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Women and American Politics - Essay Example

8 pages
1979 words
Boston College
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Sexual harassment and assault have been a prevalent issue in the United States. About 48% of women and 20% of the men are assaulted or sexually abused in a year. Sexual harassment and assault do not only occur in households. The acts occur everywhere including workplaces, Congress, and even film industry. Sexual assault involves not only physical assault but also intimidation. Sexual assault does not entail rape only. It is further involved with the objectification of women. Many women are deemed as not fit or viable for certain positions in the community, especially in politics. There is a general notion that men are better leaders than women. In American politics, women hold a share of about 19%. Such shows that women have been marginalized in their involvement in politics.

There have been quite numerous events ever since the writing of the current event of the Me Too movement. Recently Time Magazine named the silence breakers as the person of the year (Redden par.1). The silence breakers are the people who were brave enough to share their sexual harassment stories and experiences openly on social media. The main people behind the silence breakers are Tarana Burke and Alyssa Milano. It has created a massive awareness among women and also men who have been sexually harassed in the past. The Me Too campaign by Alyssa Milano was after she read the case of Harvey Weinstein. As a result, a new lawsuit has begun in which Weinstein faces. Not only is Ashley Judd the accuser but other women have also accused him of sexual harassment. US Senator Al Franken has been pressured by women legislators to resign (Redden par.3). The senator was accused of harassing co-workers, as well as constituents. Over time since the writing, the Me Too campaign has been widely recognized all over the world. It has now become a movement that people can reckon.

The paper on the Me Too movement has clear points that I agree with. The paper states that not all sexual assault can be referred to as rape (Kennedy 2). Instead, there are some sexual assaults, which involve objectification of women. The cases are where women are not valued as human beings but as property owned and can be used as the user pleases. The user, in this case, maybe the boss at work, the spouse, or any person having the objectification mentality. There are many cases, which have not been heard or reported. Such is because the victims fear and feel threatened. Some of the victims may still have post dramatic stress. The victims should have access to adequate counseling where they can be encouraged to move on.

The Me Too movement has helped others to be informed about sexual violence. It is significant as it has helped many realize the scope of the sexual harassment issue in the country (Kennedy 2). With such movements and people sharing their ideas and experiences, the issue is addressed. Victims no longer fear or feel stigmatized. Not only are women prone to sexual assault but also men. Most of the offenders of sexual violence crimes go unpunished. It makes the country unsafe since others are prone to be exposed to such criminals. It has been reported that only six out of every one thousand sex offenders are locked behind bars (Kennedy 2). Most of the sexual offenders are people high in the society. These include bosses, politicians, film director, and producers. Even when they are reported, they find a way to escape the justice system. President Donald Trump has been accused of sexually violating women. In his defense, he claims the allegations as not valid. He further declares that some of the women were not that beautiful to be assaulted. Before he was elected, he was caught saying offensive things that would be considered sexual act. Instead, he claimed that it was just locker room talk that any man would have. There is also the case of Harvey Weinstein who assaulted Judd. If not for Judd coming out and speaking out, Weinstein would have gone unpunished.

The paper has clear points, but there are some points that I would disagree with and approach differently. The paper is based too much on the CBS news article (Kennedy 1). I would suggest the use of various other sources. The use of one source makes it seem bias, as well as it is trying to promote the brand. There are other articles such as the Washington Post, Reuters, and even The Guardian. The other case that I would disagree with and suggest a different approach is Burke starting the movement for particular girls with color. According to Burke, sexual assault victims cannot be categorized by their age, gender or color. She started the movement to empower all girls and women despite their color. The Me Too movement focusses on all victims whether men or women.

In my opinion, there is a connection between this event and the topic of women and American politics. The connection first begins with victims of assault. Most victims of assault are women. Women cannot easily defend themselves from sexual offenders and often are the victims. The American political scene is a field where males dominate it. With such fields, women are often exposed to sexual violence. Sexual violence may involve sexual assault, harassment, and intimidation. Women are often easily intimidated by their co-workers, bosses, and leaders in various cases. For the case where the co-worker or boss is a highly influential figure, women succumb to sexual violence. Such is further promoted by low-income situations. In politics, very few women have the privilege of being in such high positions as men. Most of the women who are not in high positions are easily preyed on and harassed.

