January 22, 2018

The Rise of Sexual Harassment Accusations Is Not a Witch Hunt

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This column may contain strong language, sexual content, and other themes that may not be suitable for minors. Parental guidance is strongly advised.

Many people have been panicking recently due to the outing of many powerful men around the world. These men have been accused of sexual harassment, abuse, or rape and many of them have had to face consequences for their behavior. There are people already crying “witch hunt” and saying that “men are afraid to do anything with women because they’re afraid they might get accused of something.” Even women are coming to their defense saying that this is becoming about men vs. women.

This could not be further from the truth.

I understand the concern, that innocent people (women rape too) could be falsely accused of rape. Absolutely. Why, however, is this the main concern and not the thousands, no, MILLIONS of rape incidents around the world that have gone unreported because everyone is too worried someone is being falsely accused?

Reality check: THERE ARE RAPISTS OUT THERE. WOMEN AND MEN ARE RAPED AND TOO AFRAID TO SPEAK UP.

These stories that are coming out are not going to die down. In fact, they are going to grow in number, rapidly and at an alarming rate because this has been going on for centuries. And we are only beginning to uncover it all. For generations, victims have been afraid to speak, not just because of shame, fear, PTSD, and guilt from being raped, but also because of the backlash from thousands of ignorant and uneducated bystanders who believe they know who was raped and who wasn’t.

Suddenly popular opinion regarding the personality of a person becomes the basis for being a rapist or not. Does this not scare you that we as a society have unwittingly become a comfortable breeding ground in which rapists thrive?

Think about it: People get raped every day, we know that for a fact, one in every 53 minutes according to PNP stats. Barely anybody reports because victims are almost always blamed for rape. And even when they do report it, the chances of a conviction in this country are VERY LOW due to rape culture and corruption.

That being said, the time for people to stay silent about abuse is over. Survivors all over the world are coming forward with stories about abuse and rape, and society as a whole has been overwhelmed by the sheer number of accusations. Enough to make them say, “It can’t all be real.”

When people are scared into silence for so long, like a cancer that’s gone ignored for too long, the issue gets huge and overwhelming. This is our reality; this is where we have let it come to.

The issue here is not with people speaking up, but the inefficient systems in place which are supposed to tell the difference between fake and real cases. In our current state, there are instances that a clean reputation can be bought. Are you content with that level of justice?

PEOPLE MUST SPEAK UP. The scales have been tipped to one side for so long, it had to balance out somehow. We must go through the extremes before we can, through discussion and understanding, come to a calm middle ground.

For now, that fear that men feel? That is what victims, women and men alike, have felt every day after they were raped.

If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. Let’s not blow things out of proportion here. Keep your ears open and listen to stories with discernment; you’ll start to see the patterns of rapists emerging.

Watch this space.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.

 

Art by Lara Intong

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Related stories:
Stopping Rape Culture Should Start from Childhood to Mainstream Media
Women vs. Sexual Harassment: Here are the Laws You Should Know
Rape Culture Starts with Simple Words
The Predatory Side of the Local Band Scene

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Filed Under:

culture, Culture Feature, Discussion, rape, rape culture, sexual harassment, Witch Hunt



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