I tend to keep grim, dark thoughts and unpleasant reflections out of this space. However……
The recent #metoo campaign has stirred up plenty of conversation, dialogue, interest, denial and controversy. People's perspectives are very different and there are plenty of varied and diverse reactions to the campaign. A few days ago I watched a video doing the rounds about a dude challenging the campaign and its purpose. In that clip he bullied a woman in his audience who questioned him. There is obviously still a long way to go.
Many people (courageous and vulnerable in many cases) have seen it as an opportunity to come forward and declare their story and/or situation. Many other people have chosen that it's too painful, or they don't wish to revisit the memory, or they simply don't want to declare to others their story. ALL of these people have my respect. Personally, my choice was my choice and made based on much reflection, soul searching and weighing up the consequences. I own my decision.
The #metoo campaign particularly focuses on (in no particular order) sexual harassment, sexual abuse, rape, sexual violation, inappropriate sexualisation of circumstances and many other forms of mental and physical violation. It seems to be focusing on exposing several specific sectors at the moment, however, I suspect that many other sectors will have spotlights shone upon them.
Reflecting on other professional environments where people have been harassed, victimized, disenfranchised, marginalized, treated unfairly and unequally, disadvantaged, or simply just treated poorly, took me down a thought journey about #metoo in the health sector which includes aged care, disability and community sectors. (To be clear, I am referring to the collective of health professionals here in all environments – not patients, clients or residents).
I've spent my career in the health sector working in many and varied roles/jobs. My career path has journeyed through clinical, education, management and executive roles. I have witnessed, observed and even myself, experienced circumstances when unacceptable behaviors have occurred. It seems only a few have ever been called out. It feels that the people that have stood up to be counted, don’t seem to be working in the health sector any more.
I'm not a researcher so I can't quote data or accurate percentages of female versus male genders in the health sector. What I do believe though, is that 51% of the world population is female. I also believe that 90% of nurses are female. Not sure about the figures in other Health Professional groups, but I suspect there is a relatively large representation of female in many of them.
So where am I going with this? There are so many stories. I can’t help but ponder who will break the barriers and when will people start telling truths from this sector?