How Did We Get Here: The Culture of Sexual Harassment

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While it is no secret that sexual harassment has occurred countless times over the past 60 years or more, the numbers of complaints and victims have increased exponentially over the past few years. We have seen numerous icons toppled from their place of honor when victims came forward with claims of harassment. The one burning question may be: How did we get here?

There has been seemingly no end to the numbers of stories that have broke concerning the rising tide of women who have claimed that male colleagues or supervisors have subjected them to either inappropriate language or physical touch. The surprising part is how many women have remained quiet about this inappropriate interaction – sometimes for years. Was it fear of negative consequences that kept these victims quiet or was it fears that they would not be believed? Regardless, it is nonetheless tragic that so many women felt the need to remain silent about the often traumatizing experience.

In the past few weeks alone, there have been lawmakers, entertainers and even a respected journalist who has been forced to either admit guilt in unwanted advances toward women or who have been either fired or forced to resign their positions due to the public outrage over what has allegedly transpired. In one unusual allegation, a male actor has been accused of improper and unsolicited interaction with another male. So, what leads to offenders believing that they may be justified in behaving in this manner towards others?

Most of the time, this type of abusive behavior is intended to exert control over others for reasons of the offenders own. Sometimes it may be a sense of entitlement that leads those in positions of authority to make others feel inferior as a means to elevate their sense of self. In other situations, it may be caused by insecurity on the part of the offenders, maybe leading them to feel that they still have control over both themselves and their situation. Other times, it may be simply that one never learned to treat others with respect and dignity.

Another possibility may be one that many have not considered. Our current society has taken a view that one needs to look out for oneself first and foremost. Therefore, the value of things and even people in one’s life is based on how useful one may be in order to make him or her feel gratified or successful. One wise man once stated that the opposite of love is not hate, but rather use. This implies that while love is the seeking of another’s good and needs over our own, the opposite is using a person for whatever purpose one deems appropriate.

This may indeed be just another consequence of the culture of death that has grown in all areas of society ever since the decision of Roe VS Wade allowed the termination of a pregnancy based on the convenience of the mother. Now, how do we turn this around and prevent abusers from treating others as objects?

Writer Bio:  Angela Mose

I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years.  I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia.  A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.

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