(WTVM) - Sexual harassment and assault are all over the news recently.
There's the local story of a Harris County Sheriff's Deputy convicted on charges of sexual assault on women he stopped while on duty.
Then there is the worldwide news about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, facing a stunning and still growing number of charges of sexual misconduct, including rape.
Weinstein was a prolific offender.
His excuses included the ridiculous assertions that he -quote - "grew up in the sixties and seventies" in the time of "free love," as if that makes his lecherous behavior okay.
Then, after the sentencing last week of the Harris County Deputy, Thomas Pierson, his attorney actually repeated the deputy's outrageous defense: that one of the women he stopped was - quote -"gorgeous" and that the deputy merely "succumbed" to her alleged flirting.
Both of these excuses are an insult not only to women - but to anyone of any gender with any sense of right and wrong.
Sexual harassment has nothing to do with growing up in the freewheeling sixties, how a woman dresses or the beauty of the victim.
Sexual harassment is always about power and, in many cases, creating an environment that keeps the woman off balance or from being taken seriously at work.
Multiple studies show most women, about 90 percent, usually choose not to report harassment.
So, we need to applaud the brave ones who do report it, like the women in the case against Deputy Pierson in Harris County...and the four dozen women who came forward, so far, to expose Harvey Weinstein.
The sexual harasser counts on being able to hide in plain sight, confident their target will not call attention to their crimes.
When fearless women take that hiding place away, the harasser finally has to face the consequences of his disgusting and illegal behavior.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906