If you’ve never sexually harassed or taken advantage of women or men for that matter because sexual harassment goes both ways, you’re a good person and you should probably skip this but if you’re one of those powerful people who take advantage of your subordinates or employees, shame on you.
I’ve heard accounts of interns and new recruits passed around among top executives who usually are married or have their own daughters and yet they don’t find anything wrong doing this to other people’s children. I can only imagine how hard it must be for those who’ve gone through it.
It’s demeaning, inappropriate and just wrong. Sadly, the victims are often too afraid to speak out. How do you even go about exposing that Manager or Supervisor who harassed you?
The fact that society is judgmental doesn’t help. Sometimes, people just don’t believe you while others make jokes about your looks and how you’re not “even pretty” as if that makes it okay to be abused. We also need to stop blaming the victims.
This “she brought it on herself” mentality is wrong. Yes some women dress provocatively but that doesn’t mean they want to be touched inappropriately. It’s like saying it’s okay to steal someone’s money simply because they left their purse open! You can compliment a woman without being disrespectful. You don’t have to grope her.
And if sexual harassment was purely down to how one dressed or acted, then we wouldn’t have babies, young girls and old women raped. I think it comes down to the abusers thinking they can get away with it and sadly, they often do. I remember a time I had to leave school to see a dentist and on my way there, I had an uncomfortable experience in a Taxi of all places! I was wearing my school uniform and my skirt was well below the knee.
I was skinny, with no cleavage on show, no makeup and the man seated next to me still placed his hand on my thigh. At first I thought it was one of those accidental brushes where someone is reaching into their pocket for their phone or wallet but I soon realised that wasn’t the case and this man was just being inappropriate. I attempted to move as far away as I could from him but there wasn’t much room and he had the nerve to move even closer!
There were people right behind us but this man who didn’t even know me wasn’t fazed. If the same thing happened to me today, I would ask the offender to keep his hands to himself but back then, I didn’t know what to say. Lucky for me, some people got off at the next stop and I took that opportunity to change seats.
I get the same sense of incredulity whenever random cars stop to offer me a lift. I know better than getting into a stranger’s car but there are girls and women who may genuinely need a ride and the last thing on their mind is getting into the driver’s bed or whatever. Some people just don’t respect boundaries anymore.