Problems of sexual harassment come to light

Laney Rendon, News Editor

More women are speaking about harassment or assault by supervisors or coworkers in the work environment. People everywhere should address sexual harassment thoroughly and offer guidance to females who have been harassed rather than dismissing claims. The established culture of “boys will be boys” and locker room talk needs to be eliminated.

In multiple cases, men of power used privilege and entitlement to manipulate others and exercise inappropriate behavior. Victims did not speak up for decades while women were being paid less than men, threatened, blackmailed or ignored by men. With fear of being fired, embarrassment or lack of safeguards, these women were forced to remain silent. Now, they are speaking out.

Some were scared to go to work. Others had to succumb to advances made by their boss because if they didn’t, they would lose their jobs. It’s bad enough a woman can’t walk on the street alone at night without fearing for her body, but then she has to feel the same in a place where she should feel safe. A woman – no, everyone – goes to work… to work, not to deal with a handsy superior who feels entitled.

Not only is this occurring in the political world, but Hollywood recently has had people speak about their experiences, finally calling out the actors and agents who made advances on them. The fact this happened in multiple parts of the U.S., the fact this was covered up by money, the fact these people had to live with this growing burden – all show how messed up and money-focused the world is.

Money can’t fix everything, and these men are in for their rude awakening as more women speak up either live on air, to others or by social media. The hashtag, #metoo, a hashtag for posts in which a person tells Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook how they were sexually harassed or assaulted, is trending. The #metoo movement began in October 2017 when sexual misconduct allegations arose against producer Harvey Weinstein. Multiple actresses, such as Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, accused Weinstein who currently has more than 80 accusers. The hashtag trended since.

The hashtag itself is a great way for survivors to come forth with their stories, open up, and learn to cope with the support of others, but the number of women who have come forth is too high to be ignored. According to Facebook, more than 45 percent of people in the U.S. are friends with someone who has posted a status with the phrase “Me too.” Sexual harassment can happen to anyone. It’s in every community. The issue here is men growing up with the idea that they are entitled to a woman’s body and this issue needs to be addressed.

Some say the victims are lying, and although that does happen sometimes, the percentage of people lying is still too low to disregard any woman who is speaking out. It is believed the man may try to deny because of credibility and authority. The only reason these men are able to avoid such accusations is simply because society allows it. It’s only rare a famous or political man faces consequences because we allow it.

Former Stanford University student Brock Turner, for instance, will never truly pay for the damage he did because he was white and had money. The man who raped an unconscious woman only served three months in prison for good behavior after being sentenced to six months. No amount of authority or money can excuse a man from the fact he either touched or made inappropriate comments and gestures to a woman or man who was, or is, working for him.

Women are now encouraged to speak out as soon as possible and in Hollywood more actors, such as Finn Wolfhard and Cameron Boyce, are dropping their agents who are being accused of sexual assault. Society should stop accepting political leaders, representatives, Hollywood stars and agents who have allegations of sexual assault against them. For the sake of the wives, sisters, mothers, daughters and even sons and brothers in America, people need to stop letting it slide.