On Office Sexual Harassment

Use this forum to discuss the June 2018 Book of the Month"The Girl Who Knew da Vinci" by Belle Ami
Post Reply
User avatar
K Geisinger
Posts: 40
Joined: 31 Mar 2018, 08:47
Currently Reading: Superhighway
Bookshelf Size: 17
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-k-geisinger.html
Latest Review: The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid by Gary Robinson
Location: Michigan

Re: On Office Sexual Harassment

Post by K Geisinger » 18 Jun 2018, 08:48

I think it takes a strength to say no to power, even if the no is more of an evading. Her office life would be somewhat easier if she said yes to the powerful person, but it would not make her happy. Power dynamics are hard to overcome and with so many people wanting her position, she had fewer options. I liked how the author portrayed her feelings of being cornered.

User avatar
crediblereading2
Posts: 592
Joined: 19 Jan 2018, 13:32
Currently Reading: Bitroux
Bookshelf Size: 27
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-crediblereading2.html
Latest Review: No Dogs on the Beach by John Madell

Post by crediblereading2 » 18 Jun 2018, 11:42

Once sexual harassment start occurring it is time to start seeking another job, especially if it is coming from someone that you may not be able to report to a superior boss.

User avatar
KRay93
Posts: 205
Joined: 01 Mar 2018, 09:49
2018 Reading Goal: 0
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Currently Reading: The Reel Sisters
Bookshelf Size: 79
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kray93.html
Latest Review: Swifty and Conspiracy Control by Roger F. Greaves

Post by KRay93 » 18 Jun 2018, 19:06

Everyone knows that the vast majority of women in mixed office workplaces or in environments with large numbers of men have suffered a situation of sexual harassment at some point in their lives. The fact that Angela has endured such a thing for a certain amount of time is not a sign of strength or weakness, but simply an option. There are women who decide to move forward to advance in their dreamed careers, and there are others who decide to step aside to avoid such hostile surroundings. It's the same as life. There are those who are willing to do anything to fulfill their dreams, and there are others who simply accept the impossibility of these and decide to abandon them.

User avatar
Kibetious
Posts: 481
Joined: 26 Jul 2017, 01:48
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 29
Currently Reading: A Light to the Ruined
Bookshelf Size: 395
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kibetious.html
Latest Review: Excellence Is Not By Luck by Tony Agenmonmen
Location: Mobile

Post by Kibetious » 19 Jun 2018, 06:06

katiesquilts wrote:
09 Jun 2018, 03:14
This is definitely a valid and relevant question, considering the recent events with #MeToo and the Nobel Prize scandal.
I wish I could say that Angela should have just put her foot down and pushed back, as that's what I've done before. However, in my case, the man was at the same level as me in the company and trying to play it off as a joke, but I told him flat out that I'd talk to HR if his behavior continued. He was scared for his job after that and couldn't even look at me in the face, but since Scordato's in a much higher position than Angela, I doubt that would work...
This is awesome. I also believe that at times it takes one to stand firm on principles no matter the consequence. Giving in once will lead to subsequent harassment which by then will e hard to wade off.
​​​​​​He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy :techie-studyinggray:

User avatar
Kibetious
Posts: 481
Joined: 26 Jul 2017, 01:48
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 29
Currently Reading: A Light to the Ruined
Bookshelf Size: 395
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kibetious.html
Latest Review: Excellence Is Not By Luck by Tony Agenmonmen
Location: Mobile

Post by Kibetious » 19 Jun 2018, 06:08

Definitely, this is character weakness to me. It may have led to the loss of her job but it is never wise to give in. This is because once you give in then you give the offender a chance to do this more often which will be harder to resist then.
​​​​​​He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy :techie-studyinggray:

User avatar
jo89220n
Posts: 29
Joined: 16 Apr 2018, 22:27
2018 Reading Goal: 10
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 20
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 11
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jo89220n.html
Latest Review: Heartaches 2 by H.M. Irwing

Post by jo89220n » 19 Jun 2018, 08:41

I don't think she should be considered weak for trying to save her career. It took strength for her to withstand such behavior in order to not lose her job. While I do wish female characters like this would stand up for themselves more and put a stop to this behavior, I realize that is not as realistic and many people would think considering how this situation would end in an actual workplace. That being said, she definitely was not just being weak, it was hard for her.

User avatar
Job Njoroge
Posts: 163
Joined: 20 Jun 2017, 09:35
2017 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 66
Currently Reading: Blood and Roses
Bookshelf Size: 40
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-job-njoroge.html
Latest Review: "Who Told You That You Were Naked?" by William Combs
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Job Njoroge » 19 Jun 2018, 10:10

This is a very controversial issue with those being harassed having few options. In this case Angela is between a rock and a hard place since if she pushes back she risks losing her job and the end of her career. On the other hand if she gives in she looses her dignity and self respect and there is no guarantee she will keep her job.

User avatar
kfwilson6
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1160
Joined: 14 Feb 2018, 15:30
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 70
Currently Reading: King's cage
Bookshelf Size: 248
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kfwilson6.html
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Location: Louisiana

Post by kfwilson6 » 21 Jun 2018, 13:13

DancingLady wrote:
14 Jun 2018, 17:57
I think her response made a lot of sense in her situation. On the receiving end, it can be hard to tell for sure what someone’s intentions are until there have been several inappropriate incidents. We would all like to think we would report someone right away if something happened, but there can just as easily be circumstances that would make it incredibly difficult that do so.
There are also lots of situations that aren't clearly sexual harassment. Either the intentions are unclear, or people define sexual harassment differently. Technically, crude jokes can be considered sexual harassment. But if a group of coworkers are having lunch together and one coworker tells a joke and everyone laughs, the one person who finds it offensive may not even classify the joke as "sexual harassment" due to everyone else's response. So not only would that person not report it because he doesn't know if it fits the definition, he wouldn't want to report it if he thought know one else would agree with his feelings.

There is also a difficult line between sexual harassment and office romance. Especially in the flirting stage. One coworker may think he is merely flirting and showing interest so the other has an opportunity to respond. But if the response is unfavorable and the advances are unwanted, the second coworker may feel harassed.

User avatar
kfwilson6
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1160
Joined: 14 Feb 2018, 15:30
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 70
Currently Reading: King's cage
Bookshelf Size: 248
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kfwilson6.html
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Location: Louisiana

Post by kfwilson6 » 21 Jun 2018, 13:15

Kibetious wrote:
19 Jun 2018, 06:08
Definitely, this is character weakness to me. It may have led to the loss of her job but it is never wise to give in. This is because once you give in then you give the offender a chance to do this more often which will be harder to resist then.
When you say giving in do you mean not leaving her job or reporting Scordato or do you mean that she allows Scordato's advances to continue?

After Scordato is fired by the board, I wondered why Angela wouldn't just do as Alex did. Scordato did have a group that he reported to, a group that was holding him accountable. There was no clear indication why she thought going to them would lead to the loss of her job.

User avatar
Kmykel
Posts: 34
Joined: 18 Jun 2018, 08:59
Favorite Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kmykel.html
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base
fav_author_id: 3525

Post by Kmykel » 23 Jun 2018, 23:39

I think she handles the situation as best she can, and I have to agree that it isn't easy to report such behavior in a male dominated field. The last thing somebody would want after working their butt off to get to her position is to do something that would potentially label her as a trouble maker. Even in positions where there is an equal ratio of men and women working, it can be hard to work up the courage to report it.

AWANDO OGUTU
Posts: 238
Joined: 01 Jun 2018, 01:36
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 16
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-awando-ogutu.html
Latest Review: Brand Real by Vasken Kalayjian

Post by AWANDO OGUTU » 24 Jun 2018, 07:46

Sexual harassment is predominant at places of work and cut across both employees and employers.

User avatar
Sdejardine
Posts: 14
Joined: 19 May 2018, 00:02
2018 Reading Goal: 30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 15
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sdejardine.html
Latest Review: Island Games by Caleb J. Boyer
Location: North Dakota

Post by Sdejardine » 25 Jun 2018, 10:19

I don't think Angela was wrong in how she handled the unwanted sexual advances from her boss. Sexual harassment in the workplace can be a tricky situation. Every situation is so unique to those experiencing it. It is also not something to take lightly. So, I believe many people put off certain advances as they do not want to believe it is happening. Then, her situation escalates so quickly. I believe she handled things they way that worked best for her.

Lil Reads
Posts: 102
Joined: 17 May 2018, 19:29
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 12
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lil-reads.html
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base

Post by Lil Reads » 26 Jun 2018, 13:07

Libs_Books wrote:
10 Jun 2018, 02:41
Zain A Blade wrote:
08 Jun 2018, 14:21
The antics .... were at times subtle such as alternating between putting her down and showing false concern; and at times his maneuvers were quite overt and physical. One thing's sure: none of it was lost on Angela.
That's the first crucial step, isn't it? Recognising what's happening, and that it's deliberate. Then various questions arise such as, 'Is there evidence that would persuade others?' and ' Has he done this to others?' Most important, though, is: 'Who will listen... and believe?'
That last part is so important. Unless an employee can get several others to back-up the story, it can sometimes come down to "He said/She said." Then it can sometimes depend on the business environment - What are the demographics? What about the gender ratios? The industry itself? The reports about what goes on in tech companies show sometimes office culture itself is part of the problem.

