Home Editorials White men and sexual misconduct

White men and sexual misconduct

by PRIDE Newsdesk

William T

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Historically speaking, White men have always utilized their position of power concerning sexual abuse towards women and men alike. In this country, you can visually see the results of centuries of sexual abuse with the results of White men’s sexual encounters with female’s slaves. You are not going to find many African Americans who don’t have traces of White blood flowing in their DNA.

Ever noticed the numerous shades to be found in African American?

So much for sexual harassment or abuse. One can only wonder why it took so long for it to become a problem to nationally acknowledge and try to correct. It really makes one ponder more and more if ‘Black Lives Matter.’

The White man’s sexual harassment and sexual abuse is legendary when it comes to African American female slaves. This sexual abuse is ironic since many Whites rationalized that slaves were less than animals with no souls. One can only imagine that there is not much the White man has considered sacred—not much he has not seduced or tried to seduce. However, it appears that sexual improprieties or abuses predicated on African American women by White men have been marginalized or insignificant until now when White females have come forth with testimonies and claims of years of sexual advances and abuse by men in powerful positions.

Black men, for the most part, get a pass because we all know that there are very few Black men in positions of power to attack—aside from a few like Bill Cosby (although I am sure they will find some). What surprises so many people is that sexual harassment by men of power is nothing new and for the most part has been privately settled out of court, overlooked, or made to go away in many major companies.

It can be derived that this practice has been allowed to exist so long because of the White man’s presence in venues of power where the good ole boys felt they had carte blanche. One can only believe that the arrogance and air of privilege and entitlement by these men clogged their ability to treat women as serious intelligent competitors with skills and talents to be taken seriously.

Promising or bribing women with job advancement or fame in return for sexual privileges is more prevalent than we realize. It is unacceptable as well as debasing—truly an abuse of power and authority. Making lewd and suggestive sexual references or unwanted sexual moves toward women in the workplace is not only unacceptable but an abuse of one’s authority warranting dismissal and not cover-ups. Too often you find men who have a history of sexual harassment that has been dismissed or covered up by some companies. This practice allows the sexual harassment and abuse to continue.

For as long as one can remember, women have been objectified as sexual objects who were supposed to understand and accept the ritual of the ‘casting couch’ when it came to attaining fame and upper mobility in executive and corporate jobs and entertainment venues. This is a practice that has been played out over and over in movies and on TV. We can only assume that some men thought that exercising sexual misconduct and getting away with it was part of the privilege of being famous or in a powerful position.

While many women are coming forward, you can be certain that there are much older women who will never divulge the sexual indignities they had to endure out of embarrassment—hoping the memory would just fade, as if it never happened.

We must also acknowledge that times are changing as we speak and that women feel more liberated and are willing to fight the system that has protected these violators in the past. Private stipulations during settlements quieting the abused from talking and not finding the perpetrator guilty hasn’t help stop the practice of this abuse.

This is a pivotal time in history for women who have vowed an end to sexual harassment, now and forever. However in fairness, we must be cognizant that all compliments to women in the work force are not directed at trying to seduce a female. But if a woman tells a man she is uncomfortable with what she perceives as advances or comments and he continues, it is considered sexual harassment.

We must also be mindful of women falsely making accusations of sexual harassment or abuse for vindictive or clandestine reasons. This takes away from the legitimacy of truly violated victims seeking justice.

While it is about time sexual harassment and sexual abuse have finally reach national attention, it is only appropriate to formally apologize to the countless African American women dead and alive who have been subjected to this practice. Alas, they will get no individual justice.

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