Sexual Harassment & Dating in the Work Place
What is sexual harassment?! What’s the difference between sexual harassment and just being an idiot? I understand some sexual harassment.. if a man is your boss and says, “Hey, sleep with me, or you’re fired.” That’s sexual harassment. And that’s the only thing that’s sexual harassment! Everything else falls under “Just trying to get laid.” You can’t put a man in jail for that! I don’t care how hard he tries, that’s all he was trying to do! Anita Hill started this whole thing. It’s all about looks, you know? Because if Clarence Thomas looked like Denzel Washington, this would have never happened! She’d be all, “Oh, stop it, Clarence, you nasty! Your fine self!” So, what’s sexual harassment, when an ugly man wants some? “Oh, he ugly! Call the police! Call the authority!”
Chris Rock, Comedian.
How it has Been: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment legislation has brought justice for many but there have been problems. Sexual harassment laws did superficially change male behavior in the workplace. However, it did not change many underlying male attitudes toward women or gender equality.
- Many powerful men such as Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes and of course Donald Trump routinely violate women’s boundaries in the workplace and then pay off victims with confidential Non-Disclosure Agreement settlements.
- Poorer guys who are macho are not able to harass at work. However, they simply go home and become trolls harassing women online.
In other words, sexual harassment laws superficially changed male behavior in the workplace but it did not change deeply held chauvinistic attitudes held by many men.
The language of sexual harassment laws is gender neutral. However, in the majority of cases, the predator is male. Women tend to be the ‘prey’ who need to be protected by law. As a result, the phrase sexual harassment helps to institutionalize the unequal status of the genders.
Sexual harassment in the workplace discourages women from embracing their sexuality out of fear that others will claim they ‘asked’ for the harassment to occur. The majority of sexual harassment victims choose not to take legal action.
Women are viewed sexually wherever they go, whether walking home or in the workplace, and more times than not, they are punished for this sexuality through brute force or outright harassment. Many women find their bodies in the disturbing hands of others rather than being able to control how their sexuality is perceived.
It is incredibly difficult to be sexually empowered in a society that shames women for expressing their sexuality while simultaneously judging women on their physical value. Objectification is rampant, whether in the workplace or on the street, and this harassment can often escalate into outright violence.
In general, studies found that approximately 30 to 50 percent of women and 10 percent of men have experienced some form of sexual harassment.
How it could Be: Transparent Consent Culture Dating in the Workplace
With the scandals of men abusing power giving rise to the MeToo movement, there is a trend towards no sex in the workplace. Companies, due to a fear of lawsuits, will often ban any kind of dating or sexuality between employees.
The sterility of today’s workplace is creating consequences for the personal psychology of men and women.
At least 8 hours per day is spent by many adults at work. Work is often so all-consuming that there is limited leisure time. By having to spend the majority of our day being non-sexual, or even flirtatious, we pay a price.
Overly reactive sexual harassment policies have reinforced the perception of women as fragile beings who need to be protected.
Though it was born in the Kink and BDSM worlds, consent culture provides practical, ethical and sensible dating guidelines in the workplace. It could complement sensible sexual harassment policies.
The Difference between Profit Driven Companies & Social Entrepreneurs
In a social entrepreneur company, working relationships can be different. When a company is trying to ‘save the world’ employees and management can get very passionate about the causes they are working on!
Workers are attracted to the company not only for monetary reasons but because they share the goals and ideals of the company in making the world a better place.
So too in an intentional community, people are living, working and hanging out in an environment where they have overlapping passions.
People who share the same passions to improve the world might also get passionate with each other! That is a simple human reality! Shared values can be very attractive!
The key is to have policies and practices to ensure that respect is given for personal boundaries, autonomy, and consent.
Consent culture allows for more autonomy for individuals to make their own choice as long as they are able to do so without coercion of any kind.
Eco-Sex Entrepreneur Royalty-Free Idea!
Create a consultancy business to implement Consent Culture Guidelines in the Workplace:
- It should have policies and guidelines for workers who are at the same level of authority.
- It should be customized for each particular sort of workplace. Each organization or company is different. For example, a bank might have different dating guidelines than a supermarket.
- It should address issues that arise between persons with different authority. For example, a CEO has more power than an office worker. This creates a form of power differential which is classical sexual harassment. However, the power play is also a very popular form of sexual expression.
There have been happy consensual relationships that began between senior and junior workers in companies all over the world. With different levels of power in a working relationship, there is a high potential for abuse.
By establishing practical, ethical and transparent policies, there is space for connections to happen between consenting adults while ensuring protocols and practices to protect junior workers from unwanted attention.