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Certified Health Coach, Award Winning Author, Motivational Muse

Maid Men

What the heck is going on with grown men and cleaning ladies? This week at a Manhattan hotel, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, sexually assaulted a cleaning woman in his room. In California, Governer Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted to fathering a son with his maid and sleeping with her for years while married to the lovely Maria. It seems both men need more than a pants pressing!

Why can’t married men keep their peckers in their pants? Especially pickled peckers like  Strauss-Kahn and The Schwarz (the NY Post yesterday referred to him as “The Sperminator” – just a classic Post Punch).

Actually, powerful men have had a history of bonking their maids. Thomas Jefferson had his Sally Cummings. And there was that famous Johnson vs Johnson lawsuit where the housekeeper ended up with the millions. And, then there are all those kings of England and the merry maids, or not so depending on the circumstances. The New York Times reported yesterday that “housekeepers and hotel security experts have long had to deal with various sexual affronts from male guests, including explicit comments, groping, guests who expose themselves and even attempted rape.”

I just came up with a new term: “road rape”- for the traveling man who who sexually exploits while traveling.  Just criminal!

So, what’s this have to do with cancer -fighting? Nothing! With women empowerment? Everything!

What it has to do with is the resilience of women. And women face challenges with grace and courage, whether they are fighting cancer, fighting abuse, or a dealing with a lying, cheating, sex abusing scumbag. Women should not and usually do not stoop to the level of sexual predator, Ponzi scheme pusher and husband beater. I realize there are some exceptions (Yikes! Reality TV), and I have not reviewed statistics. But I read the news and I go with my gut. I think women deserve a round of applause for their strength, poise and courage facing challenges and hurdles, whether physical or emotional. 

My heart goes out to the cleaning woman at the Sofitel who reported the crime and who had the courage to face the police lineup.  How often do we travel and walk past the cleaning ladies in the hall without acknowledging them? Think about the mess we leave behind for them to deal with.

Something I did learn – and I was never really good at it before- was to acknowledge all the people who helped me through my cancer treatment: My “doctor dream team” – the compassionate breast surgeon, Dr. Alexandra Heerdt, my feisty Greek oncologist, Dr. Maria Theodoulou,  and Dr. Joseph Disa, my suave and well dressed reconstructive surgeon who made me whole again. Then there are the physicians assistants, the oncology nurses who administered my chemotherapy, the ladies who draw my blood every few months, and the physical therapists who helped enable me to use my arms again, my own husband who I often take for granted. There were so many people who took care of me and most of the time I was so focused on myself in the beginning and finally learned to be more appreciative at the end. I never brought them cookies, cards or small gifts of thanks along the way, and I should have. Let that be a lesson to you. 

But there were more people than those at the hosipital. And these are people who all make our lives more efficient or enjoyable, and I never really took the time to acknowledge them. Like the lady behind the counter at my favorite quick lunch spot who continually asked me how I was feeling, the beautician at the walk- in salon who washed my hair after my masectomy when I could not take a shower, and Mo, the falafel stand man, down the street who chats up my husband, David, who asked about me and sent me a card. And countless others who cut me breaks on my bills and who cut me slack overall.  My cancer taught me about giving and gratitude.

So, then next time I take a trip, I am going to remember to smile at the cleaning ladies at my hotel and tell them to have a great day. I am going to be more courteous to my manicurist at Sally Nail Salon and acknowlege her by name rather than stare down at my Blackberry, and I am going to be nicer to waiters, my building superintendent and his wife and Hedita, my own maid, who quietly cleaned around me and my wig stands and medical debris and who congratulated me when I was back to normal.

Women have the power to change how other women are treated. Let’s set an example!

1 Comment
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