The AWESOME EMail Award

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From: (Michelle Gowan- Gowan Risk Management Services)
Subject: sexes

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by Michelle Gowan- Gowan Risk Management Services (MGowan163)

mycomments: Good article- Lots of thoughts on the subject. Gives a new perspective.

SoCoOL Bob

Thanks for your response to SoCoOL ... Sonoma County ONLINE ... and SEXUAL Harassment.

How did you happen upon the article ??? In pursuit of anything in particular ??? Risk Management ??? That suggests perhaps insurance??

Care to comment on the subject ... from your perspective ??? as a woman ??? as a business person ???

Looking forward to your response.

To: SoCooLBob@Yahoo.Com
Subject: Sexual Harassment

I happened upon the Sexual Harrassment article as I was surfing for information regarding a client of my husband's (Gowan Risk Management Services). He is the risk management consultant for city and county governments, school boards, and large industries. While it does indicate insurance, he merely investigates their losses (as they pay out their own claims) and devises strategies for reducing their losses. Currently, one county has a jailer (corrections officer) who is accused of sexually abusing/harassing 4 female inmates. He has to devise a plan for them in a hurry to protect the county. Currently, there is no rule/handbook in place to deal with this. I was looking up information on sexual harassment when I ran across your web page.

Strangely enough ... I discovered in my own research ... that there's all kinds of stuff available on the subject. I even found a local company .... promoting a CD for $500.00 ... that qualified for kindgergarden ... except for their marvelous description that this crime exists in the eyes of the beholder. ( By the way ... if the county or an employer has NO MANUAL ... YOU LOSE )

This whole subject matter is a DISASTER in terms of any kind of positive human behavior. Now ... your friend is "scrambling" to reduce the risk ... of what ... did this guy rape somebody ??? and the taxpayers voted on it ??? and the downside he must "protect against" includes a $12 MILLION DOLLAR JUDGEMENT against a company who hired a guy ... who put M&M's in "some females" pocket.

Follow the path ... see where it leads ... nowhere but .....

I have a female police officer friend who is currently in litigation with our own police department for S H. Your web page gave me real insight as to the other side of the coin which I have not considered before. My thoughts as a woman::: Certainly everyone is entitled to a job environment free of S H. I believe as strongly that men are as entitled as women. Your perspective is needed and appreciated.

Now .. here's the big question .... what's the solution ??? I'll wager 90% of the planet could be brought to a point of agreement that men ought to treat men with respect and dignity .. that women ought to treat women .... men / women .... women / men ... etc. It's in their interest .... So ... shall we continue on this path of MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR sticks that have NO RELATIONSHIP to REALITY?

Best Wishes from the Peach State!

Michelle Gowan

Thanks Michelle,

Your correspondence and input is much appreciated ... and will be posted soon to "SoCoOL" Visitors respond to Sexual Harassment. I "confess" I've got some INCREDIBLE EMail on this subject ... some of it gut wrenching .... Real life experiences that express both sides of the equation. A large part of my point is the suggestion that it is quite possibly a HUGE MISTAKE ... we are making as a people ... to entrust such a thing to the LEGAL arena.

Sexual Harassment ... except for the grossest kind ... should not be a "cause of action." It should be a part of the subject matter of a good Human Relations Course. People ... in my experience and opinion ... need to learn the basics ... the "behaviors" of getting along with, and helping each other. The personal experience I wrote of had NO BUSINESS in the hands of lawyers and insurance companies at $400 per hour. NONE !

But, I fear, our society from school age UP, has not nearly enough experience with positive behavior ... and it seems to me ... we continue to make it worse.

Did you read ... or have you seen ... the stories of the school children being "prosecuted" for Sexual Harassment ... You know ... little Johnnie ... dunking your pig tail in the ink well ... and going to jail.

How about the young lady eleven year old ... honor student ... who was ejected from school ... and "prosecuted" ... for bringing a sharp knife in her lunch box, which she reported to her teacher herself, in order to cut an apple. This happened THIS WEEK! Who do we speak to in our society to say .... I want my "kid" eating apples ... not cookies ... and I want her to be able to do it ... herself ....

Now ... instead of being a potential for positive experience ... the situations of which you speak become an opportunity to inflict more harm ... generally at an OUTRAGEOUS PRICE.

The only chance is that people like you and me ... and "SoCoOL" visitors "Around The World," must speak out. You can't believe what happens if you do. The very people that you speak to ... KNOW that it's true ... but .... "can do nothing about it." They're powerless ... they say ... and they're getting paid thousands and thousands of dollars.

Is it too early to say ... Wake Up America .... it's later than you think ???

Thank you again .... and Congratulations ... You ... and I ... together ... have just received ... The Awesome EMail Award !!!

