How To Combat Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

How To Combat Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

It's time to put this to an end.
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Sexual Harassment During 2017

In 2017 sexual harassment became one of the most talked about topics. The first spark to the flame was the Harvey Weinstein harassments; dozens of celebrities came forward and spoke about their unfortunate experiences with Mr.Weinstein. This started a domino effect of other victims coming forward against their attackers, and it began to open our eyes to the realities of harassment. Campaigns like #MeToo, started by Tarana Burke, helped to bring awareness to sexual harassment/assault and start a discussion amongst other people who have been affected. We watched the conversation around assault turn from something we were supposed to keep quiet to talking about something that has zero tolerance. Unfortunately, just because the conversation around sexual harassment is shifting doesn’t mean it will end altogether. So here are ways to move forward into the new year and be able to recognize, report, and heal from harassment/assault…

What is Sexual Harassment?

According to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), by law, sexual harassment is defined as:

“Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of sexual behavior when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, or submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.”

How to Recognize Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment isn’t always easy to recognize; society makes us feel like if we are feeling harassed that our feelings are invalid or we’ve misread the situation. If you or a coworker is in a situation that feels uncomfortable or inappropriate, take it as your 1st red flag. These situations can including (but aren’t limited to) inappropriate comments, touching, requests, or questions involving one’s personal/sexual life. Recognize this situation and take into account that this is a person you should stay wary of. If the situation persists for a second time and you are confident that you are being harassed, speak up tell them you want them to stop and won’t hesitate to take action. Unfortunately, people are willingly ignorant to the words “stop” or “no”, so if this situation has entered the 3rd strike I urge you to file a report against this person immediately.

How to Report Sexual Harassment

Don’t be afraid to speak out to your employer about sexual harassment, the law is on your side. It is illegal to retaliate against a worker who is claiming sexual harassment, and if they do they will be under investigation as well. When filing for sexual harassment, go to your human resources department and have a list of instances of harassment written down. If you have any evidence of harassment be sure to bring it with you as well. Don’t be hesitant to speak up about what has happened or stray away from any details. Human resources are here to help you, especially dealing with an incident as serious as this. If your report isn’t being taken seriously, go to the police and file a report against your employer and co-worker because both of their actions are against the law.

How to Heal From Sexual Harassment

Severe (or even “little”) sexual harassment/assault incidents can take a toll on your mental and emotional state. The first step to recovering is accepting and validating what has happened to you. Do not belittle yourself or doubt what has happened, you must recognize your experience and work to become a stronger you. The victim is never the one to blame; you are not lesser because of what has happened to you. If you find yourself becoming disconnected and depressed, go seek a counselor (or a friend) and voice what has happened to you. Speaking about your experience is often a great way to gain closure. If you have a friend who is a victim of harassment/assault, stand by their side and listen to what they have to say. Assure them of their worth and be a shoulder they can unconditionally lean on. If you notice your friend is becoming withdrawn or depressed, help them find the resources they need to recover.

Sexual Harassment Hotlines and Resources: http://www.feminist.org/911/harass.html

Cover Image Credit: via Unsplash

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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He’s Not My President, And I’m Sorry That He’s Yours

I refuse to acknowledge him as "my" president, he doesn't deserve it.

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It's been about two years since Donald Trump has officially taken office and became your president. I say "your" because he is not my president and I refuse to acknowledge him as such. I refuse to associate this man with one of the most powerful titles because he does not uphold the standards of what it means to be president. Donald Trump is a failed businessman, WrestleMania participant, and T.V. personality, but he is no president.

In the past, we've elected leaders whose ideas and vision for this nation didn't align with mine, but Donald Trump is another kind of malevolence that I refuse to believe runs the United States of America. Go ahead, call me all the names in the book; snowflake, libtard, or whatever your petty, little heart desires—your president still incompetent and runs his platform based off of false hope, an abundance of lies, and a xenophobic agenda.

This man single-handedly fooled an entire group of people that the United States was going to build a wall at the southern-most border (as if there isn't already a wall there) to keep out "criminals" (undocumented immigrants fleeing their country in order to survive) and said Mexico was going to pay for it (which they never did and never will.) This entire plan was flawed from the beginning; it was founded upon hate and pure ignorance. I hate to break it to you, but this country was founded upon immigrants and that's never going to change.

Your president even had a temper tantrum and shut down the government for 35 days, he doesn't care about the citizens of this nation, and to be quite frank, he never did in the first place. He never will unless it benefits him in some way. We're talking about the same man who addresses woman like their objects, views minorities like criminals, opposition for the LGBTQ community, makes a mockery of disabled people, honestly, the list can go on and on. What makes you genuinely believe he cares about you?

President's Day was initially created to celebrate George Washington's Birthday but eventually was adapted to commemorate the presidency as a whole somewhere along the line. So this President's Day, as we reflect upon your President's legacy for what he's created thus far, I'm sorry. I'm not sorry he'll be remembered as one of the worst presidents to go down in history and I can't wait until this nightmare is over.

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