Posted by: joshjasper | November 17, 2008

Good thing “it” doesn’t happen here

Today’s newspaper reported that a woman is suing Kendall Hunt publishing.

“According to the suit, a woman was hired in late 2005 and was given “special privileges” that are not explained.  She claims her boss made unwelcome sexual advances and requested sexual favors that were “made explicitly and implicitly as a term or condition of the plaintiff’s employment,” according to court documents.  Such sexual advances included a business trip in October 2007, where she said her boss forced her to have sex with him. While at work, the woman was groped, forced her into sexual activity and was forced to send “illicit photos,” to her employer according to the suit.” (cited from the Telegraph Herald)

To begin, why does the paper not name the problem?  This woman was allegedly raped.  To say that “her boss forced her to have sex with him” and “forced into sexual activity” only serves as a distraction from the reality that this woman was allegedly raped.  By not calling it what it is, the significance of the assault is lessened, and more easily forgotten.  And why does everyone want to use the term “sexual violence” rather than “rape”?  I understand that sexual violence encompasses more but when it is rape, shouldn’t it be called rape?  Do we not owe that to the victim? 

Secondly, sexual harassment in the workplace is a major issue in all jobs throughout the country.  Billions of dollars are spent each year due to sexual harrassment in the workplace….billions.

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Responses

  1. Good point! The whole time I was reading the article I didn’t even pick up on the fact that not once was rape or sexual assault even mentioned. I was thinking to myself “she was raped,” but the very fact that the word wasn’t mentioned, made her whole experience at the business trip appear either less violent than it was, or worse yet, fabricated or up for debate as to whether she was “forced” or not. Ick. Reporters really do have a big responsibility with the words they choose, if they’re aiming for non-biased reporting that is.


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