Sadly, sexual harassment has been one of the most popular media subjects in 2017. Apparently, similar discussions will come to light in the future and we will just keep being shocked. Do you even feel baffled anymore by the level of disgustingness occur in these incidents?
Do you ever think about witnessing or experiencing similar situations? It’s nearly impossible to empathize. Imagine what type of traumas these people have been through without any bad intentions! Their only mistake was to show some trust to someone who doesn’t deserve.
When I consider a certain topic to write about, I usually stick to a specific pattern. I would like to go over the definition of the subject and point out few matters from my perspective. In general, I happened to choose highly sensitive subjects, so my apologies if I unintentionally offend anyone. My primary goal is to increase awareness on underlying reasons.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual Harassment (noun): unwelcome sexual advances made by an employer or superior, especially when compliance is made a condition of continued employment or advancement.
According to Dictionary.com, sexual harassment is defined with unwelcomed sexual advances in workplace. I think this definition is shallow and doesn’t really cover a small portion of it. Of course, there are many academic dictionaries offering detailed definition. However, I always use Dictionary.com as it’s the most commonly used website.
In my opinion, it’s highly inappropriate to limit sexual harassment to only actions coming from a superior or employer. Moreover, it doesn’t have to be a sexual movement to be considered as a sexual harassment. Sometimes, it could be a dirty joke or even a disturbing stare!
Therefore, I decided “Keep Your Thoughts off Her” would be meaningful title for the matter. Because it all start with a single-evil thought. Well, we can’t deny that this could happen to all of us. However, our reactions to these situations will determine who we really are.
Let’s dig into more about sexual harassment and try to understand if there is a possibility to avoid it.
Does Sexual Harassment Only Occur in Workplace?
Define Workplace! Is it only sexual harassment if occurs in your office? What about that one-hour lunch that you’d like to get your head off from stressful workday with your colleague? Is it okay to disturb someone when your workstation is out of your sight?
What about your customer? Is it okay to hit on your customer because sexual harassment involves only superiors at workplace? Think about an Uber driver disturbingly looking their customer through rear-view mirror. Is it okay socially because it frequently happens? Let’s think about a different work place. What about a sex shop. Does that young girl deserve a dirty joke because she intends to spice things up with her mate?
Let’s be honest with ourselves. Whether if it’s a workplace or just a social place, it is harassment. Therefore, it is wrong! Categorizing it with different terms doesn’t change the main idea. Mostly, sexual harassment and sexual assault are two terms create misunderstanding. As I am not an expert in English, probably I also have some problems clearly understanding both. Yet, I did some research and I will try to picture what I understand from it.
What is the Difference Between Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment?
We already know sexual harassment definition. Sexual assault is broadly defined as a sexual violence to another person including acts of rape, groping, etc. I believe the most significant difference is that how far the action goes. In addition, the place where the action occurs which takes us to another point. In harassment, it’s mostly related to benefit one’s professional status while assault is against to a person with use of force.
As far as I’m concerned, there is not much difference between two situations other than being disturbing. Seriously, can we also categorize the traumas after both events too? Can we easily say one is hurt less than another?
I believe we should look at it as one person’s intruding into someone else’s personal space. It is all wrong and there are no categories to “being wrong” in my opinion. If we can focus on the underlying reasons, people can understand the importance of even their small thoughts! Let’s change the way of thinking so that we can the actions.
Does Sexual Harassment Only Happen to Women?
Of course, not. Even more, men usually just laugh at these situations with their friends and even enjoy the attraction. However, it doesn’t change the fact that it is wrong just as when it happens to a woman. Though, men think they will not experience trauma in these types situations, but it might not be always true. The experience of trauma may be a little different than women’s, but there will still be some problems. So, it’s always better to speak up about it.
Why Sexual Harassment Cases Keep Increasing on Media?
This is improvement! As we can see on the media, we can understand most of these incidents occurred way back in the past. So, we can’t basically say that it’s a new issue. It has been always there, but people were so scared to speak about it because of the social norms. Although it took years, people started to understand it is okay to experience sexual harassment. Therefore, you are not alone!
The media plays a very serious role for spreading the word and encouraging people who are afraid to share what they have been through. I am sure that it’s still not enough for everyone to take an action, but it will slowly change.
How Can We Prevent Sexual Harassment?
As I mentioned earlier, speak up! Whether you are a woman or a man whose experiencing sexual harassment, don’t feel ashamed. There is only one person who should feel ashamed about this equation is the person who takes the sexual action.
As a matter of fact, it doesn’t always have to be the person experiencing the sexual harassment. There used to be signs in New York metro I loved saying “See Something, Say Something”. If you ever see a person disturbing any of your colleagues, share it. Talk about it, so that someone can put an end to it.
I strongly believe that it’s one of out primary goals keeping our colleagues safe and peaceful in work environment. Growing up with family-business culture, I guess it’s the most important characteristic of family businesses. It’s certainly the most important value that we need to pass into today’s business environment.
In the end, we all are just a thought away from experiencing a horrific event, so “Keep Your Thoughts Off Her!”