Subject: Sexual Harassment

In a message dated 96-10-29 05:14:27 EST, you write:

<< Now ... your friend is "scrambling" to reduce the risk ... of what ... did this guy rape somebody ??? >>

As a matter of fact, I think he did, hence, the scramble to reduce the risk (or in this case, the loss) for his client.

I guess then ... one has to wonder ... how does an organization ... and employer ... become responsible for this .... ???? other than legally that is ???? Contributory negligence ... now there's a concept I can understand .... let them be responsible for their behavior .... but what if they are good .... what if they're doing the best they can ... what if .... God forbid ... they are simply naive and couldn't believe this kind of thing could even occur.

Will the BIG STICK ... and the INCREDIBLE AMOUNTS OF CASH create the kind of motivation that creates a DESIRE to do BETTER. Or ... are we simply going to intimidate them into submission, and multiply the cost.

I am a woman and I work in an environment of predominately women....I am a > teacher. I can vow that the absurd judgements against children are a waste of > our time and money.

The most important job on the planet! But ... what are we teaching them .... to sit in a chair .... to be in their seat when the bell rings ... to fill out forms ... to follow directions ....

Even more ... it's indicative of a direction .... a "spoiled" and gradually becoming incompetant society that believes that the solution to the problem is to try and DECREE it SO !!! The problem is ... it doesn't work! It will now take a wise little 11 year old .... a wise parent .... to forgive the masters and move on.

I can tell that the passion with which you write tells a lot about how strongly you feel that something must be done. Unfortunately, we are all guilty of letting it be someone else's problem until it rests on our own doorsteps.

It take a great deal of wisdom to recognize ... in this day and age ... that we are truly all in this together. Every time we see an injustice .... we must consider it as though it were ourself. Even in the most difficult circumstances. Without practice, at every level of what we do ... how can we get better?

And it's hard work !!! How do we create a society where women and men care about each other .... give to each other. Do we attempt to fool with nature and pretend they are the same? They're not the same! They are instead the marvelous potential of the ying and the yang .. the master serving the servant and the servant doing the same. It is precisely in overcoming the adversity ... in the marriage, if you will, of divergant souls, blending their differences to make a greater whole. How do we teach this to those coming along ... except by creating real life situations that demonstrate it's so?

I believe you are absolutely right .... and it starts way back ... with the goals of our education ... and our society ..... and this unique approach. The solution I suggest is a more caring and positive society.

I am interested in learning how you come out in the end.

All my best,


Thanks again Michelle .... you see .... in my opinion you bring out the "best in me." If you didn't care .. who I would I talk with, with whom would I share? If you didn't share, what would I know?

Now excuse me .... I've got the television going in the background ... and they've got this wonderful story on about Fathers who make love to their daughters ... It's really cool ... everybody is yelling and screaming and applauding .... oh ... O.K. I'm back .... the show's been interrupted by a Michael Jordan commercial. The richest and most revered man on earth is trying to make some more money .... selling perfume.

To: SoCooLBob@Yahoo.Com
Subject: Sexual Harassment

I > << How do we create a society where women and men care about each other .... give to each other. Do we attempt to fool with nature and pretend they are the same? They're not the same! They are instead the marvelous potential of the ying and the yang .. the master serving the servant and the servant doing the same. It is precisely in overcoming the adversity ... in the marriage, if you will, of divergant souls, blending their differences to make a greater whole. How do we teach this to those coming along ... except by creating real life situations that demonstrate it's so?

Okay, I am the wrong one to address this. I am a lady and I want to be treated as such.

Each lady ... each with their uniqueness should have this freedom to express herself ... to share her experience .... her goals ... and at least some of her conclusions. No two of us male/female or ??? are exactly the same ... we may have many things in common ... and many uniqueness. Your excellent contribution adds to the whole.

I appreciate and have always been attracted to gentlemen. I, in no way, want to compete with them physically, emotionally, professionally, or personally. (Intellectually, you may be on). I teach girls that they can learn anything and be anything that their motivation allows. My motivation, however, draws the line in combat, hard labor (especially that involving breaking a sweat or breaking a nail!) and those things that I plain don't want to do because I don't have to. Yes, I can pump gas but I don't want to (so my wonderful, gentleman husband does it for me). Yes, I can cut grass but that is worse than pumping grass. When I was single, I had this philosophy that I must have a boyfriend every summer, (the grass thing). Yes, I can take out garbage, but I don't want to. Why should I do something I don't want to do? The trade off is that the things that I do best, (gourmet cook, entertaining, organizing) I do for my husband, not because he can't but because I wish to respect him the way he respects me. We take care of each other and I think that is the way it is supposed to be.

