Sexual Harassment Isn’t The Problem: It Is The Result of a Problem

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Like most things in life, the visible outcome of a deeper lying problem is a symptom, but not necessarily the problem itself.

If we focus too much on the symptom, we overlook the deeper issues that are actually causing the undesirable outcomes to occur. For example: Sexual harassment.

This is akin to an idea I’ve expressed before about cheating in a relationship. Cheating is not the problem. Cheating is a symptom (result) of a deeper-rooted challenge in the relationship that eventually results in something bad happening.

When we focus on important issues like rampant sexual harassment (which happens everywhere in the world), we literally put the focus on the act itself. Who was forced into a hotel room? Groped in the workplace? Or, even…raped?

These traumatic experiences stay with the men and women who experience them for the rest of their lives – and we need to talk about how people can express, heal, and move forward.

But we also need to talk about why these things even happen in the first place. Did the offender experience similar mistreatment as a child (or as an adult)? Is there an undiagnosed psychological challenge at play?

Or, is the person just a colossal asshole who has no regard for the feelings or wellbeing of others?

People who treat others like objects are typically so self-absorbed or closed in their own worlds, that they literally lack the empathy to understand that they’re hurting someone else. That – or they just don’t care.

Then, the question becomes: Why? What in their nature (or upbringing) makes them feel like it’s okay to act in these ways? Or, do they know it’s not okay, but are so overcome by their ego and need to dominate others, that they ignore the impulse that tells them to stop?

I am not licensed in psychology, but I believe these are important questions to ask. We cannot put band-aids on this problem and expect it to go away. Yes, we can (and should) prosecute those who’ve offended, but I also believe we need to find out why they did it.

We need to start raising our children with empathy and respect for everyone around them. We need to reinforce the ideas of fairness and equality. Love, and compassion. And most of all: Self worth.

No person who loves themselves and cares for others would intentionally harm someone else, especially in the most intimate, invasive ways imaginable. These are the questions we need to be asking as we dig to the roots of these issues.

There is a three-pronged approach here: Prosecute those who have already offended, stop those who are currently offending, and prevent others from offending in the future.

Tell me in the comments: Do you agree with this, or do you feel that I’ve got it all wrong? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

(Click here to get my new book on developing love within yourself and building healthy relationships).

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22 thoughts on “Sexual Harassment Isn’t The Problem: It Is The Result of a Problem

  1. The cause is that we as a culture don’t listen. I am a registered psychotherapist.and have a mantra I use with all couples.Think before you speak before you act, Simple really if they listen .

  2. I am a forensic psychology student and we talk extensively on topics such as sexual harrassment, sexual assault, and rape, and yes we need to go further. Asking those important questions as to why they are the way they are is important. It’s important to know what causes individuals to behave this way so we as a society can try to do better with the next generations. For some individuals, they do have severe brain damage (like psychopaths) that make them incapable of empathy. But for those who are “every day” rapists? That’s a very different story. That is where those “why, what, how, when” questions come in. Obivously, there are many many factors that play into why people behave the way they do, but it is important to understand those factors.

  3. IF the discourse is authentic in seeking to alleviate the problem behavior, it has to address the reality and scope of false allegations which are as real and as devistating as actual offenses. To simply say this is a problem with males is to ignore the artificial social contracts that have been promulgated for men and women over the course of human history.

  4. I have tried multiple times to remove my email from you subscription list. Please remove me from all emails from JamesMSama.com

    Thank you Shyla

    On Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 12:27 PM, JamesMSama.com wrote:

    > James Michael Sama posted: ” Like most things in life, the visible outcome > of a deeper lying problem is a symptom, but not necessarily the problem > itself. If we focus too much on the symptom, we overlook the deeper issues > that are actually causing the undesirable outcomes to occur” >

    • Hi Shyla! The email subscription is managed through WordPress.com, I don’t have any control over the system. I’ll see if I can figure something out – sorry to hear you don’t enjoy the content.

      – James

    • Look around the world about you. What do you see that demonstrates the “natural power” of women. Ninety-nine percent of everything related to humans that you see was either designed or built by a man. What a bunch of feminist claptrap. The only power women have over men is between their legs, and that has more to say about the power of nature and hormones than women in general.

  5. Are we to take seriously the commentary of someone that writes a sentence like this?:
    We need to discuss the real issues that sexual harassment happens, if we truly want to stop it.

  6. If we focus too much on the symptom, we overlook the deeper issues that are actually causing the undesirable outcomes to occur. For example: Sexual harassment.

    Wait a minute, can you use the topic of your rant as an example?
    Good grief!

  7. “I am not licensed in psychology, but I believe these are important questions to ask.”

    I can assure you that real psychologists have been asking and answering these questions for decades. A visit to your local university library (if you have ever been in one) will demonstrate this.

  8. “We need to start raising our children with empathy and respect for everyone around them.”
    Again, before you address a subject, don’t you think it would be prudent to research the topic?
    It’s hard to believe that you would publicly display such ignorance with these types of statements.
    How in the world do TV shows and magazines come to you for advice?

  9. “No person who loves themselves and cares for others would intentionally harm someone else, especially in the most intimate, invasive ways imaginable. These are the questions we need to be asking as we dig to the roots of these issues.”

    You sir are a fraud! Incoherent ramblings (where is the question in your paragraph?) of a buffoon with a keyboard.

  10. Hey! Thanks for writing this piece – good to see other men speaking out on this, and I appreciate the well-reasoned points-of-view I’ve come to expect from you.

    That’s why I was surprised at the clickbaity, misleading title here. Of course sexual assault is a problem. The fact that there’s a deeper problem of which it’s a symptom (the point of your piece with which I agree) doesn’t contradict that, wouldn’t you agree?

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