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How to Move Beyond Shock at Sexual Harassment: Identify the Root Cause

Photo Credit: Screen Capture / Democracy Now!

The past 3 months have been a whirlwind of tab in scarcely every globe and industry, from Hollywood to Washington, D.C., and every place in between. Sexual nuisance and assault—topics that were once dark secrets tucked divided in bureau cubicles and hotel rooms, only to be shared in whispers among other women—have now come to the forefront of the informative conversation. 

This transformation of unapologetically observant #MeToo has essentially been catalyzed and sustained by the flourishing list of men accused of some form of passionate misconduct. Every day, a new name is combined to the list: Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey, Al Franken, Matt Lauer. Whenever news breaks of passionate nuisance allegations against another man, one of the many abdominal reactions is one of shock. It’s a clarity of warn that a man, generally a man generally deliberate “nice” or “progressive” or “good,” could provide women so horribly.

But we shouldn’t be astounded anymore. We should see it coming.


While the media’s concentration has especially been on famous men in party and politics, the reality is that forms of nuisance and passionate attack start with shocking frequency. For many women, passionate nuisance is inbred in their life experiences. The commonality of passionate nuisance is not since all men are bad, but since of the enlightenment in which we lift boys to spin men.

The problem is not simply one of particular impression or values, but one deeply secure in the culture. The function of men like Weinstein, Franken, Lauer and others not nonetheless named is essentially a product of being lifted in a congenital multitude that prioritizes the needs and desires of men over the group of women.

It’s not that men who harass or abuse women do so since they are quite meaner or some-more misogynist than your normal person—it’s that we learn them it’s fine to do so. Starting at a immature age, boys are taught the value of charge as the gateway to masculinity. They are taught that being a man means being confident. As these immature boys start navigating the world, they start to internalize certain misogynist biases, such as seeing women as weaker, reduction intelligent, reduction than. Although these thoughts may not always perceptible themselves into actions, the seed has already been planted. As boys spin into teenagers and then into men, those gendered biases have an event to change how they correlate with women. The masculinity becomes some-more toxic, the misogyny some-more acute.

These deeply secure beliefs can perceptible themselves by passionate attack on college campuses, the demeaning of women in veteran spaces, workplace harassment, and in extreme resources even rape. Because the multitude is mostly some-more prone to trust and value men over women, the indignity of women is mostly reduced to hushed, dark whispers.

This is not to contend all men will harass women at some indicate in their lives. There are men who are some-more responsive of their gendered prejudices and are actively operative to deconstruct these damaging biases. But even if a man lives but being accused of passionate bungle like large others, the reality is that he is still, at any point, able of demeaning and harming women. It is the enlightenment that provides them the collection and the leisure to act this way, after all. Even the men we hold progressive, the ones who support women’s reproductive rights and the fight for equal pay, are able of badgering and abusing women. Because before they became progressive, they were still men.

This is not meant to be a visualisation of probity or ethics, as it is transparent that one who mistreats women is not so much a beast or an anomaly, but a transparent thoughtfulness of a enlightenment that rewards masculinity with power. And, sadly enough, stealing purported passionate harassers from positions of energy will not do adequate to residence this issue. Short-term remedies can't solve long-term problems.

To fight a enlightenment of misogyny, we must concentration on teaching immature boys not about energy or aggression, but about adore and mutual respect. We need to tell boys that it’s fine to be emotional, and we should stop putting poisonous masculinity up on a pedestal. And we need to learn boys, from a immature age, about consent. There are too many immature men who mistake sex and agree today, a problem addressed by simply articulate to immature people seriously about insinuate relationships. It competence seem counterintuitive, but to solve this problem, children need some-more bearing to discussions of sex, not less.

If we truly wish to residence the widespread indignity and nuisance of women, we need a extreme enlightenment change that tackles the valuing of masculinity and systemic patriarchy. The concentration now can't simply be on adult men in power—we need to spin the courtesy to the boys. We need to lift them differently. We need to lift them better. Because if we don’t, the list of names will only grow longer.

Celisa Calacal is a freelance author for AlterNet. She is a comparison broadcasting major and authorised studies teenager at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. Previously she worked at ThinkProgress and served as an editor for Ithaca College’s tyro newspaper. Follow her at @celisa_mia.

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