For the many, many victims of sexual harassment out there, 2017 has been at once a celebratory and frustrating year. On the one hand, powerful men are being outed as sexual predators, and being forced to actually contend with real consequences of their actions. On the other hand, this wave of powerful men across so many industries having to leave their positions only came about because of the bravery of the people who they harassed and assaulted.
In other words, this is progress. But there is still work to do.
For one thing, society still needs to shift the responsibility for sexual harassment onto the harassers, by instilling boys with the knowledge that sexual harassment is always wrong, in all cases, from the time that they’re young. It also needs to start giving victims the benefit of the doubt, instead of the other way around.
“I think a series of events played a role in this tipping point — the election of Donald Trump, an admitted sexual predator, the denial of justice to Bill Cosby’s victims, the lenient sentence given to Brock Turner by Judge Persky,” says Stanford law professor Michele Dauber, who is also the chair of the campaign to Recall Judge Persky, the judge who gave out the lenient sentence in the recent Stanford rape case. “Women are starting to lose faith in the legal system and are seeking to remedy that injustice, as well as to protect other women from harm.”Read More