Over WhatsApp a video was shared this past Monday.
It had been circulating all over social media; on that day it was the most trending topic on Twitter in the Dominican Republic under #Bextro.
Two people were videotaped having sexual relations at a professional consulting firm that operates in the Dominican Republic. The person recording the video was able to do so through an office window whose lamination seemed to be most effective during the daytime.
There are more than enough opinions about what happened: whether it was right, wrong, stupid, a lack of common sense, and immoral, among much, much more.
This article is not providing an opinion about what happened in the video.
This article is about what happened AFTER the decimation of the video on social media.
Specifically, how this event has highlighted the continued and incredibly significant disparity that exists between men and women.
The commotion that ensued is so revealing and yet basic in its finding: The event highlighted how much women are still not viewed as valuable as men.
I knew something was wrong when, through WhatsApp, recordings such as the following were being shared:
The consulting firm was receiving prank calls all day. Yet of all the calls that I heard recordings of, only the woman was being mentioned.
Well, not just “mentioned”. She was being made fun of, degraded, and humiliated. She was being referred to as a “dog”, among other insults.
The man? No sign of his participation or even existence in the situation.
You could glean the same from social media:
Eventually some started seeing the pattern:
And some were directly calling it out:
I checked in with some friends living in the Dominican Republic, and they shared how the media had been ablaze throughout the day (especially the radio) with jokes, comments, and humiliations, all mostly targeted at the woman.
Some in the media were saying she would have to leave the country in order to find work again. It seems that her “value” had evaporated in that moment, while the man’s value stayed intact.
So take a moment to think about that: A woman’s value is less than a man’s value. There is a human being considered less valuable than another human being.
I asked myself: Do we still have that much to go?
And then I realized that we may be miles away from other places in the world where atrocities against women occur more frequently, but inherently we are no different.
The attacks are just executed differently, yet supporting the belief that women are less valuable than men.
How is the ridicule, mocking, and attacking of this woman and the complete dismissal of the man, any different than:
1. A shaming acid attack on a woman in India for her being too outgoing?
2. A death stoning in Afghanistan because a woman refuses to be forced into marriage?
3. A woman enslaved for sex by ISIS
There is no difference. Don’t fool yourself. There is no difference. And we have to be smart enough to see the common thread within all of these stories.
Women are valued less than men and treated accordingly.
And if you are a man with a wife, a sister, a mother, or a daughter, this is your problem. You are defining how she will be able to live her life today.
And if even if you don’t, it is still your problem. Why?
Because if women are valued as less, they will not progress.
If women do not progress, society doesn’t progress. And if society doesn’t progress, you will not progress.
Everybody is responsible. Every single person.
If you are in the midst of the #Bextro scandal, or anything of such matter, whether you are a man or woman, this is what you can do:
- Do not share the aforementioned content. That just gives cause for opinions in an environment that is not valuing a woman as equal
- Question whether you are singling out the woman for ridicule because fundamentally, you believe women are worth less than men
- If another party comes to propagate comments that devalue a woman’s worth, you can:
- Provide the above point of view
- Ask them to stop sharing (as you have no interest in hearing regressed opinions)
- Leave the interaction
- Don’t say anything and leave the interaction
4. Use meditation as a way to stay center through all of the noise and chaos. Here’s a great guided meditation:
Women and men are equal. If you think differently, look at society’s that have shaming acid attacks, death by stoning, and sex enslavement and know that you are no different.
I hope this article is of service to you. Given the nature of the matter, I ask you to please share this with as many of your friends and family as you can. Progress must start now.
As always, I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment or question below.