The Harvey Weinstein allegations were just the beginning. Millions of women worldwide are now sharing their own experiences of sexual harassment. Triggered by revelations about alleged predatory and systematic abuses suffered by young Hollywood actors, the Twitter hashtag #MeToo has gone viral. But how can outrage be translated into action?

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights reported in 2014 that more than half of all women in the EU have personally experienced sexual harassment. Since the Weinstein allegations came to light, surveys have shown that half of women in Britain have been sexually harassed at work, and more than half of French and German women have experienced sexual harassment and / or sexual assault at least once in their lives.

This is not just an issue for Hollywood. In the UK, the scandal has reached Parliament, with ministers resigning and London’s political district of Westminster dubbed “Pestminster” by journalists. The European Parliament is also accused of having a “culture of silence” over sexual assault and harassment. People are coming forward with their experiences in all walks of life, from journalists, to chefs, to workers on temporary or zero hours contracts.

What needs to change? In France, politicians have been debating passing new laws to protect victims of sexual harassment. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has also called for tougher legislation, saying she has personally experienced harassment even at the highest levels of politics.

There is also, however, a growing recognition that nothing will change unless men change. It’s true that both men and women can be victims of sexual harassment. However, it’s also clear that it’s overwhelmingly men harassing women, not the other way round.

Men can take a stand to stop sexual harassment. They can speak up when they see it happening. They can take seriously victims who come forward with their stories instead of dismissing them automatically. They can change the way they talk about women with their male friends and colleagues. It’s ridiculous to argue that taking these steps will somehow lead to a sexless dystopia or a Handmaid’s Tale for men.

How can we stop sexual harassment? Do we need tougher laws? Or do attitudes towards women fundamentally need to change? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: (c) Denis Makarenko


76 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. Jay Tee

    Attitude ARE changing. I am sure that if you looked closely a the data you’d see that its predominantly OLD MEN. not young men. the millennials look at the world completely differently. we are just waiting for this useless baby-boomer generation to do one, and we will all breath a sign of relief.

    • Paul X

      You forget that there are baby-boomer women as well as men, and these women grew up alongside these “OLD MEN” and they were mature enough to understand that if a man innocently put his hand on her knee during friendly conversation it isn’t sexual harassment…so if you think millennials and their extreme PC agenda where everyone actively looks for things to be “offended about” are the future, then thank god I’m a baby boomer with not so long on this earth

  2. Ivan Burrows

    Start by defining what ‘sexual harassment is’. Lately just touching the knee of a woman to comfort her & asking her out for a drink have been called ‘sexual harassment’ by SJW’s which is plainly idiotic.

    • Amina Agovic-Argillander

      Touching the knee to comfort a woman? Where exactly did you find this method of comfort to be not just in line with the law but with plain old common sense??

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Amina Agovic-Argillander
      WE need to be careful!

      Pretty soon the West will have strict gender segregation and no-physical contact environments so as to eliminate any chance of ‘confusion’ – reminds me of a certain culture in the Middle-East.

    • Edita Buržinskaitė

      I had, for example, my knee touched by my martial arts instructor on several occassions while we were talking but I didn’t make a big deal out of it. He was generally a touchey person. Some people are like that. It’s not necessarily “sexual harassment”. If it bothers you, you just tell them. I’m sure they’ll quit. I don’t think we need to make out every human contact to be something sexually related. Of course, sometimes touching can be inappropriate. In that case, make sure you communicate to that person that you find it inappropriate.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Edita Buržinskaitė Thank you for the voice of common sense and reason.

    • Mi Gu

      Ivan Burrows Wow! Men like you are the problem! Is not to you to decide what a person have to feel when getting touched by someone else without their consent. Perhaps Edita don’t care being touched by people, but other woman yes, and is their right to not be touched if they don’t want!

    • Mi Gu

      People’s body are they body, not to you to decide if is’t okay to touch it…

    • Paul X

      @Mi Gu. no, the attitude of people like you are the problem. You go on as if there should be a no entry zone around everyone. People touching each other as a form of expression has always gone on, it is not touching that is the issue but the context and how it is done. It should be quite easy for anyone with a bit of common sense (i.e. not from the PC mad brigade) to distinguish between what is expressive touching and what is inappropriate touching
      Even the hero of the EU fanatics Juncker was photographed playfully slapping some other EU dude on the head, so why have the PC-manics not demanded was be charged with assault?

