To the Editor of the Courier Mail: An Insult to Women Everywhere

by Katerina Nikolaidis, MA Hons PD Pip, Brunswick Heads, Australia

I am writing to express my grave concern at your article published today: “New age ‘medicine’ of Serge Benhayon leaves trail of broken families”. I am a woman, 37 years old, single, and I work full-time for a medical distribution company. As I read your article, not only was I alarmed at the allegations made which are simply not true, I was also alarmed at what your article is implying about women.

Your article states (in reference to Universal Medicine) that ‘after breast massage clients are told… to not allow their partners to touch them without permission.’ What is your point? That a woman should expect that her breasts and her body are to be touched by her partner even when she may not want to be touched? Is a woman’s body her husband’s property? Not only does your article expose how low journalism is prepared to go to print stories that have absolutely no foundation of truth, it also reveals how women are still perceived as lesser. And not only lesser… but as property. That it is actually expected that whenever a man wants to feel ‘his’ woman’s breasts he is entitled to do it.

Perhaps you would be interested in publishing the following statistics from the IVAW – International Violence Against Women Survey:1

  • Of a survey of more than 6,600 women, more than half had experienced at least one incidence of physical or sexual violence over their lifetime.
  • More than a third of women (34%) had experienced this violence from a former or current partner, although violence from a former partner was more common, and more likely to result in women being injured and feeling that their lives were in danger.
  • 12% of women reported experiencing sexual violence by an intimate partner (current or former) over their lifetimes, including instances of attempted (3%) and completed (6%) forced intercourse (i.e. rape).
  • Women who had experienced sexual violence by their intimate partners were also likely to have been physically abused by them (73%).

These statistics show us that something is NOT ok. That domestic and sexual violence is happening, that women are having their breasts and bodies touched without permission, and that it is wrong. Why do you not investigate and report on that?

As a little girl I used to admire journalists. My father was a journalist, and I would admire how dedicated some journalists seemed to be to deliver what was really going on in the world. Now that seems ridiculous and naïve; almost embarrassing. That little girl, and many more little girls and women around the world, have been insulted gravely by what you have decided to publish.


1 – IVAW – International Violence Against Women Survey

111 thoughts on “To the Editor of the Courier Mail: An Insult to Women Everywhere

    1. Here here well said Katerina, this needs to said, the media are lowering the bar with how we interact with each and allowing abuse to be lived as acceptable, it is not. And it is a reflection of how they live to be able to condone and write such abusive articles under the guise of reporting.

  1. Irresponsibility of the hightest order in journalism. Women continue to have to fight for the right to say yes or no to whether they feel like being intimate or not. It is supposed to be mutual to make love and should always include respect. Not so in this article, and how dare this journalist suggest that after estoteric breast massages, men are no longer able to touch our breasts – completely preposterous.

  2. Surely women being regarded as ‘property’ has to change. Thank you Katerina for going to print on this subject.

  3. Misogyny in the Mail. This is a great call for accountability and responsibility Katerina. There is no place for misogyny in this world – and yes, this includes the media.

  4. Thanks Katerina, good call. The media irresponsibly insinuating that a woman’s breasts are her husbands property is so archaic and gravely concerning, what message are they sending? The media continually abuse their position of power time and again, and then have the hide to suggest Serge Benhayon is behaving unethically. One day the truth will be clear to everyone and that day will not come a moment to soon.

  5. Hear hear Katerina. Reading this brought up memories for me of an ex who did not take no to mean no. The most ridiculous thing about that though is that I have not felt able to share this with close family (who still have contact with him) for fear of being made a liar or brushed under the carpet?! Why do we live in such a world? It is each of our responsibility to clean up this mess we have gotten ourselves into…and, sadly these journalists have not made that turn yet, but are still contributing only to the mess!

  6. Katerina thank you for speaking for all women who deserve to have the right to say who touches their breasts or not. And for exposing the irresponsible and disrespectful journalism in the article about Universal Medicine.

  7. You show me the power of love Katerina Nikolaidis. The way you claim your truth on how society is accepting the treatment of women as being less and subordinate to men, is so profound and and so needed to be told.

