Recent Accusations Reveal How Sexual Harassment Plagues America

Since the New York Times published the allegations against Hollywood big shot Harvey Weinstein in October, more than 45 prominent men in American politics, entertainment, media and business have been accused of sexual misconduct, according to an article by the Associated Press.

That is an astonishing number.

The allegations cover the entire spectrum of assault from unsolicited touching to rape.

While everyone is assumed innocent unless proven guilty, there is something to be said about the number of men accused and the number of those accusing them.

I am neither going to tell you that every man accused is guilty of everything everyone has said nor am I going to tell you that all of it is false.

Many of these instances happened years ago and with short statutory laws and only the testimonies of the alleged victims, it is impossible, solely based on the media’s information,

to tell what is true and what is not.

Yet one thing is evident: America has never addressed the major issue of sexual harassment on such a large scale before.

It’s about time.

Senior Piper Sato said, “I think that it is important that so many women and men are finally seeing the public take sexual assault so seriously and are finally feeling like they have the ability to come forward. I think we are finally starting to address the issue in America and hopefully people will get the idea that sexual assault is not excusable and their actions will not go unpunished. ”

These allegations have opened up a door that has been long closed and locked with a giant chain.

Americans have never liked to talk about the issues of sexual abuse, and it is understandable why. It is a topic that is gruesome and disturbing, but that does not mean it should be ignored.

The drug epidemic and the proliferation of gun violence have each taken the national stage numerous times, but never has sexual abuse received attention like this.

Senior Theodis Talbert said, “I am happy that women have grown the confidence it requires to step forward and say this because it shows that maybe there is hope for equality and for women to have more power in their everyday lives. Sexual misconduct seems so everyday, and it’s disgusting and something needs to change.”

With Twitter’s #MeToo movement, where victims of sexual abuse or harassment tweet the hashtag alone or with their story, it has become apparent that this is not just happening in the entertainment industry.

It is happening everywhere.

In both the entertainment and restaurant industries, many female employees are forced into signing non disclosure agreements (NDA), evident with Weinstein and celebrity chef John Besh according to an NBC News article.  

Oftentimes, women feel like they have no other option in sexual harassment settlements due the massive power of these industry giants.

In other cases, it is a condition of employment for employees to sign NDAs such as it is at Weinstein Co.

Hopefully now, America is ready of the serious talk women have been waiting for.

Talbert said, “I hope that these discussions continue everywhere so that eventually change can be made because something needs to happen.”

Sato agreed saying, “Of course we do still have a president who has admitted to sexual assault, so we have a long way to go. Hopefully, we are getting closer.”

Bringing sexual misconduct to the forefront of the media has resulted in companies taking a closer look at their policies concerning women’s rights and protection.

The United States House of Representatives is moving towards instituting a sexual harassment training and other companies are following suit according to an article by CNN.

More than simple training will be needed to change this culture.

Changing America’s mentality toward the issue is what’s required.