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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Opinion
Is culture the reason for sexual harassment?
    2017-December-11  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Chris Edwards

2045038940@qq.com

I READ the article “Another storm: sexual harassment allegations,” dated Dec. 4, and found myself disagreeing with the author.

He confuses sexual harassment with a consensual act between two people that has been happening for thousands of years before the Egyptians had built the pyramids. He speaks of extramarital affairs by previous presidents, yet ignores the fact that the current U.S. president is on his third marriage and has bragged about his extramarital affairs in the past. The current U.S. president has reportedly bragged about making unwanted sexual advances on married women, yet the author blames the former U.S. President JFK.

Now, some may say that I am condoning sexual assault and abuse. Of course, I am not. Those who abuse others deserve the punishment they receive. The author questions why women are speaking now and suggests that the reason is culture.

Clearly, it is not “culture.” The issue is power. For hundreds, if not thousands, of years, men have been the holders of power in almost all cultures. If women did not keep quiet about anything that happened to them, they were shut out from potential improvements in their lot.

The lack of opportunities without “benefits” is not unique to women. It is also the case for minorities and the LGBTIQ community. Anyone who is vulnerable is suspect to abuse.

As a result, the belief that “unacceptable behavior” is being viewed as acceptable because of culture is incorrect. It became culture because no one was prepared to correct it. As soon as women started to speak out in numbers against such abuse, women felt emboldened by it. You only need to look at the recent Glamour Awards, where almost every woman stood when asked if they had been on the receiving end of some form of sexual abuse. It is not a matter of culture — this is a matter of power because without the power to decide who to hire and fire, the men in positions of power would never have been able to get away with it.

There is one thing that the author does get right. Why is Trump allowed to get away with it? From what I understand, the nearly 20 women are still pushing their cases through the courts, and hopefully, their time will come.

Instead of arguing that culture is the problem, look around at the power that those people had. People are not rational economic beings; we are not homo economicus — while people are narrowly self-interested, people will not behave in the most optimal behavior. We have all heard stories about people who have “slept their way to the top” — such power is not without its flaws. It was Francois-Marie Arouet who said, “With great power, comes great responsibility,” and many men have forgotten the second half of that quote.

(The author is an Australian working as an English editor in Shenzhen.)

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