Is Sexual Harassment the New Normal?

ivillage herman cain virginia sole-smith

We interrupt our regularly scheduled beauty & body issues talk once again, this time to discuss the insanity that is Herman Cain and his inability to behave appropriately around women. So I guess, in a way, it’s still a body issue — especially if you factor in the way conservative pundits are going after Sharon Bialek’s obviously-asking-for-it hair. (They clearly haven’t been paying attention to Slut Walk.)

But what’s depressing me even more than yet another politician sex scandal is the study published this week revealing that 48 percent of 7th to 12th graders experienced sexual harassment in the past year. Which means we’ve normalized sexually aggressive and derogatory behavior — especially towards women and girls, though boys were harassed as well — to a frankly, alarming degree.

How has this happened and which cultural forces are to blame? I’m not entirely sure, but I tell you, worrying about this is taking all of the fun out of watching The Vampire Diaries. (Seriously. Is it just me, or is this season extra rape-y?)

Anyway, back to Herman Cain, and how we can use what’s left of his fifteen minutes to have a productive conversation about why sexual harassment has become so commonplace, Cain genuinely seems to expects us to believe him when he says he doesn’t remember doing anything wrong.



Filed under Career Opportunities, Government Watch, Happenings

3 responses to “Is Sexual Harassment the New Normal?

  1. I am confused by your title, which seems to suggest that it wasn’t the old normal.

    • Ah! So true. I was referring to the study — which found sexual harassment to be even more widespread in schools than previously thought/older numbers indicated — but you’re so right. A better headline would have been something like “Sexual Harassment: It’s a Man Men World and We’re Just Living In It.”


  2. With the title of the blog I feel as though sexual harassment is becoming the new normal part of society. It can be seen through women’s actions toward some young boys but most of the time, stereotypically it involves a main controlling and a woman being sexually harassed. It’s an awful idea to think that sexual harassment or rape can become such a ‘normal’ part of society however I don’t see why there isn’t more awareness to the issue. Women are being superficially looked over and we need to stand up against men who think they can sexually control us.

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