Examples Of Sexual Harassment
Are you looking for some examples of sexual harassment? Sexual harassment can occur anywhere and to anyone, regardless of age, gender, race or religion. The best way to avoid sexual harassment (or to avoid being accidentally accused of it) is to know what is considered harassment and act accordingly. Here are some examples of sexual harassment situations for you to consider.
"My eyes are up here." Granted, not every girl is bold enough to say it, but rest assured that most feel uncomfortable when someone’s gaze drifts below their chin. It's also an unsettling sensation when eyes linger for too long, regardless of gender. Remember that our mothers taught us it's not nice to stare; staring at someone is an example of sexual harassment.
Is it a compliment or a come on? It's one thing to notice that Jane got a haircut or that she's dressed particularly nice and compliment her on it. However, it's creepy to tell her she looks beautiful every single day, regardless of whether she's dressed up or not. Compliments are most appreciated when they are unexpected and innocently simple.
Are dirty jokes appropriate for around the water cooler? Many people don't even realize that this can be considered an example of sexual harassment but it can. Save the dirty jokes for friends you know that appreciate them and, if you don't, politely tell the person. If they continue to 'share' them with you, this can be considered sexual harassment and should be reported.
Know your safety zone. Whether you’re a physical person or not, you need to know your comfort zone and where other people should and shouldn’t be touched. It’s one thing for someone to lightly touch your arm or shoulder when trying to gain your attention or indicate something, but it’s another thing to swat the backside, touch lingeringly, or to press or brush up against. The safest bet is to maintain a ‘hands-off’ approach to work or school. If someone touches you and you don’t like it, ask them to stop. If they continue, you should let someone know you’re being sexually harassed.
Offering promotions or perks, in return for ‘favors,’ is wrong. While it was commonly believed that women were the only victims of work-related sexual harassment, our eyes have since been opened that men fall victim to this as well. Regardless of gender, no one has the right to suggest another will get a promotion, an advance or a good grade, by performing a sexual act. This is a very blatant and manipulative example of sexual harassment in today’s society.
No means no. It’s a saying that we teach young children and, yet, many fail to learn it. You’re making out with your girlfriend and things are hot and heavy. She asks you to stop but you keep trying. This can be considered an example of sexual harassment. The creepy girl that keeps asking you to go out, over and over again, is also a good example of sexual harassment. Say it with me, “No means no.”
Making it anonymous doesn’t mean it’s not sexual harassment. Even if you received it in a mailing with twenty other co-workers, a lewd picture or inappropriate email is still sexual harassment, regardless of how many people receive it or whose name is signed on it. If you think someone will feel uncomfortable about it, don’t send it and, if you’re on the receiving end, try holding an office meeting or send out your own (polite) mailing asking the person to desist. Not everyone knows what are and aren’t examples of sexual harassment, but by politely working to inform others, a more comfortable working space can be created.