Is there a double standard for sexual harassment?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-There does appear to be a double standard concerning sexual harassment.  It seems that now the reverse is happening with women towards men.  As women move more and more into the corporate world and are exposed to larger numbers of people and situations in the workplace, the instances of sexual harassment towards men are more likely to occur.

With the women’s rights movement gaining increased attention and momentum on a daily basis, there is an escalation of more radical causes, which many women defend, buy into and support.  Demanding rights and playing the victim have become everyday occurrences.  These kinds of actions spill over into the workplace environment and cause miscommunications, which can lead to sexual harassment in the reverse.

Most large companies have sexual harassment policies in place that employees are informed about and expected to follow, but there are those employees who will turn the policy on itself and use it to their benefit.

With emboldened views, some women will take advantage of sexual harassment policies in the workplace as they believe they can override or ignore those regulations and get away with pushing the envelope and harassing men in one way or another.  They seem to believe that there will be no repercussions because of their behaviors.

It can happen with other women for that matter, particularly if it concerns job conflicts where one woman has charge over another, and the one of lesser status thinks she can bully the usually older and more experienced woman in order to gain a foothold to a better job and power.

Radical ideas through women’s causes revitalize and encourage some women to act in non-traditional ways. Integrity and dignity are thrown out the window and replaced with self-satisfaction and damaging actions towards others, and sometimes those actions lead to using and harassing others, both men and women.

When sexual harassment is involved, towards men, morality and entitlement are in play, and it has a strong bearing on a woman’s actions towards men.   There is a shield of protection through anti-discrimination and employment laws as well as  women’s causes, which creates a sense of entitlement in women that encourages creating difficulties for men.

Because of discrimination in the past against women, there are still fears of recrimination that men have to confront, and in spite of established sexual harassment policies in the workplace, men have difficulty dealing with turning someone in, particularly when they are the targets of the harassment. Reporting it and having anyone in authority doing anything about it is a whole other matter. Many men realize that sexual harassment towards them will probably be shrugged off and glossed over despite standing policies, and they understand how reporting it and filing complaints can have adverse effects.

As long as women are allowed to continue to rely on escape mechanisms and protection, they will fabricate excuses in dealing with sexual harassment issues.  Complaints from men will be quietly dismissed, and those who have faced victimization will continue to have little to no recourse in expressing their concerns.

One of the few answers to the double standard with sexual harassment is for men to speak up for themselves concerning it.  Their voices need to be heard so that other men will face and confront those who sexually harass them. No man should have to feel uncomfortable and on edge in or outside of a work environment. The consequences of sexual harassment should apply to everyone, no matter the sex.

 

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-There most definitely is a double standard for sexual harassment. The root cause is the biological reason that males of most species are the aggressor and court females for the sole instinctual reason of mating. Just because humans have elevated themselves to the dominant species of the planet does not mean males have mastered or somehow subdued their biological urges because society dictates that males must treat women with deference and respect.

It is male human nature to “make the first move” toward a female, but it has also been promoted and encouraged by male-dominated cultures ever since humans figured out how to use language. Various cultures advocated “taking” a wife, collecting harems or having multiple wives, marrying females when they are young so they may produce as many children as possible. Even the modern-day desire for everyone to look, feel, and act young is at least tangentially related to wanting to be attractive to the opposite sex—primarily females wanting to impress males because older women are seen as less desirable than are older men.

So, when a business executive hits on his secretary or gropes a female associate at a late-night office party, that’s seen as a normal expression of the biological urges of the male of the species. And since the world is still a male-dominated society, the men in charge don’t necessarily see sexual harassment as negatively as women might.

When a woman sexually harasses a man, it’s viewed by males as aberrant, calculating, entrapment, or something other than an expression of normal female sexual urges. In other words, it’s seen as “wrong,” something to be dealt with immediately, something to be punished.

Until the day women hold equal power with men across the world, sexual harassment laws against men must be strictly enforced and enhanced to send the message that humans indeed have risen above their base instincts. Twenty-first-century women should not be abused or harassed in any way by anyone.

Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent- The answer to that question is a simple resounding yes! Sexual harassment is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. But why is there a double standard? Well think about it.When you hear about that topic, do you not conjure up a picture in your mind about a woman being the victim? Or maybe you have imagined her being touched inappropriately on her no-no areas or received some sexual inappropriate messages? Whatever the first impressions are, there is a absence to the male factor being the victim.

Why is that?

Consider an everyday scenario that will clarify my point:

In the workplace, it is quite the norm for female employees to be sexually harassed by their randy male coworkers and I must say, once it’s reported, the consequences are heavy. The male employee would be fired immediately and charges would be trumped up against him if the female felt at all threatened. However, what would happen if the female employees were the ones who did the harassing? In most cases, the woman would get a slap on the wrist or get away scot-free. No serious consequences or disciplinary actions would be meted out.

Should one feel that once a woman commits sexual harassment against a man, it should be acceptable? The simple fact is once a sexual harassment act is done(whether you are male or female), the consequence should be applied to everyone.

 

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-Sexual harassment is a despicable practice, and those who engage in it should be dealt with severely.  In the traditional model, it’s a male boss making advances to a female underling and threatening, either overtly or through subtle hints, that there will be job consequences if she doesn’t submit to his will.

This is by far the most common form of sexual harassment even today, when women occupy far more of the workforce than men, and women are entering the boardrooms and C-suites at an ever-increasing rate.

However, as is inevitable in any human society, other forms of harassment exist, and they are just as detestable as the common type.  Anyone who saw the movie “Horrible Bosses” saw Cameron Diaz playing a boss who demanded sexual services from her underlings. While it’s played for big laughs in the movie, the real issue is far more serious.  Imagine you’re a married man, and your boss demands that you tryst with her in order to move up the ladder, or in order to simply keep your job?  You’re faced with a brain-melting dilemma: Do you continue to provide for your family and dishonor your marriage vows, or do you cheat on your spouse and keep the paychecks coming?

Men, however, have a far more difficult row to hoe when it comes to reporting sexual harassment.  The old model says that any man should be happy to have any woman come on to him, regardless of other romantic commitments.  Men face ridicule from their fellow men, disbelief from the disciplinary system and the strong likelihood that the person they accuse will turn the tables and claim that they were the innocent victim.

While I have no experience whatsoever with same-sex sexual harassment, I can imagine that similar issues would crop up there.

There is unquestionably a double standard, but unfortunately by this time it’s almost become part of our wiring. I’m not sure there’s much to be done, at least in the short term.

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