing himself of such a sin demonstrated to me just how seriously flawed he was psychologically and how dysfunctional that made the rest of the family.

So read the letter I have enclosed and take from it what you wish. I am closing this chapter of my life.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, are words to a song I heard recently and they ring so true. You have done and thrown all that you could at me, and still I stand.  Every insult you threw was endured, and still I stand.  You ostracized me and my children, and still I stand.  You eliminated my name from the obituaries of our parents as though I didn’t exist, and still I stand.  You were spiteful in your treatment of me, yet, still I stand.  I stand for all those children who were sexually abused, I stand for truth, I stand because of the courage it took to face what happened to me, I stand because I overcame it all. I am a hundred times stronger emotionally and mentally today because I took a stand thirty years ago.  I do not regret what I did.  I may not have my blood relatives standing with me today, but trust me, I have many who would and will stand with me today.  They are my family now, the people whom I love and who will be there for me when I need them; that is all that one can hope for in their lives.

THE OFFICE SQUEEZE PLAY – SEXUAL HARASSMENT ON THE JOB

by

Hedy M. Salazar

Copyright – 1987

(Although this was written thirty years ago, little has changed for the victims.)

While driving home alone that rainy June evening, the windows of my car were not the only things steamed.    Hot tears rolled down my burning cheeks as I muttered vengeful obscenities.    The sting of humiliation and embarrassment still fresh,    I made a solemn vow to make him pay for what he did.    At the very least, I promised myself that I would stop him from hurting anyone else like he had hurt me.

The fateful night several years ago thrust my life nto a tailspin which changed the total scope and complexion of my existance. The man who violated me that night initiated the catalyst which triggered a major turning point in my life.    I was hurled into a confrontation that I was    nprepared to fight and unable to resolve.    To say that my world had been turned up-side-down would be a gross understatement.    Yet, when I reflect u2on the events of that spring and summer of 1981, I know thathad I not been confronted with the sexual harassment on my job ind compefled to face the resulting problems,the person I am today would not exist.

As I recount the details of the sexual harassment I experienced, all of the anger, resentment and impotence I felt then, I relive again.    I am willing to endure this pain so that others who read

my story might learn from it.

MY STORY

I eagerly accepted the position as the Assistant to the Departmental Supervisor with a major oil and gas company offered to me in early Spring of 1981. I relocated my family to Houston from Oklahoma City, anticipating the rewarding and secure future this job promised.

Within six weeks after starting my job I discovered several disappointing facts.    First and most important; I was not classified as an “assistant” to anyone, never was and probably never would be; Second, there was little opportunity for my advancement within my department; Third, to’date there was little advancement or hiring of females·into supervisory positions and, therefore, female representation withing the ranks of middle and upper management was lacking; and Fourth, my supervisor displayed· an intense interest in me.

The first three items mentioned were beyond my control and I accepted them as such, however, my naive sense of honor and justice convince me that I could discourage my supervisor’s questionable intentions toward me and contain the situation.    Unwaware of the gravity of the situation and potential negative impact this could have on my career and personal life, my concern was minimal.

Initially, his comments and attentions were subtle inuendo and I was uncertain that it was harassment.    When his actions became more pronounced I became alarmed.    He would demand that I sit in his office for hours playing vassal to his lordly presence.    Feeling uncomfortable about spending my work time in such an idle manner, I created elaborate excuses concerning my work load and deadlines havi g to be    et, thus ev ding the daily homage he requested. Since I would not go to him, he proceeded to come to me.    He invaded the inner sanctum of my office several times a day, interrupting my work with his idle chit-chat.    On numerous occassions he ask very pointed questions about my personal life. This was embarassing and humiliating, and added to the growing anxiety I felt. On several occassions he stated that the day or evening was beautiful and should be occasioned by lunch, dinner, etc.    He never stated that I should or that I had to do any of these things, however, his implied ‘you and I’ was obvious.    I discovered later that this was his approacn with all of the females harassed by him.    This guy was a pro!   

This was supported by his twenty year history of harassment which I uncovered later.

I discussed my problem with my friends.    They assured me that it was just my imagination and even if the guy was interested–well that was a fact working women had to face.    I could not accept their ideas.    My imagination was not in the habit of manifesting the agitation I felt, nor did it explain my increasing discomfort when in his presence.

I devised several plans that I felt sure would halt his actions toward me, keeping in mind that any action I took had to be exercised with tact and diplomacy.    I was entering unfamiliar territory and my instincts demanded caution.    My first strategy was simple–!gnore him and he would go away.

Undaunted by my silent brush off, his harassment intensified with a more direct approach.    I tried laughing at his remarks–indicating that I was  not taking his suggestions seriously; I referred continually to his wife and children–searching for a flicker of guilt, but the man had no conscience; and finally, I tried to avoid him whenever possible.

Our departmental secretary and another female employee, the latter being harassed by him also,tried to help me.    The secretary warned us when he was on the prowl and we fled to the safety of the ladies room or stairwells.    My disappearing act only drew more attention to my situation.    He demanded that the secretary and my co-workers, who officed next to me, confess to my whereabouts when I was away from my desk.    He insisted that I tell him with whom I had lunch and constantly visited my office unannounced and uninvited.

None of my tactics discouraged his advances, they only aroused his propensity for pursuit and perpetuated his harassment.

My co-workers joked about his bizarre behavior–his interest in me was obvious to everyone.    This deepened the embarrassment and humiliation I felt already and my alarm grew to panic.    My panic escalated to acute anxiety as I was forced to endure his daily intrusions, complete with salacious drooling and carnal leering.    Each day I had to face going to work feeling emotionally violated and frightened by this miscreant.    Most devistating was the silent intimidation of the invisible weapon he brandishedashe forced his attentions upon me–his weapon–my job.

At this point, I felt I had three options: I could live with the situation; I could confront him about his behavior and explain that I was not interested in a personal relationship with him; or, I could report his actions to the company and/or EEOC (the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).    However, each of these options cause me, not him, to jeopardize my job, my financial security and future career.

I could not afford to lose my job!’ I was the sole support of two young sons barely making ends meet and had nothing to fall back on if I lost this position.    I was stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place and didn’t know what to do.

His daily bombardment of harassment created a hostile and intimidating work environment and it was beyond the realm of anyone’s ability to function effectively under this daily stress.

Several months of this constant intimidation and its resulting stress, took its toll both emotionally and physically.    I could not sleep; I lost weight, and I was drinking daily, attempting to cut the edge of the pain and hopelessness I felt.    My children suffered my lack of love and understanding and occassionally my anger, which I was unable to express to anyone.    The sexual harassment became the mainstream of my existance.

I had no one to turn to, no one to give me advice, no one to tell me what my ri hts were, or, at the very least, someone to give me moral support. I needed help and had no where to go.    I was isolated and frustrated.

Through a devious maneuver on his part, my supervisor managed, through the sympathy of another employee, to get myself and another female co-worker out to dinner one evening in June–THE evening.    That night he crossed the barrier from verbal harassment to physical harassment.        He had the unmiti8ated gall to attempt to fondle me in a public restaurant.    I was outraged!    His attack forced me to take action.

In a blind rage I made an appointment with the EEOC and went to file a complaint against him.    I was disappointed when the male intake officer attempted to di suade me from filing a formal charge.    He explained that the legitimacy of my case was not in question, but rather my ability to prove my allegations. I argued that I had a reliable witness who would be willing to substantiate my charges, however, he countered with a long ar ument about how difficult it would be to make the charges believable in a court of law.

He told me that few sexual harassment cases were taken to court and even fewer were won.  He recommended that I find another job.    I left his office feeling bewildered and disillusioned.    Why should I have to pay the price by leaving my job, when l had done nothing wrong?

