Harvey Weinstein. James Franco. Matt Lauer. Roy Moore. Mario Batali. George H.W. Bush. James Rosen. Even one of Minnesota’s own, former Democratic Senator Al Franken.
With the extensive availability of current proceedings made accessible through the various means of media present in our world today, a majority of individuals have likely heard of at least one of the renowned men listed above capturing headlines. On that note, one is also presumably aware that the entirety of the aforementioned achieving recent publicity are due to allegations regarding sexual misconduct.
According to US Legal’s website, sexual misconduct includes “sexual harassment, sexual assault, and any conduct of a sexual nature that is without consent, or has the effect of threatening or intimidating the person against whom such conduct is directed.” Therefore, not only does this broad phrase entail physical aspects, such as compulsory groping and forced touching, but more emotional facets as well, namely indecent exposure and inappropriate dialogue.
Perhaps due to their elevated status, so to speak, a predominance of those accused of sexual misconduct as of late has been well-known and powerful celebrities in the areas of business, entertainment, news, and politics. However, this is absolutely no excuse for their behavior.
As more and more of these allegations and alleged victims have come forth, I have personally taken notice of an increased amount of people responding with rolled eyes and rather derogatory statements toward those undoubtedly facing the short end of the stick. Indeed, a fair share have merely shrugged off the assertions, claiming that those professing such behavior are simply hoping to “make a buck.”
The fact that many of these allegations stem from incidents occurring years ago, some in excess of 30, does little to help matters. It is in cases like these that questions concerning validity are progressively articulated. Nonetheless, sexual misconduct is still sexual misconduct. There was no place for it 10, 20, even 100 years ago, and there is certainly no place for it among our world today.
Many indicate of falsehood due to these unfortunate recipients’ avoidance of immediately speaking out against such malicious matters. Rather, consider the circumstances. The topic is an incredibly controversial and touchy subject in itself, especially given its nature of occurring in absence of witnesses. The fact that any entity somehow finds the strength to ever adequately talk about such affairs is purely admirable.
In addition, it is crucially significant to take into account the exalted positions of the supposed perpetrators in the preponderance of these cases. In numerous situations, several of the sufferers express of their feelings of being subordinate, especially specific to those transpiring decades ago with women falling victim. Acknowledging the limited opportunities and subservient nature often associated with females during those times, it is evident why multiple persons felt as if they had to emanate silence in hopes of sustaining their position.
On the other hand, as a reaction to these depositions, many of the putative defend themselves by vocalizing of their beliefs of the feelings to be mutual. One such instance is obvious in the contention of Charlie Rose. Rose currently faces allegations from eight separate women, all of whose recounts share similarities. These women state that while partaking with the said individual in particular business matters, Rose would frequently choose to openly display himself whilst showering or immediately after, a bulk of them proclaiming of him undoing his robe although the other be in the midst of business endeavors.
Should such a proceeding have taken place, how does an individual have the audacity to assert that the feelings were believed to be mutual? As avowed by the aggregate of those involved in the Rose case, as well as countless others, such happenings were established to be purely business. With no advances having been initiated, one cannot sanely justify random nudity as stemming from reciprocal emotions.
As blatantly dismissed by countless among today’s society, those my age proving no exception, due to a withheld excessively feminist disposition, it is important to note that a fair share of these allegations do stem from males as well, accusing both females and those of the same sex. As is clear due to the provided definition above, sexual misconduct is not specific to being carried out by one gender, nor does a sole gender fall victim to it.
Yes, I do sincerely accept that a select few of those said to have been preyed upon are in it solely for the money. However, with hundreds having come forward, it is time we recognize of the need for change. This is not some spur of the moment feminist fad; this is a question of human decency and working to develop and ensure its prolonged existence.
All in all, this has got to stop. Sexual misconduct is purely inexcusable and regardless of the circumstance, is entirely unjustifiable. Power does not give one the rationale to carry such ordeals out against lessers, equals, superiors, or anyone for that matter, man or woman. It is the 21st century, and we often brag about our advanced and evolving state, particularly in the United States. It is about time we start acting like it.
Miranda Cox is a student at Mabel-Canton High School. She is one of seven area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 19th year.