Letters to the Editor

Country needs to unite in defining, stopping sexual harassment

Fans of the "Today" show watch a live broadcast outside of the studio in New York, Nov. 30, 2017, about sexual misconduct allegations against Matt Lauer, who, for some, has been a part of their morning ritual for decades.
Fans of the "Today" show watch a live broadcast outside of the studio in New York, Nov. 30, 2017, about sexual misconduct allegations against Matt Lauer, who, for some, has been a part of their morning ritual for decades. NYT

Sexual harassment is an extremely complicated issue. It shouldn't be, but it is. Many women, myself included have been the victim of inappropriate touching.

Look at the definition: Was it sexual in nature, was it unwanted, does the victim see it as sexual harassment, would a normal person see it as such? That equals sexual harassment. But is more complicated than that.

There was a time if a women when to HR and complained about a supervisor touching inappropriately, she was seen as the problem. Our norms are changing, thank God. But what now? I don't want to diminish anyone who has experienced this behavior, but I see no point in going back 30 years and telling someone a guy kissed me or touched me and I was unwilling. While unacceptable then, the norms were — no one would be punished. Guys knew that.

I think the key here is moving forward. A line in the sand. If sexual harassment happens at a lower level, such a minor touching, the report goes in the person’s file and he or she is counseled that if it happens again, they are fired. In more serious cases, fire that person immediately.

I would hope Americans would hold a higher standard, but they have not. I was asked if I would vote for Trump and I answered, he lost my vote when he admitted he was a sexual predator. It is a shame other women don't see clearly enough to support their sisters in this.

This is not a party issue and never should be. It is about our character as a country. We have a real chance to hold people accountable. I hope we rise to the occasion. How can you be Christian and not?

Susan Fitzpatrick

Bradenton

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