I was angry! I had endured my supervisor’s despicable behavior for months, suffered a physical attack by him, and then discovered that the only source that could help me did not to do so.    During the several days which followed his physical attack, my supervisor avoided me, however, my animosity festered and gnawed constantly in my gut.    I felt that if I didn’t find an avenue of release I would explode.

I finally decided that I had no alternative but to report the incidents to the company personnel department.    By this time it did not matter any more if I lost my job, I wanted this man stopped!    And I was willing to do anything to accomplish that goal.

I reported his lascivious conduct to the personnel department and told them that if this man ever spoke to me again that I “would punch his lights out.”    They were somewhat taken aback by my comment, however, it clearly demonstrated 0 my intense anger.    I requested that they move me to another department where I would.have no contact with this man.

They agreed with my request and moved me to another department,however, the office they moved me to  was on the same floor’ and logistically closer to the Harasser.    I was exposed to his presence daily.

By this time I realized that my credibility as an employee was ruined and I felt I lost my effectiveness in my job.    I quit the company.

He is still employed by the company and my contacts have informed me that from then untill now he has not harassed anyone else.    In 1985 I heard that he received a promotion and substantial pay increase.

As for me, well, it took several months for me to get my life back in order.    I attempted to pursue a lawsuit against the company, but discovered that in order to sue I had· to file a charge with the EEOC.    Unfortunately, I did not know and was not informed that the charge had to be filed within

180 days from the last incident of discrimination. I lost my right to sue!

WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE?

Leaving the company did not negate my anger, nor did losing my right to sue.    As time passed my anger and frustration intensified.    It seemed that none of the attorney’s that I spoke with could paint a clear picture of what one must do to carry out a discrimination charge, nor did two attorney’s give me the same interpretation of the laws.

Piece by piece I gathered ·informationabout sexual harassment, and after months of phone calls, interviews and research, I finally put together an information packet.

I was only one among thousands of working women who are victims of sexual harassment on the job, and·was convinced that they, like me, did not have an available source of information about this issue.    I established a hotline for victims of sexual harassment, offering emotional support, information about their rights, and what type of action would best suit their needs.    When requested I assisted victims in developing a plan of action, helped them file their charges with the appropriate agencies and aided them during fact-finding sessions at EEOC.

My subsequent involvement with this issue helped me to deal with the negative outcome of my own situation, and in time my anger and frustration diminished.    I offered seminars concerning sexual harassment to numerous women’s groups in the Houston area, and I might add that none of the sroups I approached ever turnedme down.    This substantiated my belief that women were not informed    bout their rights and what they couwhld do when faced with sexual harassment on the job, and that they were anxious to hear what I had to say.

Enthusiastic though I was about the hotline and sharing my information about sexual harassment with others, I realized that my actions only scratched the surface of this problem.    I firmly believe that the only way to alleviate this problem is to prevent it from starting.    To achieve this, it is necesaary to educate women and sensitize men about this issue.    Once there is a better understanding of what sexual harassment is and why it exists, we can begin to rid our work environment of this destructive problem.

WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT ON THE JOB?

Sexual harassment is defined in the guideliries by the EEOC under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as:

”Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, will be considered harassment if:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;
  2. Submission to or rejection of    onduct by an indifidual is used as the basis for employment decisions effecting such individuals; and,
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or affect of unreasonably interferring with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.n

The EEOC believes that sexual harassment can also occur in a variety of circumstances, including:

  1. A man as well as a woman may be the victim of sexual harassment and a woman as well as a man may be the harasser.
  2. The harasser does not have to be the victim’s supervisor. She/he may also be an agent of the employer, a supervisory employee who does not supervise the victim, a non-supervisory employee (co-worker), or, in some circumstances, even a non-employee.
  3. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex as the harasser.
  4. The victim does not have to be the person a·t whom the sexual conduct is directed.
  5. There is no requirement that the victim complain to the harasser or report the sexual harassment to his/her supervisor or employer in order for the employer to be held responsible for the unlawful conduct when the harassment is committed by a supervisor.
  6. A finding of unlawful sexual harassment does not depend on the victim’s having suffered a concrete economic injury as a result of the harasser’s conduct.

According to the EEOC, ”employers are absolutely liable for the acts of supervisors and agents, regardless of whether the specific acts complained of were authorized or even forbidden by the employer and regardless of whether the employer knew or should have known of their occurrence.    A less stringent liability applies with respect to the acts of co-workers or non-employees, (e.g., independent contractors).    Employers are responsible for acts of sexual harassment by employees when they ‘know or should have known of the conduct,’ unless it can be shown that ‘immediate and appropriate corrective  action’ has been taken.    With respect to non-employees, EEOC will consider the extent of the employer’s control and any other legal responsibility of the employer on a case-by-case basis in determining employer liability.”

What does this mean?    It means that you are protected by law against this form of sex discrimination and that you have the right to report any incident of sexual harassment.    If you can answer yes to any of the conditions listed under the EEOC policies abovernentioned, then you may consider yourself a victim of sexual harassment.    My feeling is–if in doubt, report it anyway– chances are your ‘feelings’ are correct.    To whom you should renort is your decision and is discussed in the latter sections of this article.

IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT RELATED TO OTHER TYPES OF SEXUAL ABUSE?

For the purposes of this section of this paper, I will not use the legal definitions of the following forms of sexual abuse.    I am not interested in whether or not the offense is prosecutable according to the ‘laws.’    Whether or not the offense is prosecutable, will notaliff the impact of the offense, both physically and emotionally, on the victim.

SEXUAL ASSUALT (RAPE) – Forcing sexual intercourse or other sexual contact upon a person against their will, using threats of physical harm or threat of loss of life.

INCEST – Contains the same elements as sexual assualt along with the following factors:

  1. The victim is usually under 16 years of age;
  2. The offender is usually related to the victim, i.e. father, uncle, brother, mother, guardian, or close family friend; and
  3. The abuse can also include other forms of physical contact with the child, i.e. forcing the child to rnasterbate in front of the offender, touching or caressing the intimate parts of the child’s body, forcing the child to perform oral sex, etc.

Sexual harassment, sexual assualt and incest are forms of sexual abuse generally committed against women.    Males are also victims, however, the scope of mY, investigations have been limited to females as victims since I have received no reported incidents of sexual harassment from a male victim.

Sexual harassment parallels the dynamics behind such sexual abuses as rape and incest.    It is impossible to discuss one without discussing the other. The range of sexual harassment complaints that I have received via the hotline includes    subtle inuendo, dirty jokes, verbal harassment progressing with intens ty to physical contact including several instances of sexual assualt.

In all instances of sexual assualt, the victim refused to report the incident(s) to the police because they felt somehow responsible for the crime.    Even though, when questioned, they admitted that they were incapable of thwarting the attack because of the attacker’s size and strength,they continued to feel that they were responsible.    In addition, their guilt is compounded by the general myths which surround sexual assualt and sexual harassment, and the societal attitudes toward victims of both.    The behavior of the victim is initially scrutinized by the investigator in an attempt to lay the blame for the crime on the victim. Questions like, how were you dressed when the incident happened or what did you do to arouse the man’s interest, are asked of the victim.    This accusatory line of questioning enhances the victim’s doubts and substantiates her feeling of guilt about blaming herself for the incident, thus, encouraging her belief that she was responsible for the attack.    Those victims who were sexually harassed and then sexually assualted by the harasser, experiericed extreme self-doubts about their ability to judge others, similar to the self-doubts of date rape victims.

 They felt that because they knew the pertetrator they should have known the guy was capable of sexually assualting them.    Let’s face it, we are all more comfortable with the man in a three piece suit, who holds a responsible position–complete with wife and children, rather than a bum on the street.    We are conditioned to believe the busine sman is trust­ worthy.    Yet, the man in the three piece suit is just as capable of sexual assualt or sexual harassment as the bum on the street, and we have no way of knowing prior.to an attack which one will be the perpetrator.

