SEXUAL PREDATION

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THE POLITICS OF THE VEDA

How does the Veda inform our daily life? That is obviously always left to the individual. We in the Vedic community do not govern anyone’s conduct. However, on a case-by-case basis, there are choices to be made in all things that flow directly from the principles of unity that we espouse. They can be summed up in this statement: “There is only one thing.”

 

When a public leader, even one with a religious background, condones actions that condemn any segment of our society to lesser status, this contradicts unity. When we as individuals have choices to make regarding our personal conduct, we can behave in ways that are congruent with unity, which further the health of the planet, the universe, and our fellow creatures in it.

 

If, in matters of sexual conduct, one chooses behavior that is selfish, violent, or is ideologically driven by a worldview that oppresses the other person in the dynamic, this is antithetical to Vedic principles.

 

If a woman or a man tells a story of sexual or physical intimidation at the hands of another, and they are met with any response other than compassion and listening, something is out of adjustment and requires realignment with the whole.

 

We have a duty to treat others kindly and not to take advantage of them. To take advantage, and then to rationalize behavior after the fact, is wrong. To manage appearances and manipulate others, to hide a bad motive behind a good one, is wrong. We must stand beside our sisters and brothers, and marginalize no one. This is not always easy, but it is something we must strive for.

 

Our news media is full of stories, more emerging every day, of systemic sexual predation. When members of our tribe react to these stories, we shouldn’t discount their emotional reactions. We can be supportive and kind. Period.

 

We can learn the ways with which we can surround and support those who may have been affected by the predatory behavior of others. This involves listening and not instantly reacting. Some of us have less experience at listening than others, but we can practice and improve.

“To my abusers, the act of setting appropriate boundaries was viewed as hostile aggression. They believed that I was denying them something that belonged to them if I resisted. I was a resource to be exploited for their personal use. I was property who didn’t have any rights over my time, my energy, my body, or my possessions. I viewed myself that way too. I believed that they were justified in being angry with me for saying no but I wasn’t justified in being angry with them for abusing me.”

― Christina Enevoldsen

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