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Being a male I found the actions of Harvey Weinstein despicable He has used his position to force his unwanted advances to women who aspired to be movie stars. He was encouraged and protected by an entire system that is contrary to a womenís autonomy and ambitions. Many of his executives had witnessed his unwanted sexual advances for many years; yet they had closed their eyes and ears preferring to be silent and not make waves.

The question is does Weinsteinís perverted actions are only found in show business or is it a systemic abuse of male power that can be found where we live in Canada?

If we look closer to home we too have many similarities. Recently in 2016 we had the sordid CBC Jan Ghomeshi trial where he was accused of choking/ intimidating his associates only to be acquitted in a court of law because he claimed "the rough sex was consensual".

In May of this year we had a class action lawsuit against the RCMP that was settled out- of -court after hundreds of women who worked in the force came forward with allegations of widespread harassment over a 40 year period. These assaults where not isolated incidents by only a few police officers: it was considered normal behaviour.

The Canadian Armed Forces have a duty "to stand on guard for thee" and yet they too are faced with a class action lawsuit on behalf of women who served in the forces and were subject to sexual

The media reports of abuse of our women in the RCMP, Canadian Army are not isolated incidents. The Angus Reid poll taken in 2014 in which 43% of female respondents reported sexual harassment at work and school. Harassment for the most part is under reported which is staggering when you consider how few women report the offences.. Too often the women are made to feel ashamed that someone felt so little of their feelings to physically/ verbally assault them. That is why " proper society" tends to teach our women to suck-it- up and try and ignore the rude unwanted advances.

Recently I counseled "Sarah" a 30 year old women from Toronto who had been assaulted at the age of 15 by a family member. She was raped. It is sure hard to trust and look forward with confidence and
back with no regrets when your life has been torn asunder.

The sexual assault has scarred her life; it has been very long troubling journey of recovery.

A few years ago I was on a panel with Dr Peter Jaffe, of the Family Court Clinic, who was asked the question: " Why do men rape?" His answer troubled me: "Because they can."

Men who dare to offend women should be taken to task and told that you find their behaviour is out-of-line and will not be tolerated. It is time for us to heed Edmund Burkeís wise words: "For evil to exist the only thing necessary is for good men to do nothing."

Parents have an obligation to teach their sons to respect women. When you see women being maligned say/do something and in time our daughters, granddaughters, sisters, mothers will feel safe and not afraid to be a female.

Len Lesser is an education/career counselor in Dorchester, Ont.


Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com