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Hey man, that’s not funny: Adolescent boys on sexual harassment

I talk about violence against women a lot. Like, a LOT. When I do, I refer to it as “male violence against females” to be specific about the forms of violence I focus on, and to be specific about who the survivor is, and to be specific about who the perpetrator is. One in three women and girls will experience some form of violence in their lifetime, I’ve said many times. One in three. So this problem is not unknown, or unusual. It’s infuriatingly common, in fact. The vast majority of this violence is perpetrated by males against females — of all ages. From the fetus to the funeral, I often say.

OF COURSE there are other forms of violence — against other people, perpetrated by other people. But this isn’t about those people right now. It doesn’t mean I don’t care or that those forms don’t exist. It just means that I’m thinking through this one specific thing right now. And even more specifically, I’m thinking about the role of men. And even more specifically, I’m thinking about the role of young men.

Here’s what I believe: not all men are perpetrators. Obviously. But too many men are too quiet about the violence that they see perpetrated by other men against women. So I asked my wonderful young research assistants what they thought.

My hypothesis is that too many young men seem to lack the courage (or the language) to reprimand other guys in their peer group in cases of sexual harassment. Do guys speak up? I wanted to know. And if they do, do they know what to say? This is built on my belief that most guys KNOW what is right or wrong, but they lack the courage and the wording to address it. They don’t want to be “that guy”. Their need to fit in perhaps outweighs their conviction to do what is “right”. Is that accurate? I asked my research assistants. You all tell me!

And they did.

Head here for the full piece:

#GenderbasedViolence #Activism #GenderEquality #Women #Feminism #SexualHarassment #SexualAssault #WomensRights #VAW #boys #ViolenceAgainstWomen #GBV

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