Where the problem lies
February 2, 2018
“When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”- the president of OUR country. This statement serves as the answer to so many questions regarding sexual harassment; when did it get this bad? Where does this stem from? How can we stop it?
To answer the first question, sexual harassment has been something that women specifically have dealt with forever, but only recently with our current political climate have so many women felt confident enough to report it. This statement by Donald Trump said more than 10 years ago is a perfect example of how this cultural norm of misogyny quickly turns into a battle to protect women from harassment. Let me reiterate- it was always this bad. Assaulting women is no current event, but, when this sexism becomes so ingrained into every aspect of our culture, it becomes difficult for women to speak out. And why shouldn’t they feel scared when, before the last few months, anytime anyone would speak out against a powerful person they were completely ignored, and made to feel guilty and embarrassed. It is only recently, that so many women have felt empowered and comfortable enough to tell their truths.
Now onto the second question. It is probably true that some people are simply raised without proper morals and never learned that things like this are not acceptable. But from a broader perspective, Our culture breeds sexual harassment.”
Our culture breeds sexual harassment.”
From a young age women are made to feel as if their bodies are mere objects that can be judged and manipulated. So we ask, where does this stem from? This stems from every girl that had to take time away from her education to change her shirt because it was distracting her male peers. This stems from every boy hearing that they do not have to take responsibility for their actions because it is never his fault. This stems from every time a girl is asked, “Well, what were you wearing?”
Now finally, the last question. “Stopping” sexual harassment is more than just reprimanding every perpetrator and hoping they don’t do it again. To truly stop this, there needs to be immense changes in how we view and treat both genders. We must reject the claim that it is the woman’s job to protect herself against harassment, and start assigning blame to where it belongs.