Daily Archives:December 28th, 2017

What’s the biggest obstacle to addressing a culture of sexual harassment?

Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

The following is the outcome of a recent online survey on sexual harassment by ‘America the Jesuit Review’ posted on its website on 27 Dec 2017.

When asked if they had experienced sexual harassment, 89 percent of all respondents to our recent survey answered yes, while 76 percent told America that they had seen someone else experience harassment. Ninety-seven percent of women who responded said that they had experienced sexual harassment first hand.

“Sexual harassment is so commonplace in its different forms that it is easier to name the times and places it has not occurred,” wrote one reader from Medford, Ore. When asked to indicate the settings in which they experienced or witnessed harassment, readers most frequently named the workplace (79 percent), public places (62 percent) and school (45 percent).

Despite these sobering numbers, the majority of readers (77 percent) told America that they have noticed new efforts to respond to sexual harassment in the last decade. “I think a great deal changed in the workplace after Anita Hill,” a reader from Boston wrote.

Other readers noted productive efforts by their communities to end harassment. “My diocese has a program that trains all volunteers and employees in understanding both abuse and sexual harassment,” wrote a respondent from Austin, Tex. “Personal accountability and communal responsibility are priorities.”

A reader from New York City described the usefulness of online communities in this respect, singling out the #MeToo social media campaign. “#MeToo has helped me and others gain a voice against perpetrators,” she said.

Readers described many obstacles to addressing a culture that permits sexual harassment. One respondent said that “victim-blaming and making perpetrators the ‘victims’” is the biggest obstacle to moving forward. She gave an example: “Saying, ‘It’s a horrible time to be a man today,’ overlooks the fact it has been a horrible time to be a woman for a long, long time.”

Another reader, from Pasadena, Calif, pointed out that society’s attention has been disproportionately focused on high-profile harassment cases. “While we relish the downfall of powerful, abusive men,” he said, “we refuse to recognise the ways we are already complicit in this culture.”

A respondent from Pottsville, Pa, suggested that putting women in leadership positions could help: “Men tend to protect and shield other men even when they are guilty…. [They can be more] concerned with the perpetrator’s dignity than that of the victim. (We have seen this with our own clerical sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.) More women need to be in positions of leadership and power because when we are not, we are more likely to be targeted as victims.” – america

Papar’s Christmas theme relates to archdiocesan pastoral thrust

Fr Rayner claps after cutting the cake with the children and parishioners after Christmas Day Mass on 25 Dec 2017, St Joseph Papar.

PAPAR – This year’s Christmas theme for St Joseph Parish here related well with the parish’s present pastoral activities in delivering the Archdiocesan Pastoral Thrust: ‘My Family, My BECs and My Church’ (Keluarga, KKD dan Gereja Ku) with acronym KKG Ku.

In his Christmas Eve message, Father Thomas Yip invited the parishioners to emulate the humble and holy family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus, always obedience to God in accordance to His Will and not their own.

“May the peace and humility in their lives and the word of God inspired us and open the path towards repentance and forgiveness towards one another in our family and communities,” he said.

In his homily on Christmas Day, Father Rayner Bisius said that the crib of baby Jesus brings forth hope, joy, happiness, peace and mercy to all.  He invited the parishioners to bring joy and peace to those who cannot celebrate Christmas in one way or another.

He said that the migrant parishioners in one of the outstation chapels in Kogopon were not afraid to risk their lives in attending the Christmas Eve Mass so as to bear witness to the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Likewise, he continued, we, too, must not be afraid to walk the path and to bear witness to Christ in our lives and church ministry no matter how big the challenges are.

After the Mass, the priest, children and parishioners together had a cake cutting ceremony to celebrate the birth of our Lord. – William Charles Mindus, SOCCOM Papar

 

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