Making Sense of Sexual Harassment

It’s time to see sexual harassment in all its variant shades of grey. We don’t do ourselves or anyone else any favors when we lump together rape, public displays of indecency, getting groped, or having lewd language spewed at us, all in one basket. They are just not the same thing.

There is rape. There is unwanted sexual advances. There is uncomfortable social interactions. There are public displays we are witness to. All are miserable. All are intrusive. All are yicky. Rape however is in its own category, both in the awfulness of the experience and the aftermath experience. I fear that we have started lumping it all together. And we need to stop.

Here’s one brilliant article by David Brooks in the New York Times which tries to draw some distinctions.