Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment must end!
If you’ve logged on to social media recently, you will have seen many women updating their statuses, sending tweets, or using the hashtag #metoo. You may wonder why this has become such a widely used hashtag or sentence. Women, and some men, use these words to share their experiences of sexual assault and harassment.
The founder of this movement, Tarana Burke, started the movement more than 10 years ago. Popularity of the movement increased after Alyssa Milano’s tweet, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”
Since then, Twitter and Facebook have ignited with countless stories of experience with sexual assault or harassment. It’s disheartening to see the endless number of people who’ve experienced sexual assault or harassment. Still, it provides a sense of acceptance and hope. Hope that discussing the issue will bring an end to the acceptance of sexual assault and harassment.
Sexual assault has become commonplace as society has progressed. More and more prominent figures in our society are committing sexual assault and harassment. The fear of sexual assault or sexual harassment has got to end. As a matter of fact, sexual assault and sexual harassment have got to end.
Why do women still face sexual harassment, both in and out of the workplace?
The United Nations defines sexual harassment as: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment
The age-old notion that “boys will be boys” is still present in our society. Even though we’ve made great strides towards equality, women are still unequal. It’s still acceptable and just “something that happens” to face harassment. Why do we still allow this?
Movements like the #metoo movement give victims a voice. The hashtag shows how large the problem still is and how many women still face sexual harassment. What’s even more sobering is that many women who experienced sexual assault or harassment chose not to share their experiences.
Providing a voice to victims is necessary in order to bring attention to sexual assault and harassment. This is an issue that’s far from over and continues to affect countless women. The only way that this will end is through education that it’s wrong and disgusting. Sexual assault and sexual harassment must end. We deserve that.
About the Author
Kathryn Pitts is a Political Science major at Georgia State University, pursuing a career in the non-profit sector. She is aiming to work with refugees, specifically women and children, and women’s rights on a global scale. She is passionate about volunteer work and strives to help others every day. Kathryn also enjoys playing with her dog and hiking on weekends off.
Image Credit: KWCH