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The Danger of Minimizing Sexual Harassment

sexualharassmentYou don’t have to be a victim in order to be outraged over what is being said in the national conversation about sexual harassment. Here are three out of the many reasons why everyone should be shocked and upset regardless of who you voted for.

By the way, I wrote this in response to the famous Trump pussy-grabbing comments during the very ugly 2016 presidential campaign. But please 100% remove politics from this post. Please ignore why I am talking about this and who said anything about it. Let’s just objectively look at what is being said, okay?

And now those three reasons I promised you, not in any particular order:

1)  All men are being insulted.
People are saying “Oh, that’s the sort of thing all men say. It’s just locker-room talk.”  That is an insult to men. Of all the men I know, none of them would ever talk that way and would actually be angry with others who talked that way. Okay… perhaps 1 or 2 would talk that way if they were very, very drunk, but then in the morning they would feel very ashamed and apologetic about it. If you know men who think it is okay to talk that way, then you should help them understand that it is horrible of them and they should stop. And if they don’t stop, get them out of your life!

2) The definition and gravity of sexual harassment are being diminished.
Just because it doesn’t involve penetration or result in bruises or torn tissue,  non-physical assault is very definitely not benign. It can be insidious and damaging and should not be tolerated. It is very troubling for almost anybody, but especially when targeted at children, young people, or anyone who is at all vulnerable, non-physical sexual harassment can be extremely, permanently damaging to self esteem (and worse). Nobody should have to put up with it. After all the progress that has been made over the last 20 years, to listen to what is being said to downplay it is beyond dismaying.

3)  Victims are being told to accept sexual harassment.
It’s unsettling to be subjected to sexual harassment, and dealing with it, let alone confronting the harasser, is extremely difficult and takes an incredible amount of courage. Every time a person just shrugs off harassment that was targeted at them, they are compromising their honor toward themselves, and they know it. For people to be told to just shrug it off is damaging and horrible. To shame victims from dealing with it or confronting their harasser is deplorable.

Shame on anybody who is being permissive about this!