Gransnet forums

News & politics

Sexual Harassment of Girls and Young Women

(57 Posts)
FarNorth Sat 13-Mar-21 11:52:56

www.thetimes.co.uk/article/1f39f842-8347-11eb-8dc5-6a6f238d9d27?shareToken=b96eb3f6bace72751da316297ca0288d
(no paywall on this article)

Scroll down the testimonials on @everyonesinvited and weep. Eleven-year-olds forced to send nude photos to older boys, 13-year-olds molested in front of cheering pupils in parks, 15-year-olds coerced into having sex at parties, hundreds of children’s desperate stories of rape culture, harassment, assault and sexual humiliation. This is Britain in 2021.

No individual is singled out but the schools named include famous single-sex ones such as St Paul’s School and Harrow, as well as mixed-sex schools such as Latymer Upper School in west London, Wellington College and Bedales, grammar schools and state secondary schools. Students at university have also started posting their experiences at Edinburgh, Exeter, Manchester and Newcastle. This Instagram campaign highlighting teenage sexual abuse has gone viral.

It is heartbreaking to think this is the world of our grandchildren.

EllanVannin Sat 13-Mar-21 12:20:39

All I have to say is that normal people don't act like this----meaning that there are an awful lot of deranged human beings around. It's a huge problem that badly needs addressing.

Jaxjacky Sat 13-Mar-21 12:27:02

Oops just posted this link on ‘the fear women with thread’ same time as you, sorry EV

Iam64 Wed 17-Mar-21 08:53:38

I found this OP when checking news and politics to see if anyone had linked an article in today’s DM on line. My ability to link is an embarrassment.
The female author sets out to reassure us that whilst male use of pornography has increased hugely during the pandemic, women needn’t worry. All men, according to the author, use porn to masturbate to.
This normalisation, suggestion that use of porn is only a cause for concern if it means he isn’t having sex with you, or is watching porn involving children, for example left me feeling angry.
My belief is porn damages the people involved in its production. It normalises abusive sex. I find it difficult to believe it’s availability isn’t damaging our young people in particular.

FarNorth Wed 17-Mar-21 10:14:51

I recently saw a talk by Laura Bates, author of Men Who Hate Women.
www.simonandschuster.co.uk/books/Men-Who-Hate-Women/Laura-Bates/9781471194337

Part of her work is with school pupils and she has noticed that boys now tend to have much more aggressive attitudes towards girls, which she believes is caused by porn use from a young age.

keepingquiet Wed 17-Mar-21 11:44:56

We have to shift the focus from protecting girls to educating men.
I'm sick of women having to take the blame and accept that the behaviour of men can somehow be controlled by women.
We let men off the hook all the time and it needs to stop.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Wed 17-Mar-21 12:06:00

You're damn right keeping quiet - great user name and it certainly reflects how we were meant to respond in the past, doesn't it? The more I hear about this 'modern' behaviour the angrier I feel.
It seems that everything that women have fought for in the past results in a negative step back. When people were arguing for pornography to be made more freely available did they think about the consequences for ordinary people? It really does make me wonder about the human race.

Oldwoman70 Wed 17-Mar-21 12:18:19

Totally agree that the answer is to educate men and boys. Why is the onus always put on women - we are told don't drink too much, don't wear certain clothes, don't walk alone at night to protect against being attacked - another way of blaming the victim. Perhaps we should never leave the house unless accompanied by a male relative!

NellG Wed 17-Mar-21 12:25:37

Keepingquiet I couldn't agree more, however having once been part of a programme to educate such men I am at a loss to know how. The kind of men who act out this behaviour already know it's wrong, they just don't care.

Iam64 Wed 17-Mar-21 12:32:55

The men who wouldn’t abuse women don’t need ‘educating’. My experience of group or individual work with domestic or sex abusers doesn’t instil me with confidence.

The persistent shift of blame to women has been evident on Gransnet on a number of threads. Grooming victims seen as contributing to their exploitation, just one example.

keepingquiet Wed 17-Mar-21 14:00:41

I remember growing up in the 60s and 70s. I was assaulted at age 10 but also went into a workplace where men felt entitled without question to make remarks about women all the time.
I am glad things have changed, and can change again.
You won't change some predatory men, and unfortunately women will always be subject to assault, as are young men.
However, saying we cannot change some things is very defeatist and worrying.
Women still feel they have to 'put up' with stuff, and I don't get why that is.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 17-Mar-21 14:17:17

IMO boys and men need to be taught that sexual harassment is wrong, as is racist abuse and any form of bullying and violence we can think of.

Girls and women need to be taught to be confident about speaking out if they experience sexual harassment,

This basically means that society needs to be more willing to believe women who say they have been subjected to it.

Neither sex should submit to blackmail, which is what is happening when schoolgirls and boys are forced to send nude pictures of themselves to anyone.

We may or may not be able to change predators of either sex, but if proven rape carried a life sentence then other women would be protected from that particular rapist and it might just make some potential rapists reconsider their proclivities.

If girls and women, young men and boys can protect themselves either by going to law, or by learning self-defence then there is a fair chance of less of any violent crime.