    • Ricardo Fonseca

      Mi Gu and you said “other women” but what about other men?!

    • Amina Agovic-Argillander

      Ivan Burrows It’s astonishing the level of freedom you grant yourself when it comes to encroaching on another human being’s bodily autonomy. In addition justifying common sense of bodily integrity with sharia law shows not only the lack of grasping either concept but also your utter disrespect toward women and criminal laws in general.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      Amina Agovic-Argillander
      Touching someone without their consent is OUTRAGEOUS!

      What do you propose to counter such bad behaviour?

    • Любомир Иванчев

      Butthurt idiotic comments only proved Ivan and Edita’s point. Good job both, I 100% agree with you, no more can be said. SJWs just want to be the victim, they are actively looking for ways to feel offended and have lost basic common sense.

    • Diaconu George Razvan

      No gun license in Europe! We don t need to become like USA. A mass shooting every few weeks

    • Marko Martinović

      We do have gun licences already in EU lol. Its just not a constitutional right. Even with that bad guys get guns in EU too. Also guns are not main murder weapon in the US or EU.

  3. catherine benning

    How can we stop sexual harassment?

    This is a bigger issue than first understood. And, it has a great deal to do with understanding the difference between the male and female sense of fulfilment.. Something political correctness simply refuses to accept or even acknowledge, as the idiotic mantra is, ‘equality.’ For some reason this madness, called ‘equality,’ cannot find it in its heart to embrace both genders psyche with the same importance. The human is no different in its physical need to reproduce than any other animal. Equality, therefore, as we have interpreted it, by definition, leaves both parties feeling one or others needs are not being treated with equal respect. What we have leaves both genders maddened by rejection of their natural instinctive drive to mate. As, women are encouraged and flatly forced to pretend the path of masculine satisfaction must be their optimal position. And this theory then demands the male of the species become fulfilled by adopting feminine instincts. This is posed in order to accommodate the notion of women being able to compete as acceptable human beings by denying their gender difference.

    This attitude thwarts any progress the male or female can have in modern life. It simply creates unbearable and demeaning competition and the natural outcome from that position is rejection by both sides of the spectrum. The lack of understanding and respect for natural difference between the two species creates a war of insoluble reasoning. The outcome of that is to demean either side. Which leads to physical or mental abuse in order to prove one upmanship.

    What must change, and soon, is equality definition. Admiration and respect for both gender fulfilment by equal esteem for their talents and choices in life. The same way we have equal admiration for both academic and artistic brilliance.

    A full discussion on this would take a thesis. Not enough time or space here.

  4. Sandrine Carlier

    Education and a constant bashing via communication tools, advertising just as it was done for cigarettes when done in schools, in firms, in public, well everywhere really.

  5. Dutoiu Catalin

    Just in ‘Heaven’, … but woops, there are the same problem by eges, an in this case, Sorry’, … NEVER !!!!!!!!

  6. Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Seems like positions of power gives the perpetrators a sense of entitlement, protection for their misconduct and instilling fear for those abused losing their job. That is what needs to be addressed.

    • Meera Ghani

      yes

    • Ivan Burrows

      I find your comment sexiest & highly offensive….. lol

  7. Frankie Perussault

    education of boys from an early age. not to avoid girls but to learn how to consider them as full human beings, human “persons” like them and not objects to grab. tell them how poor a relationship is if not wanted by one party. tell them how beautiful love making can be when it is desired by both persons… yes, but who is going to do that education? parents? school teachers? everyone concerned, tv, radio, advertising.

    • Paul X

      “tell them how beautiful love making can be when it is desired by both persons”..a nice “fluffy” approach but one that ignores the biological fact that the attitude to sex from men and women are at polar opposites……something that will never change despite the feminist agenda to turn men into “women with dicks”

      ……and as for the education, it seems schools, etc are far more interested in pandering to the “gender neutral” agenda that seems to be the current fashion, how can you educate a boy in how to act as a responsible hetrosexual when most of the focus seems to be on encouraging people to questioning their sexuality?

  8. Aubrey Williams

    Attitudes towards both men and women need to change -given the way male victims are treated, in particular

  9. Miguel Cruz

    What we need is thougher people. If someone in your family is harassed, you need to talk to the offender in a language that he will understand. Just let a baseball bat do the talking and you’ll see the results right there

  10. catherine benning

    PS:

    I feel a bit sad for Harvey. He’s the quintessential beast in Beauty and the Beast. He was taken advantage of. Used for his power to elevate position and talentless individuals and then got his nose rubbed in the shit created by his disrespect for those he refused to advance.