Personally ... I think this is a marvelous, marvelous answer. What all of us need is the freedom to express ourselves. To be successful, individually, and as a society, we need the freedom to express ourselves in a positive environment. Your choices are very real, designed to "work," provide happiness, in this case together with your chosen partner. There are many men and women who can and will benefit from this expression of yourself.

Other choices can be made, by other women and men. If there is a female that wants to be, within her heart, a truck driver or a military contributor, or any other thing not designed to prevent others from doing the same ( preferably designed to help others make their choices ) then there ought to me a method for her to express herself and receive a deserving reward.

Others, in making their choices, would be wise to look at your example, and the example of other successful couples. Wise to examine the union that you have created .... and that you continue to create everyday .... your strengths applied to contribute to the both of you ... his strengths the same. May I open your door ???

I am NOT for affirmative action, women's lib, and many other democratic philosophies. Maybe I am old fashioned, maybe I am a dinosaur, I don't care. But at least there is one man who appreciated those things in me and I in him. I believe that if you do something that you shouldn't have to do, you get stuck with it again and again.

My belief ... there is a continuous conversation that needs to occur between men and women and races and creeds ... people of good will ... to improve the way we help each other achieve our objectives.

It does no good if any one or any group "comes against," the other. It is a basic violation of good human relations, if you don't care about my well being or I don't care about yours.

Men ... to create a better world "need" to care about, and contribute to the well being of women. Women .... to create a better world "need" to do the same. If there is a flaw in the behavior of the one, and it's affecting the other, they need to discuss it ... to share views ... to continuously work to see that their behavior contributes ... and doesn't impede ... make things worth.

My own feeling about AFFIRMATIVE ACTION as it relates to "government edict" is that Commands of this nature have a fatal flaw. Laws, edicts and commands cannot work in the same way as positive choices freely made.

The very nature of AFFIRMATIVE ACTION suggests that any such AGREEMENT needs to be NEGOTIATED between parties with different views. The one needs to see and care about the benefit to the other. The idea that a dialogue could ever yield it's greatest fruit when either party or both are busy accusing or blaming the other for caring about themselves is doomed to failure. It won't work!

Both parties, all parties need to adopt opinions, behaviors, dialogues, actions, that contribute to the greater well being of both.

In my humble, however accurate, opinion.......:-), if more women believed as I do, the problems we have in our litigious society would not exist.

There's something about LITIGATION that automatically means the dialogue has come to an end. The idea that so many of our activities, in this country, among our people, BEGIN WITH LITIGATION is patently ABSURD and cannot function. Again ... it just won't work.

Since we've both taken so much time together, perhaps we should take one more step ... with an example.

I vividly recall a telebvision show, produced and broadcast on PBS, nationwide. The show was a panel, question and answer, audience participation show that was hosted by John Kenneth Galbraith, most famous for being an economist, and a panel of other "experts."

The "guest," or the interviewees were three gentleman from Russia. As I recall, one was a military person, of some signficant experience, one was a professorial "type," a person of some significant experience, the third, a person of some experience in the government of the Soviet Union.

As it happens, it was the first time than ANYONE from the Soviet Union had appeared on U.S. television ... in any official and significant way.

As the show progressed, it was apparent that the three gentleman from the Soviet Union has an agreed upon singular goal. They wanted to communicate to the U.S. people, that they had no desire to create or participate in a Nuclear War.

From a human relations standpoint, what happened from there, and throughout that show was a potential tragedy. First one expert, then another questioned, cajoled, commented in such a way as to attempt to make the primary dialogue the listing and acknowledgment of the number of things these "Russians" had and continued to do wrong.

I can't help but recall how committed these three gentleman were to the content and purpose of their own. They wanted to communicate something important and significant that they thought the American people needed to know. They could not see how either side would benefit from a litany of complaints, accusations, judgments, one against the other.

They had chosen and committed themselves instead to the one thing done right .... that they didn't want to destroy the world ... and build on that, in our own mutual interest.

It is that one thing, that these gentleman did right, in the face of tremendous criticism, that I believe made all the progress that has happened, and will happen from now into the foreseeable, and even unforeseen future.

This is the principle of personal growth. This is the principle of teamwork, of working together. This is the way that human beings together can achieve their goals.

The ability of some people, "on the other side," to see this good thing and to build on it ... is the next good thing that has allowed this to occur. There weren't any visible there that night, in that dialogue, as one, after the other, after the other, spoke with some feeling and specificity about some atrocity that had occurred. It was very uncomfortable for the gentleman who "stuck" to their goal. Someone must have seen it, and joined them. Someone must have understood, and acted, on behalf of both parties, to recommit to the same kinds of goals.

To the extent that we do these things, in the future, our society will continue to grow. To the extent that it matters, that some in our society are not as capable yet, as we might like them to be, in being and achieving their very best, we "need" to contribute ... we need to help. In helping each of them, we best help ourselves.

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