Most of the women revealed their stories after Alyssa Milanos tweet with an aim to join the Me Too movement. The move was a silent protest against sexual violence. The women were trying to reveal what the society ignored and did not consider acting on. Apparently, most of the women who shared their stories had been assaulted by either bosses or political leaders. In my opinion, the topic can also be connected with the current event in that most politicians sexually harass women. Many victims reported politicians as their sexual offenders. In 2017, there has been a lot of politicians accused of sexual misconducts towards women. From Donald Trump, George Bush and Al Franken (Redden par.10). It has been noted that most sexual harassments are found in the Congress. The Congress is facing scrutiny as it has become a breeding ground for violence particularly sexual assaults and harassment. Politicians allow, and some behave in misconduct by making sexual advances on the women near them.

As earlier stated, sexual assault as involves objectification. In the current event, many women are objectified hence thats why they are sexually assaulted. Objectification leads to diminishing the roles that women can play in our society. Politics plays a huge part in our society as it has to do with leadership. Since most people have objectified women, they cannot vote for women leaders. Women have gone out of their ways to try and vie for political seats (Palley 248). In the end, only a few have made it. Southern states are not likely to elect a female candidate to public offices (Palley 248). People may not objectify women, but they view women as inferior and not capable. It is so because women are seen as just role players in the homes and not outside the houses in the society. Decision makers ignore women at their peril (Palley 250). No matter how women try to rise in the end, they are pulled down by the objectification view.

The current event relates to materials I interacted with in class throughout the second half of the semester. The current event of the Me Too movement relates with one of the material by discussing women and American politics. The material discusses the women movement as a social movement (Costain 100). The women movement transitions to an interest group. The current events discuss the Me Too movement, which focus on women since, in most cases, they are victims of sexual harassment. Such is also in the process of transition.

The other material is about womens policy in leadership. Women are often considered inferior in matters concerning leadership skills. As in the case most of the Me Too movement participants have at one time felt inferior. Such has led to them being sexually offended due to inferiority. The movement was started to fight for the rights of women against sexual offenses. In the same way, the material argues that women in politics fight for the equal treatment and rights for women and children (Palley 249). The two relate to the women fighting for something they feel needs to be addressed. The material argues that it is important for women empowerment, in the same way, the Me Too tries to empower women on speaking out against sexual violence.

The current event is alarming on matters concerning the current state of affairs in American politics. The current involves creating awareness of sexual violence crimes. It can be seen that sexual harassment is dominant in the political system. American politics is not concerned on sexual harassment, and it has ignored perpetrators including the politicians themselves. Many politicians have been accused of sexual violence but end up ben free since they view themselves as the law. The laws put in place to protect the victims are no longer effective. There is injustice, ignorance, unfairness, and corruption on matters concerning sexual assaults cases. If it were not the case, then women would not tweet Me Too. Anyone who commits sexual offense should be charged no matter their position, whether boss or politician.

Women have a huge role to play in the future of American politics based on the current event. Based on what I know women such as Alyssa Milano and Tarana Burke are spearheading the campaign against sexual harassment and assaults. With the beginning of women taking such role, they can widely change the American political scene. A journey has to begin with a single step to reach ones destination. The advocacy for making sexual violence a thing that people can relate to may seem a small step but has enormous impacts. First and foremost it tries to reduce sexual harassment by bosses and most especially politicians. It is because it leads to the fear of being exposed publically as a sex offender. Thus may harm the politicians career, and so the politician avoids harassing co-workers or constituents.

With such steps, the women can slowly advocate and enter the American politics. They can begin influencing and making political awareness issues. In this way, they can change how people view politics and influence involvement of everyone in the society. There can be a transition in the future. The transition can be a social Me Too movement to interest groups (Costain 100). With it, women were able to represent themselves and speak out on their behalf without the fear of being intimidated or criticized. Women can play an essential role in the future of American politics by introducing new elements. The social movements may be incorporated into the political system (Costain 100). Through the Me Too movement and other movements put in place women may gain access to the policy system. They can be able to influence decisions made politically by being members of lobbying. Considering women are minority members in a congress they can provide directions for lobbying (Costain 112). In this way women can no longer be marginalized instead can be part of the political system.

Works Cited

Costain, Anne. N. The Western Political Quarterly. Representing Women: The Transition from Social Movement to Interest Group. The University of Utah. Vol. 34, No. 1, 1981, pp 100-113, Accessed: 21-10-2017.

Redden, Molly. #MeToo Movement Named Time Magazines Person of the Year....

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