How children’s upbringing encourages sexual harassment
The audience cheers and laughs as the boy repeatedly throws himself on the girl, trying to hug her, no matter how hard she tries to push him away.
“how cute!” most of the Facebook comments went.
When this was posted on Facebook, someone commented “that little girl is being such a b***tch about it… hehehe”
Following which I commented that “Boys need to be taught the right values at this young age to respect the rights n wishes of others. If the girl says No, she means No. Get lost n don’t force yourself on her. And girls should stop being called bitches for saying No to a guy.”
The commenter was apologetic and said they were joking and being light-hearted about it. In fact, “the boy wasn’t being forceful too. If anything it was the girl applying force onto the boy. He was trying to show affection here and not trying to molest her. I think the lesson is perspective.”
This is a very common form of socialization we put our children through, that makes them think it’s ok to harass a woman, even when they are older. It’s important to instill the right values as children, even though it looks cute now, because it affects how we view the world and treat others as adults
In the adult world, in the workplace for example, you get male colleagues who start of genuinely trying to be nice and affectionate and genuinely trying to get his female colleague to date him
If she says No repeatedly, and he continues his behavior repeatedly, no matter whether he uses force at all, that’s disrespectful, and that’s workplace sexual harassment
And colleagues tend to blame the VICTIM, some by calling her a bitch, some by calling him cute and persistent, some by calling her oversensitive for something they see as light hearted n a big joke. Some, like the commenter, fault her for being “forceful” in her rejection, even though sexual harassment victims are often doubted and questioned “Why didn’t you say No? Why didn’t you be clearer? Why didn’t you report?”
The commenter is spot on, though, that it’s about perspective. Whose perspective do we take seriously, whose perspective do we dismiss?
To the victim, it’s not a joke. Many women feel very stressed n even quit their job, because of the stress
Of course this can happen the other way round where the woman is persistent (in which case we don’t call it cute but desperate if she’s ugly, slutty if she’s pretty).
Point is, we don’t want our sons n daughters to grow up victims or harassers. So childhood is when to teach them.
It starts with situations like what we see in the video. We tell our sons and daughters that it’s not right, not without permission, not with her saying No. Like how we tell them that it’s not right to try and take away another child’s toy repeatedly, after the owner says No. We do not encourage them to “keep trying until you succeed” at something that’s disrespectful.
Before you go on about how I should chill, because they are just kids, and no one would ever applaud adults doing something like that, here’s another video that’s being celebrated (by some). It attempts to garner sympathy for guys who’ve ever been turned down by a hot chick, despite all the many (silly) things that he’s done for her. How? By gathering the bros with the divine call “Someone has to destroy her, before she grows stronger and decimates all of mankind. Someone hold her, shove a sharp stake through her heart. Watch her turn to ash. Then we can live life again, free from tyranny”
This video reflects a culture which celebrates a man’s persistence in doing things for a girl, to pursue a girl, and admires him more if he persists in the face of rejection. It’s a culture fueled by movies that always rewards the man’s effort by giving him the girl. And demonises any girl who chooses to remain unmoved by his efforts, making it appropriate for her to be punished —- in another words, sending the message that a woman who rejects you deserves to be blamed, harassed, assaulted.
If you’ve experienced or are experiencing sexual harassment, or know someone being harassed, or think that you might have been guilty of harassment, or would simply like to know more, here’s a site to check out http://shout.org.sg/
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