Marrakech - Sexual harassment, as defined globally, is an unwelcome sexual advance, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature.
Marrakech – Sexual harassment, as defined globally, is an unwelcome sexual advance, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature.
This offensive behavior takes place in every corner of the world, but in varying degrees. In Morocco, it is unfortunately spreading rapidly, affecting the victims of the harassment in different ways, depending on its degree. And even though men are also sexually harassed by women who have leverage over them, women are the ones affected by this conduct the most.
On a daily basis, Moroccan women are sexually harassed either by their male classmates, colleagues, superiors, or simply by strangers in the street, who give themselves the right to deprive the opposite sex from enjoying their everyday activities in peace. Not a day goes by where women do not endure all kinds of perverted behaviors from men, such as unwanted sexual looks or gestures, hearing sexual remarks on their appearance, being aggressively asked on dates despite repeated rejections, being touched undesirably or even being raped in some serious cases.
For such perverse conduct to become a phenomenon in Morocco, it should be dealt with seriously by Moroccan society. From the harasser’s point of view, the sole reason behind their heinous behavior is the woman. On the one hand, they claim that when women wear attractive clothes, they have no other option but to sexually harass them. They may be right that some women do wear indecent outfits thus inviting men to have all types of fantasies which they would want to turn into reality. However, if it is the case, then all women in all parts of the world wearing the same clothes should undergo the same harassment, which is certainly not the case.
Also, when encountering a woman whose clothes are provocative, why do men choose to stare at her instead of resisting the temptation, lowering their gaze or looking the other way? The answer to these questions is that their sexual instinct is stronger than their will to overcome this behavior which turns them from human beings to animals, since the latter are the ones who follow their instincts blindly, not caring about social standards or human relationships because they don’t have any. This is contrary to other men who are to ignore such instincts.
On the other hand, harassers also argue that women enjoy being sexually harassed for it proves, they say, that their attempt to draw men’s attention has succeeded and they are looking to be desired by them. Yet, if women took pleasure in sexual harassment, it wouldn’t be frowned upon by the society and there wouldn’t be numerous attempts to fight it. On the contrary, we would be encouraging it, or simply not bringing it up as a subject worthy of our discussion!
Sexual harassment leaves considerable marks on its victims varying from hating the place where the person was harassed to abhorring the harasser’s gender to even avoiding any healthy sexual relationships for they all remind the victim of the atrocious event they had experienced. Consequently, these victims are obliged to undergo psychological treatment in order to overcome this trauma and be able to move on with their lives with minimal scarring.
In Morocco, a lawsuit against a harasser will never go to court without concrete proof, which is next to impossible since sexual harassment usually happens in private, thus, leaving all harassers to wander the streets freely.
The problem of sexual harassment starts from an early age, thus avoiding taboos and educating our children are the most important tools we should use to fight it. We have to teach our children to respect the others’ freedom and never step on it under any circumstance. They need to learn how to admire the other and show their admiration respectfully without imposing themselves and being offensive. They need to be aware of how important it is to always put ourselves in the other’s shoes so that we never do something that we don’t like to be done to us. And of course, we must instill self-admiration in our daughters so that they never seek it from men by wearing clothing that conveys this message, and we must educate our sons to lower their gaze and respect women regardless of what clothes they are wearing.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy