Last week's election has shed light on a number of deeply ingrained societal issues that unfortunately exist in America. One of them is the sexual harassment of women.
Gretchen Carlson, journalist and former Miss America, has voiced her thoughts on this in a poignant op-ed for The New York Times—specifically, on sexual harassment in the workplace.
In the piece, Carlson details her experiences throughout her career, discusses why women so often choose not to report their harassment, and proposes a series of solutions. The essay is extremely timely given the recent election of Donald Trump—accused of sexual assault by no less than 15 women—to the presidency. At a moment when it seems powerful men can't be held accountable, Carlson's insights are needed now more than ever.
The crux of the issue lies in men's sense of entitelement over their female counterparts, and the lack of helpful resources currently available to women in their workplaces. Those reporting sexual misconduct are often brushed off, not taken seriously, and worst of all, not believed.
"Why don’t women tell? That is the question we hear all the time," Carlson writes. "If it was so bad, why didn’t they just find another job? That’s what President-elect Donald J. Trump suggested when asked what his daughter should do if she encountered sexual harassment."
Carlson, like many women in America, has become increasingly worried about womens' safety since Trump's victory, and with good reason. It's not just his worrisome platforms regarding women's rights and healthcare. There has been a significant increase in hate crimes and attacks on women in the mere days following the election.
Carlson's proposed solutions for ensuring equal treatment—and indeed, safety—include more accessible legal resources, more effective sexual harassment training in workplaces, and perhaps most important of all, all of taking more of an effort to teach our children what respect and equality truly mean.
She ends her piece by emphasizing the importance of men's cooperation in solving these issues.
"Men also need to stop enabling harassers by egging them on or covering up or excusing their bad behavior," she writes. "Women shouldn’t be expected to solve this issue alone. We need men to be onboard, too."
Equality for women is a universal issue, and is a burden that should not be left up to us. Carlson remains hopeful that, given Trump's comment that "no-one" respects women more than him, the president-elect will appoint more women to positions of authority. And we do, too.
H/t: The New York Times