Sometimes it can be a context issue too, where a person misreads cues and acts accordingly. Women in Angela's position always have to think, "Is that just how he is or is he just doing it to me?" One of my mom's bosses tended to call several women 'dear' and when someone confronted him about it, he admitted he couldn't recall their names (at least three women who he was manager for had J names - Jessica, Jessie, Janie, Jane, Joan, Julie, Julia) and he didn't want to call them the wrong name.
:coffee3-smiley: :auto-mysterymachine:

Lil Reads
Posts: 102
Joined: 17 May 2018, 19:29
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 12
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lil-reads.html
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base

Post by Lil Reads » 26 Jun 2018, 13:17

kfwilson6 wrote:
21 Jun 2018, 13:13
DancingLady wrote:
14 Jun 2018, 17:57
I think her response made a lot of sense in her situation. On the receiving end, it can be hard to tell for sure what someone’s intentions are until there have been several inappropriate incidents. We would all like to think we would report someone right away if something happened, but there can just as easily be circumstances that would make it incredibly difficult that do so.
There are also lots of situations that aren't clearly sexual harassment. Either the intentions are unclear, or people define sexual harassment differently. Technically, crude jokes can be considered sexual harassment. But if a group of coworkers are having lunch together and one coworker tells a joke and everyone laughs, the one person who finds it offensive may not even classify the joke as "sexual harassment" due to everyone else's response. So not only would that person not report it because he doesn't know if it fits the definition, he wouldn't want to report it if he thought know one else would agree with his feelings.

There is also a difficult line between sexual harassment and office romance. Especially in the flirting stage. One coworker may think he is merely flirting and showing interest so the other has an opportunity to respond. But if the response is unfavorable and the advances are unwanted, the second coworker may feel harassed.
With the crude jokes, I think sometimes a person does that to cover themselves. The other people can verify it was said, but they will say, "It was a joke" then the person can deny it was aimed at a specific employee.

Maybe there is also a bias in regards to how we deal with employees who make those jokes to a coworker when it is just the two of them.

An employee who makes those jokes in front of others or in more public settings can always brush it off as banter or jokes in a group so HR is less likely to intervene whereas HR seems to take it more seriously if someone is cornered or somehow isolated from the group. The latter scenario sounds more like specific targeting so HR might be more aware of the implications.
:coffee3-smiley: :auto-mysterymachine:

User avatar
kfwilson6
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1160
Joined: 14 Feb 2018, 15:30
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 70
Currently Reading: King's cage
Bookshelf Size: 248
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kfwilson6.html
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Location: Louisiana

Post by kfwilson6 » 26 Jun 2018, 13:39

Lil Reads wrote:
26 Jun 2018, 13:17
kfwilson6 wrote:
21 Jun 2018, 13:13
DancingLady wrote:
14 Jun 2018, 17:57
I think her response made a lot of sense in her situation. On the receiving end, it can be hard to tell for sure what someone’s intentions are until there have been several inappropriate incidents. We would all like to think we would report someone right away if something happened, but there can just as easily be circumstances that would make it incredibly difficult that do so.
There are also lots of situations that aren't clearly sexual harassment. Either the intentions are unclear, or people define sexual harassment differently. Technically, crude jokes can be considered sexual harassment. But if a group of coworkers are having lunch together and one coworker tells a joke and everyone laughs, the one person who finds it offensive may not even classify the joke as "sexual harassment" due to everyone else's response. So not only would that person not report it because he doesn't know if it fits the definition, he wouldn't want to report it if he thought know one else would agree with his feelings.

There is also a difficult line between sexual harassment and office romance. Especially in the flirting stage. One coworker may think he is merely flirting and showing interest so the other has an opportunity to respond. But if the response is unfavorable and the advances are unwanted, the second coworker may feel harassed.
With the crude jokes, I think sometimes a person does that to cover themselves. The other people can verify it was said, but they will say, "It was a joke" then the person can deny it was aimed at a specific employee.

Maybe there is also a bias in regards to how we deal with employees who make those jokes to a coworker when it is just the two of them.

An employee who makes those jokes in front of others or in more public settings can always brush it off as banter or jokes in a group so HR is less likely to intervene whereas HR seems to take it more seriously if someone is cornered or somehow isolated from the group. The latter scenario sounds more like specific targeting so HR might be more aware of the implications.
It seems like it depends on a lot of factors like how many if anyone at all is willing to report it, if the jokes are reported to have been said in a more public setting, the level of vulgarity of the jokes. I actually know of someone who was reported several times at work for inappropriate jokes. He was reprimanded several times and ended up being seriously demoted because of it. I'm glad his organization took the reports seriously. I haven't heard any follow-up in the few years since this happened so I think the culprit took the demotion very seriously and has since ceased with that type of behavior at work.

Post Reply

Return to “Discuss "The Girl Who Knew da Vinci" by Belle Ami”