The numbers of women who are talking about their experience with sexual assault and harassment is frightening. How many men are out there thinking that it is okay to force their inappropriateness on to anyone? How did these men get the idea that their behaviour is in any way acceptable? Where did these men obtain messages that their behaviour would be acceptable or at least ignored?
The fact that these perpetrators paid for agreements that silenced their victims points to their knowing that what they were doing was bad, reprehensible, and had to be hidden from public knowledge. These agreements-for-silence are the proof that these men are insincere and liars in their attempts to deny the behaviour or minimize it.
Our society is also responsible. We tolerate attempts at humour that are sexist, misogynist, misandric, ugly, demeaning, disrespectful, mean, threatening, abusive, and the list could go on. As a society we tolerate people speaking of others in disrespectful and ugly ways – the basis being gender, sexuality, skin colour, level of education, attractiveness, fitness, health issues, age, job, marriage status, religion, and the list could go on.
Our society is drifting into a time of disrespect for others, intolerance of differences, a sense of entitlement that dictates if I think it I should get it, and a retreat from common decency.
We need to all take notice of how we can better express kindness and respect for each other.