Shareable listeners! This week, we’re discussing one of the most pressing issues of our time: respect and consent. In the era of #MeToo, a new dialogue is being formed in society. We’re talking with our guest, Mike Domitrz, who sheds light on these two huge domains that are necessary for healthy relationships and for society as a whole. Mike is an award winning author and publisher, educator, ally, expert, and speaker. He works to dramatically improve society’s approach to dating and consent, by giving people the tools to have the necessary conversations. Mike is sharing his incredible insight on the topic: that we all play a role in shaping society. He probes us to think deeply about our own personal experiences, and how we all hold perceptions of consent, intimacy, and respect…at home, in the work place, everywhere. We are honored to have one of the leading voices on this topic share his passions and expertise. Take a listen below!
Running time: 35:32
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Tell us a little bit about what you do. (4:20)
Mike is the founder of The Date Safe Project. Ultimately, he works to create a culture of consent and respect. He has worked with almost every type of organization, from elementary school students to large corporations to the U.S. Military. What he covers is widespread; ranging from sexual intimacy to consent to a comfortable work atmosphere for all employees. The underlying premise is that every environment and human being has a responsibility to create a respectful and empathetic culture.
How do you feel about the political and social climate we currently live in? (5:43)
Mike sheds light on the fact that many people assume that the issues that have led to the large movements and conversations we see today were brought about recently. However, this is not the case. Mike shares that he has worked to raise awareness and facilitate dialogue on respect and consent for almost thirty. The truth is, the issues that led to the recent Me Too Movement have always plagued society. And in the past, there were times where they were discussed in main stream media. However, there have been no major changes in dialogue, which has resulted in the necessary change not being reached. So, the question remains: how will we change moving forward?
So, what do you think needs to change moving forward in order to combat society’s problems? (6:25)
As a society, we need to realize our role in what is going on in the world. We need to, within our own personal lives, engage in these widespread conversations we are seeing in the media. Often times, we see movements such as the Me Too Movement and we only think about the ‘villians’ that have created the need for such movements. We create drastic characters that are responsible for the traumas and pain we are seeing so prevalently. In doing so, we fail to look inward into our own role in contributing to the history of these issues, which directly impacts our role in creating our future society.
How do we discover our role in these problems? (9:10)
Doing so requires us to look in the mirror and work to understand the biases we have consciously or unconsciously applied to thinking about these issues. Think about the important questions: What are your preconceived notions about consent, about intimacy, about the decisions we make regarding the two? We have to see these issues as instances we all play a direct role in. For example, most people don’t realize that current views towards dating and intimacy are based, to varying degrees, on disrespect.
These issues that you have dedicated your life to combating are massive, in that their scope permeates into every section of society. How do you go about creating real change and dialogue from people who may be resistant? (15:52)
Mike says all he needs to enact change in others is a chance to get in the room with them.
At this point in his career, Mike has the experience needed to shift these major paradigms. The work isn’t done from a place of needing to change anyone’s mind, but rather to facilitate the tough discussions. Through these amazing conversations, light bulbs go off in people’s minds. From there, Mike says that people often transform their perceptions.
How has technology impacted the cultures of respect you work to create? (24:52)
Technology has given us more access.
In the past, you had to physically ask someone if you wanted to learn more about something. For many people this was embarrassing and nerve wracking. As a result, not a lot of effective conversations took place.
Today, we have access to almost any sort of information we want, whenever we want it. There are pros and cons to this truth. On one hand, survivors can find support groups and resources to help them in their journey. And people looking to learn more can easily do so. Going off of that, however, it can be extremely unfiltered. We don’t know the validity of the information we come into contact with unless we do extra research.
This current young generation is not any more curious than the previous generations were when they were young. The only difference is that current young people have more access.
Are you optimistic of the direction society is going towards regarding consent and respect? (29:20)
We must let go of the idea that success in overcoming these massive issues is something that will happen in our own lifetimes. Going off of that, we have to let go of the idea that it needs to be accomplished in our lifetimes in order to be successful. These things take time. The main work to be done remains in shifting the dialogue so the work can continue into the future.
One book every person should read. (30:38)
Favorite Podcast. (32:05)
Application you can’t live without. (32:20)
One lesson you wish you learned earlier in your career. (32:30)
Do less, better.
Most important skill of the future? (32:36)
One thing every listener of this episode should do today (32:48)
Ask the question: Where in my life am I ensuring that my relationships are mutual?
CONNECT WITH MIKE
- Mike’s Website
- Mike’s Book
- @MikeDomitrz on Twitter
- The Date Safe Project on Facebook
- Mike on Instagram
CONNECT WITH JEFF
- Email Jeff
- @JGibbard on Twitter
- Jeff on Facebook
- Jeff on Linkedin (make sure to introduce yourself)
- Jeff on Instagram
- Jeff on Snapchat
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Ray, our Audio Engineer.
Thanks for cleaning up our voices and adding all that sexy production value.
Maria, our Intern.
Thanks for providing the show notes for today’s episode.