With the countless sexual improprieties of Harvey Weinstein being make public the "Me Too" movement has blown up with
thousands millions of women posting these two words on social media to indicate that they too have been sexually harassed and/or assaulted. Lovely world isn't it?
I'm certainly no expert on human behavior but I have been thinking about why some men behave this way. I have (more than two) words to add to the fray.
There is no dispute that men are biologically wired for sex. They think about sex a lot and the men who harass women are unable or unwilling to mentally draw that line between appropriate and inappropriate sexual behavior.
Perhaps men think that women are as sexually wired as they are and want to engage in sexual behavior as badly as they do.
Men want to exert power over women because it makes them feel better about themselves and because they're wired for sex they naturally default to this method.
I am not sure to what extent our culture plays into sexual harassment/assault but we can't deny that it does.
In the evenings while I work I've been watching old M*A*S*H reruns. This is a show that, at its time, was ground-breaking in exposing the idiosyncrasies of war. It won multiple awards throughout its eleven year duration. But in almost every episode I see examples of sexual harassment inflicted by the male doctors toward the female nurses. Call it innocuous flirting, or nebulous teasing, in today's world, those nurses could file a harassment lawsuit and win. And what's more disturbing, it's all done in the name of comedy. The laugh track is loud and clear. The behavior of the men toward the women is supposed to be funny.
Fortunately entertainment has evolved somewhat from the days when it was funny to harass women. So I guess we can be glad about that. Unfortunately, the goings on behind the scenes are not so quick to come to light. But with the "Me Too" movement, perhaps its time has come.
Good post Grace! I too think it's an issue that has long been needed to be addressed in a public forum. Like you, I loved M.A.S.H. and thought it was hysterical, never taking the constant sexual harassment against the nurses serious because it was made for TV comedy. I can look back on my life and remember how uncomfortable it made me feel when men made unsolicited and unwanted sexual advances toward me. Most were at places of employment and it puts you in a difficult position if you want to keep your job. I had one boss who would purposely brush up against my breasts every chance he got until I became adept at positioning myself that made him unable to do it. I remember the Anita Hill case very well and cried when that pervert was named to the Supreme Court. Hopefully, now that DT and the Weinstein case are way out in the open and being dissected, more men will give a second thought before inflicting the damage they are unaware or uncaring they imprint.ReplyDelete
Thank you Anna. I remember how appalled I was reading in your book about the repeated unwanted sexual advances you endured. You'd think by now we would have advanced beyond such behaviors. Like you said, maybe these recent events will finally send the message that men need to stop it.Delete
I agree with your take on what was supposed to be humor on M*A*S*H, and would like to go a step further. Rape is entertainment. On television and in the movies. Entire series are based on it. Even if the violent act itself isn't shown it is still talked about and sensationalized. Over and over and over.ReplyDelete
My hubby likes cops shows because he says that in the end the "bad guy" always gets caught and justice is served. I guess this is the upside to that entertainment.Delete
It's so sad that we have, still, to talk about this. Sexual harassment, so ugly. So unnecessary. So unwanted. So wrong. Good god, what is wrong with men? Why, why, why do they think this is OK? I know some good men, for which I am soooooo grateful.ReplyDelete