Sexual Victimization for Individuals in the Limelight

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Growing up, everyone has a dream or aspiration in life. As a child, one already knows what they want to pursue in the future. A kid obsessed with spoiling and mending things is probably an engineer while a loving and caring child might be passionate about nursing. Then we have those who get obsessed with getting recognition locally and worldwide (MacKinnon 1989, p.479). They possess various talents like acting, singing, and public speaking, playing football, basketball or other games. For such individuals, the limelight is their life. However, just like other avenues and sectors, these individuals do not have an easy time doing what they are passionate about or what they enjoy doing. They get harassed in their pursuit of their goals (Faludi 1991). Sometimes they get sexually victimized in their line of work. The women are at a higher risk of facing these challenges. Some people argue that ‘men came before women,’ and therefore these two genders should not have equal representation (Robinson 2000). Throughout the centuries, females have gotten marginalized, and massive evidence shows them getting treated as the weaker sex. They get mistreated, harassed, victimized, and judged because they are ‘women.’ Is it their fault? Of course, it is not. Yes, both women and men in the limelight get sexualized. However, the females get more sexually victimized than the males in the society (Frazier et al. 2014, p.118). There is a stereotype in the society that men are healthy and robust both intellectually and physically. They are the superior sex and get more significant representation in almost all sectors of life. The community expects men to be domineering over women and emerge victorious in everything they undertake (Oppliger 2008). The media also portrays the men as the gender sex. They get given the dominant roles in movies and programs while their female counterparts act as their juniors or subordinate. The males in the limelight get victimized but only to a small degree. One rarely hears of cases of men getting raped, cheated or harassed for them to get jobs or get considered for a position which requires the use of their talent. They do not get judged because of their sexuality (Gruber 1998, p.304-6). As long as one is talented, he can prosper to whatever status and fulfill his goals. However, women are given demeaning roles subordinate to their male counterparts due to their sexuality. They are only valuable when they are young, but their worth diminishes as they grow old since their beauty fades as well. A man can reach forty but is still highly dispensable in the economy, and various industries might recruit him without having to victimize the individual. For the ladies, thirty is a ‘no go.’ Even if they get the opportunities, they have to give their bodies in return to get considered equal to their male counterparts (Cixous 1975). The society portrays woman as only having sex as their weapon and that they need to use it as their asset when trying to achieve their dreams, unlike men who just do so without so much intervention and struggle. There has been evidence of a rapid increase of women getting sexualized in various media platforms. Researchers argue that the American and European cultures are the significant reasons for the high sexualization of females (West and Brown 2013). According to the life cause theory of victimization, an experience’s impact gets influenced by the stage of life of that individual, the desire for fast cash, a better life or curiosity about sex work. Look at the images in the Forbes magazine or Rolling Stone, the manner in which they get portrayed is disheartening. Nowadays, women in music videos get so many views and like on YouTube. The girl child is getting more sexualized in the twenty-first century. During the mid-1900s, the situation was far much better since both genders were viewed as equally necessary even though the males still dominated (Coy 2009, p.378-381). A countless number of times, women get victimized because of their sex. For a woman to get the chance to feature in a music video or movie production, she has to accept dressing up indecently, getting pimped like a doll with all sorts of make-up to enhance her so-called ‘beauty.’ They wear revealing clothes or even appear in their ‘birthday suits’ just to earn and sustain themselves. To make matters worse, they are asked to pose sexually for the production to get more sales and recognition in the entertainment industry. The content of the work in question might not be sexual objectification, but the way the images get presented to the public still does the job. It makes these women to get portrayed as tools and objects which are to be used for pleasure and to satisfy the desires of individuals of the male gender in the society (Fitzgerald, Drasgow, Hulin, Gefand, and Magley 1997). According to Faludi, (1991) taking care of sexual victimization of women in workplaces, colleges happens every minute. For instance, Dines (2010) argues that one out four women get sexually victimized at work and colleges. Such kind of disturbing behaviors has not gone down for an extended period. On the contrary, it is increasing, and yet it is an act that both people at a personal level and governments should take lightly (Beloso 2012). Society has to stop dealing with an individual who gets involved in sexual victimization only, but rather takes a look at the issue entirely and starts to understand the primary cause of sexual victimization, and probably the approaches to minimize these behaviors of sexual coercion (Fuchs 1993). At a point in time, it was acceptable for men to be in charge of all ladies whereby they could decide for them when to marry and when is the appropriate time to bear kids. Nevertheless, such kind of dominance against women has gone down, given that women have created a place in the society in which they show the whole world what they are capable of and that they are not meant to be anybody’s puppet (Anthias 2013). Contrary to sexual victimization, and the fact that sexual consent is indeed out in the open as well acceptable in most societies, there are still incidents of sexual assaults behind the scenes (Fisher, Cullen, and Turner 2000). Weitzer (2012) and Beloso (2012) carried two studies to evaluate the kind of associations that subsists between sexual victimization as well as ideologies of romantic, parental as well as peer relations. Thus, the attachment view is claimed to be the primary factor for understanding the effects of sexual victimization for those who appear to be in a close relationship at the workplace and other public institutions. Most women and generally youth who are at adolescent stage normally encounter undesirable sexual experience with people they consider strangers starting from unwarranted touching to forceful sexual incidents (Fredrickson and Roberts 1997). The literature on limelight regarding older women indicates that there are a lot of psychological as well as sexual dysfunctions are prevalent due to sexual assault. Some of the psychological impacts include anger, feeling of fear, humiliation, embarrassment, depression, and self-blame in assaulters. Moreover, sexual disinterests, fear of sex among others are the effects experienced by victims. The primary effect of sexual victimization is mistrust of others (Carroll 2011). For instance, women victims my turn to be violent towards men and ultimately makes it more difficult for them to start and nurture a meaningful relationship. Another situation is where adolescent romantic relationship comes out to be shorter in time as a result of their bond with executor could not as strong as it with older men or women. Attachments theorists as explained by Baker, Dalla, and Williamson (2010) have claimed that individuals who develop expectations of close associations with their caregiver tend to love so much. Beloso (2012) explains that those who receive sensitive infant care commonly perceive others as positives, whereas those who lack such upbringing develop negative perception towards others as well as themselves. The man in the limelight experience the same difficulties the women went through when their sexual rights got offended and violated (Gruber 2000). It is not a secret that sexual victims get stigmatized after undergoing these ordeals. For the men, their case gets viewed as harmless, but in a real sense, they experience the same trauma like that of their female counterparts (Baker, Dalla, and Williamson 2010). Though one will not encounter a male character dressed almost naked to gain attention, a small case of sexual violence on the same individual can affect his sex life. Contemporary theories insist that ‘real men’ should protect themselves from any form of violence or sexual victimization (Dines 2010). The emergence of the gay community has made matters worse for the men. A fallacy would suggest that men who get violated ‘ask for it.’ It gets believed that a man needs to get sexually aroused whether the sex is consensual or non-consensual, unlike women who can just be raped or forced into participating in the real act of sex without their 100% consent or while they are unconscious (Douglas 1994). Such a perception is only but an obstacle for men who are struggling to cope with the horrifying outcome of getting victimized. Who will believe that a full grown man got sexually violated by a woman or even a fellow man? It merely means that he took part willingly. A man who gets victimized will suffer in silence to avoid getting viewed as less masculine (Metcalfe and Woodhams 2002, p. 131-137). He is also trying to avoid the embarrassment he is likely to face when he reports the case to the relevant authorities. Still, a great female musician with a successful career even gets viewed as a sex object. The social learning model of victimization suggests that the family background determines one’s behavior (Anthias 2013, p.165). It is not always the case. A prosperous actor like Lupita Nyong’o from Kenya or Julia Roberts still gets judged because of her sex. Nicki Minaj is a renown and popular female rapper who has gone ahead to show her talent through her music. Though she is better than most men in the industry, Nicki gets judged and victimized for being a woman. People simply look at the outer beauty and physical appearance and judge a woman’s character (Lundgren 1998). The society should remember the quote ‘Never judge a book by its cover,’ was not in vain. Magazines, videos, films, advertisements and social media platforms through the Internet; all these try to make the women sexier and appealing to attract a greater audience, especially the Generation Z and the Always-On (AO) age group (Tyler et al. 2004, p.505-508). Women also get viewed as objects that are profitable in an organization. The way they get portrayed in advertisements says it all. It is harmful to the society since their male partners view them as goods and not as human beings who need love and affection (Greene 1994). Adoption of these attitudes towards sex makes most relationships nowadays more casual. No one has the time for commitments or the traditional methods of dating. Sexual victimization has changed how people view the romantic life in the modern society (Faludi 1999). However, men should not always get conceptualized as the perpetrators. Though making women, the victims are usually the dominant paradigm for sexual violence and victimization; it is not still the case. The society feels that abuse that is female-perpetrated is infrequent, in fact, such incidents do not exist (Beloso 2012, p.52-56). Even if those males get victimized, the harm inflicted on them both physically and emotionally cannot get compared to the hazardous role sexual abuse and violence plays in the life of a woman in the limelight. Moreover, it gets expected that men enjoy anything dealing with sex and in so believing, they enjoy getting victimized sexually as well. The feminist theory suggests that men apply sexual aggression to women who are in positions junior and subordinate to them (Weitzer 2012, p.1340-43). There is conformity bias as the females, and male cases get treated and viewed differently looking at sexuality. A man is expected ‘to be a man’ and being masculine, men and boys cannot be the victims (Connell 2005). Men are also considered sexually insatiable and that they enjoy sex or anything related to it, whether forced or through aggression. Anytime a male individual who is a star gets harassed or victimized no one expects him to go about reporting the case (Fredrikson and Roberts 1997, p.199-204). What people do not know is that such persons end up suffering from depression, lack of self-esteem, anxiety attacks, and suicide attempts and even have problems keeping long-term girlfriends (Lombard 2013). Women get treated as toys props through their objectification. When a woman dresses provocatively, it only contributes to the stereotype that they are mere sexual symbols which cannot depend on themselves. A woman is called beautiful just because of her physique and facial appearance (Gordon 2008). Their intelligence level is not even considered yet there are so many smart ladies out there who could go far if not for the rapidly spreading sexual victimization. She has to sleep with a producer or manager or stand his constant advances to maintain her job or position in an agency. For a woman to shine, she gets harassed and victimized sexually everywhere she goes before attaining the ultimate goal. The feminist theory insists that a woman getting cheated is not always her fault or doing (Burton, Miller, and Shill 2002). Her prior sexual history should not warrant the individual a chance to get victimised by their male counterparts. One should not get judged due to her choice of attire because of the only but dress up to look good like the men do. Communities feel that females who get victimized need to speak out to prevent further abuse of others and to attain personal redemption since such experiences are usually unimaginable (Szymanski, Moffitt, and Carr 2011, p.20). Being in the limelight for a woman is more difficult than just living the life of an ordinary lady. The world is fast-changing and stereotypes on gender are getting less attention. However, there is still the prevalence of sexual victimization of the girl child by men. It is a growing societal concern because more cases are getting reported. The sexual victimization of ladies in the limelight got assumed for so many years, and that is why it is getting tolerated to date (Cohan 1997, p.90). However, feminists are trying to come in and change the perception people have regarding women and sexual abuse. There is an urgent need for legal, public health and more so social intervention to efficiently revolutionize the feminist theory (Kirdy 2015). The society needs to allow women to pursue their dreams without any hindrance or conditions put in place. However, it is improper to assume men do not face the challenges of sexual harassment and exploitation. Males also get victimized yet many researchers and organizations have overlooked this due to the numerous misperceptions revolving the situation. Feminists emphasize the inclusion and equality of women, but what about men? They are not always the perpetrators; sometimes they are the ‘silent’ victims (Weaver 2007).


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