    That, and the fact that someone extremely powerful, male not female, wanted to fix his f……g wagon. And has.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z463yP3Z1tM

  11. Zap Van Der Berg

    We need a female defense organization with political, monetary and military might, composed in its mayority or totality of women, independent of national powers, and including all kinds of women from the royalty to politics of al spectrums to military and hopefully even religious

  12. Ed Cocks

    For starters, maybe quit harboring sexual predator fugitives such as Polanski….

  13. Martin Vana

    well, interesting is that in this ”Me too” wave that has been triggered, mostly the women who are not attractive at all complain about being harassed…may it is just that ”the wish is father to the thought” in their case.

  14. EU Reform- Proactive

    “How can we stop sexual harassment?” “We”- meaning the EU28?

    I am bedazzled by the assumptions and ongoing attempts, that by referring to us- but in fact meaning the “we” =political EU- as if “we” are all staunch, critique-less and totally consenting EU political club members!

    If somebody transgresses a law- enough existing legislation, police stations & courts do exist to lay charges, investigate, prosecute & sentence anyone for a criminal offence if proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. What more?

    Build robots and program them to comply to the political nirvana of a futuristic EU and ban everyone not EU enthusiast to Mars?

    Political troublesome & unresolved are the deeply hidden machinations as revealed in the “Panama and Paradise Papers” and the legislated tax “inequality”!

    • catherine benning

      @ Americo Camacho Villarico

      I am surprised you are not aware the human race is ‘animal’ and not vegetable or mineral.

      Maybe this link will clarify this matter for you.

      https://a-z-animals.com/animals/human/

      We are indeed ‘animal.’ You must ask the creator why.

  15. Mauricio Giordanelli

    Attitudes towards sex need to change. Doing nasty things to people when you think no one is looking is possibly the result of a repressive and denialist attitude towards our basic impulses.

  16. Mauricio Giordanelli

    A cursory glance at the comments here reveals that most people think sexual harassment or abuse happens only to women and the perpetrators are always male. This is false and not close to the truth by any stretch of the imagination. And I speak from experience.

    • catherine benning

      @ Mauricio Giordanelli

      Of course you are absolutely correct. However, this situation is out in the face of the European citizen daily and has been accepted, not rejected, by Europes leaders. It is a criminal offence when seduction is practised by men, but, flaunted in our faces when carried out by women.

      The fifteen year old boy Macron, now a French leader, was seduced by his teacher, at the time in her thirties and married with children. He was a child. Yet she is heralded today, flaunted as if a good example. Unlike the men jailed for much lessor seduction charges. It is a disgrace for Europe to flaunt one law for women and another for men. I agree with you.

      However, it is said the French people voted for him in a majority. How strange is that with all the implications that surround it.

  17. Preben Nielsen

    Men chasing women has been around for 20 million years. It is part of the normal biology of the two species.

    • Marese Hegarty

      Which two species? The Neanderthal one you belong to or the human one that evolves- or are you still living in a cave dressed in the furs of the animals you killed yourself.

  18. Meera Ghani

    What good are laws if they are not implemented or followed through? There are plenty of laws across EU MS (and soon to be ex-MS) against sexual harassment in a work place, but its about the culture of silencing the doesn’t make it safe for people to report such crimes. Its the trivialising of the victims experiences that makes it difficult for the victims to voice what’ve they’ve been through. Its the power dynamics in the many organisations that are abused. Its the bro-codes. What’s needed is a change in attitudes, changing the way patriarchy defines masculine and feminine roles and traits. Its men talking to other men. Its men not looking at this as a men vs. women issue because patriarchy affects us all. While women, trans people and gender non-confirming people are the predominant victims of sexual violence, men are the predominant victims of violence in general (wars, gang crimes etc etc). Sadly though its mostly men who are the perpetrators as well. Hence a lot has to change in the way we raise the next generation of men. The way we talk about and portray violence. The way we define success. How we teach consent. And how we teach respect for all. What is needed is the dismantling of the patriarchy. Because in the end all systems of oppression are connected and intersectional feminism shows us that there are clearly some winners and losers that this system produces. Time to end it all.

  19. Michael Šimková

    We can start by distinguishing it from rape, which is what Weinstein is accused of, and in any remotely just world if convicted he should never see the light of day again.

    I’m for social stigma + tougher laws and sentences.

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