Sexual harassment has been a disease of society with the allegations that are being made now arguably society’s attempt at confronting an issue that has existed since the beginning of society and quite possibly further back than that. This revolt against the oppression of those victimized to be an opportunity for society to perform a complete reevaluation of the various institutions, systems, and cultural values that can promote or permit such incidents. This series of accounts against perpetrators could also spur a resurgence in the structures that are responsible for the harassment incidents to begin with. I hope that the result is a reformed society that can better confront sexual harassment along with other controversial topics.
The conflict that emerges with the context of arguments against society’s vices regarding harassment and similar offenses is the sense that there is a “a proper time and place.” That notion was contorted to provide a haven for the perpetrators rather than a place of equal standing where victims could face their accusers on fair terms. Court and interview processes have been known to further traumatize the victims. Entire communities have acted to hide incidents or terrorize victims for attempting to seek justice or warn others. Inputting the conversation where it does not belong is one way of ensuring that the topic gets addressed, especially if the proper context does not provide a domain to effectively address the issues.
Bystanders have their role in preventing or permitting these offenses if they are in the capacity to intervene. If someone is losing consciousness, suffers from a serious ailment, dying, etc., intervention would be limited if not improbable. If one is able and in the proximity to act to alter a situation, then such action should be taken. It speaks tones when those who act heroically speak that such actions should be regarded as the responsibility of one human being to another, not merely the result of some difference of thinking of a rare selection of human beings. Understandably, not everyone can fight off an attacker, or climb great heights to save a person’s life, or be effective at talking to others within a crisis. We all have our individual capabilities. That does not mean that we cannot act in some other capacity than that which would be immediately suggested.