  8. The statistics you have provided Katerina are quite alarming and what is also of great concern is the media writing absolute lies about Serge Benhayon.

  9. The article in the courier mail was defiantly implying that male partners own women as property, and can do what they like. Women will no longer stand for being treated as subordinate, or second-class citizens. What Universal Medicine presents is a deep respect for men women and children that we all know we deserve. Women deserve our deep respect, and appreciation, in the street, at the workplace, and in the home. Many of those committed to being honest about their relationship have come to greater love and intimacy because of it. There is a lovely story to be told about Universal Medicine and women’s health that has been reduced down to a derogatory remark about Esoteric Breast Massage.

    1. Lovely to hear this from a man Bernard… and yes, there is an extraordinary story to be told about Universal Medicine as it supports both men and women worldwide to begin reclaiming who they are.

  10. These accusations are absolute baloney! I have had many, many EBM’s and have never been told such things about who can not touch my breast. So there is the fact that this is a lie but what is equally concerning is that your article is basically saying that it is odd if a woman doesn’t give permission to her partner to touch her breasts. This is a very destructive message to print and there is an absolute lack of responsibility here. Just because a woman is in a relationship this gives no right to her partner to touch her when ever and however he or she likes, this would be an absolute violation of a woman’s rights to her own body! Let’s not regress what has been achieved throughout history in way of equality.

  11. Thank you Katerina! Thank you! This journalist has definitely published outright degrading lies. What is wrong with women connecting back to themselves, feeling their self-worth, feeling the preciousness and delicateness of themselves and saying no to anything that does not feel right to them? A woman’s body is her body and it is true, for a woman to determine what she feels to do or have done to her! It is for all women to be empowered and respected by themselves, and never settle for less in another, or how another is treating her. Yes Women’s bodies do not belong to the men.

  12. This is hard to swallow by some men but women are not a property of ours. They belong to themselves. Their body is their body. In the same way we belong to ourselves and our body is only ours.

    I participated in several weddings in different countries and cultures (including my own). I have never heard a woman saying “My body is yours now so you can do as please” and I am good at paying attention. It is about sharing lives based on the equality and the love men and women are in truth.

  13. A very well written article – thank you Katerina. Misogyny is something that we must call out any time it is expressed directly or endorsed in any way. Is that the best they could do to criticise Universal Medicine – how women do “not allow their breasts to be touched without their permission” – if that is their smoking gun then we are in dangerous waters where a woman’s body is not deemed her own but the property or the right of another.

    1. Yes Sarah, if this is what deems Universal Medicine a ‘dangerous cult’, then it’s cult we all need to be in… as that’s exactly the change of attitude necessary to begin shifting the pervasive misogyny still so prevalent in society. If Universal Medicine is the organisation finally supporting women to reclaim their bodies as their own, first and foremost, then they need to be applauded and hailed by the papers.

  14. ‘after breast massage clients are told… to not allow their partners to touch them without permission.’ – that is such an indictment of the reporters who expose their misogyny and sleaziness with their ‘he he he – isn’t this sexual’ nudge nudge attitude coupled with straight-out fingerpointing in just a few words.

  15. Thanks Katerina, responsibility in journalism has taken a back seat these days it would seem. The perpetuation of misogyny and violence towards women through these sort of attitudes requires a serious look by us as a society.

  16. Journalism more and more looks for convenient truths, that are not truths at all but lies that can be gotten away with. The media tends to choose which stories it can get away with and in the case of Universal Medicine many journalists obviously feel they can say what they like for the sake of a juicy, though completely, false story. In regards to the treatment of women there is still a massive undercurrent of sexism prevalent in almost all of society and this is not helped by this style of reporting which consolidates the lie that women should be subordinate to their partners and are unable to think for themselves.

  17. I love Katerina how you have totally claimed this unacceptable situation both for yourself and all women and young girls in the world. When this gains momentum, all will be given permission to claim as you have. Thank you for your inspiration.

  18. So well said Katerina, it is statistics and stories like this that should be making headline news, not lies and misinformation about Universal Medicine and the amazing modality of Esoteric Breast Massage. I agree that there are few in the journalistic field today who would consider that integrity and truth are valuable and needed qualities. I would beg to differ and say no more to this type of gutter journalism, let’s print the truth for all to see and let the people decide for themselves. Thank you for writing with such truth, integrity and respect for all Katerina, an example of true journalism and someone not afraid to write about what is really going on today.

