One of the sad facts about life is that women get harassed. Some women may not get harassed at all, others may get harassed occasionally, whereas some may receive horrible harassment on a regular basis. So why are some women harassed more often than others, and what sort of punishments can be given to harassers?
It is true, and perhaps a sad indictment of society, that a woman’s appearance and how she dresses often plays a major role in whether she will be harassed or not. An attractive woman is likely to receive plenty of attention from her male counterparts who lust after her. In addition, if she chooses to dress in a revealing manner, she may inadvertently give those men a “come on” sign, even though she is in no way giving her consent. In modern society, it is right that a woman should be able to dress however she wishes and not live in fear of getting harassed, but we cannot ignore the facts either. Looks and dress sense does play a significant role, and women who do not stand out in a crowd generally go ignored.
Harassment can range from minor incidents to something much more serious and, as you would expect, the punishments vary according to the severity of the crime. For example, wolf-whistling – where men whistle at women as they go past – is technically a form of harassment, however, there is not likely to be any punishment for this, unless perhaps it happens regularly and in an aggressive nature. Physical harassment carries much stronger punishments. If somebody was being touched inappropriately in a public place – perhaps on a bus or on a train – then the person being harassed would be able to take the matter, and possibly press charges if they wish.
Harassment can become even more sinister than this, in the case of sexual assault and rape. For this punishments greatly increase, and the offender can face long-term jail sentences if they have done this.
There are two ways in which harassment can be stopped, and it involves the aggressor and the victim both playing their part. The aggressor needs to learn to control their urges and recognize consent boundaries, while women who are regularly harassed should possibly consider dressing differently to calm the situation. Even though they are not at fault, it may be the quickest and easiest way to eliminate the problem and staying safe.
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