Monday, April 15, 2019

Combating Lying While Being Civil

I recently became aware of several people in the wireless industry who have been besmirching the character of someone I care about. The things being said are fabrications, lies, character assassination and outright slander. The things that are being said are intended to undermine the character of my friend and perhaps the people spreading lies are also attempting to disrupt my friend's employment or perhaps attempting to bully my friend out of the wireless industry.

I will not stand by while friends of mine are mistreated. I definitely will not stand by while women in the wireless community are being mistreated. What you say about her, you could just as easily be saying about me and I won't support this behavior with my silence.

News flash: women are human beings, just like men - and as such, have the right to being respected as a human being. Period.

What you say about one woman in this industry, you are effectively saying about all women in this industry. I am no different than her. I am a woman and the things being said about her are lies and hurtful and would be hurtful to any woman human being.

The number of global wireless engineers is quite small. The number of wireless engineers that attend IT industry events is smaller. The number of wireless engineers who attend wireless focused IT events is even smaller still. The community that you interact with; that you do business with should not tolerate your behavior. Your comments, made when no other women are present are cowardly. Casting your aspersions on her, in the company of men speaks volumes about the nature of your character. I am disgusted that you and your coworkers would stoop to such levels to attack the character of a woman I consider a friend and a peer.

Being a woman in a male dominated industry is challenging.

We are judged for what we wear or do not wear.
We are judged for how pretty we are or are not.
We are judged for how much we drink or do not drink.
We are judged for how much we eat or do not eat.
We are judged for how much we know or do not know.

I get that "that's life". Humans are constantly judging other humans at the blink of an eye.

What I do not get is why a person would put words to a judgment of another person, knowing that their words are lies. Judging someone in your mind is one thing, spreading lies about another person is a whole other thing.

I refuse to let you and your coworkers force us to live our lives from the outside looking in. Second guessing who we choose to hang out with and for how long. Second guessing having a drink or two with friends. Second guessing what we wear. Second guessing if it is somehow our fault.

I don't need to name names. I am not the human behavior police. You know who you are. You know what you have said and continue to say. I want you to know that I see you. I see you trying to take down another woman with your lies. She could just as easily be me.

I wonder if you are lashing out from a fear of scarcity. Your behavior does not serve your best interests and will only ever cause division in our small community. I'm asking you to be up to something bigger than yourself. Come from a place of kindness, generosity and altruism for other human beings.

If you aren't sure how to begin the process of undoing the damage and hurt you have caused, begin by examining your behavior objectively (this is difficult work) and from there you will find the strength to cease your slander of another human being and possibly make amends.

I will close with a link to compassion training from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Compassion Training
Compassion is the feeling of caring for and wanting to help others who are suffering. The following audio files and scripts were created as part of a study into the effectiveness of compassion meditation conducted by Principal Investigator Helen Weng with Drew FoxAlex Shackman, Diane Stodola, Jessica Kirkland Caldwell, Matt Olson, Greg Rogers, and Richard Davidson at the Center for Healthy Minds.

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