Sexual Harassment: Healing Ignorance
SEXUAL harassment is being discussed on television, radio, at business lunches, and across family dinner tables. The ignorance at the root of this issue is more than the often quoted phrase "Men just don't get it. The underlying ignorance really has no gender bias. It is the perception that men and women are essentially sexual beings. And it is this belief of individuals' basic identity and nature that must and can be dealt with in order to find healing.The light that Christian Science shines on the confusion is the truth that man is God's idea. Man's real, God-endowed nature is not animalistic but spiritual--innately good and pure. Man is the offspring of God and as such has inherent worth and beauty. Men and women are beautiful as they reflect more of God's natural, spiritual goodness. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, responds to the question "What is man? Her reply presents a spiritual view of man. Part of this description of man reads, ". . . that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity. There is no animality to Spirit, God, and consequently animality is not truly a part of the real nature of man. This is not to argue that people do not seem to be d riven by an animal nature. But Christian Science articulates a spiritually discerned law that, when acknowledged and upheld, can bring a fuller expression of man's real being into our lives. For a number of years I worked as an industrial sales representative. I was aware that I had been hired in part not simply for sales ability but because I was a young woman. The company thought that a woman would have an advantage in getting a foot in the door of a prospective account. Once I was in the door, I had to work doubly hard to establish my credibility in what was then an almost exclusively male industry. In addition, I encountered some blatant sexual harassment. I'd been healed of many difficulties through studying Christian Science, so I was confident that this situation could be healed. I also knew that this healing needed to occur in my own thought, as well. I prayed to see what I needed to understand better. Gradually, I began to see that I had to do more than simply view the situation as males versus females. In his letter to the Galatians the Apostle Paul makes an amazing statement, "There is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Rea ding this Bible passage made me realize that I needed to see more clearly that man is God's child. I needed to look beyond physicality to the reality of man's spiritual identity as idea, as God's spiritual image and likeness. It became obvious that I needed to stop seeing myself simply as a woman going in to talk to a man. I began to awaken to the fact that in reality each of us is responsive to God. What freedom, decisiveness, and assurance this brought to my workday. The change was obvious to others also. At one point a new manager said to me after a meeting, "I don't know what you've done, but in all my years in this business I've never seen such respect and cooperation. Sexual harassment is not right, but anger or resentment has never healed anything. We must individually awake to a higher view of man. Man is neither wolf nor prey. Man is God's idea and includes all the grandness of character this implies. This law is a strong foundation for healing ignorance and its effects.