Through the hotline I was able to establish what I feel is a direct link between victims on incest and victims of sexual harassment.    Approximately 80% of the victims polled on the hotline for a period of two years admitted to being victims of· some form of sexual abuse    efore the age of fourteen.

Recent studies indicate that a substantial number of victins of sexual abuse or incest as childr n become repeat victims of abuse in adulthood; Sexual harassment is one way in which their repeat victimization is manifested.

All three forms of sexual abuse have similarities in the following ways:

Why the incidents are not reported.

  • The emotional trauma suffered by the victim. 
  • The self-esteem and self-confidence of the victim is shattered.
  • Similar behavior indicators shared by victims.

WHY THESE FORMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE ARE NOT REPORTED

These incidents are not reported to the appropriate authorties for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The publicity they might be forced to endure;
  • Immediate family reactions;
  • The victim is not aware a crime has been committed;
  • The victim is naively obedient to the abuser;
  • Past solutions to the problem have made a negative impression on the victim;
  • Lack of evidence; and
  • Initial blame for the offense is place on the victim.

In addition to the above mentioned factors, victims of sexual harassment fear the loss of their jobs, job related reprisals or other forms of retaliation.

WHY DOES SEXUAL HARASSMENT EXIST?

Sexual abuse is a part of the “Vicious Circly of Abuse Theory” developed by  Al Salazar.    After twelve years of study and direct contact in the field of child abuse, incest and neglect, Salazar st tes, ”…there is substantial evidence to relate the following:    the abusive parents, the abused child, the run-away (juvenile), family violence, prostitution, criminal behavior, drug/alcohol abuse and sexual abuse (which includes sexual harassment).” At least 80% of the time, violators and victims are brought together through a system known as the “magical attraction of humanism,” a phrase coined by Salazar and can best be described as the invisible instinct that attracts one person to another, influenced by the alcoholic, co-alcoholic, addictive and co-addictive behaviors, and last, enhanced by the biological make-up of oneself from conception.

This supports my belief that sexual harassment, like other forms of sexual abuse, is an attitude or behavior, and this attitude or behavior is learned.    For example, Daddy beats Mommy, and sexually and/or physically abuses Mary    (their daughter).    Johnny (their son) is exposed to this behavior.

I believe several things are learned by the children: Mary has learned to be a victim and Johnny has learned that women are to be treated in an abusive manner.    Hence, Mary as an adult becomes the potential victim and Johnny as an adult becomes the potential harasser.

This does not mean that all victims of sexual abuse as children or all male relations will become victims and harassers respectively, however, it does indicate there is a definite cause and effect at work.

In many instances the victim of sexual harassment appears to have been chosen by the harasser.    This is substantiated by the fact that there were other female employees on the premises who were not being harassed, even though the harasser had easy access to them.    This was true in my case.    But why the careful selection?    I    believe that a majority of the victims, like myself, possess some quality or characteristic that the harasser identifies with and acts with the profound knowledge that the woman will be easy prey.

According to the Working Women’s United Institute, other factors which contribute to sexual harassment on the job are:

  1. Position relative to men in the economic heirachy of a corporation reveals that men still hold most of the positions with authority to hire and fire, while women are still relegated to lower level jobs.
  2. Men have abused their power by making sexual demands on women workers.
  3. Cultural stereotypes of women’s ‘proper role’ and what is natural interaction between the sexes encourages men to treat women workers as sexual beings first and bread winners second.

The Working Women’s United Institute explains ”…Because of the above contributing factors to sexual harassment the idea of womens’ legitimate function as a sexual one is reinforced, it denys the reality of a woman’s need to work and ignores her value as a member of the work force.”

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

Studies indicate that victims of all forms of sexual abuse frequently experience one or all of the following: blame, fear, guilt, anger and shame. Women who are v ctims of any form of sexual abuse are often left with a low self-esteem and low self-confidence.    For some to regain their lost self-esteem and self-confidence, the road back is difficult, however, is achieved in a relatively short time.    For those victims of sexual harassment who·were also victins of ,incest the emotional damage is severe and can be permanent.

The sexual harassment experience increases their negative attitudes about themselves and destroys what little sense of self they may possess.

According to a study by the Working Women’s United Institute, the affects are varied and severe, as pointed out below!

  1. Failure to comply with sexual de ands or complaining about sexual harassment often results in additional work harassment includine: negative job evaluations, poor recommendations, demotions, loss of job training and being subjected to impossible performance standards;
  2. Sexual harassment heightens the role conflict faced every day by women working outside their homes.    It belittles aspirations, it undermines self-confidence and self-esteem and undercuts women’s motivations to excel!;
  3. Sexual harassment creates and intolerable and stressful working conditions, hazardous to mental and physical health;
  4. Sexual harassment forces women off jobs, contributing to the cycle of unemployment and poverty; and
  5. Sexual harassment contributes to low productivity, inefficiency and job dissatisfaction, which effects employers as well as society in general.

The daily stress faced each day by the victims of sexual harassment often manifests itself in a variety of physical ailments.    This ‘Sexual Harassment Syndrome’ is defined by Constance Backhouse and Lea Cohen in their book “Sexual Harassment on the Job:r as, “…The tension, fear and anger built up inside sexual harassment victims who have nowhere to turn for relief.    Most victims experience psychological depression and despair. Many suffer physical ailments such as stomach aches, nausea, headaches, involuntary muscular spasms, insomnia, hypertension and other medical illnesses caused by continual, unrelenting anxiety and frustration.    A suprising number are reduced to the point of psychological and physical breakdown, to such an extent that they require hospitalization.”

The prevalence of this syndrome among victims of sexual harassment came to the attention of worker’s compensation groups through the numerous claims filed by the victims.    Some states have revised their    orker’s compenJ sation policies to include the medical needs of the victims of sexual harassment on-the job which covers both the physical and psychological aspects of their illnesses.    This action forces the companies to accept responsibility for the actions of their employees who harass and compensates the victim for the physical and emotional damage incurred as a direct result of their employment.

This move within    the worker’s compensation groups has been the most positive and encouraging step taken by any agency on behalf of the victim of sexual harassment since the implementation of the sexual harassment policies under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

If you feel that you are being sexuallyharassed on your job, then you must accept one im?ortant fact before you decide how to proceed–once the harassment begins, your job is in jeopardy, regardless of whether or not you comply with the demands or requests, and you have a 98% chance of loosing your job by either being fired, quitting, or forced to resign, regardless of whether or not you take any action against the harasser.

The recommendations that follow are not etched in stone, and even should you follow them to the letter they will not guarantee positive results.    I can only arm you with the weapons and tactics that will give you a fighting chance against the harasser and/or the company.    Each individual situation 1aust be examined carefully when deciding upon an appropriate plan of action. Only you can determine which direction w ill achieve the most effective results for you.

CONFRONTING THE HARASSER

Occassionally, if the harasser possesses an open mind and if you have an exceptionally good rapport with him, then there is a remote possibility that you may succeed in approaching him privately,,tOexpress you feelings about his behavior and request that he stop his harassment.    To protect yourself and to thwart the possibility of his denying your conversation at a future date, write up the essence of your harassment either before or after the conversation you have with the harasser then sign it and give him a copy.    You keep the original copy for your records. This will be your proof that you discussed the situation with him and requested that he stop his harassment, should you need to take further action.

I do not advocate or encourage that you inform the harasser’s spouse of his lascivious conduct at the office, even if she works there.    There are three good reasons for this:    First, she has little control over her husband’s behavior; Second, why hurt an innocent party; and Third, because she is married to him, she will remain blindly supportive of him no    matter how he behaves.

In the instances this tactk was used, the wife was hostile and indignant toward the victim, and ultimately informed the harasser about the accusations. The harasser is more apt to fire the victim, with the unctuous approval of his spouse.

GATHERING EVIDENCE

Since you have only 180 days to report the discrimination to the EEOC and most state agencies you must gather your evidence, decide upon a plan of action and implement it as quickly as possible.    If you do not report the discrimination within 180 days from the last incident of discrimination you lose your right to sue in federal court under Title VII.

Gathering evidence and building your case will be one of the most important step you take, whether you ultimately report the incidents to your company or go to an outside agency.    Since most agencies are not bound by the same rigid rules of evidence as the courts, the charging party (you) have the opportunity to present any evidence you have obtained that is pertinent to the issues of your case.    The agency will decide whether it is relevant to your charges.

Decide which of your experiences fall within the guidelines and policies defined by the EEOC in the prior section and not them.    For example, if your supervisor denied you a raise or promotion because you refused to go out with him, you will endeavor to prove that particular charge.        You must know what incident(s) are prohibited under Title VII before you attempt together your evidence.    The evidence must support your allegations.

In addition, consider ar..d explore other possible forms of discrimination. I have found that where there is blatant sexual harassment, there are usually other forms of sex and race discri,r1ination.  

Once you have determined your charges, then you may proceed in gathering your evidence.    Write down every incident of harass ent th t you can remember from the initial incident to the nost recent in chronological order, including dates, time, pl ::ices, what was said, direct quotes where possible and the na:nes of third party witnesses to any of the incidents.    Also include the name of other employees, if any, you told about the harassment.

Next, exemine the harasser’s past.    If you are his secretary, obtain the names of prior secretaries and make contact with them to find out if they were also harassed.    Get a written statement from them if they are willing to help you.  The more victims you discover, the better your chances of establishing that your supervisor exhibited a pattern of behavior of harassing women.    Do not overlook the possibility that there are women currently employed by the company that he has harassed. .    Find them, question them and get a written statement from them.

The most difficult aspect of gathering evidence is that most victims, past or present, and witnesses are afraid to get involved.    It will take immense persuasion by you to convince them to help.    In most instances, the victim of sexual harassment does not take.any action until they have left the company. However, gathering evidence as described above is not impossible, just more difficult.

If you are still employed by the company, follow the above written steps, making sure that you discuss the harassment with only those employees you can trust.    The fewer who know the better!        You do not want the company to know your intentions until you are ready.    Carry a small note book with you    at all times (guarding it with your life) and note each subsequent incident of sexual harassment, the date, time, what was said, etc.    Continue to do this throughout the entire investigation.

Do not expect much assistance from other employees. Most victims who fight back do so alone.    I’m not trying to paint a bleak picture, I only wish to be as honest as possible.    If you accept this early in your action, you will not be disappointed and discouraged later because no one would help or they were scared off by threats from your employer.

The last and most important type of evidence, asside from an eye witness which is rare in sexual harassment cases, is the most irrefutable proof you can obtain.        If the harasser has a habit of calling your. home, pe prepared!    Invest in a small tape recorder (the type that plugs into your phone is best) and hook it up.    The next time he calls, record it, date it and use it as evidence.

The most devious way to collect taped evidence is to invest in a small micro-recorder that may be concealed in your jacket pocket and carry it with you at all times at the office.    Do not tell anyone what you are doing!    Just do it.    Make notes in your notebook and date each tape.    You will suprised at what you catch the harasser saying when he feels he is safe–and alone with you.    Transcribe the tapes and present the transcriptions along with all of  the other evidence you have obtained to EEOC.    When reporting to your personnel department, you may let them know that you have the tapes and give them a transcription of the tapes only.        Never let the original tapes out of your possession.    Until your    ase is cleared one way or the other keep them in a locked safe or a safe deposit box at your bank.    The small cost is worth your peace of mind, that the tapes will not be stolen or tampered with.

Many would argue that taping someone without their knowledge is unfair and unjust, however, because sexual harassment is unfair and unjust, and your  word against his alone is not enough  to win your case or achieve the positive results you seek.    Far too many cases have been lost in court because of the lack of tangible evidence.

WHAT ARE YOUR REMEDIES?

Before you report your case of sexual harassment to anyone it is im?ortant to examine the available remedies and decide which ones are acceptable to you.

If you are still employed by the company, some remedies that you should consider are:

  1. Request a transfer for yourself or for the harasser;
  2. Request the raise or promotion that you were denied by the harasser, plus any benefits that would have accompanied the promotion.    You many request that said raise and benefits be retroactive · to the date initially denied; and
  3. If you substantiate that the harasser is a repeat offender, you may request that he be demoted to a position where he would not have authority over women or request that he be fired.

If you have been termined, you may consider the following as fair remedies:

  1. Reinstatement to your former position, along with back pay to the- date of termination;
  2. If you do not want to go back to work for the company, and many victims of harassment do not, you may ask

for severence pay equal to your monthly income for the reasonable time it will take you to find another position comparable to the one you left; and

  1. A neutral job reference from the company.

Of course, you may request the above mentioned remedies or any number of other remedies, howeve there    no guarantee that you will receive them, these are negotiating tools that you will use to let the company know you are determined to resolve the problem and/or obtain justifiable compensation for your treatment.

MAKING YOUR  MOVE

Once you have obtained your evidence and have decided upon acceptable remedies you are ready to make your next decision.

Now you must decide if you will attempt to resolve the situation through your Intra-company channels, most likJ1via your personnel department, or to go directly to EEOC or your state’s Human iights commission.

If you decide upon the intra-company route first, this will not prohibit you from seeking further remedies if the company does not resolve the situation to your satisfaction. There are several things t9keep in mind when you are dealing with the company:

  1. Protect yourself at all times — in other words keep an eye on your back and always stay one step ahead of the opposition.    No one is going to protect your interests except you!    You are preparing to do battle and you must approach all aspects of your case with that basic idea.    If this sounds harsh, remember, that the company will do whatever is necessary to protect their interests, regardless of how unjustly you feel you’ve been treated. In most cases they have and will back up their super­ visors or managers.
  2. Request a meeting with the personnel manager in writing suggesting a day and time.    Give him a specified time to answer your request.
  3. Before requesting and attending said meeting, request to examine your personnel file.    If there are letters of reprimand, or poor performance reviews or any other items in your file that you were unaware of and do not have your signature affixed thereto, be sure to challenge them during your meeting.    One of your remedies may requesting that the company remove all items you found objectionable to out of your personnel file.
  4. During the meeting one of the first items you will request is a copy of the company policies on sexual harassment (if they have one).    If there is no policy make note of that fact.
  5. If possible, request that a third party be present during your meeting.    (a sympathetic employee who is willing to verify what transpired during the meeting, would be adventageous).    If this is not possible, request that the meeting be taped (by you) and that a copy of the tape will be provided to them afterward. This will insure that an accurate record of the meeting is maintained for everyone.    (You cannot rely on people’s memories — since some conveniently forget.)    A tape of the meeting is the most accurate record that can be maintained for everyone concerned.
  6. Do not allow the meeting to adjourn until you have a solid idea of what action the company intends to take and a defined time frame in which this will be accomplished.    Some companies will make vague promises to ”look into the matter” as a means to delay your action and avoid your demands.    Don’t allow this to happen.    Stand firm in your demands and request that you be apprised of their intentions.

Once you have attempted to resolve the situation through company channels and you have not been satisfied by the action  or inaction of the compan you should make an appointment with the EEOC or State’s human  right commission.    It is vital that you do this as soon as possible.    I know of many women who attempted to rectify their harassment complaint through intra-company channels, only to be dismissed or forced to resign  later.

THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION

After you decide to report your sexual harassment to the EEOC you s hould be aware of the following basic information:

  1. cl) You must report the discrimination (your sexual harassment to EEOC within 180 days (approximately six month from the date of the last incident.
  1. You should call your local EEOC office to make an appointment and plan to spend two to three hours there.
  2. Take all of your evidence and documentation with you. Let them make copies, always keep the originals or a copy of the original for your records.
  3. Keep copies of everything they give you and maintain a file on same.
  4. Consider the remedies you feel are necessary to resolve this situation.
  5. After you have made a formal complaine with EEOC and they decide to investigate, you company will be notified within ten working days.
  6. Approximately six to eight weeks after you have filed your complaint with EEOC, they will set up a fact finding conference.    This usually includes you, the harasser, a representative of the company andan EEOC representative.    As I understand it, the purpose of the fact finding conference is twofold: First, they will establish all of the facts related to your complaint; and Second, they fill attempt to resolve the case between both parties at that time.    This is your opportunity to win your case at the earliest possible time.    If you can reach a mutual resolution at fact finding you will be spared the agony and expense of a long court battle.

It is important to note that the company, by law, does not have to attend the fact finding conference, however most companies cooperate with the EEOC.

  1. If the situation cannot be resolved during the fact finding session, EEOC must decide whether your case warrants their continued investigation.   
  2. If they decline to investigate further, you may request a right to sue letter be issured.    This letter will enable you to continue your case in federal court. Regardless of whether or not EEOC finds that the company has violated their policies, you still have a right to file your suit in federal court.

In some instances if EEOC finds there has been a violation of their policies and your company is unwilling to cooperate to negotiate a settlement and/or resolve the issue, EEOC has the option to file your case for you in court.    This saves you the cost and energy of finding legal representation.    EEOC will rarely exercise this option due to the shortage of funding and workers. Most of the cases they take to court are class action suits.

IS THERE-LIFE AFTER EEOC

Once you have exhausted all of your options and have still remained disatisfied with the results, your only option remaining is to find an  attorney who will file your case in federal court. Once you’ve entered the nether world of the legal system, I can only tell you to remember one thing a dear friend, an attorney, told me when I was involved with the legal process, “the wheels of justice turn slowly.”    Never were truer words spoken.

Finding a good attorney to take your case will probably be the most frustrating aspect of your case.    Because the monetary settlements governed by Title VI are low, and the cases demand a lot of time, most attorneys do not want to take sexual harass ent cases.    In most instances, the victims I assisted, were destitute, and unable to pay for legal fees.    These individuals either had to find an    attorney willing to take their case on a contingency basis (if they wi    they get paid a percentage; if they lose they get nothing) or drop their cases because they were unable to pay the exorbitant fees demanded by the attorneys to represent them.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP ERADICATE SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

As a victim of sexual harassment and as a participant in numerous other cases I feel that the most shocking and devastating result of sexual harassment is the isolation the victims feels  during the harassment and when she attempts to stand up for her rights.    Truely the non-support of other females  because they  fear for their jobs is what management counts okeep women from achieving their rightful place in all levels of business.    Until women unite and begin to act as one we will continue to be at the mercy of the man’s world.

The next time that a female co-worker asks for your help because she is being sexually harassed, don’t just support her, join forces with her all the way, because it could easily been you as the victim.    Sexual Harassment is an attitude and is not just going to disappear, we must eradicate it from our work environment.

FACTS ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT

  1. Sexual harassment is not committed for the sexual 8rativication of the harasser.    It is an abuse of his authority and power .
  2. Sexual harassment cna be anything form offensive verbal comments to sexual assualt.
  3. Sexual harassment is not a political issue, it is a law.
  4. Sexual harassment can happen to any woman, any time, at any age and in any line of work.    Waitresses as well as prbfessional women are victims.
  5. The less educated the harasser, the more crude his harassment.
  6. Sexual harassment affects all working women either directly or indirectly.    Either you have been a victim or you know of someone who has.
  7. The longer you are a part of the work force, the more likely that you will become avictim or a repeat victim.
  8. Most harassers are repeat offenders.
  9. Sexual harassment is not limited to working women, women and girls in our education institutions, students and teachers, are also victims.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT, THE WORKING WOMAN’S NIGHTMARE!

First and foremost, I am not an attorney, psychologist, or law enforcement officer.  My expertise in this subject was obtained through experience, being a victim and survivor of sexual harassment on the job, through research, working cases, political activism, educating the public and counseling of victims.  I have worked with NOW to get State laws changed and improved; trained the City of Houston Affirmative Action Department to develop policies for training, reporting and investigate sexual harassment complaints.

I had to research this on my own back in 1981.  Why?  Because the attorneys spoke with at that time could not advise me on the legal process for sexual harassment because most discrimination attorneys did not take sexual harassment cases, most didn’t know it was defined by EEOC.  I was told by several that I was crazy to pursue it, that nobody wanted to address or investigate this type of discrimination and there was no money in it for them.  It didn’t take me long, but I proved that they were dead wrong.  More importantly, from personal experience I knew the potential long term effects of this type of abuse which has the same emotional impact as sexual assault and sexual abuse.  Victims often suffered from PTSD because of it.

After I began outlining information to write this article, I realized how vast and voluminous this topic was; and that was just the information I carried around in my head.  In order to know and understand the law, the impact of case law, how to fight this on the job, what the EEOC process is, how to measure the dept of psychological damage this causes for victims, understand how to build your case, etc., I came to realize rather quickly that it could not be covered in one short article.  So, now I have decided to put together a book.

What I am going to cover in this article is the question I see women asking  most often on social media.  Why don’t women fight back?  Why didn’t they report it?  To begin with you must understand that sexual harassment is not done for sexual gratification by the harasser.  It is purely and simply a power play.  Just like rape, the harasser gets gratification by the power they weld the sexual contact secondary.

They are most likely your boss or a higher up in the chain of your command.  They have power over your job performance, promotions, pay raises or whether or not you keep your job.  Women, like myself at that time, are often younger, single parents barely making ends meet and cannot afford to lose their jobs, they are easier targets,but any woman, any age can be a victim and preyed upon at work.  Conversely, why should I leave a job I like because a man can keep control of himself?

Women often don’t know what their rights are or how to report the harassment either within or outside of the company.  Complaining to other women, often even older women who have been with the company longer, the general answer I got was, “we all had to put of with it.  You just have to expect that kind of treatment from men at work.”  They considered it some sick right of passage for working women.  My answer to that was, “Bullshit!”  I didn’t instigate anything…nor do other victims.

Generally, from my own experience and hundreds of other victims at that time, women did not stick up for one another.  Often, if they suspected a woman was being harassed, they shunned her. Unfortunately, women still don’t stick up for one another at work, because the reality today is this:  We know from the complaints made against Trump that at best he is a serial harasser because there is a victim zero from 20 years ago as well as repeated offenses over a long period of time.  What woman in her right mind would vote for any man for public office who is a known serial harasser or abuser of women?  I used the word ‘known’ because the long pattern of abuse of victims who didn’t know each other, proves to me the action is no longer alleged.  As a matter of fact, they would have a prima facie case under the law by showing that history of abuse which would substantiate their charges.  They could get the EEOC right to sue letter and march right into court.  But that is covered at a later time.  Many women who believed the lies about Hillary, continue to blame women for the obnoxious, abusive behavior of men.  Hence, we now have a sexual predator residing in the White House masquerading as a President.  But I digress…

So things have improved somewhat since 1981, but why does it still happen?  Because it is repulsive behavior that  women are embarrassed and ashamed to have to admit. Second, if they are not reporting how will subsequent potential victims be forewarned?  If it is reported, it is minimized and kept hush-hush by the company.

Fact:  Non-reporting empoweres the  harasser to continue with their behavior.

Fact:  Any company who silently allows this behavior to continue is also a company who fosters disparate treatment which has a disparate impact on women at that company.  Meaning you are most likely not getting equal pay and equal opportunity to advance.

