An absurd amount of men think groping and flashing aren’t sexual harassment
A ton of guys seems really confused about what counts as sexual harassment.
Nearly a quarter of men don’t think exposing their junk or masturbating in front of someone counts as sexual harassment, according to a survey conducted by Barna. And only 86% of men think groping is harassment, meaning 14% of them think it’s a-okay to grab a woman’s breasts or butt without her permission.
Even worse, only about half of men consider the act pushing against someone on public transit as sexual harassment. A higher number of men, 71% think sending unsolicited dick pics counts as harassment, but still not enough.
These statistics are alarming, especially during a time where every three in ten people say they’ve been raped. In Barna’s survey, 42% of women reported being a victim of sexual harassment, as opposed to 16% of men. The survey polled more than 1,000 adults about what they consider sexual assault.
More shockingly, men and women both agreed when it came to the instance of “lighthearted flirting.” Only 12% considered these non-consensual verbal advances as a form of sexual assault.
Now, conversations around sexual assault are everywhere you turn. When just last year a man named Brock Turner was only sentenced six months for the rape of an unconscious girl, many are shocked that prominent men are loosing their positions over acts of nonconsensual groping and exposure.
When The New York Times dropped the bombshell that exposed Harvey Weinstein’s numerous cases of alleged sexual assault, the media went nuts.
In the weeks following, other high-profile cases have been reported. Kevin Spacey, Terry Richardson, and recently, Matt Lauer are just a few. This domino effect has been called the “Weinstein effect.”
While these statistics are disheartening, perhaps the Weinstein effect has paved the way for a brighter future for all of us. Especially with the #MeToo movement, more and more people are not longer afraid to come out. With smiles on our faces as we read the next installment of a powerful white man’s downfall, we can breathe better, knowing that the consequences are greater for the perpetrator, and not the victim.