Voices Of Youth

Forum: Don't skirt issue of sexual harassment

Posed photo of a man pulling a woman's skirt.
Posed photo of a man pulling a woman's skirt.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Given the disturbing stories by women of sexual assault, it is clear that Singapore is not spared from the global #MeToo movement (Alleged victim in SMU molestation case says male friend tried to kiss her repeatedly, ST Online, Sept 7).

Just as disturbing as the crimes themselves is how some people have reacted, suggesting that the issue may have something to do with the public's mindset.

Often, the offences are dismissed as "boys being boys".

In some cases, the victim is shamed, encouraging a normalisation of sexual harassment.

Many seem to prefer to skirt the issue, focusing on tangential claims like what the woman was wearing and distracting from just how heinous the crime is.

We must do better to protect our women. We cannot normalise any culture of sexual harassment. We must confront our biases and re-evaluate the way we have been raising the boys who will become the men of Singapore.

Allyson Leila Pamandanan Tutay, 17, JC 2 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2020, with the headline 'Don't skirt issue of sexual harassment'. Print Edition | Subscribe