Predator Bullies Turn the Victim Into the Villain

Amber Tamblyn.jpg

Whenever someone, in this case a man, makes someone else, in this case a woman, feel unsafe in any way, they have crossed the line. When confronted about this act and told that you are a liar, it reminds you of all the people who have ever doubted your word before. By calling the victim a liar, the predator bully is attempting to turn the victim into the villain - a very common tactic used by bullies. This dynamic has reached epidemic proportions in workplaces across North America.

Finally, Amber Tamblyn is taking the bull by the horns. In her opinion piece in The New York Times, she articulates what people who are abused go through. My advice to people who feel vulnerable is to invest in a discrete body camera with a listening device. It is legal to record as long as one of the parties agrees; and, they are one of the parties.

As unconventional as this may sound, this is the kind of action that is required when such injustices occur. There may be discomfort transitioning from being a bystander, where you are expected to endure this abuse, to becoming an activist, where defending your dignity is the right thing to do despite the fear of retaliation.

Stories like Amber’s serve to give hope to women who have been beaten down for generations. In my book, From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire, I encourage women to stand up for what is right. As she reiterates, “The women I know, myself included, are done, though, playing the credentials game. We are learning that the more we open our mouths, the more we become a choir. And the more we are a choir, the more the tune is forced to change.”

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons