Men need to be in the sexual assault conversation

Trust is a powerful feeling. The media is a platform that we, as consumers, put our trust in every single day; however, as more and more powerful figures in the media continue to have allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, our trust begins to waiver.

As someone who grew up watching Matt Lauer on “The Today Show,” it is hard to come to terms with the accusations. Someone that I looked forward to seeing in the mornings found behavior like this to be acceptable.

The problem in this matter is that we do not know how to talk about the issue. Sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct are all falling into these accusations. It is not clear as to what the difference between these titles are.

Granted, none of them are acceptable, though.

Should Senator Al Franken slipping his hand onto a woman’s breast during a picture carry the same weight as Kevin Spacey drunkenly groping a 14 year-old boy? I do not think they should.

To hear stories of Matt Lauer sexually assaulting women in his office, or Charlie Rose exposing himself to female interns disgusts me. I struggle to understand how someone’s mind could even work that way.

The scary part in this scenario, from a male’s perspective, is the idea that someone’s reputation could be immediately tarnished based on accusations. In no way, am I justifying any of the actions, but someone claiming under false pretences that they were sexually harassed could tarnish an innocent man’s reputation.

At the end of the day, your reputation is all you can take with you. Therefore, having tarnished the only one you have can be severely harmful to the rest of the life that a person will live.

All in all, it is blatantly very difficult to have conversations about these issues.

I can empathize with the women who request to remain anonymous in these situations, in fear that they would lose their jobs.

I want to be able to talk about the issue without being offensive or inappropriate; however, I cannot help but question if my views are seen as biased. Am I seen as someone who cannot be a part of the conversation because I am a male?

Or am I the exact person who needs to be a part of the conversation?

As a male, though, in an issue that is centered around men, it is hard to know where to begin.

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