Sexual Harassment and Assault – What Do We Do Now?

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IT. IS. NOT. OK.

It is far from OK.

The world is fired up over the fact that women are routinely harassed or assaulted.

Men, too.

Children.

It’s sick.

The discussion continues, today. But, tomorrow, it will fade to the background. We’ll say to ourselves “it’s wrong”, but the cycle of abuse will continue and no one will stop it.

In the early 1990s, a woman accused a US Supreme Court nominee of harassment. The country took notice and discussed it. Companies adopted “no harassment” policies. The nominee became a justice. We moved on and rolled our eyes at the woman and every woman since who dares talk about their oppression and suppression and abuse.

Oh, we’ll pat them on the back. Tell them that things will get better, they’ll heal. Advise them to move forward with their lives. On to the next situation where they have to compromise their humanity or face a fallout none of us could handle.

Or, we blame them. The way the dress, the way they walk, or the fact that they dared smile or laugh.

It is not OK.

When I say we, I include me.

When my wife told me a doctor made her feel uncomfortable, years ago, because he touched her shoulder or her knee, I said he’s an older guy and didn’t mean anything by it. Just the old Southern ways.

Stupid fool. Me, not her.

I tried to tell myself that the stories of harassment and abuse I heard either on TV or elsewhere were isolated. Not all men were like that. They were the few, demented individuals.

Stupid fool.

I’m tired of playing the fool. I’m tired of letting this go by without anything being done about it. I’m tired of hearing women tell us the terror that they face on a daily basis and brushing it off as either their fault or “boys being boys”.

It’s sick. Something needs to be done.

They cycle needs to be broken.

But, to be honest, I have no more answers on how to stop this than the women who hide because of shame or fear or the millions of other reasons.

Because society, the world at large, doesn’t see the problem. They pat the perpetrators on the back, give them their dream job, elect them as President, sweep all those “nasty women” under the rug and move on with life.

So, world, I’m asking you. What do we do now?

Moving on with our lives is not the answer.

Sweeping all the #metoo stories under the rug is not the answer.

We need to keep the conversation going. We need to flip the culture on its head and break the cycle.

We need to finally get it in our heads that we can’t just take what we want without consent. Men against women. Women against men. Men against men and women against women. It doesn’t matter who does the taking, it needs to stop.

You and I were created equal. Both imprinted with the image of God. Whatever power I may have in this world does not give me ownership of you.

No one has ownership of anyone else.

Let’s fix this, not forget it.

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Let’s keep the conversation going. How do you think we can fix this and not simply move on?

If you’ve been a victim, what do you want fools like me to understand? How do you think we can change this culture?

I recommend reading these two blog posts to stir our thoughts and get us moving toward answers and healing. Tell me your thoughts on them, too:

No Words Lament For Women

To The Men On The Other Side of #MeToo

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I would love to discuss this story and more with you. You can Contact me through email, or Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

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12 thoughts on “Sexual Harassment and Assault – What Do We Do Now?

  1. For so many years women have had to just suck it up. It wasn’t just men telling us, we told each other. I know that guy at work keeps saying uncomfortable things but just try to avoid him. That guy at school is a jerk, grabbing your butt in the hallway but don’t make a scene! It’s ingrained and it’s sick and I’m glad to see it’s finally being recognized and acknowledged. It’s going to be a long road, but the conversations have really started and I pray they will continue.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I would like to respond with a question more than anything, maybe some dialogue can come from it.

    My question – Does anyone think or feel that the media shares some responsibility for the focus on sexuality AND for the biased views on sexual assaults. For instance – you can turn on the TV and pretty much find sex or sexual situations anytime, anyplace. Additionally, Think back to a former President who admitted inappropriate sexual conduct in the Oval Office. That got national outcry but now is barely ever discussed – our current President has his own issues but yet again it is barely discussed accept when making character attacks. What the Heck America. Craziness

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The media does share responsibility, we all do. Why does the media show what they show? Because we want to see it. If we weren’t, it wouldn’t make them money. As far as your points about the presidents, and many others, that’s what’s wrong. We talk about it for awhile, but then it fades to the background and we forget – until the next “big scandal”. Meanwhile, women, men, and children are victimized every day.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My thoughts exactly – as a culture we seem to thrive on scandal and shock factor, but then do very little about it. Mr Weinstein is only one in so many but why has he been protected all these years by very powerful people – one answer,,,,,money

        Liked by 2 people

  3. My 22-year-old daughter asked me if smiling and being nice to guys was going to give her the reputation of “Slutty McSlutterson” was how she put it. Funny, but not. We can’t even smile or be kind to one another without fear of retribution. Men and women. A man who smiles and waves– his actions can be considered predatory. I believe our current state of affairs could be traced to a cultural agreement that was made and entered into in the last few generations that there is no truth. Post-modernism has birthed its deformities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Truth. There is a fine line to walk here, and it’s been washed out in a lot of spots. Girls are either “teases” or “frigid”. Guys are either “predators” or “afraid of women”. Those are extremes, of course, but it shows how hard it is to walk the line. However, I don’t know if post-modernism gave birth to it, or simply fear. The abuses have happened from close to the beginning, and women have been blamed for everything they’ve had to endure. The label of predator on men stems from that, I think. And if men endure assault/harassment, they are labeled as “weak” for not protecting themselves. I can see how it’s hard for a woman to know what a man’s motivations are, and they do need to be careful. We have so far to go before we stop blaming the victim. Especially women.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a feeling that this wave of awareness will help change the silence and tolerance of sexual abuse and harassment. At least we will move forward a step or two. In my generation, it was pretty common and so accepted that complaints were completely ignored. We’ve made progress and will continue to. I think the fact that so many men now recognize this as unacceptable is a huge help.

    Like

    1. Just found two of your comments in my spam. Strange that they were there.

      I hope that you are right, that there is/will be a shift in our cultural mindset. Sometimes I think there is a change for the better, only to see things like this (the entirety of the #MeToo movement). We can only keep pushing for a permanence in thinking differently. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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