Persuasive Speech: Sexual harassment Is Thriving on Silence

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Sexual harassment is thriving on silence.

How often do you hear the word harassment and feel the pain attached to it? I believe everyone should be free from objectification due to their gender, religion, and race. Sexual harassment is one of the most common types of harassment found. Considering gender as a sexual object and making crude jokes, passing remarks, or behaving in any way that makes the other person uncomfortable is not acceptable.

We live in a world where our mass media has highly sexualized everything. From our TV shows to movies, our constant exposure to sexual content has dehumanized us. People have become insensitive and have forgotten how to behave and interact with the opposite gender. Our use of foul language and sexual references to express our frustration has become very common and is highly inappropriate. People learn from and adapt according to their surroundings. We dehumanize a person when their identity is reduced to being just an object of gratification and rejection. Sexual harassment has been happening for years and years but most of the time it’s been looked at with a negative point of view. Victims of sexual harassment have received backlash after speaking out which prompted silence everywhere. They are shunned by all and often told to keep quiet. Some people feared even whispering their stories because it would only result in disbelief and shame; the risk of speaking up is just too much. Harassment thrives on the silence of its victims and grants immunity to the perpetrators. Blaming the victim is what people do best and that’s what we’ll continue to do if we’re not made aware of our problems.

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About 2 years ago the entire world woke up to 2 words that sounded so small yet so explosive that social media was flooded by them, “Me too”. #MeToo became a movement in a matter of days solely because people had had enough. The world saw how a hash-tag revealed gruesome stories of assault, harassment, and rape. Stories which hadn’t even seen the light of day, until then. Over 2 million people found the courage to speak up about the horrendous crimes committed against them just because of this hashtag. This movement is about sexual harassment and sexual assault. It’s a common misconception that the metro is only about women, it’s not. Men get harassed too. Even though most stories come from women in this hashtag, it doesn’t mean that it’s just restricted to one gender. #MeToo is not gender bias. From young to old, from harassment in families to the workplace, it happens and we need to make people aware of this problem. People die; they commit suicide, are shamed for something that wasn’t even their fault, or are forced to remain silent. According to an online survey, 83% of women and 43% of men have experienced some form of sexual harassment in their life. These are just old figures, there are years and years old incidents buried inside the victims.

While men experience sexual harassment as well, the occurrence of this is much higher in women and so is the intensity of their experiences. Victims don’t often confront their harassers, they’d rather avoid them by changing how they look, their route, everyday routines, jobs, moving places, in short, their whole life, anything that would reduce the risk of getting harassed. Another alarming fact is that most victims don’t report their experiences. They don’t mention it to their friends or family, let alone the local authorities. They start suffering from anxiety and depression. They’d rather change their life than confront the person who harassed them. A friend of mine once got cat-called on her way to the library by a group of boys. She refused to speak of the incident for a very long period of time and appeared terrified at the idea of going down that particular street alone. With the help of “MeToo”, women are more motivated and determined than ever to speak up and empower themselves and others. It has not only helped victims name and shame their harassers but also brought awareness and overall gender discrimination to light.

Women are mostly asked for proof when they come out with their stories, but even with proof, there’s nothing that can be done. Khadija Siddiqui, a law student in Pakistan declined a marriage proposal from her classmate Shah Hussain, after he continuously harassed her and her parents, and attacked her one day in broad daylight outside her little sister’s school on the busiest streets of the country. She has 22 stab wounds on her body, multiple witnesses, and somehow that was still not enough to prove anything. The courts refused to file Meesha Shafi’s sexual harassment case against Ali Zafar because according to them the claim only stands in the law if the accuser is employed by the sexual predator, while simultaneously filing Ali Zafar’s defamation allegations. In a justice system much more developed than ours, Christine Blasey Ford came with testimony and proof regarding the sexual abuse Brett Kavanaugh committed against her, and not only did he escape scot-free, but he was made part of said system.

There has been a misuse of this movement but one cannot deny thousand of stories and question the credibility of this movement just because of some people who are speaking out of turn. When you wrongly accuse someone, you are not only ruining their life but of others as well who are victims and won’t be believed or heard because of you. When you delay accountability by misusing the platform this movement has given victims and survivors, you become responsible for the death of those voices that are ignored and crushed.

The justice system all over the world has shown time and time again that it is biased in favor of men all around the world, but especially in Pakistan where a woman couldn’t even file a report against her harasser. The laws need to strengthen so more people can feel safe, report the crimes committed against them, shed light on justice, and protect people from humility and violence. Human beings are more than their sexuality. You often hear people telling you to dress modestly in order to avoid being harassed on the streets. Why do our clothes get to decide our fate? Why do we need long protests and candle marches to get justice? It’s time we take the conversation to the next level of ideas and ideals. We need to make this world a better place by recognizing the equality of every single human being regardless of what” package” they come in. Maybe just maybe, the world will evolve and we’ll learn to respect each other rather than just think of instant gratification.

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Persuasive Speech: Sexual harassment Is Thriving on Silence. (2023, October 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/persuasive-speech-sexual-harassment-is-thriving-on-silence/
“Persuasive Speech: Sexual harassment Is Thriving on Silence.” Edubirdie, 09 Oct. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/persuasive-speech-sexual-harassment-is-thriving-on-silence/
Persuasive Speech: Sexual harassment Is Thriving on Silence. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/persuasive-speech-sexual-harassment-is-thriving-on-silence/> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Persuasive Speech: Sexual harassment Is Thriving on Silence [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Oct 09 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/persuasive-speech-sexual-harassment-is-thriving-on-silence/
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