The Actual Definitions Of Sexual Abuse & Sexual Harassment For People Who Think The Rules Have Changed

Photo: Unsplash: Brian Fraser 
The Definitions Of Sexual Assault, Abuse, Harassment And Rape Have Not Changed
Blogger
Buzz, Self

We're just finally calling it out —and this moment in history is truly powerful.

If you've been paying attention lately to the news, to Twitter, to Facebook, to Instagram, or even to the women standing in the streets and screaming, it might seem like every famous man who ever lived is turning out to be a sex monster and a sexual predator.

So of course, men everywhere are complaining that the rules are changing, that they're afraid of the "witch hunts" going on, that any totally normal behavior might land them in trouble. They're upset because suddenly, they don't know whether or not they too might be sex monsters.

But let's be clear, the bar for "What is sexual harassment, abuse and/or assault?" hasn't changed. 

According to the Marshall University Women's Center:

The definition of sexual assault includes:

  • Rape — sexual intercourse against a person’s will
  • Forcible sodomy — anal or oral sex against a person’s will
  • Forcible object penetration — penetrating someone’s vagina or anus, or causing that person to penetrate her or himself, against that person’s wil
  • Marital rape
  • Unwanted sexual touching
  • Sexual contact with minors, whether consensual or not
  • Incest — sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion between family members
  • Any unwanted or coerced sexual contact

Other sexual crimes include:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Solicitation of minors through the Internet
  • Possession of child pornography


RELATED: Senator Al Franken Accused Of Kissing And Groping A Woman Without Her Consent — And She Shared A Photo As Proof 


And according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is further defined as follows:

"It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.

Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.

Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer."

What has changed is whether or not people with the power and authority to do anything about it give a sh*t. 

It was never okay to grope your coworkers. It was never okay to drug and rape people. But, society shrugged it off, because it was just *women* who were the victims, and what were they going to do about it? Well, now women have gained enough of a toehold in the institutions of power, and most importantly, media, to be the people who care.

It wasn't okay for Louis CK to jerk off in front of other comedians, and he knew that. It's why he didn't jerk off in front of men or female bosses (like Amy Poehler). It's not that now suddenly it's bad, it's that now suddenly women can communicate these things with each other and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Hold him accountable, maybe.

It wasn't okay for Al Franken to grope an unconscious woman. Ever. Period. And he knew that.

It wasn't okay for Bill Cosby to rape every woman in a time mile radius. And HE knew that.

It wasn't okay for Richard Pryor to beat the sh*t out of his wife. And HE knew that.

It wasn't okay for Roy Moore to pursue fourteen year olds as a grown man. AND HE KNEW THAT.

It wasn't okay for Harvey Weinstein to demand sexual favors of the women he was casting. And HE knew that.


RELATED: Jeremy Piven Has Been Accused Of Sexual Assault And Harassment By 5 Women — And The Details Are Terrible 


But what they all also knew was that nobody was going to do anything about it. Nobody was going to come and get them, lock them up or fire them. They knew that the structures around them, built mostly by other men who they believed were just as guilty as themselves, would protect them. They believed nobody who *mattered* cared.

And horrifically, they were RIGHT.

Things are changing. Not fast enough, but they're changing.

The rules haven't changed. Only the likelihood of enforcement.

The horrific facts are that if all of your heroes have turned out to be sex monsters, this isn't actually news. People already knew their heroes were sex monsters. Roman Polanski is a known sex monster. Woody Allen is a known sex monster. Hell, Mike Tyson got his own cartoon show a few years ago, and he actually went to PRISON for rape. Do you know how hard it is to go to prison for rape? And when he got out, he was in The Hangover and every dude you know probably watched him dozens of times, laughing their butts off, not caring at all that he was a sex monster, too.

Well, the women of American are f**king done with this sh*t.

We are tired. We are furious. And we are exploding with the kind of righteous anger that only comes with centuries, nay, millennia, of gaslighting, of turning a blind eye whenever confronted with the idea that behavior men KNEW was wrong, criminal even, was also commonplace. We are DONE.

And these sexual predators? These sex monsters?

We're seeing to it that they're done, too. 


RELATED: The Full List Of Sexual Assault Allegations Against Bill Clinton — By 12 Different Women


Lea Grover is a writer and speaker living on Chicago's south side. Her writing has been featured in numerous anthologies, including "Listen To Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We're Saying Now," and on websites ranging from Cosmopolitan.com to AlterNet to Woman's Day, and she speaks about sex positivity in parenting and on behalf of the RAINN Speakers Bureau. She can be found on her blog, Becoming SuperMommy, on Twitter and Facebook, or preparing her upcoming memoir. 

This article was originally published at Facebook. Reprinted with permission from the author.

Author
Blogger