Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Is Sexual Harassment Different for Men? (Part 2 of 9)

For their 2017 “Person of the Year,” Time magazine chose “The Silence Breakers”—women who triggered a #MeToo national outcry over sexual harassment. They showed photographs of four famous women and the intentionally obscured face of a fifth. She represented those who hadn’t yet gone public.

I applaud that—and wish there were more males speaking up, such as actor Anthony Rapp, who rang the bell on Kevin Spacey.

The public still seems stuck on the idea that sexual attacks are committed by strangers in dark alleys. Despite being told repeatedly through the media, most of us males (and the recent influx of females claiming sexual harassment) knew our perpetrators.

Our abuse came from people we trusted (or should have been able to trust). People can lie and make up things, and some individuals get caught in the false-memory syndrome of believing abuse when there was none. But, again, those are rare.

Think of what the victim must endure to go public. And many have horror stories to relate. Why would any of us want to subject ourselves to such painful scrutiny and unbelief? Why would we expect to be believed?

When you first spoke out, were you believed?

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