During a recent radio interview about women leadership with corporate trainer Pattie Grimm, the #MeToo movement came up. And so did the question that many men are thinking but don’t dare to ask: Are all women innocent victims, or are some women to blame?
It’s a loaded topic
First, every case is different. From someone honking at a woman while she is walking down the street, to being the victim of assault and rape—there is a broad range of what constitutes an unwanted advance and what causes physical or emotional harm. But understand this: No woman is ever asking to be hurt or violated. Ever.
Yet, the question posed by some men and conservative women alike is valid and worthy of discussion. Are all women entirely innocent and free of blame when they become victims?
Take responsibility for your own actions
As young girls, we learn that women care about their looks. Yes, we do this to make ourselves feel good, but we also often like to be noticed or to attract men. As we grow older and more aware of our bodies and sexuality, teenagers yearn to be more like women and less like young girls. The privilege of being young is enjoying the limited time for wearing ultra-short skirts with super-high heels, and having the energy to go out dancing all night long. You are only young once. Why not enjoy it?
Invitation to approach and pursue
Young women look amazing when well-dressed with their make-up done perfectly. They are fresh, full of fun, and they are exciting to watch. As the mother of a 25-year-old I attest to the vivaciousness and energy a young woman carries. Unfortunately, this signal is often misinterpreted. Some men believe it is a personal invitation to approach and pursue.
Women must be cautious, careful, and deliberate
Male leadership style is often about power. Power is an aphrodisiac and attracts women, no question. And because she finds it exciting to be noticed, a woman’s behavior regulator can be thrown out of whack. Every woman I know has fallen for a bad boy or two. Unfortunately, sometimes we learn the hard way just how bad they really are.
Young women can be naïve. I mean, how do you know what you haven’t yet learned? And who would assume that this nice, charming man you just met could be an opportunistic pig? Most women truly believe the initial attraction they feel is unique and something very special. Even if our internal alarm bells ring loudly, it’s easy in the moment to justify innocently flirting with a married man, or accepting an invitation to have a private nightcap with someone we’ve only known an hour. We think, the chance for true love means taking some risks, right? We’ve known these Prince Charming fantasies since watching Disney movies as children…
For a man, this signal is perceived as a clear-cut acceptance of something purely sexual. She wants me, she’s into me. After all, she is here with me and what else does she think will happen? Once you are in a room alone with a man who is high on power, booze, or drugs, it’s hard to get out unscathed. We all know it’s better to avoid the situation in the first place, but it happens before we even realize the danger. He seemed so nice…
Was she deliberate or naive?
It’s easy to be lured with compliments, free drinks, and attention from a man who is accustomed to being in charge. It takes experience and character to stand your ground, especially when saying no to someone powerful with influence over your career.
That’s why in The Women’s Code we don’t judge a woman’s behavior. Rather, we encourage women to protect themselves better so they can make informed decisions ahead of time. And say no more often.
A good man is willing to wait for the woman who interests him. A bad boy wants the goods now because he is high on the chase. Please, teach your daughters the difference.
At her lowest point, Beate Chelette was $135,000 in debt, a single mother, and forced to leave her home. Only 18 months later, she sold her image licensing business to Bill Gates in a multimillion dollar deal. Chelette is a nationally known ‘gender decoder’ who has appeared in over 60 radio shows, respected speaker, career coach, consummate creative entrepreneur, and author of Happy Woman Happy World. Beate is also the founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to women leadership and personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private, and digital worlds. Determined to build a community of women supporting each other, she took her life-changing formula documented it all in a book Brian Tracy calls “an amazing handbook for every woman who wants health, happiness, love and success!”
Through her corporate initiative “Why Acting Like a Girl Is Good For Business” she helps companies with gender diversification training, and to develop and retain women.
If you’d like to book Beate as a speaker on New Leadership Balance or Creative Entrepreneurship for your next event please connect with me.