Sexual Harassment

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How happily people assume and visualize, much more than what has been said, discussed and analyzed. But how did it all start?

A lady complains about sexual harassment, and the complaint says that she is being harassed from last 5-6 years; it makes me wonder what took her so long to complain. My mind goes into its analytical mode and the mind machine starts thinking. Majority of the cases the boss and the lady were having cordial relations in the past – I don’t mean that they are in any kind of relationship, but as an employee and a boss they are cordial to each other.

Think for yourself. When a lady joins an organization she is eager to give her best in her job, prove her mettle and climb the hierarchy. Just like any other employee. Even male counterparts would be sailing in the same boat. And who is the first person to approve her work, motivate her and rate her performance? The Boss.

Now we have seen so many times in films and TV serials – the touching of hands over the mouse, a simple pat on the back, just brushing past etc. etc. The first reaction of a lady to all these antics is most important.  You know there are some women, who are given names like मिर्ची, तीखी छुरी, तेज तलवार, even गुरु घंटाल meaning they are compared with chilies, knives, swords etc. etc. One glance from these ladies will make the man freeze and he will forever stay away from her. Just miss this first reaction, and you give that man more courage.  Over a period of time, if the lady does not reacts and remains coy; it gives a silent confirmation of moving forward or acceptance. Then one fine day, when the man becomes comfortable to take any kind of freedom, the lady suddenly realizes that she is a victim of sexual harassment.

Somewhere, I read about working spouse. So, is the complaint a 7 year itch?

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6 thoughts on “Sexual Harassment

  1. Well, since no one in my known circle ever complained about such issues in past more than 2 decades, what I can say is only based on assumptions and general human tendency, not gender-specific.

    Power corrupts. Absolute power absolutely corrupts goes the old saying. What is casting couch? It’s one way of sexual harassment or not? In my view it is and it is same as seeking sexual favors for offering jobs/ promotions. In the root is not sexual favor, but what one can do to get a job/ promotion and how desperate one is for the same. The one, who holds the power can direct it at his/ her will then.
    What’s the remedy? There is no sure shot remedy, but teaching of ethics in developing strong characters would help over any Govt. policy. People stop at red lines in certain countries and in certain countries, they look for police, if no police, they don’t stop? What’s the message? If you want people to stop at red line, you need to inculcate ethical values from the beginning in them.

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  2. Sexual Harassment at work place demands more attention now as more and more women join Traditional as well as nontraditional work spheres. In India, the legislation and policies are still at Primitive level except Multinationals, IT companies or Big Corporate houses.
    I feel women must know these policies and rights and exercise them. ( Of course- it needs courage to make a valid complaint and get justice). It would be always better to set boundaries on what is acceptable/ not acceptable behavior from start so things do not escalate. If it happens still, all valid ways to tackle this should be used without Fear.

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    • Yes, a lot remains under the loop holes in India, but we can see a positive change. Fearless, knowledgeable and being independent is the call of the day, for every woman.

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  3. Very sensitive topic to discuss and equally complicated to arrive at any conclusion. Everything depends upon the equation and the understanding that two individuals from opposite sex have with each other during the course of the work. Somethings or some behaviours which could be classified as sexual harassment in the classical sense could easily get passed off as acceptable behaviour between two individuals who has a liking for each other. As Alpam rights puts it, it is upon the sensitive individual to set thee rules right at the beginning of the association. For this you do not have to actually spell it out. People at responsible level are smart and sharp enough to understand suttle responses which conveys the boundaries and then it could be fine between them. Ofcourse those who refuse to take those tips should be handled in a different way, but definitely not after years. That conveys that it was acceptable to me when it was beneficial to me and now that it does not suit me, I am shouting loud on sexual harassment. Can you avoid it ? The answer is no because human beings are indeed complex and who has understood a human being perfectly yet ? And also who can assure consistency in behaviour always and in all ways ? Let us accept that this subject will remain as intriguing as it is.
    …..VD !!!

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    • Rightly said by VD, that you can’t avoid, but also note one cannot accept consistency in behaviour as the perception of things change over a period of time, leading to behaviour changes.
      And any topic on man-woman relationship remain intriguing, this one is not an exception as rightly pointed out.

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