The Experience of Being Bothered
Have you ever been sexually harassed? It is truly a nightmare, especially because if the person harassing you is in a position of power, you feel like you are stuck and you cannot escape their grips unless you let them escalate their desires into an actual experience of sexual assault. It really is not a good time, because you feel that your trust in the human beings around you has diminished significantly, and you can spend a really long time picking up the pieces of your emotions that have been damaged and shaken by this experience. Being trained to not harm people in this way is a chance for you to learn more about the possibility of maintaining a strong interpersonal track record with friends and coworkers.
Let me give you an example. A beautiful young woman was enrolled in college back in the early 2000s, where she met up with her mother one Spring Break. During that holiday season, her mother decided to take her to meet a family friend who was a clergyman working for another university. The young woman found herself being sexually harassed by this clergyman for many years after she met him, and this man even followed her to a different state in the United States to continue to bother and stalk her.
The Painful Moments
That young woman was this author, many years ago. Ultimately, my father chose to get involved and that helped me escape the person who sexually harassed me constantly, and that is why people need that sexual harassment training. There are so many people who would think that being treated that way by a grown clergyman would simply be a rite of passage. For example, when people began speaking out against sexual harassment a few years ago, many people who identify as women who are over the age of 40 and 50 realized that they had been sexually bothered quite often as youngsters.
When you talk to older women, they will say, “That is just how things were back then,” while realizing the depth of the harassment they experienced for the first time. They are often shocked that the way they were exploited for their bodies and bothered for their beauty would now be considered horrible, and sometimes illegal. So nowadays, if you are, for example, training sexual harassment in California, you probably have a lot more work to do these days than you did many decades ago, when sexual harassment training barely existed as it does now.
People want the guidance they need not just to stop bothering others, but to recognize when sexual harassment is happening to them in the moment. Many people take advantage of sexual harassment to press people into doing things they do not want to do, and as a result, people are generally going to do what they can get away with. Some people think that that type of experience only happens to women, but men and gender non-conforming people can be bothered by others in this specific way as well. There are countless examples of women being hurtful to men because they think that when they display this type of terrible behavior as women, it somehow nullifies the experience.
Training Can Help The Issue
For example, people make excuses for women who have been harmful to others in this way, and many men genuinely believe that people cannot be assaulted (https://www.britannica.com/topic/sexual-harassment) if they are men who have been attacked by women. Have you ever asked a man about his experience of this type of hurt? They will often describe the experience as a great thing that happened to them, as though assault is nothing more than “free sex” when in reality, they have been violated and have had their personal boundaries crossed as well.
The truth is, the puritanical history of the United States of America means that people tend to be really awkward about sex, and consequently, there have been terrible decisions made when men themselves have been assaulted. Many men think that a beautiful woman should be expecting to be bothered constantly, and they often behave as though the clothing a woman is wearing can result in an automatic experience of being harassed and bothered by people. As a woman, you will grow up hearing foolishness about the clothing you are wearing and people might be shocked at your outfit when they hear of your being troubled in this specific way.
Ultimately, this is not fair to anyone, specifically because women are constantly concerned about their image, and men are constantly worried about being perceived in the wrong way. Many folks talk about the lack of risks being taken because they are too scared to confront the possibility that they have hurt others. People are often negative, thinking that no one can have a great experience with a person of the opposite gender because they are worried that someone will automatically assume they have nefarious intentions, but with the right training, you can surmount that difficulty quite easily.