  19. A women’s body is always her’s first and how she uses it is her choice.
    It is not the property or ownership of another. Women do not walk around thinking they own men’s bodies, or writing in the tabloids as such.
    It exposes the single minded way in which those men see women in the world – full stop.

  20. The insinuation that is made concerning the Esoteric Breast Massage and also the way that the article denigrates and subjugates woman is shocking and great that it is challenged and exposed in this blog. As women, as a woman there is so much more to say, it is inspirational to read a blog where a woman is standing for truth – thank you.

  21. These statistics are startling and a grave overview of what the reality is between men and women today, when we think we are so advanced with all our technological advances.

  22. Katerina, I couldn’t express it better, you spoke for us all as women, Thank you.
    That is where to start, to at least to start all to express the absurdity of the way it is accepted that people can write in the newspapers.

  23. Hear, hear and thank you for speaking up for all women in your letter to the Courier Mail, Katerina. The majority of journalistic reporting in these times seems to be all about providing sensationalized propaganda with little representation of the truth and total irresponsibility or care for the harm they cause.

  24. Great blog, Katerina, thank you for speaking up for all of the women. This article and what’s happening in the society according to statistics clearly show that we as a kind are not developing.
    What I couldn’t understand how is it possible for humans with brains not to see the difference between truth and lie?

  25. Thank you Katerina, you have taken this to the heart of the matter, to the abuse and sexual abuse of women and girls everywhere and how articles such as this contribute to this abuse world wide.

  26. Thank you for expressing the truth Katerina. Abuse against women and girls has continued worldwide for far too long. Three years on it seems this is escalating – although maybe it is now getting world-wide attention so more publicity – no bad thing. We need more people to call it out and not take a blind eye when they see abuse being perpetrated in their neighbourhood – or online.

  27. Journalists like your father appear to be a thing of the past… for the dedication to deliver the truth of any situation seems unable to not get laced by the desire and pressure to be printed at any cost, even if the cost is the truth and the harm of it’s absence.

    1. Thank you Katerina and Samantha, I agree, there is an absolute absence of truth about abuse and what women in society are supposed to endure is absolutely taking us back to the days of slavery!

  28. Thank you for speaking up on behalf of all women Katerina. It is beyond belief that we have a media in this day and age that carry on so. What happened to accountability and responsibility? Too many women are suffering as the statistics clearly reflect – the eyes of the media in this instance need to be fully opened for they are surely lost and in the dark here in regards to truth.

  29. Using the mentioning of partners and a permission to touch them is quite interesting because some might react thinking why would you ask for a permission to touch your partner? I would say that it’s not so much of can or can’t I touch but in WHAT WAY do I touch my partner. Not many would say no to be touched in an honouring and love filled way BUT a lot of women and men for that matter would say no to be touched in a way that doesn’t feel right.

  30. Wow – well said Katerina – yes, what is being peddled here is Domestic and Sexual Abuse. Journalists seem to have lost all connection with people for if they still had any, they would not be able to print what they do. People become objects rather than feeling sentient beings, objects that clearly don’t matter to so many who write such nonsense. If journalists had any appreciation for the true impact of what they publish they would surely have a very different view of their ‘profession’ and be aware of the enormous responsibility they have. When we objectify people we are able to treat them in inhuman ways – and do things like start wars – and such things begin with care-less and love-less words.

  31. If I could write a headline of my own in relation to my life since I met – and heard Serge Benhayon it would be about how all my relationships with others have been transformed because I have become more responsible, less needy and more truly loving. A trail of true connections with others in fact.

  32. Well said Katerina, what was reported shows irresponsibility and how men still view women as lesser or as sexual objects. This is an age-old problem and to start the conversation around this is most needed and most have turned a blind eye to the harm this creates to all women everywhere – thank you for bringing awareness to this.

