A look into the largely-ignored world of #MenToo: male sexual harassment victims in the workplace
Sexual abuse and/or harassment is never acceptable, and should never be tolerated. Public acknowledgment and action on sexual abuse in the work place is long overdue. All too often when we began to focus on a problem, we only focus on one side of the problem. #MenToo lifts the veil behind male workplace sexual harassment, and reminds us that in a world striving for equality, all voices carry the same weight.
The #MeToo movement is a great step forward, but it only focuses on the abuse of women. In the world of #MenToo, tens of thousands of men are also victims of work place sexual abuse and harassment. Let’s not forget the male victims while working to protect women. All victims desire the same support, understanding and protection.
Men made over 17% of complaints of work place sexual harassment to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Recent studies documented that one third of men report that they have been sexual harassed. These complaints are seldom taken seriously.
Men, as well as women, are often exposed to sexual coercion, unwanted sexual advances, and gender harassment. Michael Douglas portrayed the consequences of work place sexual harassment well in the 1994 movie Disclosure. His female boss destroyed his career after he rejected her unwanted sexual advances. Similarly, twenty-five years later sexual abuse of men in the work places still receives little recognition.
Disclosure of statutory rape of a seventeen year-old boy by #MeToo champion Asia Argento received little more than a one-day headline – Compared to reports of unwanted advances by male movie directors and TV stars, which received ten times the coverage. This is not right.
Men, as well as women, can be happily married, believe in morality, and want to work in an environment free from sexual abuse and harassment.
#MenToo sexual abuse deserves the same concern and action as the #MeToo movement for women. The sexual abuse movement should not be gender biased. We cannot solve sexual abuse by only being concerned about one side of the victimization. Furthermore, we must take action to protect all people from abuse, not just one gender.
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