Both men and women can become victims of sexual harassment. In the news, female harassment is usually what makes the news. Men are stereo-typically seen as the ones who enjoy attention. A female can disrespectfully addresses a male the same as a man can insult a woman. Understanding this as a possibility can also enable having the ability to recognize it if it occurs in one’s presence. The holiday season has begun, and there are going to more parties at work, maybe more drinking, and with that possibly an increased amount of work related incidents of crossing the line.
The firm of Phillips & Associates defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature .” Compliance with the demand is made contingent upon the harassed person continuing their employment, advancing in position and can create “a hostile working environment.”
At a party, if one person walks over to another and says, “You look good in that suit” with a smile, how it is applied determines its category. If after the smile the subject is changed or compared to a suit of theirs or something of that manner, most likely it is just general conversation. On the other hand, if the comment is accompanied with a visual sizing up, and low incomprehensible comment with a suggestive smile there might be an issue occurring.
Just as a man or woman can be harassed sexually, same genders can also do the harassing to another. Meaning a man can harass a man and a woman can harass a woman. There is no exemption of gender when it comes to this. Flirting can be one of the starting points. Starting out innocently, a rejected person may not believe they are really being rejected. Disbelief can turn into aggressive pursuit regardless of stern refusal from the other person. Scorned individuals may tell jokes, or make inappropriate remarks. They might become emotionally needy for attention misconstruing the reaction as affirmation of returned interest. Both genders may follow the other person around without an invitation.
An AWARE (Association of Woman for Action and Research) sexual harassment survey revealed 79 percent of women and 21 percent of men survey were subjected to harassment. Rank or position within an organization does not grant immunity, either. The same can apply to upper level management, to administrative, to entry level. Anyone can be pressured sexually by anyone else. Many do not know there are options available in the work place to address such issues. Victims of sexual harassment may not be aware of the general policies related to harassment according to AWARE.
Sexual harassment affects both genders and can come from anywhere within an organization. If seeking support from the law, the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1954 is in place to provide protection from sexual harassment. It can be found on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website. This is the season where people are often extra friendly from being filled with holiday cheer. It is a time when sharing, relaxing and supporting each other is expected. Parties and attendee amounts increase as the peak of the holiday season nears. The opportunity for each person is to respect another man or woman’s personal space.
By Dada Ra