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Is It Simply a Male Issue?

We are currently experiencing a well overdue avalanche of revelations, from women from all over the world, about the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual assault. There has been a lot of discussion about the issue, much of which heated, resulting in understandable anger and frustration. Many articles have been written, many opinions have been offered and many judgements have been made. This issue and other recent issues, such as the prevalence of serious physical violence against women in Domestic Violence situations, have created a very obvious, increasingly negative portrayal of men in our society. This negative portrayal is becoming increasingly normalised, by women, by men themselves, the media and by society as a whole.

When we look at the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault, are we examining the issue from the correct perspective?

Why are the vast majority of sexual harassment and sexual assault perpetrators men?

Is it because men are innately more deviant?

Is it the way men are brought up?

Is it because men’s brains are less evolved?

Is it because we live in a society which subconsciously turns a blind eye to those sorts of behaviours?

Is it something else?

What I personally believe is the reason, I believe, most people would not automatically consider. I believe that most people would also find my view difficult to accept and conceptualise upon first reading. The reason why I believe that this is the case, is that we all live in societies which (with the aid of historical precedence) have classified us all into ‘boxes’. We’ve been conditioned to see ourselves, not as ONE race, not as ONE species, not as ONE of the same spiritual beings, but as different genders, different races, different skin colors, different tribes, different groups, different everything. So whenever there is an issue, in this case sexual harassment and sexual assault, we automatically revert to what we have been conditioned to do and that is to associate ourselves with which ever group we’ve been assigned as belonging to by society and history.

On this issue, we automatically start thinking about men versus women and therefore our views and opinions become influenced by which ever ‘group’ we belong to. In my view, if we were more aware of how our thoughts have been conditioned, we would focus far more on, “What is the true cause of sexual harassment and sexual assault?”.

This sort of non-constructive division of humans by gender, occurs in numerous other areas as well. Whenever we talk about racism for example, it’s automatically about black versus white. Whenever we talk about equality, it’s automatically about rich versus poor. Whenever we talk about most topics, it’s automatically one group against another group. Every issue that comes up, rather than being looked at objectively and without preconceived ingrained viewpoints,  is looked at from an “us versus them” perspective. We have all been conditioned to subconsciously, automatically think to ourselves, ‘Which group do I belong to?”, “Which side am I on?”, and this influences how we look at, and react to, any issue at hand.

WE NEED TO STOP separating ourselves into groups if we are ever going to solve any of society’s issues.

The reason why I believe men are the vastly predominant perpetrators of sexual harassment and sexual assault, upon first consideration, may be contentious to many. However, if we all recognise and challenge our subconscious programming, we can look at the issue from a perspective that is less biased and more constructive.

In my view the reason men are the primary perpetrators in relation to this issue, IS NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE MEN.

That’s right. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GENDER.

To me the key component in most, if not every issue we are faced with in modern society is one thing and one thing only. It is not race, it is not religion, it is not gender, it is not whether someone is rich or poor. It is…

POWER.

There is a saying that states, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

The thing with power, is that it is not bound within a particular group. It can be gained and held in every area of society. In the right conditions and context, black people can have power, white people can have power, rich people can have it, poor people can have it, men can have it and women can have it. Power exists in all professions, in all institutions, in all walks of life.

Sexual harassment and sexual assault has a direct undeniably strong correlation between those who wield power being perpetrators and those who have less of it being victims.

The reason men are the primary perpetrators IS NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE MEN. It is because we live in a society where men are the predominant holders of power. Society has historically, and continues to be predominantly controlled by men and despite the significant advances through the equality movement, it is still a man’s world and in a man’s world, there is still a lingering attitude and a thought process held by some men, that they can do whatever they want and get whatever they want, with the knowledge that they will get away with it, the majority of the time.

Sometimes, the thought processes of some men, particularly those who have held positions of power over others for long periods of time, become so corrupt that they convince themselves that there is nothing wrong with what they are doing. Perfect examples of this include, a certain Film Producer who’s been on the news recently, and a certain President, who’s behaviours we all know about.

To resolve the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault we need to break away from our automatic (pre-programmed) desire to look at the issue from the perspective of gender. If the roles were reversed and women controlled most of the power you would find the women would likely be the primary perpetrators. That is why I believe that we need to focus on POWER instead of gender.  Power itself is not restricted to, and cannot be confined by, gender.

Let’s focus on trying to change our culture in relation to how we look at the relationships between those who have more power and those who have less. Let’s freely and determinedly expose those who abuse their power to victimise others and let’s comfort, support and empower those who have been abused.

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