  33. Everyone, and therefore every woman has the right to be honored and respected in equalness in every regard, whether that be physically, sexually or anything else for that matter. Any suggestion that anyone does not deserve to be honored in equalness is not truth, and it is important to claim this as a truth so that the world can come back to knowing this in all life. The derogatory style of the article is very far from this, and I applaud your response to it Katerina.

  34. Interesting how a true self-empowerment and healing modality for women like the esoteric breast massage does roused people up and out of their lethargy to say/write something against it. A woman in her full bloom and power seems very terrifying for some – why should there be so much violence against women otherwise? There is something in us that holds the key for a true turn in society and for mankind. Time to discover, let it out and express it again. I am thankful for Universal Medicine and every organization or being who supports women in their power.
    We can see in history that people who offered a true change, offered realizations of truth are often appreciated not until long after their death. This maybe will be so with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine in a big view, but I and thousands of others honour and appreciate what they offer now. The willingness to change, to truly heal and take responsibility is a blessing – but at the end also ‘just’ a choice away. Always.

  35. Journalism perhaps once was and could be again a noble art. Today it has, to a very large extent, sunk to lows that render it little more than gossip, and sometimes of the most evil kind.

  36. Unfortunately the media as a collective does not tend to care as to who is insulted, let alone if the truth is told, for without respect of women as part of their foundation, there is no true care other than ticking enough boxes to get their article published, regardless of the cost. A sad state of affairs indeed.

  37. These words say much to me tonight, “by what you have decided to publish.”
    The very last words of this article completely expose the falseness of media. The fact is what is written is decided upon. Rather then adhering to true journalism, and delivering that which will grow and unite humanity.

  38. The deliberate misrepresentation of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine continues but more and more people are choosing to find out for themselves what is presented at talks, workshops and courses and are discovering a truth, honesty and integrity in all that is shared and presented.

  39. Awesome Katerina. Journalists have a responsibility to our society to print the real facts and truth so together we can apply with the grouped intelligence to respond to what is needed next. It seems to be a one way street at the moment – a terrible imposition to our society and families.

  40. I can understand that men feel easily rejected, especially if it comes to intimacy and they are feeling needy for touch and warmth. However at some stage a relationship needs to be reflected upon if sex is sought without true intimacy as that obviously does not respect the women but neither does it full fill the men. The men have just forgotten what they are missing out on and going for the next best thing, which is nowhere close to what they could have if they honoured, cherished and adored the woman. So for a man to need the entitlement of touching a woman’s breast whenever he wants, just shows how far lost he is and how little he knows about true womanhood and the beauty, love and sacredness that can unfold from it.

  41. Any woman at any time should have the right to say no to any advances or impositions from another that makes them uncomfortable. No means no.

  42. This shows when you don’t do your homework or when you don’t bring forward a balanced account that you end up saying something or doing something that hurts, offends or insults others. It’s not about perfection but it’s about have a true care about what you are doing and if you are going to the point of writing or recording something then it would support us all if you were to dedicate at least to telling the full story. In this instance obviously the current media are out of line again, out of line with where we all need to be when it comes to repeating things we’ve heard or something we are told. As the article said journalism used to be a place that people really took what they did with some care or dedication to bringing through the truth. All the older movies even point towards investigative journalists going about their work. It would seem that now, and I have heard it referred to as ‘copy and paste journalism’, where people seem to be more focused on production of a story rather than on qualifying what is being said. This article is off the mark in more ways than one and sadly for us all it’s not an isolated case.

  43. In the desire to malign another the door has been opened by the journalists who wrote these articles to denigrate women. Women are not lesser beings who are owned by men. Women hold and have the right to be who they are in full, and if that means they choose to live a life of loving inner connection, then that is what they should be allowed to do.

  44. Just because a woman chooses to be in a relationship it doesn’t mean that she has to give over her body to the man. A relationship is not a relationship unless there is decency and respect for one another.

  45. Well said Katherina, a young woman myself – being very very aware of what I want and do not want and hence not allow, I can say that this publication made by the above journalist is very very not what true journalism is, but the opposite (spreading lies) and hence breaking the policy and the absolute integrity and truth for our human kind. If the journalists above would want the truth to be known by the world (humanity) – then they would seek true cases and not makeup fake ones.

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