Monthly Archives: September 2014

A Man Punched a Woman at the “One Direction” Concert

I had never been to the Rose Bowl for a concert. While I was a UCLA Bruin, I melted in the stands with my friends as we cheered our football team on during home games. But this experience was different. I was surrounded by thousands of screaming tweens and teen-aged girls. Their excitement was palpable and the decibel levels grew almost unbearable. Seeing my daughter singing and dancing with her friends made my heart smile, despite feeling exhausted from my summer of hellish business travel.

It was a beautiful summer evening in Pasadena, filled warm air and framed by clear skies. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking about all the press coverage on domestic violence in the NFL. A Ray Rice video had just exploded on to our TV screens and monitors. The video showed Rice punching Janay Palmer, who married him a day after the indictment was issued, and he was cut by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. The media also covered the recent story of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson being indicted by a grand jury on a child abuse charge for his method of disciplining his son, with a switch cut from a tree. This violence didn’t surprise me. It angers me. It frustrated me. Unfortunately, it doesn’t shock me. What did shock me happened two rows in front of me at the concert, during one of the many pop radio hits that One Direction has.
Situated in the second row from the top, we had a lot of space to stretch out and dance. From my vantage point, I saw a few 20-somethings drinking the overpriced concession stand beer and neither saw nor smelled evidence of pipes, bongs or even vapes being smoked. This evening’s entertainment came in the form of a concert fueled by tween adrenaline and hormones.

Because of the warm evening air, the individual vendors found themselves busy. People in the stands wanted to buy the frozen lemonade, ice cold water and soda without leaving their seats. Towards the end of the evening, I saw a male vendor walking across the fairly clear seats to sell a bottle of water to mother with her two young girls. One of the adult concert attendees, a woman, was trying walk past the vendor to reach the clear section of bleachers. She tripped over something a bumped the vendor’s empty plastic tray that was strapped to his front, like a large marching band bass drum. I saw the 6’ 1”, 215 lb. vendor snap his head around, mouth something like “what the fuck?!” and reach his fist back all the way to Tallahassee and strike the woman on the back of her head, near the base of her neck. The woman went down, face first, and the vendor looked a bit taken back and surprised. It seemed as if he didn’t realize what he had just done but a split second later, he tore down the bleachers through all the singing and dancing One Direction fans and tried to get outside of the venue as soon as he could. The security guard to my left saw it happen and gave chase. The woman slowly got to her feet and stumbled back to her seat. Two of the four young girls she brought to the concert sat down, stunned and quiet for the rest of the night. The other adult with them didn’t say a word to the girls, she checked in on the woman who was hit and sat in the bleachers, doing nothing. I heard the woman say, “I think I’m bleeding,” and “I am going to find that ****er.” I found another security guard and suggested that she come over and escort the woman to find medical assistance and/or the police.

Honestly, I have no idea what came of the incident. It just brought all sorts of feelings up in my head and heart that night. My heart hurt for the young girls who saw their adult chaperone get pummeled. My heart hurt for the woman who was struck by a strange man who was in the employ of the concessions vendors and trusted to provide a service at the Rose Bowl. My heart hurt as I remembered being hit by a boyfriend when I was fifteen.
Domestic violence comes in the form of a variety of abuse. It might be psychological, emotional or physical.

On September 8, 2014, Elahe Izadi wrote an article in “The Washington Post” whose headline read: “Nearly a third of U.S women have experience domestic violence”.
More than 31 percent of women in the United States have been physically abused by an intimate partner at some point in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey”.
Intimate partner violence covers “physical, sexual or psychological harm” by a current or former partner, according to the CDC. In addition to experiencing physical abuse by a partner, an estimated 22.3 percent of women (and 14 percent of men) have experienced severe physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner.
Among the most common types of severe violence women experienced by intimate partners: being slammed against something and being hit with a fist or hard object.
The survey also captured forms of non-physical abuse, with nearly half of women in the United States having experienced at least one act of psychological aggression by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Psychological and emotional violence covers acts such as threats and coercion.”

If the statistics say “nearly 1/3 of U.S. women have experienced severe physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner” and I think of me and my two best friends from high school, those statistics hold true. We were all straight-A honor roll students, involved in school clubs, and varsity athletes. None of us came from families of divorce. We definitely did not look like poster children for domestic abuse. Speaking from my relationship, I thought I could change my boyfriend’s jealous thinking and love him enough to make him realize that he could trust me.

This is a very typical thing for young girls to do when they think they are in love, fix the broken boyfriend. Some girls rescue lost and abandoned puppies, I tried to “love” away the abuse that my first boyfriend grew up with from his alcoholic and cheating father. His emotional and
psychological abuse of me escalated to the point where he actually struck me, in the face, with a closed fist. My softball picture from high school stills shows the black and blue mark on my left cheek, he was right-handed. Thankfully, I did remove myself from that relationship and that situation and found support from a variety of resources. I sought good counseling and filled my time with lots of academic and athletic challenges to distract me. There are stacks of journals and poems to prove that and my biceps and quads got their birth back then.

As I said, domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked or denied. This is especially true when the bruises are on a person’s ego and heart, not on their skin. It is clear to me that being Asian prevented me from speaking up against
the abuse and seeking out help. I was ashamed and embarrassed and didn’t want to shame my parents, who didn’t approve of me having a boyfriend at all.

They say that noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it. No one should live in fear of the person they love. The bigger problem is to uncover why men in our society use physical and emotional intimidation. How do we prevent this cycle from repeating? How do we provide support to women who leave relationships with no income or means to shelter themselves? How do we stop abuse from happening at all? I witnessed a man strike a woman who was a total stranger in the back of head at a One Direction concert. I’ve been punched in the face by a man who said he loved me. Crisis centers, restraining orders and advocates provide very minimal protection. How do we stop domestic abuse from happening at all?

