Is There a Double Standard in Sexual Harassment for Men vs. Women?
Over the past two months, the words "sexual harassment" and "sexual assault" have been rampant in the media. This started primarily due to the numerous amounts of accusations against embattled media mogul Harvey Weinstein, in which he has been accused by over 40 women of some sort of sexual assault over the past couple of decades.
When word got out about his alleged incidents, the outpouring of support came in rapidly from all corners, with only a subtle amount of people saying that these women should've spoken up when they had the chance to. Those comments were generally viewed as online trolls being snarky, or just coughing it up to these particular people (many of whom are men) and their ignorance in this fight for not only equality between men and women, but having a voice out there for an issue that has been going on far too long.
Other heterosexual men have also been accused of sexual harassment in the Hollywood world, including Louis C.K. and most recently Jeffrey Tambor, and have felt the wrath of their alleged choices almost instantly. Louis admitted to sexual assault against the five women who brought up the original claims, and Jeffrey has denied any wrongdoing against a former assistant of his. Their careers might be over because of this, but what about the men who are gay and people's claims about them?
Kevin Spacey has been all over the news for the past month, as fifteen men now have come forward with their own allegations against him. Some of these men, like Anthony Rapp, were underage when the alleged incidents happen. The rest were of legal age but still very young, including former reporter Heather Unruh's son who was 18 and Richard Dreyfuss' son Harry who was 19 when their alleged incidents took place.
There has also been straight men who have come forward with their accusations against other men in the industry who have allegedly sexually assaulted them, including Terry Crews, James Van Der Beek and Anthony Edwards, the latter of which made claims against producer Gary Goddard that stemmed from when he was 14 years old. Although there has been support from all sides, there has been a trickling down of comments in the gay community regarding these allegations against guys like Kevin that bring up the whole double standard thing.
Some comments on social media pretty much sum up that, "If you're at a gay bar, you're going to get groped. Deal with it." Other comments that have shown up on previous articles written about these claims include one on marketing consultant Andy Holtzman's claims against Spacey: "If it's a grope grow up and get over it if it's more come forward but do it within 5 years not wait till the person becomes famous so you can get your 5 mins of fame"
Another said "Just because someone accuses someone does not mean it’s true. There are people who will say anything to get attention. Why would you go to someone’s room from a bar alone if you weren’t expecting something to happen and then talk about it forty years later? Smells like a fish tale," which was written about George Takei being accused for a former model of sexually assaulting him back in 1981.
More comments from the Kevin Spacey stories include "Unknowns reaching for their 15 minutes. Just pathetic all around," and "Yesterday it was Kevin Spacey, today it's Jeremy Piven and Dustin Hoffman. Tomorrow it could be you. So guys....no more handing out compliments or buying someone a drink or giving them your number or asking them to dance or go to dinner. Its Sexual Harassment! You could end up in a lawsuit."
Minus that last comment including Jeremy & Dustin, all the other ones were made about men who accused Kevin and George, both out men. These comments aren't being made by the women who have come forward, just men who have told their own case? Is this a situation of double standard 101, in that it's ok for women to come forward but not men? And furthermore, is it ever right for a man to grope another man unwarranted, or has that always been the norm in the gay community for as long as its been around?
Do you think there is a double standard in men vs. women coming forward about being sexually harassed or assaulted, and furthermore, do gay men perpetuate that?