Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook and author of Lean In, has made a powerful statement about sexual harassment on social media. Her post has gone viral, and support in the comments has been pouring in.
Sheryl’s statement resonates with many because she’s touched on an important point: sexual misconduct often boils down to one thing, and that is power. She points out that on all the occasions where she’s been harassed, it has been by men who perceive themselves to be more powerful, and connects this to the need to have more women in positions of power.
‘Ultimately, the thing that will bring the most to change our culture is the one I’ve been writing and talking about for a long time: having more women with more power.’
The world has always been run by men, and it still is today. Only thirteen countries and 6 percent of Fortune 500 companies are run by women. Just 13 percent of police officers are women, and only a few hundred are police chiefs. And less than 20 percent of the U.S. Congress is female.
These numbers reveal a power structure that has marginalised women and others for far too long. We need to see more women in these roles – and more people of colour, LGBT individuals, and members of religious minorities and underrepresented groups of all kinds. We are seeing what happens when power is held nearly exclusively by men. It gives rise to an environment in which, at its worst, women are treated as bodies to be leered at or grabbed, rather than peers entitled to equal respect.
She goes on to say that for perhaps the first time ever, people are beginning to become aware of the issue os sexual misconduct in the workplace, and are finally prepared to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. But despite all that has been accomplished in this year for women, Sheryl grimly warns of a possible backlash against everything that has been done; she writes:
‘Most of all, it is my hope that this moment will lead to a stronger, more equitable workplace culture that treats women with more respect and affords them more opportunities. We have to be vigilant to make sure this happens. I have already heard the rumblings of a backlash: “This is why you shouldn’t hire women.” Actually, this is why you should.’
The full statement is available below – it’s well worth the read.
Women are 51% of population! It is undemocratic of men to say that way to solve sexual harassment is to not hire women. Wrong! Women are majority & won’t be denied jobs & equality forever! “Sheryl Sandberg warns of #MeToo backlash against women” https://t.co/cYHPBpkrhc #HuffPost
— Govindini Murty (@GovindiniMurty) December 4, 2017