Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sexual Harassment and What To Do About It

I got splattered with hate tweets after my last post on sexual harassment. The white hot venom that came my way something I had never seen before. As an executive coach, I was surprised to hear of four cases of sexual harassment in two weeks which prompted me to write the post. However, readers' comments on the last post show that there is a blazing fire of sexual harassment burning in many workplaces.

Lungfish said:
"At work I was once accused, falsely, of harassment and exonerated but not until the woman had ruined my work life and then she retracted her allegation and killed herself a few months later...
I am very careful never, ever to be in a situation where I am alone around children and try to avoid being near children at all because of the threat of being accused by some unstable parent..."

Summer Reyes-Carullo took protecting herself into her own hands- quite literally:
"It pays to know how to protect yourself (self defense). it comes in handy when confronted with people who physically harass / abuse you. I got to punch someone... knocking the air out of him and he never bothered me ever again and no one ever tried anything nasty with me ever"
I must admit that I scratched my head about the 15.9% of those sexual harassment charges filed by men.

Hdaryl01 put this statistic into perspective:
"My business employs 15-20 18-25 year old male trades people, and previously employed 1 55 year old female administrator. ALL complaints came from my young macho immature testosterone driven blue collar male employees who drive loud jacked up "Chevy" or "Ford" 4X4's pickups AGAINST the staid "professional" older female. Some were shocked when she inquired over lunch if they shaved or waxed their genitals like she does, or had "hidden" piercings.,,,Others, were really uncomfortable with her unsolicited graphic Monday morning depictions of her sexual exploits on the weekend. Etc."

Javaz stated:"I learned many lessons throughout my career, especially attending office parties after work when I was nearly raped in my early 30's by a very drunk coworker. I did break the rule and reported that man, and guess who was fired? Me."

There was such heated discussion, that I asked two of the top experts on the topic of sexual harassment, Barry Halote, Ph.D., and Allan Gerson, Ph.D., to weigh in on the issue. More on that to come!

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