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Is Sexual Harassment a Civil Rights Violation? It Should Be.


Is Sexual Harassment a Civil Rights Violation? It Should Be.

Julie Goldscheid

If the recent wave of sexual harassment and sexual assault revelations has taught us anything, it’s that we have not done enough to end sexual harassment and gender-based violence.


One of the most pervasive myths about women’s issues is that rape is a sex crime when it is not. Rape is a crime primarily of violence against the victim, especially when the victim is female. Rape does not really involve six per se, it does involve sex organs, but not for sex, but violence instead. Violence that has been sexualized, or using sex as a weapon to humiliate and degrade a person in a violent and involuntary way. It is a crime where often stronger men force their will over often female victims who are made powerless and victimized for the violent and somewhat sexualized pleasure of the perpetrators. Rape is about gaining power over the victim and involves terrorizing and humiliating them. Rape committed by men against women should be considered to be a hate crime against women. Rapist men could obtain sex in other ways but choose to use rape because they enjoy having absolute power over their victims and humiliating and shaming them in the worst way possible. Rapists often hate women and want to hurt them. Rape often involves the threat of death or permanent injury, physical, emotional, or psychological. Rape takes a woman’s sense of safety in the world away from her and the fear of rape keeps many women at home and afraid to go out alone. Rape is also a way of keeping women down from pursuing their own selfactualization. Rape dehumanizes women and turns them into objects that can be used by men rather than being human beings who deserve to be appreciated in their own right. It turns women into objects, just like sexual harassment does. Yes, I think that these things are violations of a woman’s civil rights. Men think rape would be fun because they think it is about sex, but they have no idea about what it is really like. When women have been victimized in these was it is essential to their recovery from these kinds of traumas that they are taken seriously and given the support that they need. However,often the way female victims of sexual violence and harassment are treated is even more harmful to them than the violence itself. The blame belongs on the perpetrator here, not the victim, but women are often blamed for their own victimization, as if there was anything that they could have done to stop it or accused as if they were the ones who were wrong, instead of the perpetrator. Macho male attitudes and sexism hurts both men and women and prevents them from developing into the unique and beautiful beings that God intended them to become. It may take more than half a lifetime to recover, and causes permanent damage to a person’s life nonetheless. Sexual violence perpetrated against both males and females s a leading trigger for the development of substance abuse and mental and emotional heath disturbances. About 98 percent of women in substance abuse treatment have experienced rape, incest, child abuse, and physical and emotional abuse, often while they were still children and before they ever abused any substances. Being a victim is extremely painful for both sexes. It can even lead to suicides. If we want to stop substance abuse, these issues must be addressed. Taking funding away from physical and mental health services and focusing on law enforcement as the primary way to deal with these issues is very bad and counterproductive. Jesus sad sinners needed a doctor, not a jailer!