Gender Inequality and Women in the Workplace


In the workplace you go to work to make money so you can provide for yourself as well as family at times. But usually when you go to work, you want to feel safe. You don’t want to feel like you can’t do your job because of another coworker. But sadly, this is the case in a lot of workplaces. In our current state, the workplace seems to a breeding ground for harassment because there is too much opportunity for it to happen. The basic way to explain workplace harassment is when a fellow employee tries to belittles you or tries to threaten you in some type of way. Workplace harassment can be classified by a lot of different things. Just some examples are discriminatory harassment, personal, power, sexual, quid pro quo, etc., and these are just some types of workplace harassment (Yahnke). When looking at some of these types of harassment, I would like to talk about them, so we have an understanding how they are classified. The reason it keeps happening is because people either cannot keep their ideas to themselves, or they don’t know when no means no. Workplace harassment is centered around power dynamics and differences between people, and women are the majority of the victims, but men also experience workplace harassment.
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Power harassment is one of the most common form of workplace harassment (Yahnke). This type usually deals with a superior either taking advantage of the someone with a lower standing or making fun of a person that then becomes bullying in the workplace. This type of harassment can lead to a more physical type of interaction, which is a another type as well. Physical harassment is when another employee tries to make a direct threat, destroys items to intimidate you or physically attacks you. Now, these can be really serious because if it goes too far, it can also classified as assault (Yahnke). These two types usually happen together, but it’s never good if it ends up happening. To my understanding, the reason power harassment happens is because the person in power has nothing to fear because he/she is the boss, for that they feel that they can manipulate the situation without any consequences. Because of this, they feel that can also say whatever they want which can lead to discriminatory comments.
Discriminatory harassment can be broken down into a lot of different sub categories some including racial, gender, religious, disability, sexual orientation, etc. All of these are related because if you try to make fun of, tease, bully in any way you are committing discriminatory harassment (Yahnke). This type can be very destructive to people. For example, gender harassment can hurt people mentally and physically. Some jobs that people bring up are male nurses and women in a leadership role. The reason is because those to jobs don’t fit their gender roles. This is just ridiculous; just because men aren’t seen as nurses does not mean they can’t be one and same with women in a leadership role.
Quid pro quo or in other words ‘something for something’ can be a form of sexual harassment. According to Yahnke, “If job benefits are offered to an employee on the condition that they partake in some form of sexual conduct, it’s typically referred to as quid pro quo sexual harassment” (Yahnke). Sexual harassment is also a very common form of harassment. Basically, sexual harassment is when another employee given unwanted sexual advances towards you. That means any sexual action put towards you that including unwanted touching, gestures, photos, and even invading personal space a sexual way is a form of harassment (Yahnke). Because of those reasons, if you experience this at all, you should take a immediate action. This form of harassment happens frequently to women.
Women face the most trouble with workplace harassment because the majority of victims are them. Unfortunately, we live in a time that the workplace is the most common place that women are harassed. For them, all of the types of harassment are used against them. But the most commonly used one is power/sexual harassment. These two are used hand and hand to take advantage of women. First, the harasser would be extremely nice but slowly get more aggressive. Soon, they would use their power to scare you in doing what they want. And if the victim were to not listen, they would try to threaten them by saying “do you really want this job”. This is the most common way employees with power will try to manipulate a women to do it with them. But luckily, around 2017 a movement was started to try to address this issue.
The movement that happened to try to put a stop to workplace harassment was Me Too. Aisha Harris who wrote “She Founded Me Too. Now She Wants to Move Past the Trauma” stated, “When the activist Tarana Burke started the original ‘Me Too’ movement more than a decade ago on MySpace, she never imagined what a force it would become. Then on Oct. 15, 2017, the actress Alyssa Milano shared on Twitter a friend’s suggestion that ‘women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted’ write ‘Me too’ in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations earlier that month” (Harris). This movement has brought a lot of people peace and given way to talk about things that they went through. Harris goes on to say, “In the year since the movement upended entertainment and politics, Burke has been working to ensure that Me Too doesn’t lose sight of its mission: to connect survivors of sexual assault to the resources they need in order to heal. To mark the one-year anniversary of #MeToo’s rise” (Harris). This movement has given so much time to help women talk about what has happen to the them and bring it to life.
Now we all know that majority of victims of these harassments are happening to women but there is a pretty big percentage for men as well. In Rhitu Chatterjee article, “A New Survey Finds 81 Percent of Women Have Experienced Sexual Harassment,” she actually shows data showing some surprising percentages. “Now an online survey launched in January by a nonprofit called Stop Street Harassment offers some of that missing evidence. It found that 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men had experienced some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime.” (Chatterjee). To find out that 81 percent of women had some form of sexual harassment is absolutely crazy but to also find out as well 43 percent of men also had some form of sexual harassment that is just fascinating. There is actually a graph showing the exact kind of harassment for men and women. The graph shows the exact percentage for each category as well. But even though women have a higher number, men have a high number as well that would make people very surprised.