This abuse continues in the workplace because we have not had that conversation between women or men.  If we cannot educate women and men to change attitudes about this type of discrimination and empowered women to stand up to this abuse, we cannot change how we are viewed by men.  That is a definitive hallmark we must reach if our goal is for equality.  On the flip side, men who know about this at the office and don’t speak out are basically accesories to the abuse after the fact.  Something for men to chew on.

Comments like I saw Donna Karan make today, “Well, look at the way women dress.  They are just asking for it!”  I have to admit, I almost picked up the TV and hurled it across the bedroom, because, I was thunderstruck that a woman today made such a condescending remark about other women.  Justifiably, a woman with that attitude is more dangerous to other women than men are.  Why, because her acceptance of that behavior from men continues to support and approve that pattern of behavior from men and endangers the wellbeing of all of the other women in the workplace and in life in general.

I’ve got news for you, no woman asks for it.  That is a way to excuse the harasser or rapist, by blaming women; that women are responsible for a man’s behavior.  We have been hearing that one for centuries.  We have changed views about rape victims and victims of child sexual abuse, but have not come full circle to make that attitude change about female victims at work.

Sexual harassment comes in all forms ranging from verbal innuendo to actual sexual and physical assault.  I have heard it all though the calls on my hotline years ago.  It is humiliating and embarrassing to have endure this; then you have to go and tell someone about it.  To add insult to injury It is demeaning, erodes to your self-esteem and rots your self-confidence to endure facing that abuser day after day after day.

So, now we know women can’t define what it is, cannot get help from other women, don’t know where or how to report the harassment, endured daily contact with the abuser that destroys their self-confidence. The last one is the biggest stumbling block and to me was the most important in preventing a victim in reporting the sexual harassment.  You have no tangible proof.  It is a he said; she said situation.  Once is a great while, I would come across a victim that actually had a honest to God witness, however, that witness was not willing to come forward.

And that, my friends, are all of the reasons why women stay silent and don’t report the sexual harassment.  Very similar to victims of rape or child sexual abuse.  They don’t want to lose their job, miss out on that promotion or raise that they need and don’t generally have support or help from other women.  Until, they called my hotline.

Fortunately, I was quick to anger and am generally a fearless person by nature, it was my belief that nobody should have to put up with disgusting treatment at work and that anger and outrage made me haul my ass to EEOC to make a complaint.

This brings us to the next article or chapter in my book, how the hell do you get evidence?  Ah, I have to offer some inducement for coming back.  I will admit that I always had to do some convincing with my victims when I told them just what they needed to do to get that evidence they needed.  I got to know some very brave ladies through all of this process.

WE THE PEOPLE

Preface: “We the people” declared our independence and created the Constitution. Interpretation and knowledge of the Constitution is not the sole purview of attorneys and lawyers; as a citizen it is our duty to know and understand the document which is the foundation of our democracy and creates the rule of law which governs us all.
That being said I put forward the following:

If Trump has cavorted with Russia for election tampering and gained office through criminal means using a foreign power to assist him, he has violated the Constitution and his oath of office. Since the said crime was committed before he was elected, I believe it would nullify his election and makes his oath of office moot. He was elected through the Electoral College; however, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a substantial margin. That creates two credible questions regarding the election above: One, how he obtained his office, and two, holding office while not being supported by a majority of voting US citizens. A crisis not anticipated by the creators of the Constitution.

A potential criminal, traitor, and usurper sits in the seat of power of this Nation, the legimacy of his election is under question. The Constitution not only sets out the powers and duties of the various offices of this Nation, but protects the citizens of this Nation as well. I would imagine our forefathers believed that the Constitution would prevent the acquiring of power through illegal means by those intent upon the subversion of our democracy and replacing it with another form of tyrannical government.

By Constitutional law, members of congress, the senate and other high government officials, including the President, must take an oath of office.
Members of Congress and Senate take the following oath of office:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

Each of these persons swear to “Uphold the Constitution” and to “defend this nation against foreign and domestic enemies.”

I believe that any member of congress supporting a President, a potential domestic enemy, holding office obtained through suspicion of criminal means or aided and abetted by a foreign government may be in violation of their oath of office which is an oath to “the people” or citizens of this nation covered by the same Constitution or rule of law which governs us all. Their oath to the people out weights their oath to protect the President who has obtained his office through illegal or traitorous means with the help, assistance or influence of a foreign power and perpetrated a fraud against “the people” in doing so. Those members of congress would owe that person no allegiance or protection, their first obligation and allegiance being to the Constitution and ‘the people.”

By being in violation of their oath of office, the powers afforded them are also now in question and may nullify any power bestowed upon them to create, put forward or vote on any change to the laws currently in place or to advocate new laws or make any changes to the Constitution and it’s current Amendments. Any legislation they create is tainted by the same stain of foreign interference and treachery attributable to the President whose office is believed to be illegally acquired through criminal or traitorous means. They have willfully ignored their allegiance to the Constitution and ‘the people’ by not challenging this usurper and instigating timely investigation of the egregious crimes alleged to have been committed by the President and by allowing the nefarious acts to continue while the President illegally holds office and maintains contacts with those same foreign entities who assisted him to gain that power.

If congressional power to those persons is voided because of their violation of their oath of office and hence, creates a breach of their contract with their constituents under the Constitution, then they cannot vote into law any legislation or vote in any impeachment proceeding instigated by fellow members of that body still in good standing with “the people.”

Additionally, taxing or collection of taxes or spending of those funds is further brought into question by the basic belief that taxation without representation is illegal and is tyranny and breaches the contract created with “the people” under the terms of the Constitution, which duty and promise was broken when they violated their oath of office.

Taking an oath to anything is serious business and has serious consequences. I listen daily to attorneys and lawyers running circles around an interpretation of the law. As a citizen I have an obligation to read it and understand it because it is the rule of law the governs the world to which I am also held accountable. The President or any elected official is governed and is accountable by the same Constitution that governs all American citizens, but are held to a higher standard of ethics and conduct because of the seriousness of the office to which they have been elected and have sworn to defend. Every one of them, including the President are accountable and accept that there are consequences to any action they take while holding that office. Likewise, a President who has breached his oath of office and the Constitution cannot make effective any policy, executive order or sign or approve any law because the legitimacy of his power and office is in question or is non-existent.

We the people for whom the Constitution was created to govern and protect, demand that until such time as a full investigation of these alleged crimes has been completed and because of the serious nature of those alleged crimes, that the powers bestowed upon the President and those members of congress who have supported the illegal holder of that office, being also accessories after the fact, be stripped and barred from voting or otherwise be allowed to continue in that office while the investigation is ongoing. If those persons are found guilty of treasonous, criminal acts or treachery they should be ousted and blocked from any access to their offices and remanded to jail until sentencing can take place with no opportunity for bail.

Articles of Impeachment should be brought immediately against the President and those members of congress and cabinet members and other presidential appointees who knew of or should have known of his crimes and supported his elevation to the seat of power and allowed it to continue, should also have impeachment proceedings or criminal actions brought against them. All of those individuals identified should be removed from the line of succession to the office of President as stated in Article 25. It is in the best interest of our Country and Nation given the current escalation of world events that Article 25 be instigated and the seat of power passed to an individual not currently tainted by treason or who is suspected of colluding with the President in crimes against the United States, the Constitution and the people. Article 25 sets out the succession to the office of President in such emergency or events. The remaining members of congress and senate still in good standing should elect a temporary President to serve until such time as the alleged crimes have been investigated and the perpetrator to the alleged treason or other crimes is completed.

