Why, 12 months on, I am glad it happened. - Amanda Foy

Why, 12 months on, I am glad it happened.

Around this time twelve months ago, I had a man who was and still is a manager of a government funded business support group play a practical joke on me under the ruse of applying for a $100,000 grant to help get my Goddess Intensive program off the ground and available to as many women around Australia as possible.

He called me to a meeting to explain what I had to do to get my submission in front of a decision making Minister.  That meeting was only to cover up of the fact that he wanted to put a New South Wales State of Origin sticker on my car as a joke.  We’d had a running commentary over the previous couple of years about State of Origin, as you do when it is the season.

He did not understand why I didn’t find it funny. When I received his text message, later that day, to go and look at my car, after being so excited about finally having the opportunity of putting my passion and purpose to AS MANY WOMEN AS I POSSIBLY COULD, to find the sticker and to realise the meeting was just all part of the joke and that there was no way I’d be able to get my proposal in front of the minister, I felt so violated and then angry that if I’d’ve had a pitchfork I would have driven it through the windscreen of his car.

Still though, it took me days to build the courage to respond to one of his fb messages how I really felt and then I cut all ties with him and the government funded group he represented.

Initially, I just wanted to go and stand in the corner crying.  That someone could have thought so little of who I was, what I had done for the government funded business and also my passion to work with business women, to think it was appropriate or at the very least funny. A moment of anger flared where I thought I would report him to the Australian body who governs the business, but decided that I just wanted to accept the big stop sign and to go as far away as I could from that mindset. I truly was at a loss as to wondering if anyone in the hierarchy of that business would understand my point of view and how inappropriate it was and then just decided to disappear.

You see, this is why I am writing this today as I am three quarters of the way through Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, and this page struck me like a brick last night as I read it.  I didn’t want to  bring up gender. I didn’t want to make waves or be blanketed with the tar brush of trouble maker. If it was taken to the highest level, I didn’t want to be responsible for someone losing their job for disrespecting me and my business.

12 months on, with what has happened with Julia Gilliard and the constant unadulterated slathering she has copped bringing the gender issues to light, I have found a new vigor for standing up to the “establishment”. My gift and Juli’s gift AND point of difference, with a voice of reason.

Am I going to go back to where it all started with the business support business – not on your Nelly!

This Goddess is not stupid.

Am I happy to speak up and point out where women should stand up and be a very loud voice in our today, just screaming to be given a chance without all the descriptive generalisations that come with a women speaking up?

You bet your sweet arse I am.

Am I building relationships that will see our Intensive program go GLOBAL. Yes I am.

Am I, twelve months on, glad that that happened to me. Definitely.

Oh, yeah, and DOMIN8 Queensland. You know you can. Let’s let the Goddess have the last laugh shall we.

Added 18/07/2013: How’s that for apples AA. Oh and by the way, I’m off to the US in September to have my business grow to the global space I knew it would. What’s the best revenge? Being awesome. I win.

15 Comments

  1. Hi Amanda, wow as a Queenslander who also used to work in QLD govt funded business groups I am horrified of how disgusting this senior person did. Funding is tight across all industries and to take it as far as to tease your work and initiatives while in the workplace is incomprehensible. I am new to your work but just checking out the Goddess Imperative website right now to learn more. I’d love to network with you and learn more. Lisa

    • Thank you Lisa, let’s swap email addresses!

  2. Frankly I am bored to tears when we are villified as a woman, not as a person, but as a woman when we question anything that is sexist or misogynist. Why can’t society just accept that any kind of discrimination be it sex, race, sexual orientation is plain wrong and it doesn’t matter who complains, the fact of the matter is, that it is plain wrong. Don’t shoot the messenger, isn’t that how the phrase goes, and yet we as women are verbally attacked whenever we raise the issue. It bores me, it angers me and it needs to change.

    What I am particularly angered about is that an apology appears to be enough when discrimination has gained any kind of publicity. What is the point of an empty apology? And by making excuses “I am not racist, I was drunk”, “the banquet menu wasn’t supposed to be released to the public”, how is that supposed to make things better? Would you put a Band Aid on a gunshot wound and think that would be okay?

    I have been at the brunt of many racial, sexist, misogynist taunts but never had a practical joke played on me as terrible as the one that Amanda has described. I do not understand why humans would go to such lengths to humiliate others and look forward to the day that we can talk about and resolve issues that require more of our attention – issues that require a lot of discussions, thoughts and resolutions. Call me naive but discrimination of any kind can be resolved in a heartbeat. Just don’t do it, don’t think it, don’t say it, don’t write it. Just don’t.

    • Thank you May King! I agree with you 100%!!

  3. I wonder if perhaps it wouldn’t have served this person well to have this brought to the attention of his superiors. I know the answer would probably have been “oh, lighten up, can’t you take a joke?” or words very similar (I’m sure we’ve all heard them many times before) however what he did was just plain rude and in fact hurtful, deliberately so.

    I applaud your ability to let this go, and know that karma has no use-by date… I do hope that at some stage he at least understands why this was such a hurtful and abusive thing to do

    • And the business support group he manages would do so much better without him at the helm and they would take women in business seriously. ๐Ÿ™

  4. Wow Amanda, what strength you possess, and what amazing value you bring to the support of women.

    So many women have been subjected to jokes (yours is nothing short of disgraceful), abuse (yes I am a survivor of a teenage pack rape which went unreported due to me fear of retribution), and generally a put down at every corner (which is both hurtful and harmful).

    I believe in karma and his day will come. he took that day as a day in your life, the rapists took one night… and I too applaud you for letting it go and getting on with your mission.

    Congratulations and I look forward to hearing more from you. Cheers Di

    • Thanks so much for your comment Di. Your story is compelling and I admire you so much for who you are and what you do also. xx

  5. Great article covering an important issue Amanda. I just have to say Go GIRL – take them all on with the Goddess behind you, there aint no stopping you! You will win most by rising above it all and shining your brilliant light. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I don’t think I would have had the strength to stop myself from reporting him! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • In hindsight, I probably should have Nikki. It’s just an example of the mindsets some women go through to stay away from the generalisations that are in society. Today, I wouldn’t hesitate.

  7. Oh so much I could say here Amanda! First of all, yay for you having the strength and courage to walk away from the situation! I do not think that ‘joke’ was even remotely funny. Reminded me of those crank calls on the radio…Sometimes they would call someone to say they had a job or had landed some acting role they had been trying for, only to humiliate them in public for everyone else’s entertainment, not thinking for a moment that they had actually just crushed someones dreams. Not sure how that is humorous?
    Secondly, I did have a male (Manager)completely disrespect, humiliate and undervalue me in my workplace, often using me as the subject of his jokes in front of co-workers. Eventually he passed me over for a promotion that I was over qualified for and gave it to someone who had never even set foot in the office, let alone had any knowledge at all of the job. I quit (after 6 years of working my butt off) and took him for a row, and won. It wasn’t a big win but it was a win and was the catalyst for his downfall (and termination) after treating many others the same way (who had also lodged multiple complaints).
    It did make me feel better that I stood up to a bully but it also was extremely stressful and I’m not sure I would do it again…
    You dealt with your situation with dignity and are now being rewarded with success and a job that lights you up.
    Congratulations ๐Ÿ™‚
    P.S I have never written such a long comment but this sort of thing lights a fire in my belly!
    Belinda

    • I should write a book about everything that has happened to me in the workplace Bella… and that this kind of stuff needs to be taught in University, Tafe and Workplace training so people know how to stand up for themselves.

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