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“O land of the free…” are the first few words of our national anthem. Our national anthem proclaims us as being a country of freedom. This freedom however is sometimes taken too literal that citizens have chosen to express their freedom in a harmful manner. As a result of free will, sexual harassment has evolved from being a minor issue to epidemic. This increase is shown in figure 5, with the rate of six to eight being chosen by 9 participants. To get a better understanding if the participants knew what sexual harassment was or had a meaning that was different from that I had in mind they were asked what they considered sexual harassment.
From the twenty surveyed, eleven believed that sexual harassment was the unwanted touching of a person by another person. Six persons thought it was the unwanted touching, unwanted sexual contact and the passing of remarks by admirers. Remarks ranging from “psssst” to “sexy gyal” are thrown at women like a dart being thrown at a target.
Whether wanted or not that’s the price females must pay. Sexual harassment of women is not something you hear often. It is like filth that is despised and swept away without even a hesitation.
This silence that is accepted as the norm is a cycle that must be broken. Offenders should be severely punished and not considered as humane for depriving women of their self-worth. This proposal was not intended to negate or cast prejudice against men. Therefore to ensure that their voices were heard males were also partakers of the survey.
With an 85% agreement that females were more vulnerable to sexual harassment, it justified that my thoughts were similar to that of those surveyed. The data collected was placed in figure 6 as a means of evidentiary support.
With the majority of participants approving my unbiased proposal it was only then right that light should be shun unto the matter. The only way for the filth to be seen as what it really was, was for me to know the answers to questions that would give me a head start on the matter. It was quite clear that the two main forms of sexual harassment of women were verbal and physical. Walking the streets of Belize I thought that there was a pest infestation for so many to be spraying their Shelltox. Surprisingly on further notice I realized it was the spraying of admiration and spit to supposedly free their thoughts.
Sexual harassment of women is not limited to the streets, but to the workplace, school and at times more than just one place, as seen in figure 3. Figure 3 shows us how the streets, where everyone is welcomed is the main place for sexual harassment. As stated by Kelly in the Amandala newspaper, “A 29-year-old vendor of Belize City has made various types of comments to women whom he admires, which range from the polite good morning, to the offensive “eh friend I wah get enna da pants. ” This just goes to show that courtesy and the ways of a gentleman are no longer of value on the streets.
Verbal harassment is not only limited to those who are uneducated but to any one even the educated. Employers who admirer employees have found a way to get what they want. Instances arise when the employers bribe with a bonus or a raise in position at workplace or even fire the employee for not adhering to the sexual desires. The thought that is the basis of this issue is that if you want to get somewhere you must give up something and some times that something means a form of sexual act. They say actions speak louder than words. When it comes to sexual harassment actions causes more damage than words.
Street harassment is a lower level of sexual harassment when compare to that of physical sexual harassment. Several harassments suites have been filed against the employers and supervisors of Ready Call Center as stated by Mrs. Morgan in an interview concerning the violation of laws by this company. Being a part time past employee of this company, the experience of being offered a higher post if a one night stand is given is something that is real. The way it is most times is that if you are pretty and refuse to give it up, then you are signing a paper to lose your job eventually.
If you chose to accept these terms then the sexual contact begins. There are instances as well when people on the street try to touch you. I had an experience when crossing the Bel China Bridge with this young man trying to lick me. Of course I was thankful that his efforts were in vain and that it had not been a worse situation. For the most women are the ones to be victimized and from the data collected from the questionnaires, it seems that they are the primary targets based on their physique, behavior, attire and the places they are.
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