Changing attitudes is hard, but we who were young women in the 1970s did manage to stop the blue jokes that were a feature of many places of work, the groping hands likewise encountered there,and the attitude that housework and rearing children was basically a wife's job, however much the husband wanted children.

We also, with help from many right-minded men managed to gain access to contraceptives and legal abortions, higher education and careers.

So what is stopping our daughters and grand-daughters from changing their world, with or without the help of our sons and grandsons?

suziewoozie Wed 17-Mar-21 14:42:17

Glad I found this thread - one of the threads about the vigil had developed into discussing some of the issues above. Better it’s a separate thread now. I want to add ( although it might be a bit oblique) that I’m shocked that the probationer police officer has not been suspended. The message to women and girls is appalling. How dare they let him stay at work and put on that uniform?

Oldwoman70 Wed 17-Mar-21 15:31:35

NellG

Keepingquiet I couldn't agree more, however having once been part of a programme to educate such men I am at a loss to know how. The kind of men who act out this behaviour already know it's wrong, they just don't care.

You are right about the men who know this is wrong but just don't care - however, if boys and men are educated as to the effect harassment (and worse) has on women more men may speak out when they hear or see those men acting inappropriately.

Summerlove Wed 17-Mar-21 15:34:03

So what is stopping our daughters and grand-daughters from changing their world, with or without the help of our sons and grandsons?

Because men need to change.

Without them changing, nothing will change.

Men are the problem.

“Good” men need to tackle that

Atqui Wed 17-Mar-21 15:48:20

One of the problems is that children start watching porn when they are still in primary school, so in a way they are being indoctrinated into believing that degradation of women is normal.Hence the problem will be bigger when these boys come of age, if nothing is done about its.

keepingquiet Wed 17-Mar-21 16:07:17

Atqui

One of the problems is that children start watching porn when they are still in primary school, so in a way they are being indoctrinated into believing that degradation of women is normal.Hence the problem will be bigger when these boys come of age, if nothing is done about its.

What? I hope small children (or even older ones) watching porn is quite rare.
We are seeing things the wrong way round here.
Men attacking women is not a sexual thing but an assertion of power.
Girls grow up seeing men in privileged positions in all areas of life. In the home despite our best efforts women are still deemed lower in status than men.
During this pandemic it has been women (mostly in caring and teaching jobs) that have born the brunt of home schooling, giving up work to care for relatives etc and have been found to be far worse off now the pandemic is easing.
Where is our awareness of the everyday debt we owe to women behind supermarket tills and cleaning jobs?
Forget porn, unless the everyday power shifts take place men will always be easy about walking home at night.
Personally I would make it illegal for men to be out on the streets at night and see how they like it.

Atqui Wed 17-Mar-21 16:14:21

I don’t have any data at my fingertips , but it has been asserted many time that young children watch porn. Sexual aggression is about power, and porn is no longer about riske magazines kept on the top shelf in the news agents any more. It has also been proved to influence the way men see women.

Atqui Wed 17-Mar-21 16:33:52

By the way * keepingquiet* you can Google the subject to find the alarming facts about how many young children and adolescents do watch porn , and the effect it has on them

suziewoozie Wed 17-Mar-21 16:50:34

It also influences how young men think female genitalia should look - hairless and ‘neat’. This in turn has led to an increase in young women seeking labiaplasty which sadly private clinics are happy to carry out on girls as young as 16 and 17. À and E departments have also over recent years reported an increase in female analysis injuries as young men act out anal sex acts which are widespread in porn. It’s truly dreadful

suziewoozie Wed 17-Mar-21 16:51:13

Sorry - analysis = anal

Galaxy Wed 17-Mar-21 16:55:45

Porn is part of that every day power that you are talking about.

trisher Wed 17-Mar-21 20:39:50

I don't think it is mainly to do with porn, or that it is only a male problem. I think it is a reflection of how our culture and society has changed and how attitudes and opinions which would once have been condemned have become the norm. TV programmes like Naked Attraction, Love Island, I'm a Celebrity invite everyone to criticise and judge others, girls and boys are the subject of scrutiny and their actions are watched and criticised. Subjecting others to degrading and frightening trials is normal and is rewarded. Any wonder then that we have a generation whose values are skewed?
I'm turning into a grumpy old woman aren't I?
What I think is saddest is that the sexual and personal freedoms we once fought for, haven't become something which gives young people happiness and joy, but instead ways of humilating, damaging and harming others.

Iam64 Wed 17-Mar-21 20:47:45

Why do you dismiss porn as a negative contributor to the other issues you raise trisher? I agree with the rest of your post, though I’m not sure you’re turning into a grumpy old woman. It’s been an awful week newswise

Blinko Wed 17-Mar-21 21:41:22

In my view the misogyny of some men is the uglier side of male bonding, being 'one of the lads' down the pub, or at the match, or wherever. Men in a gang, especially when fueled by alcohol and exchanging lewd comments, can behave like pack animals. If this could be stopped it would go along way to discouraging the disrespecting of women.

For some reason which escapes me, it seems that the female 52% of the population are seen as fair game in some quarters.

Misogyny should surely be criminalized, like racism and disrespecting the disabled or LGBTQ communities. Why not?