By Rob Bonta
Seven weeks ago, the “We Said Enough” campaign made national news for a terrible reason: the state Capitol – where lawmakers pride ourselves on being champions of progressive values – is under fire for the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and assault. The campaign’s letter had nearly 150 signatures from women who have experienced sexual harassment or assault, with many more women adding their names since.
Amid the growing dialogue, male voices have been largely missing. This silence must end if we are going to stop this insidious behavior and transform this unacceptable culture.
A culture of objectification and misogyny allows men to get away with harassment and assault. Not enough men are standing up to defend women even when they know what’s happening is wrong. We as men must be forthright in acknowledging that this problem exists and in taking the responsibility to stop it. We cannot overlook misconduct among our colleagues, acquaintances or friends. As leaders of California, we need to set a better example.