Imagine if we treated sexual assault like we treated embezzling.

In light of the recent revelations about Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men assaulting employees and potential employees, Anita Hill wrote a very interesting essay on the subject making the case that our indifference to this crime, just because it’s sexual in nature is doing more harm than good.

Anita Hill’s essay is called Women face creeps like Harvey Weinstein everywhere was published by the NY Daily News: 

My favorite quote from the essay is this one.
"Companies founded and led by powerful men often effectively put chronic sexual harassment by men in a separate basket, as though it was a “personal problem” rather than a serious business one. Imagine decades of rumors that Weinstein was an embezzler. Would his boards have shown the same level of disinterest and inattention? When does indifference amount to enabling? The question answers itself and the catastrophic results of the board’s flawed thinking speak for themselves."

I have 4 points I want to make on this.

  1. People who abuse other people don’t just abuse one person. This is never just an interpersonal matter. It’s usually serial. Multiple victims. If you give them a pass, you are allowing them to harm other people and that makes you complicit.
  2. This doesn’t just happen to women. I know men who were raped. There are men in Hollywood speaking out against the abuses they experienced, some as children! 
  3. Assault is assault is assault. It’s a crime. Treat it as seriously as you would any other crime reported to you. And yes, harassment is a crime too. Every state in the country has laws against harassment. Criminal laws against harassment. Don’t just assume you only have to do something if the victim qualifies under to special categories. Everyone in your workplace has a right to not be harassed.
  4. The lessons we learn from the Harvey Weinstein scandal can and must be applied more broadly throughout American society.

If you were never taught how to make this stop and how to deal effectively with these problems or you are dealing with it now, take one of my courses on how to apply behavioral science to the problem of bullying.


  1. Points well made, Jennifer! The workplace would surely be safer if everyone took a stronger stand against sexual harassment.


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