Speak Your Shame

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No Shame in Asking for What you Need

How comfortable do you feel asking for what you need or want? Do you feel shame when asking for help? Do others make you feel ashamed when you ask?

We all need one another. We all need help. We can’t do it alone.

If you’re surrounded by people who make you feel ashamed when you ask for help then ditch those people and find people who are happy to help you in your time of need.

It takes courage and vulnerability to ask for what you need. It takes courage and vulnerability to put yourself out there and ask for help.

Some of the things we may ask for:

– Your partner’s time and attention
– A friend to listen to you without judgement
– A much deserved raise from your boss
– To be respected

It’s only in the asking can you get to where you need to go or be.

Click here to watch a wonderful Ted Talk called The Art of Asking.


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The Price of Shame

I recently watched Monica Lewinsky’s Ted Talk called The Price of Shame. She spoke of her experience with online humiliation and shame based on her own experiences. I won’t rehash the situation – if you’re unfamiliar with it you can look it up if interested.

She spoke of how the Internet has helped to fuel a culture of shame in our society. We as the consumer feed into this industry every time we search a headline or participate in mean spirited comments.

One thing we need to realise is that we now live in a cyber world. Anything we do or say can end up online by ourselves or others. Once it’s online it takes on a life of its own and lives on forever.

Now new terms have been created to address the shaming activities that are now taking place such as:

Troll – to make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.

Cyber Bully – the use of cell phones, instant messaging, e-mail, chat rooms or social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to harass, threaten or intimidate someone.

The Internet allows people to remain faceless and nameless and to contribute in the hateful shaming of others. We all make mistakes, none among us are perfect; we have no right to judge one another. Let’s show some compassion. Let’s do our part to mitigate online shaming by speaking up against it. For every post a troll puts out there shaming someone let us voice some support and positivity for the person they are shaming.

What is the price of this trolling, cyber bullying behaviour? People taking their lives. Monica Lewinsky mentioned she felt suicidal during that time. There was a case of a student at Rutgers University. His roommate tried to shame him by videotaping an intimate encounter he had with his partner and posted it online. This public act of shaming resulted in this student taking his own life. Let’s no longer stand idly by and do or say nothing when this abhorrent behaviour takes place.

To watch Monica Lewinsky’s Ted Talk click below

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Shame, Sexuality, Taboo

Western culture is a culture of various taboos. We have cultural norms of things such as acceptable vs unacceptable conversation and acceptable vs unacceptable views on sexuality. There’s this unspoken belief that ‘sex is dirty’. For example “good girls don’t…….” and fill in the blank with any number of things. We have inner conflicts with puritanism vs hedonism.

Even women’s bodies are hypersexualized; breasts, nipples, bottom’s. In other parts of the world such as Brazil, women wear less clothing and men don’t ogle them like they do in North America.

Many North American’s (especially those of the Baby Boomer generation) believe that providing sex education in schools will encourage young people to have sex. Therefore, they have the belief of preaching abstinence which is very unrealistic in this day and age. However, Europeans in contrast view adolescent sexuality as part of development and have a much more open view about sex. It also should be noted that there is considerably less incidences of teenage pregnancy in Europe than in North America.

Is it possible that the more taboo we make sex the more excess driven sexuality becomes?

Being that Western culture has its roots in Catholism that lends itself to this discussion. As many religions reinforce the belief that ‘sex is dirty’, not for enjoyment or pleasure (especially for women), done in the context of marriage and only done to procreate. Anything other than that is sinful.

Sexuality is as much a part of us as anything else. We are sexual beings. The sooner we start to own that and be unapologetic about it and look at it is as our need to eat, sleep or breathe then I think we stand a chance of reclaiming our sexuality as a culture in a healthy way. I do understand that some may take issue with my comparison to the need for sex to our other needs like air, food, water etc as we wont die if we don’t have sex; however, I am simply making the point that it is a primitive part of us as natural as our need for those other things. How can a natural act that is primal and innate to us as human beings be dirty? We need to start having a healthy view and attitude towards sex and stop being so judgemental of one another! Let’s take a page out of the book of the European’s as they seem to have it right.

Good reading on this topic is a book called Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski.