An article from NBCnews.com on the 7/10/2007 by Eve Tahmincioglu, discusses the growing incidence of sexual harassment against men. This harassment is being perpetrated both from women and other men, and leaves the male victims feeling powerless, confused and unsure how to deal with these unwelcome advances. But perhaps this is less about male and female sexuality and more about control and power of one person over another. As more women achieve leadership positions in what were predominately male business structures, it is possibly no surprise that this aggressive behaviour is being seen in women, but this is not representative of all women the same as sexual harassment is not done by all men. As workplaces become more diverse and female attributes are more accepted, I think that this behaviour will subside as workplaces harness innovation instead of control and manipulation. Maybe, its a case of “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander? Either way, harassment, bullying and control as not acceptable behaviors from anyone particularly in the workplace.
updated 7/10/2007 9:49:54 AM ET
“We often talk about sexual harassment against women in the workplace but for this column I’m going to address the growing problem of sexual harassment against men in the workplace.
Are you laughing? You probably are. That’s what happened recently when I discussed the topic with friends and colleagues. Few seem to take this issue seriously.
But for quite a few men, sexual harassment is indeed becoming a serious issue, and some men are deciding not to just brush aside the unwelcome advances from women and men.
“Many people mistakenly believe that harassment is limited to females,” says Roberta Chinsky Matuson, a human resource expert. “The truth is that this type of experience is just as damaging to men.”
While the number of sexual harassment cases overall has consistently declined in the past few years, “sexual harassment filings by men have consistently increased, doubling over 15 years,” says David Grinberg, a spokesman for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC.
Even though women filing charges makes up the bulk of the EEOC’s sexual harassment workload, men are becoming a bigger piece of the pie, with nearly 2000 filing charges last year.
And that’s cases that get to the EEOC. Many labor experts say men are less likely than women to speak up about such cases of harassment for fear of being mocked by coworkers, and even fewer would take the charges to a government agency and risk widespread knowledge of their plight.
Thomas, who works in academia but didn’t want his full name used, found himself in an office made up of mainly women who would routinely share and copy each other emailed jokes and emails about men. A few, he adds, “made fun of men’s unique anatomy, if you know what I mean.” The behavior, he says, made him feel isolated. When he finally addressed the matter with the women in the office, “the women were stunned, generally with a ‘You’ve got to be kidding,’ kind of attitude. And they kept doing it.”
There are a host of reasons the number of men complaining about harassment may be up.
- No Guidelines for Sexual Harassment Laws in Indian Courts! (genderbytes.wordpress.com)
- Janet Napolitano accused of sexual harassment (canadiancincinnatus.typepad.com)
- Egypt police in Suez arrest 22 for sexually harassing girls on first day of classes (bikyamasr.com)