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Let’s Say no to sexual harassment of men by women! Let’s talk.

Charity Ngwenya

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is defined as the unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that explicitly affect an individual’s performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. Examples of sexual harassment might be unwelcome touching, being pressured to go on romantic dates, or being called an offensive sexual nickname. It can also include less obvious behaviors, like making derogatory or offensive remarks about others, posting sexually explicit pictures or regular conversations of a sexual nature. Read more on the definition.

Many times when we speak of Sexual Harassment the first thing that comes to mind is a ‘woman’. Has someone sat down and thought of the fact that men are Sexually assaulted too? Does it ring a bell to university authorities to set up systems that will allow men to report such issues?

In my previous post I spoke of ‘a thigh for a mark’ and no one thought of how men are also affected by the same. I interviewed a few young men although they were being sarcastic about it but they agreed that lecturers ask them for sex in exchange for higher grades. This is a situation of power imbalances, and our fellow colleagues face the same on attachments. The sugar mommies are sexually harassing young men in exchange for life’s necessities and pleasures like school fees and beer respectively. Yet the community is folding its hands and watches from a distance.

We have all created a society where men are not able to come forward with their cases. Just the thought of it makes them tremble as they try to imagine the mockery they will face from the police and their peers. Philip Hadlock who was once a victim of workplace sexual harassment from his female supervisor says that people grew contemptuous of him as he reported his oppressor, click for more information. He went on to encourage men to stand up and fight for themselves.

Let’s talk of universities. Do they have any system or policy we can all access anytime e. g on their websites about the procedures we should follow when we are assaulted? If you ask they will tell you that they have a system but the fact that it’s not accessible to their customers, (us students) means it’s not there.

There is a time to be silent and a time to talk. When it comes to sexual harassment then it’s time to talk. Imagine all the guilt, the anger and pain that will pile up each day. Talking about it will help you. Seek professional help if you have to. In my post, Dealing With Depression I featured Melusi a professional counselor. Life is a journey where we all need to hold each other’s hand and walk together.