In the last few weeks the news of harassment in the show business has been released and they have created movements like #TimesUp and #MeToo, which aims to raise voice against the sexual harassment and at the same time the people who have suffered it can feel identified and realise that they are not alone.
But what is the meaning of sexual harassment? If we can investigate, we can find several definitions according to the situation, but the general definition is as follows:
It is intimidation or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwanted or inappropriate promise of rewards to change of sexual favours."
At times somebody has whistled you, they have given you sexual compliments, where they have followed you so insistently or they simply intimidate you or blackmail you in exchange for sexual favours on the street, at work, in clubs, even relatives in some cases are not excluded, among others.
We can rightly say that in the course of history of humanity, it has been possible to observe and know the various achievements that the human being has had, just as we have been able to know the atrocities and abuses that have occurred for reasons and / or wrong attitudes and among those abuses is sexual harassment.
It should be noted that for centuries this type of abuse has been very common, mainly the abusers are more in people who have some kind of power and because of that position they are at the authoritative level and abuse those under their command or the most fragile (women and children), no matter who it is. This abuse can be suffered by anyone, regardless of age, sex, culture, work, social class or religious and scientific beliefs.
It is important to know that the first time the term Sexual Harassment was used was in 1973 in the report "The Saturn Ring phenomenon," written by Mary P. Rowe, then the President's Special Assistant on women and work at the Technological Institute of Massachusetts on the various forms of harassment related to gender. However, the term was widely unknown until the early 1990s, when Anita Hill testified and denounced sexual harassment of Clarence Thomas, nominee for the United States Supreme Court. After Hill's testimony in 1991, the number of sexual harassment cases reported in the US and Canada increased by 58 percent.
The foregoing makes clear that the complaints of sexual harassment have increased since the victims have dared to speak and mainly because there are already laws that support them in comparison with the past where there was no legislation and in most cases, women had no existing rights to support them.
Despite the legislation, every day we can find more complaints and even then there is still a minimum percentage of the complainants, because many of the victims prefer to keep silent or simply ignore the situation, and why does it do so? For the simple reason that they do not want to get into trouble, for fear of the abuser or what they will say, or because they are accustomed to being frequent and simply prefer to ignore.
Do not forget that most of the cases that are reported are of women, but also men are victims, but they do not denounce because society can come to judge them and be frowned upon.
And we return to the question: Why do they not denounce? Why do they judge men who suffer abuse? Why is it so frequent? Why do they judge women? Why….? It is the most frequent question that will be heard. From small the harassment can occur but it is not identified or it is not given the importance, for example, in the case of children many parents see it as a funny attitude, for example, in the cases of Latin America can be children under 10 years dancing Reguetón in an inappropriate way with a girl or singing songs that have a sexual mention and that he can tell a girl of his age or a woman and can come to see it as grace and not as harassment.
In the case of the men who do not denounce, it is because they can be mocked by family members, friends, even the authorities themselves, because society has created the ideology of machismo, which means that man must be strong, with character and command, and among more women this more man is; If a man reports that he was harassed by a woman, he ends up being considered a lesser man, affecting his self-esteem and morals and prefer to remain silent before reporting. Additionally, machismo encompasses judging women by what they say, see, do and mainly as they dress, to the point of humiliating and denigrating them.
The feeling of insecurity, limitation of freedom, fear and discomfort are usually present in the victims. In the American continent, every 8 of 10 have been victims of some type of sexual harassment. Not only are campaigns enough, you must work hard on the education that is the class to reduce sexual harassment, some of them are:
Finally, worldwide, marches, campaigns and movements of people who fight against sexual harassment in different continents have been carried out. It is time to stop judging and start changing our mentality, these campaigns that have been launched, for example, Times Up, is not the first but it will not be the only campaign against sexual harassment, it is one of the many realized worldwide and that little by little is helping more victims to feel supported and confident in order to raise their voice and denounce.
Leo Natasha Barragan
Leo Club of San Francisco,
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