Over the last couple of days I’ve been reading a fair bit about harassment in the workplace, this is never acceptable and women should never be afraid to report it. However, I’ve noticed the same thing again and again that women don’t report it because they feel embarrassed to, feel they won’t be believed or have been made to feel as though it is their fault. Ladies, sexual harassment is never your fault. If you came up to me and grabbed my bum I’d be flattered but would tell you that I am married. If I did it to you then I would expect to lose my job. Difference being women were sexualised for centuries where men weren’t.
If I make a comment on your appearance it isn’t being done to hurt, just to let you know that I have noticed the amount of effort you put in that morning. I would never comment on your body (unless you are pregnant and showing, and then it would just be to ask how long you have left). I won’t tell a woman that I find her attractive because it is not the reason why we are at work. I don’t expect any more or less from a colleague because of their gender, I treat everyone at work with respect because without that we are no better than animals. I have had relationships with people I work with but that was because when we met up outside of work for drinks it became obvious that the attraction was mutual. I would never dream of discussing any relationships at work so didn’t listen to the gossipers who seemed to have nothing better to do than wonder about someone’s prowess, moaning or other sexual exploits.
I would like to say that sexual harassment is defined as the unwanted advances from one person to another. How do we know whether or not advances would be wanted? We don’t have time to find out at work so don’t try making advances towards a woman in case you’re advances are not wanted. As I said the difference between a man’s attitude and a woman’s attitude is down to the historical treatment of women. I don’t believe in making a fuss (even when a man has made advances towards me) but I will let the person making the advances know whether or not I’m interested following the first move they make. Women don’t have to put up with harassment any more than we do, but I think if we try to nip it in the bud first and only report it should this not work then maybe more men will take the hint that behaviour which is offensive will not be tolerated.