Breaking News! Sexism Exists World Says Duh
In light of the sexual abuse allegations leveled against Harvey Weinstein that have been dubbed as “Hollywood’s worst kept secret,” scientists have discovered “exciting” news in the area of sexual harassment. Turns out, it’s existed for centuries! Though largely shrouded in silence until the antebellum period, sexual harassment is now considered a “widespread” problem in today’s culture.
“Yeah, sexual harassment is very prevalent right now,” said a male researcher. “I’m definitely going to stop making jokes about women being the inferior gender. I’ll just make them on the weekends.”
Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual relations, verbal or otherwise, imposed by superiors on subordinates in the workplace. The term dates back to 1970’s, but exploded onto the political scene in the early 1990’s, when Anita Hill testified against Supreme Court of the United States nominee Clarence Thomas for his sexual harassment during her time as his assistant.
“I remember it well, even though I was just a kid,” explained another male scientist. “Was the word pronounced, hair-es-ment or her-ass-ment? I went with the second pronunciation because obviously.”
Actual statistics are hard to come by because many individuals are unwilling to come forward for fear of retaliation. Roughly, 80% of the victims are women and 20% are men, though sexual harassment is not limited to the opposite gender. The question is: who has the power? When there’s an imbalance of power, the term “consensual” becomes unsuitable.
“If the Harvey Weinstein situation has taught us anything,” explained one scientist, “it’s that looks don’t mean a damn thing.”
So what’s a person to do who is facing unwanted sexual attention in the workplace? Sexual abuse is not singular, it’s systemic. Other people know. Other people are complicit. If you are asking why it took 20 years for some of these women to come forward, you are missing the point. The question is why are so many people looking the other way?
“I can honestly say that no one has ever hit on me at work,” said the only female researcher on the team. “But they know I would go crazy on their asses, so that’s my recommendation to other women.”
The takeaway is to keep the dialogue going and encourage change, encourage men to stand up to other sexual predators, and encourage penalties like loss of income and freedom.
“Hahaha, that’s a funny one,” said a scientist on the condition of total anonymity. “I mean if a sexual abuser can become president, there’s no stopping us…I mean, them.”
If you missed last week’s “Breaking News You Can’t Use” check it out here.