Safe Spaces, Feminism and Safety

We learned recently that 91% of women on LinkedIn are harassed and sexually abused on the platform, so much for professional social media (

I mentioned in a previous post ( that I got off Linkedin in 2017 after 12 months of abuse and vilification by safety people. I even received a death threat, from a safety person!

I also launched an open Facebook group and got similar so, now run a closed Facebook group, for those who have done SPoR workshops in the past. You can only join by application ( if you have studied SPoR.

The trouble with the criticism that came from Linkedin was it was always personal, abusive and not about safety. Many also interpreted my criticism of the industry as criticism of them personally. Many had a near religious commitment to safety as if this was their identity ( It certainly seems a weird industry that cultivates such an identity.

Many in safety have no comprehension of the difference between an Archetype ( ), an industry and a person. Such critical thinking is not on the radar of the safety curriculum.

When critical thinking is applied to objects, icons, symbols, signs and semiotics not persons, Safety is offended, even though it has no expertise in Semiotics. Even though the semiotics used by the group contradicts the very purpose of the group or initiative. Sadly, critical thinking is not understood in safety as helpful or constructive, everything is referenced by compliance and the sacred mantras of safety – everything must be comfortable, no dissonance is welcome, learning is not required, confirm what you know from what has been indoctrinated, keep to the club and please no questioning.

So, in safety, the dominant masculinist Discourse stays intact, even in the women’s movement groups in safety. This is easily assessed by compliance to zero, non-questioning of the dominant masculinist paradigm and keeping a masculinist power-centric ethic in place. This is also reinforced by masculinist symbology.

Any Discourse Analysis ( easily demonstrates the consistent affirmation of a masculinist worldview in safety in these women’s groups. Even when you deconstruct masculinist Discourse like this ( you get howled down as being anti-safety.

BTW, few is safety understand Discourse Analysis ( ) and it’s nowhere in a safety curriculum globally. Similarly, there is no interest in safety in Linguistics or the power hidden in Discourse. This stuff is bread and butter work for any feminist.

The deontological ethic in the AIHS BoK Chapter on Ethics is a masculinist ethic for all to see. And, in that Chapter there is no mention of power or one of the most dominant schools of ethics in the last 30 years – Care Ethics. This is because Care Ethics ( ) is a feminist ethic and the last thing Safety wants is for its masculinist ethic to be deconstructed.

Masculinist and feminist Discourse have little to do with being male or female. We are talking here about a philosophical disposition not genitals.

Social Psychology emerged out of Post Structuralist, Feminist, Discourse Theory, Semiotics and Critical Theory (see map of Evolution of SPoR below).

In the study of SPoR a feminist Ethic is welcome, Care Ethics is endorsed.

Unlike Safety (eg. in AIHS BoK), when we study ethics in SPoR ( we discuss all the dominant schools of ethics and what each looks like in relation to risk. From a SPoR perspective Care Ethics is hands down one of the best methodologies in Ethics. Gets no mention anywhere in the safety world! Even safety books that explore leadership and care, don’t mention Care Ethics (eg. Lloyd).

Again, let’s be clear, this is about worldviews, philosophical/methodology, not gender. Nothing of a philosophical or critical thinking focus is a part of any safety curriculum.

The question is simple: What ethic best humanises persons in tackling risk? I haven’t seen any of the women in safety groups even tackle the question of ethics, the foundation of professionalism.

Let’s return to the climate on Linkedin and ask the same question. What platform best humanises persons in tackling risk? Well, it’s clear, it’s NOT Linkedin.

Recently we gathered a group together in SPoR of women in discussion about risk. It’s an informal group which is probably the best format for a feminist ethic. Last time we did something like this was recorded here: In this video, my role was as facilitator and without any prompting each woman who participated naturally aligned with a Feminist Care Ethic (;

I look forward to what emerges from this group and I certainly hope that it has the courage to tackle the masculinist ethic that dominates safety.

If this group interests you and you’ve studied SPoR, and you want to learn, please email and we can join you to the group:

Life and Work – Feminine Perspectives from Human Dymensions on Vimeo.


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