2017 was undoubtedly the year when the house of cards came crashing down on all sorts of sexual misconduct. Cosby and Weinstein are just a few of the names brought up in the discussion. I made an earlier post at the end of 2017 talking about some of the efforts being made in the world of Capoeira.

A few friends put together a survey and some of their initial findings have been compiled in a very easy to read infographic. The surveys asked question to both men and women all over the world about the topic of sexual harassment that they have witnessed or encountered. The findings I think are very interesting and I wanted to highlight some things.

SUMMARY

Before I start, I think there is some good news in that attitudes are beginning to change and more people are becoming aware of the issue of sexual harassment. I think this survey is proof of that. One fact that was unfortunate was that 97% of the time, the person committing the harassment was of a higher rank, which reflects poorly on people who for many, are role models. Another interesting findings was the 12% of men who reported “unwanted sexual attention”. I haven’t heard anything about this topic, but 12% is much lower than what it is for women, 69% of women. One thing I would like to see for the future is a bit of clarity on what certain things mean. This is a very qualitative study, so we might need to take the information with a grain of salt and not use it as absolute truth. That being said, this information is extremely helpful to the community in pointing out something that I think a lot of women in particular have been trying to say, but didn’t feel like they had the voice to say it.

Awesome work and I’m looking forward to seeing what other nuggets of information we can gather from this study.

GLOBAL ISSUE

OK, yes we know that sexual misconduct is global issue, but I think something that was impressive about this effort was that people from all over the world participated. Most respondents were from the United States (the creators of the survey are american), but over 42 countries were representing in the survey, which means we might get some interesting results when we compare countries.

HIGH CASES OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

The term sexual misconduct is a little tricky, I’m not really sure what it means for people taking the survey (some people could take it to mean wildly different things), but I wouldn’t use that as grounds for saying sexual harassment isn’t an issue. Some evidence to this difference in definition might be the fact that about 66% of men reported seeing cases of sexual misconduct while 85% of women stated that they witnessing sexual misconduct. Perhaps women are natural more vigilant or sensitive and therefore would report witnessing sexual misconduct at higher rates, but again, I think a study like this is good for pointing out broad trends, which I think it does nicely.

ABUSE OF RANK

I can definitely say that I’ve seen this. Abuse of rank is a real thing that seems to be prevalent in most cases of sexual harassment. Bill Cosby was the star of the show and Harvey Weinstein was the gatekeeper to many high paying acting roles. Similarly in Capoeira this is a trend, and unsurprisingly 97% of cases of sexual misconduct involved a person of higher rank abusing their position. It’s really unfortunate to me because this behavior fractures our community and many people leave because of it. We don’t know exactly how many because many of them might not have known about this survey, but I’m sure we can say that there are plenty of people who could have kept training, but didn’t because of some jerk.

Anyways, as I said in the last article, I’m really glad that this survey happened and I’m interested to see what comes of it. It’s getting late now!! Have a good week everyone. Sorry if this article gets you a bit down, but I think it’s an article full of hope and possibility for a brighter future.