Can Men Be Sexually Harassed Too? My Stories From the Other Side
As a male, I have been harassed more times than I can count but does anyone really care? Is there a double standard? Allegations toward a famous female pop star should spark a conversation about sexual harassment against men but is anyone taking it seriously?
Recently, American Idol Judge, Katy Perry has had a few stories surface regarding how she has allegedly treated both men and women inappropriately. According to Digital Music News, a third accuser has recently stepped forward in addressing her behavior. Benjamin Glaze, a former American Idol contestant claimed that Perry kissed him without his consent. John Kloss, a model that appeared in one of Perry's music video says that she pulled his pants down at a party and exposed his genitals. These accounts have been deemed attempts to get headlines.
Remember when she was flirting heavily with American Idol hopeful, Trevor Homes?
There were even reports that she grabbed Shawn Mendes from behind at a music award ceremony.
Is she a predator? She very well could be. I don't know. I think that's a dangerous word to throw around. Is she just "having fun?"
I think she's disrespectful and she lives in a world where her fame has made impervious to criticism that men face on a daily basis. I'm not defending men who are harassers or predators. Of course, there are terrible men who do awful things to women and there's no excuse for that behavior. Assault is assault. Sexual harassment is sexual harassment no matter who performs the act. Why does that seem like an unpopular opinion?
I have been harassed and faced unwanted touching from women for years. Aside from telling a few people how uncomfortable it made me, I've just "manned up" and ignored it. Besides, would anyone take it seriously? Last year I was hugged and then pinched from behind at a public event by a woman. I've even been kissed on the cheek. At a previous place of employment, I was told that several women had an office pool for the best behind in the office and I had been ranked high on the list. At a bar after work hours with several coworkers, my genitals were groped by a trusted female coworker.
What are my options? I can either make someone extremely uncomfortable and upset or make a big deal out of it. Those are the two extremes. Sadly, in my case I'm not sure if any of those options would be taken seriously.
I've been catcalled on the streets, at parties and even at concerts. I've had women make comments about my body whether it be to tell me how good I look (or how bad ins some cases) or to address how much I've been eating.
The above incidents fit the very definition of harassment.
These are just my experiences. I don't speak for all males. Without downplaying anyone's experiences the issue of how we treat and view sexual harassment and assault is very real on both sides. There is hypocrisy. There are stigmas and there are skewed opinions and even biases. We cannot pick and choose who can be harassed or assaulted based on their gender or identity.
What should happen to Katy Perry? I don't have that answer. What I do know is that her accusers should be taken seriously and not written off with the generic "that's every guy's dream" mentality.
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