I have listened to the all of the ‘experts’ discussing how critical this situation has become, yet not one of them has presented a plan of what should be done to remedy this horrific situation. Their wait and see attitude has only served to further instill in the public that nothing legally can be done to stop the despot in the WH who is holding us all hostage to his incompetence. It is horrendous that an individual citizen must contemplate a reasonable and acceptable plan of action to protect this great Nation from the nefarious actions of those individuals who lied and used otherwise ‘fake’ means and colluded with a foreign government to obtain the highest and most important office of leadership in these United States. The time for inaction has passed and We the People
DECLARE:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

OUR CONSTITUTION GUARANTEES:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Of the People, by the People and for the People.

You are elected and serve the People of the United States of America. This cannot be achieved if you owe your allegiance to another leader of another nation. The treason you committed may not be treason as in law as much as it is in the hearts of what people believe are the facts presented thus far. You have maligned the meaning of liberty, freedom, justice and above all else, honesty, sought by our forefathers when they declared their independence.

It is with deep sorrow I have watched my Country disintegrate to the level it has currently stooped under this President, and with even bigger regret that I feel compelled to call for a revolution against this tyranny and lunacy which is breaking the soul of our democracy. I may only be a majority of one, but I would rather be one who has stood up to the pernicious despot than to bend to the will of the power seekers who wish to break the liberty and freedom I believe in and destroy the Constitution and Rule of Law of a once Great Nation. My Nation, my Country.

I will make America Inspiring Again, if one voice joins me, We can make America inspiring Again! Each voice that joins us will raise the cacophony of our declaration for democracy, peace, reliability and confidence in our leaders that will resound to the ends of the universe and we will Let Freedom Ring, again!

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote! Ben Franklin

LIBERTY OR DIE!

I have always been an advocate of free speech.  I might not agree with what you are saying, but I would always defend your constitutional right to do so.  I have discovered with living through the election process this last year, that left in the hands of irresponsible people this freedom can become a twisted tool to whip up the hatred and anger of the masses and fosters a dangerous ideology that free speech equates to an attitude that because I have said it, it is truth.  What I say is right, what you say is wrong and you had better keep quiet.  This intimidation borders on fascism, belies the constitutional right guaranteed to all, and threatens the very foundation upon which this nation was founded.

Gerry Spence, I am reading your book, Bloodthirsty Bitches ….  I did not know you had written anything other than books related to your legal work.  My bad.  What I have discovered is that in just the first several pages, your book has echoed my own conclusions about the hate mongers operating on news networks who have been given the credibility of ‘newscasters’ and plopped in front of a camera to encourage elevated ratings.  I grew up in an era where news was just that, and the best news was given no slant.  What has evolved with the development of cable news networks is the increased acceptance by the viewers that these news people speak the ‘truth’.  Truth is a word much maligned by people who do not understand it’s meaning and have degraded its meaning to such a degree that I don’t know if anyone really knows what the truth  is anymore.  The current demagogues who have used the media to spew what their ‘truth’ is has everyone running around clamoring to jump on their band wagons believing what they heard justifies the animosity and hatred the extremists, now cloaked as government officials, believe and have been touting for the last fifteen or more years.  The lies and the hate are aired by the extreme alt-right media to be spread on the television to the masses.

I looked around the day after the election at the devastation left in the quake of the white lash, which is exactly what this election was and what this so caled President represents, and wondered what the hell just happened.  I saw it coming, like watching a train wreck; unable to stop it, horrified at what I was seeing, but couldn’t tear my eyes away from the tragedy unfolding before me.

I passionately believe in our Constitution, I passionately believe all humankind is equal, I have passionately fought for equality and rights for women, I believe in fiscal responsibility, I believe in social justice, I believe if someone wants a second chance they  should have it, I believe those who have wealth should help the poor and those less fortunate.  I believed this was a country where all had the opportunity to be free.

The Blood Thirsty Bitches and Pious Pimps of Power have seized power through their hated.  Your assessment was correct.  It is so much easier to sell hate.  Now that the hate is teaming and thriving the rest of our citizenry is running around trying to stop the impending floods by poking their fingers in all of the holes attempting to stem the flow of the changes to the liberties we hold dear.  I am inundated with requests from all manner of groups for donations to fight back on way too many fronts.  The resistance is fractured as the opposition are running around in different directions yelling for help.  Don’t get me wrong, I am estatic that so many quiet liberals have found a voice and are speaking up.

But, There is a far greater threat most haven’t seen yet.  A new world order is taking hold in countries other than just these United States.  I’ve heard about this, but never seriously considered that the elite wealthy would really be given the opportunity to actually take over.  We have no checks and balances,, they are slowly being eroded by those in power.  Gay Rights, Reproductive Rights for Women, and other rights are being threatened by “Christian” Religious zealots.  The Christians have declared war on the Muslims, and the Jews think the Christians are really on their side.  The only people who are safe these days are the damned atheists, and they are in hiding.  I sat on my deck drinking a glass of wine trying to figure out what to do.  Come up with some hair brained plan like a mass filing of Federal and State Torts against this usurper in office to make a point, centralize the attention of those opposed to what is going on.  They are defeating us by dividing us.  Torts?  Can you bring a tort action for stupidity?  Guess not, or it would have been done by now.  I would suggest a Constitutional Challenge, however, they are eroding it so quickly there will be little left of that for us to use that tool to fight them.  I guess I just said it….Us and Them!

So, what recourse does one have?  I am a writer.  They say the pen is mightier than the sword, but words can easily be defeated by bullets and bullies.  If established national writers, essayists, news reporters, etc., cannot get peoples attention, how is an insignificant nobody like myself suppose make themselves heard?  Someone took my country.  I have only one choice, I have to take it back.  Practicality demonstrates that I cannot do this on my own.  There is only one way we can move the masses….it is through an idea.  What moved the citizens of the then established colonies to revolt against their king almost 250 years ago?  Freedom, a great ideal.  But, Freedom comes at a high price.  I am at odds whether to start this revolution on my own.  I wonder just how many people are willing to join in this fight?  And history has shown that an army is necessary to begin a revolution.  Can I declare war on people who were my friends, people who are my friends and family who believe that their truth is the only truth, and who would burn me at the stake for the heresy of saying and believing I have a right to have an abortion or encourage others to stand up for themselves?
This country was founded on the belief in religious freedom.  Now they have become the same as the Empire from whom they sought to escape more than 500 years ago in search of that dream. We have no where to flee from their oppression this time.  Our only escape is to stand and fight for the freedom in which we believe.  A belief that all humankind is equal.  All humankind has a right to be free.  If the government must oppress some of it’s citizens to make the rest of the citizens content, we have stopped being a democracy or republic, we  have become a fascist state with a new dynasty in charge.  What was the point of the last 250 years?  The Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, two World Wars…..why did we fight in those?  To subjugate our citizens to the tyranists who have taken over under the auspices of a free election?  An election tampered with by our arch enemy, Russia?  America will never be great again until Americans can accept that freedom is not the result of hate, America cannot be great again, if half of it’s citizens must oppress the other half.  America can only be great when we have shed the shackles of hate, intolerance and indifference which seem to have permeated every branch of our federal government and many of our citizens.  If that means we must demonstrate with acts of civil disobedience, then that is the price we must pay for the freedom once guaranteed to all citizens, not just those citizens who practice a particular religion or members of the GOP and those who put the despots into power.

It is the Crusade of the Christian zealots and white supremacists making this war who are not attempting or interested in a path to peace.  It is the zealots preaching hatred from the pulpits who have brought us to this.  The zealots who feel they must burn their truth onto the chests of those who do not believe as they do.  And rightly, that is why our forefathers who established this nation saw the danger when church was not separate from state.  Religious beliefs do not make one right in their path to their God if that path is littered with the bodies of those they must trample and destroy on the road to their heaven.  They have trampled upon the souls of enlightenment and dignity, and extinguished the fire of truth and justice and succeeded only in opening a path to hell.

