The news is saturated with allegations of sexual misconduct ranging all the way from calling a girl “sweetheart” (gasp!) to rape (horrific). So maybe it is time to delve a little deeper into what constitutes sexual harassment, because it appears there is a very wide discrepancy between what is acceptable and what is not.
There certainly may be age, gender and cultural gaps in employees beliefs about sexual harassment. But individuals also vary wildly within groups. While some may welcome compliments, others are offended. What is funny to one person, is not to another.
It seems we are headed to a place where men and women are supposed to forget they are men and women when they walk into work.
H/T Daily Wire
After Hollywood exploded with sexual assault and harassment allegations ignited by Democratic mega-donor and big-time movie producer Harvey Weinstein’s actions, a national firestorm of sexual harassment awareness campaigns (i.e. #MeToo) and complaints of such misconduct have popped up, seemingly by the hour.
While some good will surely be done due to the bright spotlight on the serious issue, this sexual harassment hysteria (agitated by political partisanship) could be a recipe for a disaster. We should, of course, dismiss the Left’s “believe all women” narrative — a certain Duke lacrosse rape case and campus kangaroo courts might come to mind — but we should also be concerned about what the general public perceives as “sexual harassment.”
Regarding the latter issue, recent YouGov polling indicates that a troubling number of young adults, both male and female, find compliments about a woman’s attractiveness, or even an invite to get a drink from a man, as forms of sexual harassment.
The survey posed the question: “Would you consider it sexual harassment if a man, who was not a romantic partner, did the following to a woman?”
Stunningly, over 1/3 of those polled ranging in age from 18-30 (male and female) said a man “commenting on attractiveness” would “always” or “usually” be a form of sexual harassment.
When it came to asking a woman out for a drink, about one in four young males and about 12.5% of young females said it would “always” or “usually” be a form of sexual harassment. For reference, those polled in Sweden, Germany, and the U.K., all polled around 0% for this particular hypothetical.
Additionally, about 50% of young men and woman considered a man looking at a woman’s breasts to be “always” or “usually” sexual harassment.
This is dangerous stuff: watering-down real sexual harassment (when everything is sexual harassment, then nothing is sexual harassment) and potentially driving a wedge further between the sexes.
For more on the survey, click here.
The EEOC defines sexual harassment as ““Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”
I don’t read that as asking a co-worker for a drink, unless they won’t take no for an answer. I also don’t see how a reasonable compliment fits into that definition. This should be obvious. But in this climate, you can’t be too careful.
The fact is, 16% of married couples met their spouse at work. That is no small number of people who must have, at some point, hit on each other. Because it led to a marriage, who can complain? But, the fact is, someone “broke the rules” and took a chance. And according to a Careerbuilder survey, 39% of workers have dated a co-worker, and 33% of those people ended up marrying the co-worker.
What used to be benign, like asking someone out for a drink, is now taboo to a lot of people. Is this really where the line should be drawn? It is concerning how many young people think so.
I used to think sexual harassment training was a waste of time and money. Do people really not know the line between flirting and harassment? The thing is, apparently flirting now is harassment. That is quite a shift in the workplace.
Apparently, we do now need a clear and concise blueprint for what is and what is not acceptable in the workplace. It’s sad that people can’t compliment one another anymore but this is the world we live in. Women are always wondering where all the good guys have gone. They are probably hiding out, afraid to express any interest.
It must be hard to be a man these days feeling the constant scrutiny of every word they speak to a female. Unfortunately, it seems like those 8 hours a day you spend at work you are to not socialize at all with the opposite sex (or same sex either, I suppose) for fear of it being taken the wrong way.