Image of PressTV-‘Sexual harassment in UK is structural’
PressTV-‘Sexual harassment in UK is structural’
A new survey indicating that over half of women and a fifth of men in Britain have experienced sexual harassment at work or a place of study highlights that the UK suffers from structural perversity and demeaning of women, says an academic in London.

"It is bad enough that half of women and a fifth of men have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work but the issue goes wider than that. There is inappropriate sexual behavior at work and in social situations. And then you get the situation separate really of serial predation, serial pedophiles like Jimmy Savile, a famous BBC producer and presenter who was preying on young people, by the way through his career, and this was tolerated," said professor Rodney Shakespeare.

On Tuesday, a survey conducted for the BBC found that 53 percent of women and 20 percent of men in Britain have experienced sexual harassment at work or a place of study. The sexual harassment ranged from inappropriate comments to actual sexual assaults.

The study was commissioned after sexual assault claims against Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood mogul, resulted in the widespread sharing of sexual harassment stories.

"And you have the same situation at this moment with, if I may say so, the whole of Hollywood. I mean Harvey Weinstein is just the tip of the iceberg and that tells of something in both cases of Jimmy Savile and Weinstein; it is the use of power that people wish to have something to be associated with music, or to get a part in a film or to get a script produced. And those with the power take advantage of the situation," Shakespeare told Press TV on Wednesday.

Weinstein, who was born in New York City to a Jewish family, has denied the rape allegations, while acknowledging that his behavior “caused a lot of pain.”

"But there is a third aspect to this. And it is when the use power against women it is used in a wholesale structural way right against the whole of the society. And I refer to Saudi Arabia and Wahabbism. And there you have a whole society in which basically the men abuse their position and their power and the women greatly disadvantage" Shakespeare said.

The UK has been struggling to deal with a series of sexual abuse scandals that have raised doubts about how institutions, including the church, sports teams and the news media respond to those who are vulnerable to abuse.

A vast inquiry has been opened into child sexual abuse at a string of British institutions from parliament to the BBC, children's homes to churches.

The number of abuse allegations being made in the UK has spiked since one of the BBC's top presenters, Jimmy Savile, was exposed as a serial pedophile after his death in 2011.

"So it is bad enough that this harassment at work in the UK [that] we have hidden and in the USA and in other societies around the world, there is a hiding of preying on people and pedophilia. But what is perhaps the worst one, when there is a structural demeaning of women and structural control and structural perversity, which is ultimately political and perhaps in its own way-well I wouldn’t say it is worst that the other too- but it is one that must not be ignored and something must be done about it," he concluded.