I have recognized a trend in older men and their use of language towards younger women. By the use of language, I am referring to sexual and vulgar comments that target younger women as objects and is belittling. Not ALL men, obviously, but I found that some men in the older generation think it’s fine to make sexually inappropriate comments to younger women because of their age and age difference.
Due to the man being “too old for you,” meaning too old to date you, they feel they can say whatever is on their mind as if it is flattering to you and you should appreciate it. As if younger women need validation from older, wiser men who have seen so many women in their day that you should be so flattered by their degrading compliments or ultimately you needed that compliment in order to know your worth.
It is disappointing because this is a major trend in the workforce. Recently, I have had two people tell stories about this type of language used in their offices in the forms of sexually explicit and exploitive comments that have ended in either terminated jobs or unhealthy relationships within the office.
Personally, as a server, I find myself experiencing this almost on a daily basis as well. It can be as simple as “can I have the blonde” *laughs* “not you, although if we were the same age…” Or things such as simply commenting on your beauty or to ask you if you have a boyfriend in which case this can spiral into a very uncomfortable situation.
It is difficult to stand up to older men when they make harassing comments that might not seem to them as being such.
When drunk older men make comments about dating you if they were the same age it can make you feel as though they are implying something but then they immediately debunk it as if their age makes everything about these comments ok. It is not ok and it should be embarrassing for the men when they do this, regardless of their age.
It should also very well be called out in front of other men and women alike when comments are made in a group of people so this can discontinue.
When a woman enters the workforce and immediately feels objectified by being forced to endure comments on a daily basis about their looks or vulgar and sexualized comments, it will eventually discourage women from partaking in certain employment.
When a woman feels this way she will begin to feel inferior and maybe even helpless. This also raises the glass ceiling even further and will never create an equal environment for men and women to coincide in the workforce and further each other’s accomplishments.
When a woman is made to feel she is worthy based on her looks or sexuality, we lose as a whole. When men make comments in a professional place about a woman’s outfit being too seductive or how they would have taken this woman out if they were the same age, we lose professionally and women get pushed out of professional fields that are male-dominated.
A woman should not be made to feel like she earned her position or is qualified for her job strictly based on her bodily appearance.
When this happens in Boise and you know the man who is being accused of this, you begin to realize how prominent these things are in your own world. You begin to realize how close to home it is and how anyone can be involved in this type of too-common workplace harassment against women.
It is difficult to fathom that women everywhere in any type of work environment could be affected by this. Racial and sexual harassment should never be allowed in the workplace and should always be validated whenever it is reported or seen, and definitely should not be brushed off by the people in higher leadership roles. It almost seems as if this only occurs because it is a man making these comments to a woman.
When men typically hold higher positions than women and men hold many more positions in the workforce, women fall behind in leadership positions. When men are holding the majority of leadership positions and women are harassed sexually or racially, this shows women clear enough who is in power and who will help them when they need it most.
Women are slowly but surely making progress in the United States as well as the world as a whole. However, we will not be able to substantially increase our gains within equality and working our way into the workforce without warm, welcoming arms that are willing to stand up for the minority in these areas.
With all the news coverage on the sexual assault and harassment charges in Hollywood and politics, it is beginning to be clear how these are not isolated incidents, no matter how much we wish to believe this. These are too common and are becoming instilled in our society as a piece of history that will guide us into our morals and values as a society in the future. We will look back on all these so-called scandals and realize how helpful and imminent these were to progress our society as a whole.
When women gain more of a voice in the bigger scheme of things, such as prominent jobs, higher leadership positions, and politics, everyone will gain the same strength and resilience that came during these dark times.