So why isn’t talked about more if men also have a high percentage? When looking at the facts, it is very easy to see that women file way more cases of harassment than men. But just because it’s more doesn’t mean that men don’t file cases at all. According to the article “Yes, Men Can Be Sexually Harassed”: “While the vast majority of sexual harassment cases filed with the EEOC are filed by women, an increasing number of men are filing their own claims. In 2015, 6,822 sexual harassment claims were filed with the EEOC. 17.1 percent of those cases were filed by men” (“Yes, Men Can Be Sexually Harassed”). Now seeing this it away more apparent that men do face harassment just like women. But then why don’t they come out if this keeps happening? There must be a ton that doesn’t get reported. The article continues,
Some men may not report their harassment or file a claim with the EEOC because they are afraid of being mocked by coworkers. They may believe that men can’t truly be sexually harassed by a woman, or that being harassed by another man implicates their own sexuality. They may fear being embarrassed if details of the harassment were leaked, particularly if they believe that they should be able to handle the issue themselves. Whatever the reason, it is evident that many men are simply not filing claims of sexual harassment. (“Yes, Men Can Be Sexually Harassed”)
As you can see men don’t want to come out because they are afraid to be seen as weak or that they cannot stand up for them self. But because they don’t speak out we now have the issue that workplace harassment is being under addressed because we don’t know how many people are actually being harassed.
Is under addressing workplace harassment real, or is this another fake story? When looking at some of these surveys, you will see why people are saying its being under addressed. In “Employees Feel Workplace Harassment Remains Unaddressed, According to Survey,” an APA survey found some interesting info: “While the revelations and consequences have prompted ongoing national conversations about appropriate behavior, only 32% of working Americans say that their employer has taken new steps to prevent and address sexual harassment in the workplace, according to a survey by American Psychological Association (APA)”(“Employees Feel Workplace Harassment Remains Unaddressed”). If only 32% of employers actually tries to stop harassment, that means that 68% aren’t addressing this problem at all. That’s more than 50% of workplace harassment cases that probably don’t get resolved or never gets discovered. And it only gets more surprising because it goes into more detail. When continuing to look at the article, it said that 10% of U.S. workers said their boss has added more training and resources to try to prevent workplace harassment. The number then goes to 8% who said their employer made a stringent policy, and 7% stated that their boss prepared an all staff meeting to discuss workplace harassment (“Employees Feel Workplace Harassment Remains Unaddressed”). Those numbers are so small no wonder people are think that it’s being under addressed. To think that all of the corporations out there that most of them have workplace harassment witch is already bad enough but that most don’t get realized or even fix is a horrible feeling. But for someone trying to go into business it’s not a great feeling that I might be in a place that doesn’t care about workplace harassment. With all this info we now have on workplace harassment, what are some solutions that can stop or even slow down this issue?
Workplace harassment solutions dont come as easy as some people think. To actually tell someone that you have been treated bad for been harassed is hard to do. That’s what the me too movement has done right. To give people the chance to tell the world what has happen and who did it to them. But that will not work for everybody, so here’s some nice solutions that i agree with from the article “A Solution to Stopping Sexual Harassment”:
Pay attention to your boundaries. Notice if someone consistently gets too close and create distance. Awareness of physical boundaries, as well as your surroundings, can head off an unwanted encounter before it happens…. Communicate verbally or physically (or both) exactly what you want. This can mean using the (slightly painful) pinky grab to peel an arm off of your shoulder. A non-verbal message in the form of a look of pain or confusion can sometimes be more powerful than words (A Solution to Stopping Sexual Harassment)
These are just a small amount of solutions that this article provides, but all ready they show real promise. The reason i feel that these two solution will work because if you don’t follow these tips then there is a chance you can be part of workplace harassment no matter what your gender is.
Work cited
“A Solution to Stopping Sexual Harassment.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-body-blog/201801/solution-stopping-sexual-harassment.
Chatterjee, Rhitu. “A New Survey Finds 81 Percent Of Women Have Experienced Sexual Harassment.” NPR, NPR, 22 Feb. 2018, www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/02/21/587671849/a-new-survey-finds-eighty-percent-of-women-have-experienced-sexual-harassment
“Employees Feel Workplace Harassment Remains Unaddressed, According to Survey.” Professional Safety, vol. 63, no. 9, Sept. 2018, p. 18. EBSCOhost, 0-search.ebscohost.com.library.4cd.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bsh&AN=131587242&site=eds-live.
Harris, Aisha. “She Founded Me Too. Now She Wants to Move Past the Trauma.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Oct. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/arts/tarana-burke-metoo-anniversary.html
“What Do I Need to Know about… WORKPLACE HARASSMENT.” United States Department of Labor, www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/2011-workplace-harassment.htm.
“When Harassment Is Pervasive, Chase down the Root Causes and Fix It.” HR Specialist: New York Employment Law, vol. 12, no. 3, Mar. 2017, p. 2. EBSCOhost, 0-search.ebscohost.com.library.4cd.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=b9h&AN=121217944&site=eds-live.
Yahnke, Katie. “11 Types of Workplace Harassment (and How to Stop Them).” ISight, i-sight.com/resources/11-types-of-workplace-harassment-and-how-to-stop-them/#Power Harassment.
“Yes, Men Can Be Sexually Harassed in the Workplace.” PLBSH, 12 Aug. 2016, www.plbsh.com/yes-men-can-be-sexually-harassed-in-the-workplace/.      

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