I realise it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, so that may be in part why I have chosen such a controversial and delicate topic to discuss whilst making my grand re-entrance to my blog.
The main thing about sexual harassment is many people don’t know what it is, or are oblivious to being victims and perpetrators of it. To clear up confusion about what it actually is, here is the official definition:
Harassment in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks.
Sexual harassment has, however, in recent years, expanded to include such things as asking for explicit pictures, demanding sexual favours from others, and catcalling or making advances to (typically women) people on the street or in other passing social situations.
As this blog is centering on issues concerning women, throughout this blog post I am singularly going to be talking about women and sexual harassment, though I assure you that I understand it is not just women who are and can be sexually harassed.
There a lots of issues about sexual harassment, and a main issue that I am focusing on is whether the recipient finds it flattering or not, and therefore whether or not it is actually an important issue. Many people believe that being asked for explicit pictures of yourself means that you are found attractive, and you should be grateful that someone finds you attractive enough to want to see you naked. Many also believe that strangers on the street giving you compliments on how sexually appealing you are to them is also a form of flattery, and they simply cannot understand why women want it to stop. They feel that women should be grateful to get any form of flattery that they can.
We teach girls that the only compliments worth value to us are ones about our bodies, or our sex appeal. We teach them that “I want to fuck you,” is better than “I’m in love with you.” We teach them that any compliments about their personality or anything other than their appearance just means they’re ugly. We teach them that if a man compliments their body that this is all that matters, and most of us can’t even see how wrong this is, because it’s so normalized. This only helps to perpetuate negative ideas of what is “perfect” or “right” or “normal” when there is no such thing.
Yes, there may be women who find it comforting, or self-confidence boosting, to send sexual pictures of themselves to others and to be told “OH THE THINGS I COULD DO WITH THAT ASS” on the street when they’re walking around, but this is not representative of all women. In my experience, most women hate being catcalled and find being constantly asked for sexual pictures when they don’t want to give them to be an uncomfortable and annoying thing. Being catcalled is a scary and disconcerting experience, especially when you’re a young girl and you’re alone and don’t exactly know how to react to what’s being said to you. I hear so many people saying, “Just shout back! Do something about it!” but it is not that simple.
More often than not, if a woman shouts back or takes action against men sexually harassing her, she will be physically or verbally attacked. What if you shout back at that man, and he comes over and starts assaulting you? What if you end up being killed, just because you chose to show him that you don’t like what he’s doing? We can’t fight back, because if we do, it could be a potentially dangerous situation. Even if we do fight back, and then something bad happens, women more often that not get the blame for ‘leading the man on’ or ‘acting promiscuously.’
It is never the fault of the victim. The perpetrator had a choice, and the perpetrator made that choice and should suffer the consequences of their actions. No one deserves to be raped, or sexually assaulted, or harassed. This brings me onto the topic of Ched Evans.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ched-evans-sordid-night-turned-4446954 (full article on the Ched Evans case)
The summary of the story is Ched Evans, former (well, this is still in debate) Sheffield United football player, was convicted of rape after he and friend Clayton McDonald had sex with a very drunk 19-year-old girl in a Premier Inn. The victim claims she had no recollection of having sex with either of the men, and that she could not remember how she got to the Premier Inn or much else about the night. She also thought her drink may have been spiked. Ched Evans was sent to prison and has served his time, and now is campaigning for the right to be able to continue playing professional football.
The main controversial part of the case is whether he should actually be allowed to resume playing football. He insists that as he has served his time, that he should be allowed to continue on with playing professional football. Many others disagree and say that he has to face full consequences of his actions and therefore should be allowed to continue with his life as if nothing happened, as the victim obviously has not been able to do this.
What do you think?