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#018; early morning outrage courtesy of the wsj

May 21, 2009

I had to post quickly due to just having read this article in the Wall Street Journal: “Sexual-Harassment Cases Plague U.N.” – the article itself isn’t the problem at all. It’s a fairly straight forward reporting of what’s going on in the cases and I’m glad to see Equality Now represented well and that they brought up the larger issue of sexual discrimination and harassment at international organizations in general.

My issue is with a comment made by a commenter called “Anum” which says (I’ve added the emphasis and the spelling mistakes are Anum’s):

This problem of sexual harrasment is very unfortunate, and something that occurs in very other firm. It all comes down to every person and their own warped conscioueness. While I don’t totally believe the indignation of the male managers who have resigned from the UN owing to what they regard as false accusations, well so thats one side too – there is really no proof that women are victims in this whole thing.

THIS is what is wrong with so much of the debate regarding sexual abuse, rape, harassment, and discrimination. The he-said/she-said mentality, turning a victim into a harlot, an emotionally and mentally taxing litmus test because society is unprepared to simply believe that people are capable of awful actions. It’s opinions like this that keep abused wives and raped girls from coming forward in the first place.

I hope that the cases work out favorably for the victims, and that the new rules put in place this summer help to clean up the work environment of the UN, but even major breaks like this won’t help to stop violence/harassment against women until attitudes like the one above are seriously examined and liquidated.

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