DR. E. FAYE WILLIAMS

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—Let’s begin with the truth—something rare in Washington, D.C. While sexual harassment/assault may result in physical injury, it is almost certainly, damaging to the psyche of the victim. Most victims say that being the victim of sexual harassment is a life-altering experience.

Although some will debate this point, it’s been determined that sexual harassment is not about sex. It’s an exercise of power! In truth, I must say that perpetrators of sexual harassment can be either male or female, heterosexual or homosexual and that anyone can fall victim. As it happens, men are most frequently identified as perpetrators and women as victims. The most common element is a disparity in power—real or perceived.  Often it’s about physical power, but it can also be about the power to deny a benefit.

If not before, by now, we all have an elementary understanding of sexual harassment, but how far must we look back to find a cause or reason for acts of sexual harassment? Going back, can we stop at the Women’s Lib Movement? Or, can we begin our examination with the Suffragettes?  Is it more correct for us to reach back to the Founding Fathers and inquire as to why women were not referenced in the Constitution and why the rights and privileges of citizenship were not conferred therein? Even White women had to fight for the right to vote, and the men preventing them from voting were their fathers, brothers, grandfathers, uncles, husbands, etc!  Still many of these are men who are opposed to the Equal Rights Amendment for women!

While it’s common to see the TV Talking Heads expressing shock and dismay related to the increasing reports of sexual harassment, I haven’t heard one give, what I believe to be, an honest determination of cause. Most will agree that the acts signal a use of power, but I’ve heard none use the word CHATTEL.

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