Women and Sexual Harassment at workplace

office womenSexual Harassment is defined as any unwelcomed sexual comments, advances, or requests for sexual favors that humiliate, threaten, or embarrass the victim. Sexual harassment is a continuous pattern of harassment ranging from uninvited touching, sexist remarks and/or jokes, and “verbal , visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature and it is Illegal.
Sexual harassment includes many things…
· Actual or attempted rape or sexual assault.
· Unwanted pressure for sexual favors.
· Unwanted deliberate touching, leaning over, cornering, or pinching.
· Unwanted sexual looks or gestures.
· Unwanted letters, telephone calls, or materials of a sexual nature.
· Unwanted pressure for dates.
.Turning work discussions to sexual topics.
· Sexual innuendos or stories.
· Asking about sexual fantasies, preferences, or history.
· Personal questions about social or sexual life.
· Unwanted sexual teasing, jokes, remarks, or questions.
· Referring to an adult as a girl, hunk, doll, babe, or honey.
· Whistling at someone.
· Cat calls.
· Sexual comments.
· Sexually suggestive signals.
· Sexual comments about a person’s clothing, anatomy, or looks.
· Kissing sounds, howling, and smacking lips.
· Telling lies or spreading rumors about a person’s personal sex life.
· Neck massage.
· Touching an employee’s clothing, hair, or body.
· Giving personal gifts.
· Hanging around a person.
· Hugging, kissing, patting, or stroking.
· Standing close or brushing up against a person.
· Looking a person up and down.
· Staring at someone.
· Facial expressions, winking, throwing kisses, or licking lips.
· Making sexual gestures with hands or through body movements
.Touching or rubbing oneself sexually around another person.
Harassment of any kind has no place in the workplace. If you’re an employer subject to federal anti-discrimination laws, you have a legal obligation to provide a work environment that is free from the above listed, or ridicule based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin. You must also be concerned with preventing harassment because you can sometimes be sued in state courts, depending on your state’s anti-discrimination laws.
Therefore, take steps to prevent and deal with sexual and other types of harassment in your workplace because as an employer, you may be held liable for your own acts of harassment that affect employees in the workplace, as well as the acts of your managers, employees, and even harassment by customers, suppliers, and others who regularly do business with you.
Seen in this context, male workers who harass a woman on the job are doing more than annoying her. They are reminding her of her vulnerability, creating tensions that make her job more difficult and making her hesitant to seek higher paying jobs where she may perceive the tension as even greater. A woman who is the target of sexual harassment often goes through the same process of victimization as one who has suffered rape, battering or other gender-related crimes- frequently blaming herself and doubting her own self-worth
Women employed in fields that are traditionally considered “ woman’s work”, such as waitresses and secretaries, are often given menial, degrading tasks. They are often called demeaning names, and they are led to believe that a certain amount of male domination and sexism is normal. All of this reinforces the idea that women workers are of little value in the workplace. Women who try to break into traditionally all-male work, such as construction jobs, medicine or investment banking, often suffer even more intense harassment clearly aimed at forcing them to leave
The causes of sexual harassment vary from person to person, situation to situation and of different work place
Many of the causes are interrelated, and are linked to the culture and values in society and in companies, and to the roles, relative power and status of the men and women concerned.
Socialization – The way in which men and women were brought up to see themselves and others strongly influences their behavior.
In a culture where it is, right to discriminate against people because they are different (in terms of gender, race, culture, religion, lifestyle, political conviction or whatever), the abuse of power or humiliation that is typical of sexual harassment will not be unusual. Harassment is often closely linked to prejudice in general, and to sexist attitudes.
Men who were brought up with macho beliefs like “real men pinch bottoms”, “girls were made to hug and kiss”,can u imagine? “the more, the merrier”, easily carry these social values into the workplace, and treat their female colleagues accordingly. Such men often even think that women take their harassment as a compliment when it is actually annoying.
Many women have been brought up to believe women’s highest calling is to please men, that popularity with men equals success, or that “real women look sexy”. This can give the impression – usually unintended – that they invite sexual advances at work. Some women who see sexuality as their only power base, play along. Although research has proven them to be a small minority, their behavior can also encourage harassment of other women.
If women see themselves as dependent on, or of lesser value than men, or are unassertive, they find it difficult to handle harassers or to complain. Often women who are breadwinners are vulnerable and fear victimization or even job loss, if they reject advances or complain.
If management condones such behaviour or if victims end up being blamed, the perpetrator is encouraged to continue the pattern of harassment, affecting more and more women.
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