Freedom is not a gift, it must be earned.  Freedom is truth and honor and dignity in life. A life without Freedom is a life where truth, honor and dignity do not exist.  Freedom is the choice to live your life as you see fit, not as others determine it must be.  It is your choice because it is your freedom, more so if you have fought for it.  We must now fight for it because that precious freedom is being taken from us.  We fight for our independence from the pernicious forces who wish to suck that idea from the hearts and minds of Americans.  We are citizens of a nation that is of the people, by the people and for the people, all the people, not just those people who buy into the hateful truth that has been pandered from the pulpits, politicians and of those who sit in the seat of our government.

WHEN DID OUR DEMOCRACY BECOME A THEOCRACY??? WHEN DID CONGRESS BECOME SUBECTED TO THE TYRANNY OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS?  WE ARE A NATION OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE..NOT SOME OF THE PEOPLE AND CERTAINLY NOT UNDER THE EGREGIOUS SUBJUGATION OF A LONE WOLF ZEALOT HELL BENT TO DENY AMERICAN CITIZENS THEIR RIGHTS OF GUARANTEED FREEDOMS UNDER OUR CONSTITUTION.  THIS IS NOT SECURITY OF OUR NATION, IT IS THE SCREWING OF OUR NATION.
<span;> WHEN DID THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY BECOME THE LAND OF THE OPPRESSED!!!
“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land,
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

The Golden door?  That golden door is slowly closing, not just to the immigrants it once welomed, but to our citizens as well.  The shining light of Freedom is waning in the quake of the traitor who would be President who gained his office by false means.  That treachery is unfolding daily before our eyes. He has tainted that office by inviting the enemies of our democrary to commit cyber war against us.  He has made deals and colluded with our enemies to elevate himself to the highest office in our country.  A deal involving money, greed, cronyism, and an attempt to continue to control the press and citizens by the flood of fake news spewed from the mouths of him, his family and the incompetents he appointed to his cabinet and high government posts.  This has been done before in history, most recently in Nazi Germany.  History is filled with examples of despots who ruled their nations to the detriment of its people.

Our duty is to challenge and prosecute those who lied, cheated and stole their positions by illegal means by selling their allegence to another nation. We have one pledge of allegence, and that is to our own flag, to our own country, to our own Constitution which guarantees our freedoms and rights.  That Constitution can only be destroyed if the citizens who believe in it and what it stands for, do not make their voices heard and band together to run the despots out of office and out of our country.  We cannot allow our country to be pimped to the highest bidder, we cannot allow those who collouded with our enemies to lead our nation. We cannot allow the glow of the Golden light of liberty to die on our watch, for if that light goes out, the darkness of evil and treachery will rule us and liberty and freedom will perish.  Can you live with that? Only you can look into your heart and decide what you must do.  Freedom has always been and always will be a choice you can make.  It comes not cheaply.

CRITICAL MASS

You have created a Constitutional crisis and instigated a critical panic in this nation among its citizens.  Impeachment is the only course of action to remedy the abomination who lives in the White House.  These are the charges:

You created a crisis and confidence in our election process by declaring it to be rigged.

You undermined confidence in our voting system because you allowed Russian interference.

You created an atmosphere of treason when you encouraged a foreign government to commit espionage against an American citizen to diminish your opponent’s effectiveness and ability to a fair election.

You undermined confidence in the office as Executive in Chief by your continued lying to the American public.

You have undermined the confidence in the Executive branch of government by announcing policy changes through ‘Twitter” and not allowing the effective transition of those changes in an orderly fashion.

You have undermined confidence in our security by the arbitrary firing of the Head of the FBI because of the Russian investigation.

You have undermined confidence in law enforcement by encouraging them to breach their oath of office and mistreat people being arrested.  Persons suspected of a crime, yet not charged or found guilty of breaking the law. This has critically undermined our believe in Due Process which is a guarantee to every Citizen of this Nation.

You have further undermined confidence in law enforcement by your public disparaging of the Attorney General of the United States, who was your appointee.

You have claimed that appointed Judges, including those of the Supreme Court are not capable of doing their jobs.  In so doing, you have undermined confidence in our judicial system.

You have attempted to cover up those actions that would lead a reasonable person to believe you did in fact, collude with a foreign government to gain your office.

You have undermined confidence in the Executive branch of office by the Chaos and disorganization in the office created by you.  That Chaos makes ripe the opportunities of our foes to attack this Nation and have jeopardized our Security.

You have broken the Emolument Clause of the Constitution.

You  have appointed and given top security clearance to close family members which is in violation of the Constitution.

You have incited the public to take action against sitting members of congress.  Such inflammatory statements are not covered under the 1st Amendment.  Hence you are not protected against criminal charges should such action be taken by any person.

You are a self-proclaimed white nationalist which is directly associated with your demonstrated racist views.  Any discriminatory action by you or your associates or appointees violates the Constitution.

You have not made America Great Again, you have taken the shining lantern of freedom and liberty granted to the people of America under our Constitution and jeopardized the very foundation of the democracy we rely on to keep this nation free and secure.
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First blog post

I’ve never committed a felony, murdered anyone, or screwed a president—so I’m going to need your help to get published.  This blog is an experiment for me; I guess that makes you my guinea pigs.  I believe my short stories, poetry, bits of current novels, or thoughts and ideas I develop and share can be entertaining, thought provoking, can make you cry or make you angry,  or just interested in the topic I included from my knowledge and experience and will accomplish two things:  First and foremost, make me a better writer; and, second, to develop a following of individuals interested in my material.

My husband once told me (okay, more than once) I’m wicked with words (I took it as a compliment). I can’t spell worth a crap, but I have an editor that cleans up my messes. And my stories and characters are unique and relatable. Authors who’ve influenced me most: Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, Nora Roberts, Patricia Cornwell, Elizabeth Peters, and (if we’re talking old school) Agatha Christie and Earl Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason).  There were long periods in my life where I read five books a week.  Fiction, non-fiction, history, biography, I even once read the entire “M” encyclopedia that my parents bought for their brood that only seemed to gather dust rather than garner the interest of me and my siblings.

Most of my early career was spent in the energy industry. I also started one of the first hotlines in the United States for victims of sexual harassment. My experience as an advocate for women’s rights then led to me working with one of the heads of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the National Organization for Women (NOW), which helped get local and state statutes changed to assist victims through the reporting process.  I am familiar enough with law to be a menace to myself and others, but am a firm believer that people should know their rights.

In addition to writing articles and public messages for NOW, I’ve written short stories, a screenplay, scripts for theater, a 300-page training manual for a business program I helped to create and implement (shoot me), and I’ve ghostwritten more articles for my husband than I care to remember.  In addition to “Three Dogs and an Ice Pack” my current completed manuscript, I have several other projects in development, including my next two novels called “The Gerbil Died in Georgia” and “The Brazilian Wax Job.” These are mostly mainstream mystery fiction.

I have one as yet untitled work that is a Mystery Science Fiction Fantasy (if there is such an animal).  Unfortunately, this has included my research into biocentrism and quantum physics. I’m still working the quantum physics thing.

I’ve met many influential and inspirational people during my career, including a lot of ass-kicking women, like the late and great Gov. Ann Richards of Texas (and men) who have encouraged me to continue writing. As you can probably tell, I’m not going to be shy about marketing. Actually, I’m not shy about much.  I am mouthy, opinionated, and stubborn.  My interests are boundless, I will read most anything (finance and sports are at the bottom of that long list).  In addition to the above, I’ve done a lot of speaking, been a professional singer, acted in theater, and taught women self-defense. I’m also a ballroom dancer, who competes as an amateur with a professional partner.  This is going to be an interesting and fun experiment.  Maybe we can even become friends!  Alas, I must return to my day job…I’m not a famous writer yet and much eke out a living to keep a roof over my head, food on the table, keep my dog happy and pay for the plethora of dance lessons I enjoy.

Until next time.