People Don’t Fear Change, We Fear Loss

The title of this blog comes from the work of Ronald Heifetz: “The Practice of Adaptive Leadership.”

In my work, our partners Jennifer Brown Consulting brought in the Kubler-Ross Model to discuss how people deal with change. Most people are familiar with this model when grieving a death, you may recognize this model as the five stages of grief. Kubler-Ross outlines a series of emotional stages when one is facing a loss or death.

They are:

Denial
Anger
Bargaining
Depression
Acceptance

This is not a linear process. A person may start in Anger and move to Denial and wallow in Depression before they attempt to Bargain and fall back into Anger before hopefully making it to Acceptance. And even when we accept the change, we make continue to feel Depression and Anger. I’ve written about cancer in my blog, so let me share a workplace example that everyone has experienced, getting a new manager.

Talking the five stages in order, here is what an individual may be experiencing and thinking.

A New Manager
Denial – “No way are we getting a new boss. I will believe it when they show up in the office.”
Anger – “I just got used to the way my old boss manages things! Now we all have to start over again.”
Bargaining – “Maybe this new boss won’t last long and they will bring back the boss who I liked so much. I’m going to just skate by and not get too involved at work or with this unknown boss.”
Depression – “I am not going to listen to this new boss and her stupid new ideas. I’m not going to even try at work. Why should I bother?”
Acceptance – “I’m watching my colleagues acting happy at work, maybe this new boss is all right after all.”

What is to fear in this case? It is a loss or facing an unknown. Losing what is comfortable for you at work, a familiar person in charge can be nerve-wracking. No one knows the new boss or what she or he expects in terms of performance. The new person may come in and change everyone’s job. Or she or he may create a new organizational structure that means you have new job responsibilities and lose what is comfortable and easy to you.

If you think about any life change, you can probably apply these five stages to your own experiences. Maybe you’ve been asked to take a new position in a different department. Or, perhaps your life partner or spouse has been offered a promotion in a new city and you need to move. Some changes are more personal, having a baby is a life experience that may throw you into the Kubler-Ross Model.

Having a Baby
Denial – “No way, we only did it that one time.”
Anger – “I spent my entire 20s trying not to get pregnant!”
Bargaining – “Ok, if I can get my debt paid down, I won’t need to go back to work and I can be a stay at home Mom for a while.”
Depression – “My whole life is going to be different. I’m not ready to be a mom. Why me? Why now?”
Acceptance – “Ok. Let’s do this. I’m going to be an awesome mom.”

When I discovered that I was pregnant, the shock overwhelmed me. My relationship had hit about the two and half year mark. Unfortunately, it had just become clear that he was not going to be a good husband and my plan was to break things off. Birth control failed and I found myself in Denial that I was pregnant. I spent many month Angry at myself for creating a less than ideal home situation to raise a child in, alone. But I made a choice to stay unmarried because the father of my child cheated on my before I was pregnant and while I was pregnant. The Bargaining I did was with myself, to bust my ass in my career to be able to provide a stable home for my child, as a single mom. Depression and sadness and even loneliness would come and go but Accepting my responsibilities to be a mom came very quickly.

I did fear losing my independence and waistline. My pregnancy came in my late 20s, during the stage of life where I had a job, good benefits and access to all the dance clubs in LA and Hollywood. I hadn’t planned on shifting my priorities to being a mom. The loss of that independence did not impact my happiness once my daughter arrived. I haven’t quite caught my breath yet but being blessed to be her mom is the best change that has ever happened to me.

And now, at work, the organization faces a change of zip code times four. Consolidating four separate headquarters locations on to one property is a change and may feel like a loss. People at work are moving in and out of the five stages of loss at a frenetic pace. Hopefully, talking through the Kubler-Ross Model provides support, clarity, and comfort to my fellow employees. People don’t fear change, they fear loss.

Orange is the New Cast, an @OITNB podcast on @BaldMove

Several weeks ago, I found myself invited to join a team of intelligent, funny, and opinionated women to share our thoughts on Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” Season 2 on a podcast with BaldMove.com.

We are a Dream Team of women who rotate week to week and co-host with A.Ron Hubbard, one of the founders of the BaldMove podcasting network. He, along with Jim Jones, have invested years delivering insightful coverage on TV, movies, and video games with humor, wit and dick jokes.

But there would be no Bald Move sausage fest for Netflix’s “Orange is the New Cast”. I will share my episodes in this blog but please go to baldmove.com and/or search for us on iTunes under “Orange is the New Cast.”

Check out this cool episode: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/orange-is-the-new-cast/id886753050?mt=2&i=314172690

The Walking Dead ‘ Cast Ep 117 @jasonandkaren @angelakang @walkingdead_AMC

I have a really good friend who hosts a podcast on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” called “The Walking Dead ‘Cast” and was invited to guest host an interview with writer/producer Angela Kang. One day, while at lunch with my BFF, I ran my fan girl mouth about how much I love the show “The Walking Dead”. Little did I know that my BFF was two degrees of separation away from a writer/producer of the show! So, he did me a solid by getting me in contact with Angela Kang and she was gracious enough to grant us an interview.

I thought you might be interested in listening to it, so here is a link.

And while you’re at it, check out “The Walking Dead ‘Cast” on iTunes. You’ll also get to hear panels from Walker Stalker Con events that feature interviews with many of the stars of the show.

Enjoy!

Check out this cool episode: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-walking-dead-cast/id382998388?mt=2&i=169460194