On Office Sexual Harassment

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Lil Reads
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Re: On Office Sexual Harassment

Post by Lil Reads » 26 Jun 2018, 13:49

kfwilson6 wrote:
26 Jun 2018, 13:39
Lil Reads wrote:
26 Jun 2018, 13:17
kfwilson6 wrote:
21 Jun 2018, 13:13


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.
It also seems like who helps report it can influence how a persons superiors/managers react. If older employers or employees who are respected by the higher ups report it, it seems to have more wait behind it.

I really hope he did change his behavior and that others curbed their own behavior or helped prevent that from happening with someone else.
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Post by KatSims92 » 26 Jun 2018, 14:38

She really found herself at a crossroads because of the sexual harassment. Like what others have said, the moral weakness wasn't hers, it was the boss. She was merely reacting to a seemingly impossible situation that so many women have to go through. Plus, you'd have to think about how her career would have been at stake and it took a lot of effort to get to where she was career-wise.

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Post by CaitlinGonya » 26 Jun 2018, 19:35

Neither. I think it shows how logical she is. Unfortunately, what she feared has a history of coming true. Right now, there is a movement to get this changed. But, as with all movements, there is usually a few seeds who take it and run by lying. Which hurts more than helps. I think Angela did the best she could to protect herself but when it went too far, she got away. Sometimes that's the best one can hope for.

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Post by greenstripedgiraffe » 27 Jun 2018, 12:19

I don't think Angela portrayed either strength or weakness at the beginning - at the end when she decided to get out of the situation, that is strength. Very difficult situation to be in... and very difficult to actually do something about it ... hard to leave!
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Post by bookowlie » 27 Jun 2018, 16:59

KatSims92 wrote:
26 Jun 2018, 14:38
She really found herself at a crossroads because of the sexual harassment. Like what others have said, the moral weakness wasn't hers, it was the boss. She was merely reacting to a seemingly impossible situation that so many women have to go through. Plus, you'd have to think about how her career would have been at stake and it took a lot of effort to get to where she was career-wise.
I agree. I also think she was young and at the beginning of her career. She wasn't as savvy in the working world about how to deal with difficult situations. Maybe an older women would feel more confident and secure in her career to be able to speak up to the board of directors about sexual harassment.
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Post by Fuzaila » 28 Jun 2018, 06:28

Sushan wrote:
09 Jun 2018, 07:06
Anywhere when your career is at stake, there is a way that any reasonable, sensible soul with common sense will act. I think that is the case here as well rather than her weakness
I agree with Sushan. But I also feel that it doesn't exactly accentuate the character's strength either. It is merely a grab for saving her career.
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Post by Yolimari » 28 Jun 2018, 09:29

I do not think it was weakeness of her part. She had recently graduated and started the internship. It was mentioned several times that she tolerated his disgusting advances because working at the Getty Museum was important and Scordato could destroy her career, which was just starting. It was a problem of power as usually it is in the real world. Either way, she was considering seriously leaving the job, even though it was a great position for her career. Fortunately, her former professor referred her to Alex because of her Renaissance expertise.
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Post by kfwilson6 » 28 Jun 2018, 09:53

CaitlinGonya wrote:
26 Jun 2018, 19:35
Neither. I think it shows how logical she is. Unfortunately, what she feared has a history of coming true. Right now, there is a movement to get this changed. But, as with all movements, there is usually a few seeds who take it and run by lying. Which hurts more than helps. I think Angela did the best she could to protect herself but when it went too far, she got away. Sometimes that's the best one can hope for.
Unfortunately for actual victims it becomes a "he said, she said " type of claim. There rarely is evidence so the victim has to hope for a trusting receiver of the report. And you are so right about false claims. I think being a victim of a false claim is just as bad as being a victim of sexual harassment. And if an accuser can find one person with authority to believe her, the accused can be harmed in so many ways.

When a woman works in a male dominated organization I imagine the risk of being deemed a liar is probably higher. I think it also depends on the reputation of the accused.

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Post by bookowlie » 29 Jun 2018, 20:23

As we've seen with the claims against high-level people such as Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Dustin Hoffman, etc., it can depend on the power of the accused. Sometimes the people in the HR department of a company are intimidated by a top dog such as Matt Lauer at NBC. In the entertainment industry, ratings and profits are the driving force - the higher-ups probably want to sweep things under the rug to keep the money pouring in. Whether or not the other people in an organization thinks the woman is lying, there is probably a higher goal at stake - the all-powerful dollar.
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Post by 420waystoreachthesun » 29 Jun 2018, 23:44

I'll say neither. It's inherent human nature, a "character of character" if I could. It was perfectly normal the way she acted.

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Post by Sarah Tariq » 30 Jun 2018, 01:05

The author shared an important social issue of on office Harassment through her novel. The steps Angela took to ward off sexual advances of his boss is are close to reality. But I would say that she should be more astute in character. Because jab can be changed, but respect and prestige is priceless.
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Post by Cristal2408 » 30 Jun 2018, 02:01

bookowlie wrote:
29 Jun 2018, 20:23
As we've seen with the claims against high-level people such as Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Dustin Hoffman, etc., it can depend on the power of the accused. Sometimes the people in the HR department of a company are intimidated by a top dog such as Matt Lauer at NBC. In the entertainment industry, ratings and profits are the driving force - the higher-ups probably want to sweep things under the rug to keep the money pouring in. Whether or not the other people in an organization thinks the woman is lying, there is probably a higher goal at stake - the all-powerful dollar.
That is true and really unfortunate. It just good that women are starting to speak up and things are moving for the better already.
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Post by Miriam Molina » 30 Jun 2018, 02:21

Office sexual harassment may be more rampant than we think. Victims are understandably fearful, especially if the perpetrator is a top dog, which is usually the case. I wonder how frequent the issue is with men being the victims. I recall Disclosure by Michael Crichton; the movie starred Demi Moore and Michael Douglas.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 30 Jun 2018, 10:03

When you see statistics about stuff like this you have to remember that statistics are based only on KNOWN facts. Or they are projected in some way based on assumptions or sample sizes. Unfortunately, Miriam, you are right. And some victims blame themselves and are afraid others will do the same. Because women aren't allowed to be attractive just to feel good about themselves. It is always to attract others' attention.

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Post by bookowlie » 30 Jun 2018, 17:02

kfwilson6 wrote:
30 Jun 2018, 10:03
When you see statistics about stuff like this you have to remember that statistics are based only on KNOWN facts. Or they are projected in some way based on assumptions or sample sizes. Unfortunately, Miriam, you are right. And some victims blame themselves and are afraid others will do the same. Because women aren't allowed to be attractive just to feel good about themselves. It is always to attract others' attention.
It's definitely a double standard regarding women's behavior and clothing in the workplace. You hit the nail on the head - it's like women are not expected to be attractive or it's supposed to be toned down significantly. However, men do and wear whatever they want at work and no one questions that. They shrug it off as "boys will be boys."
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