4 common myths about female sexual harassment debunked
Despite all the progress that has been made in promoting equal treatment in the workplace for men and women, women still face significant challenges. One of these challenges is female sexual harassment. Sometimes, harassment is allowed to continue simply because people are unaware of the facts, and instead believe some of these popular myths about female sexual harassment:
Myth: Only Men Sexually Harass Women
Reality: Both men and women can commit female sexual harassment, regardless of their sexual orientation. Remember that sexual harassment is not limited to “quid pro quo” harassment (requests for sexual favors in exchange for employment). When women sexually harass other women, it is often by participating in conduct that creates a hostile work environment rather than conduct that is motivated by sexual desire.
Myth: It’s Not Sexual Harassment if the Victim Doesn’t Complain
Reality: Just because a victim of female sexual harassment seems to accept or put up with harassing behavior out of fear of losing her job does not mean the behavior is acceptable. The law recognizes the fact that victimizers are often in positions of power, which makes it difficult for victims to stand up to them.
Myth: Only the Target of Offensive Conduct Can Complain
Reality: Female sexual harassment can create a hostile work environment for all women, not just the individual who is the target of the offensive conduct. In some cases, the conduct may not be directed at any specific individual at all. Displaying sexually suggestive cartoons, forwarding inappropriate emails, or making inappropriate comments about sexual conquests could all be examples of this type of sexual harassment.
Myth: A Subordinate Can’t Sexually Harass a Manager
Reality: Sexual harassment is often thought of as something a manager or other superior does to a subordinate. However, the reverse can also be true, because there is no need for the harasser to hold any power over the victim’s job status in order for sexual harassment to occur. For example, male employees could sexually harass a female manager by making offensive comments about how she used her sexuality to gain or maintain her position.
Do You Have Questions About Female Sexual Harassment?
If you believe you have been subjected to female sexual harassment in the course of your work, you may wish to discuss the matter with an attorney. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we know the law on sexual harassment, and if what you’ve experienced qualifies as sexual harassment, we can help you file a claim and seek compensation for your mistreatment. To learn more, call us at 800-333-0000 for a free consultation.