Self-control deters sexual harassment
Bill O’Riley, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein were all powerful, influential American men, with a common embarrassing history. They all have been accused of sexually harassing women.
In recent weeks, America has witnessed the dramatic fall of Weinstein from the pinnacle of America’s movie industry. After a woman went public of being sexually harassed by Weinstein, this sparked an avalanche of accusations. This resulted in Weinstein being fired from his own company, and ostracized by the movie industry and movie fraternity.
Some argue Weinstein is a scapegoat
Some argue that Weinstein’s downfall is unfortunate, and he’s a scapegoat for what has been a sick culture of the movie industry. For decades, there were allegations of women aspiring to be actresses or other movie related careers, being subject to sexual harassment by men that control the industry. This was never right. It can never be right for a woman to have to sacrifice her morals to advance, or have security, in any type of career.
But the flair of publicity, and the furor of criticism over Weinstein’s alleged sexual exploits, and other men similarly accused, is somewhat hypocritical.
Women indirectly sexually harassed daily
Women, especially women in America, are indirectly sexually harassed daily. In almost every facet of American life women are highlighted, not for the positives of their gender, but as targets for sex. Women, and sexual innuendo, are powerful marketing tools. The closer to nudity, and the more sexual explicit a woman appears in an ad, the more likely a product or service sells. Almost every magazine cover on bookstands depict scantily dressed women.
In male dominated sports, cheerleaders are scantily dressed women. Some men are more interested seeing the cheerleaders kicking their bare legs, and gyrating their bodies, at NBA and NFL games than the games themselves.
Diet of women as sexual objects
Every day, America is fed a diet of women as sexual objects. Children fed on too much sugar, tend to act wild and disorderly. Similarly, some American men fed with a daily diet of women as sex objects, act wild and disorderly, unable to control themselves around women. They see women as only targets for sex, and assume they can take liberties that’s basically sexually abuse or harassment.
There’s a reason why reports of sexual abuse isn’t prevalent in most Middle East countries. In these countries, women are not publicly portrayed as sexual objects. Women are mandated to cover themselves from head to foot in traditional garments. In some countries a female athlete cannot even compete in shorts.
Historically, men have been sexually aroused by women. Books, including the Holy Bible, relate this phenomenon; David aroused by Bathsheba, Sampson by Delilah; even with these women wearing long robes. To portray women in the nude daily in modern life enhances the risk of sexual abuse by men who cannot control their sexual urges.
Onus on men
Since America, and the western world, generally, isn’t likely to mandate women to wear burka’s, or shift the focus of using sex and scantily dressed women as marketing tools, the onus is on men not to harass women sexually.
Some men unaware what’s sexual harassment
Sadly, some men are unaware what construes sexual harassment. This is true of men from the Caribbean where society tend to be more tolerant to men openly gawking at, and making sexually suggestive comments, and relating sexually explicit jokes to, women. Several soca, reggae and dance-hall songs have lyrics sexually demeaning to women. Nonetheless, women join men in listening and dancing to these songs with great enjoyment.
However, in American society, the way in which a man looks on, speak to, interact with, and touch a woman can be determined to be sexual harassment. Relating a sexual explicit joke to a woman, or women, is also regarded as sexual harassment. Sexual harassment isn’t limited to forced, unwelcomed sexual encounters with women.
Don’t use sex to manipulate vulnerable women
What men in the western world must realize and adhere to is no matter how sexual tempting women are portrayed; irrespective of how sexual enticing a woman is; they have no right to harass, abuse, or force women into direct or indirect sexual involvement. It’s worse for men to use sex as means to manipulate vulnerable women who need jobs, career advancement, housing, transportation, furniture, finances, or any other kind of help.
Every man should realize that using sex as a bargaining chip is effectively sexual harassment.
For news on strides against sexual harassment in the Caribbean, click the link: Jamaica to pass amended (sexual) harassment bill