December 1, 2020

Bringing sexual predators out of the shadows

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From The Philadelphia Tribune

All around the world, women are objectified as a sexual playthings. So it is not surprising that allegations of sexual harassment is surfacing from Hollywood, Calif., to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

As a youth in the 1970s and ‘80s, I always heard that if women wanted to make it in show business, they had to sleep with the director of the movie or play. As a matter of fact, many old films portray that kind of behavior on screen.

We all had some idea that this was happening but no one ever brought it into the open.

The same goes for the music industry, the sports industry, corporate America and the list goes on. It seems since the court cases have been in the public eye, more females have decided to do something about it.

Sexual harassment in the is even worse because most women have no way of getting any type of justice. Most incidents of sexual harassment — or in the case of a child, molestation — are usually dismissed and swept under the rug.

A paper published by points to the fact that sexual harassment runs rampant in the Caribbean. Many females have been socialized to believe that such behavior is normal. So it is not uncommon for the boss to corner one of his female employees and try to get sexual favors. In return she keeps her job or gets a promotion.

“Many men in the Caribbean fail to recognize the importance of this problem. Indeed, many do not view it as a problem at all because the patriarchal culture of the region nurtures this type of behavior,” Lewis said in his report.

As a very small child, I remember hearing about an older man in the community who would invite young girls to his house. He would have them to sit on his lap while he talked to them and touched them inappropriately.

But now that I think back, nothing was ever said about anyone calling the police. It was just known because of whispers in the town where we lived that I knew about it.

Our parents warned us not to ever go into his house. If he spoke to me or my sisters, we were allowed to speak back but we were warned never to get close enough for him to touch us. Because if he ever did, my father would take the law into his own hands because the police would not do anything about it.

My father also made sure that we knew that if anyone — and I do mean anyone, especially the older men — ever approached us in an inappropriate manner, we were to let him know right away.

From the standpoint of an adult, I don’t think that I would wait until 10, 20, 30 years later to speak out about sexual harassment. If it was blatant, such as someone touching me inappropriately or exposing themselves to me, I would surely tell somebody.

Furthermore, there is no way that I would let anyone get away with rape. No job is worth that. I would definitely report them to the human resources department.

But that is how I was raised. I can only speak for myself and how I would handle the situation. And I live in America. In most job situations in the Caribbean, there is no human resources department. The boss is human resources.

From the standpoint of a child, I totally understand how and why he or she may be secretive about it. A child is easily intimidated and can be made to feel as if she is doing something wrong. Definitely if the perpetrator is someone who can hold a threat over the child, who must live in constant fear.

As I sit here typing this article, more and more male celebrities, movie directors, lawmakers and supervisors are being outed for sexual harassment bordering on rape. It is about time that this was brought out into the open and addressed.

Women in the have decided that they are not going to take it anymore. It is only a matter of time that women in the Caribbean will follow suit.

For more on this story go to: http://www.phillytrib.com/commentary/columns/bringing-sexual-predators-out-of-the-shadows/article_e1a82014-5ae0-51ac-8592-6e233682fbe0.html

IMAGE: City of Tampa

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