By: Erika Tejada and Betzy Antonio
As of 2017, one in three women have been sexually harassed. Those who experience sexual harassment in the workplace usually report it and the company deals with the issue. Recently, however, complicated cases of sexual harassment have arisen. Multiple victims have been harassed by trusted individuals like agents, directors, or people with a large influence and have remained silent. The victims are scared to report the harassment because they fear that they’ll be denied a casting or job, or the perpetrator will ruin their career.
Unfortunately this past November, 24 men have been accused of sexual harassment. Victims have spoken out and have accused their harassers in hopes of justice. Many of the accused have careers that give them power and influence over others, like senators, producers, and actors. Some of the most notable names are: Matt Lauer (host of the today show), John Conyers (Democratic U.S representative), Harvey Weinstein (producer), and Kevin Spacey(actor). The famous offenders accused have harassed over 7 women each. In Kevin Spacey’s case he harassed 15 boys, multiple were minors. The crimes ranged from inappropriate talk to rape. Most of the accused sexual harassers are still under investigation but most have resigned or been fired from their jobs.
We asked teachers around school to give us their thoughts on the recent wave of allegations. Mr. Sandoval stated, “The first thing we need to do is listen and believe the victims” he then talked about how sexual harassment is not an open topic and makes it harder for victims to be heard. Mr. Sandoval also stated that putting women in positions of power would prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. All of the accused are men in power positions who abuse their power meaning victims cannot tell their boss of their harassment because their harasser is their boss.
Another useful opinion came from Ms. Roselman, who said some harassers do not realize they are making people uncomfortable and some are sorry when they become aware of it. This means it is always important to let someone know when they are making you uncomfortable. When reading this, some may think of sexual harassment as something that happens to adults in the workplace, but the reality is that this happens everywhere.
Although some students see it as playing or joking around, sexual harrassment does exist at Animo Pat Brown. Although you may not notice it, this happens in school, not just boys harassing girls but girls harassing boys as well. Small offenses like calling someone an inappropriate name to big offenses like groping or touching someone against their will are both equally as bad. It is important to respect personal space because invading someone’s space is not a good idea and can lead to several problems.
The most common harassment at Animo Pat Brown is verbal harassment. It is very important to know that words can make someone easily very uncomfortable, even if you see it as a joke. If you see someone being harassed or are harassed yourself it is always important to tell the perpetrator how you feel and report it to a teacher or administrator. Sexual harassment should not be a shameful subject. We should allow victims to have a platform where they can speak out about their violations of personal space. Victims should not be denied help and should always be believed.