Sexual Harassment by Children?
Let's first get the pronunciation straight. My dictionary says the word is pronounced har-ASS-ment. But many newspersons and politicians, especially on TV, are too squeamish and embarrassed to put the emphasis on "ass," so they incorrectly say "HAR-ass-ment", and then other people ignorantly copy that. But it's getting to the point that if one correctly pronounces the word, one may be accused of using harassing language! The origin of the word, by the way, is Old French, meaning "to sic a dog on."
by Fred E. Foldvary, Senior Editor
The USA is suffering from a sexual-harassment mania. Originally, sexual harassment meant coercing someone to engage in sex, or exploiting someone sexually, such as when a boss pressures an employee to provide sexual favors. These are surely bad acts.
But then, perhaps due to poorly worded laws and the threat of lawsuits, sexual harassment came to be any activity or situation which makes anyone uncomfortable, such as having a picture on the wall of a unclad female. This then got extended to the ridiculous degree that now if a man has a photo of his wife on his desk, that can be sexually harassing to female co-workers who are offended.
Now if a man looks too directly at a woman, or tells a tasteless joke, or perhaps gallantly opens a door for a lady, he can be accused of sexual harassment and forced to undergo psychological re-education and attend sensitivity classes, if he's lucky. If he's unlucky, he can get fired or sued. Of course women too can now be guilty of such harassment, and same-sex harassment makes it unsafe for a man to put his arm on another guy's shoulder to express any affection, congratulations, or to say "good luck."
The sexual harassment mania has spread to children. Six-year-olds who don't even know what "sex" is are being accused of being sexual harassers. A boy who kissed a little girl in school was accused of sexual harassment and sent home. It seems that boys and girls may no longer hug, hold hands, or show any affection or display friendship. Affection is now sexualized. Should we be surprised when children grow up to be violent thieving drug addicts?
The latest casualty to the sexual harassment mania is the naked human body, including the bodies of innocent children. In Canton, Ohio, a six-year-old boy took a bath in a politically incorrect way - totally naked. He heard the school bus outside, and ran out to stop the bus - still naked. He was suspended by his school for sexual harassment.
What exactly are the school authorities claiming by turning a naked little boy into a sexual harasser? First, they are declaring that the human body is inherently evil. Second, they claim a child can commit a crime in Ohio even without criminal intent. Third, they claim a child who most likely has no sexual knowledge or experience is guilty of a sexual act, thereby sexualizing the child. Should a six-year-old boy have a life record of being a sexual harasser because he ran outside naked? Should he be put on the list of sexual predators for not wanting to miss school?
The headline of the New York Daily News story reporting this on August 12, 2000, was entitled "No One is Safe from PC Madness." According to the report, "The school ruled that he had harassed the youngsters on the bus." The school officials forced the little boy to sign a statement that he knew the nature of the charges against him. The article did not say whether the children in the bus were asked if the boy was harassing them, and I assume they were not asked. Most likely, they were amused rather than offended.
In his book Learning from the Indians, now out of print, James Wharton wrote that the American Indians let their small children run about naked, as do many other primal people in warm climates. Nobody in those societies thinks it is anything evil, and the children are not bothered or harmed by it. Wharton suggested the civilized European American society could learn something from that.
If being naked is inherently a sexual evil, then almighty God is a pornographer and sexual harasser, because even today babies are born naked in public. They quickly get covered up, but God keeps turning out new babies completely naked. Perhaps the school officials in Ohio should charge God with sexual harassment.
-- Fred Foldvary
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Copyright 2000 by Fred E. Foldvary. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system, without giving full credit to Fred Foldvary and The Progress Report.