Wednesday September 19, 2012
Sex predators can be so beguiling
A WRITER'S LIFE
By DINA ZAMAN
Victims are often caught short. Sadly, victims of sexual harassment may find that their loved ones may not be so supportive.
SOME men occupy positions of power despite being known for sexual harassment and molestation. They are still hired and allowed to do what they want.
I understand that organisations hire these men for prestige and their professional experience which they can impart, but for the life of me I will never get why these organisations employ these sex fiends.
But I suppose these sex predators can be very articulate and charming.
Unfortunately, in my line of work I have met some men of such repute.
I cannot deny their intelligence, but I would not want to share the same breathing space with them.
And they know how to play the game very well: you would not classify them as sociopaths. A friend of mine, a lawyer-cum-columnist for an online news website, shares the same sentiment.
As a husband, father to a daughter and friend, he can only shake his head.
What’s even more strange is that quite a number of people do know of their misdemeanours, and talk about them, but do nothing.
As I was once told by one acquaintance, “X is fighting for the same cause as we.”
I suppose they get away with blue murder, because to compile a case against them would be futile.
It’s also a case of class: if a man who is working class behaves in such a manner, he’d be beaten up and clapped behind bars, but a man of a certain stature must surely be an angel.
It’s not easy to spot him at first or even the second time around. All will only be revealed when suddenly there is interaction between the both of you, even in a public space.
Victims are caught short. The sad thing about sexual harassment is that victims may find that their loved ones – families, partners, friends – may not be the most supportive crutch.
Most victims tend to blame themselves, while knowing well that they are innocent.
As it is, they have to cope with all sorts of emotions. And what do their loved ones say?
Perhaps they’re in shock, but hearing things like “Well, you should be thankful, because it means you’re attractive,” is not going to solve the problem.
None of this has to do with attractiveness.
You can be short, fat, ugly, beautiful, but if the perpetrator decides to exercise his or her unbecoming behaviour towards you, you have a problem.
Sometimes the victims are heterosexual men. Now sexual harassment is not confined to just women and the marginalised community –straight men do get harassed.
Social workers are thrown off balance when they are confronted by adult male victims. It’s rare to meet a young man, straight, a professional, admitting that they too have been harassed.
While the victims lick their wounds, the perpetrators go about their work. Some appear in the public sphere, blase about it all.
What would you do, when the victims themselves do not want to press charges?
I suppose one can only pray for karma. But does karma really exist?
You can’t go on a hate campaign as it would be your word against theirs, and this may lead to fitnah. You can only hope that one day, what goes around will come around.