Four Facts about Sexual Harassment and Social Conditioning
Sexual Harassment - harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of UNWANTED sexual advances or obscene remarks.
Social Conditioning - is the sociological process of TRAINING individuals in a society to respond in a manner generally approved by the Society in general and Peer groups within society.
Jumping right in this today because we have a bit to cover and a lot of clarity to achieve.
Hey doll, hope you are well. As of late, we can't seem to wake up without another revelation of the latest Sexual misconduct. Another famous name, another rundown of numerous unreported incidents and it just keeps growing. So many opinions and views both depending on gender and age. I am a forty-six-year-old woman, mother, daughter, sister, wife, etc ... and I too have been sexually harassed in some shape or form in my lifetime and in my work environment.
This is an extremely hot topic because many people just don't get or perhaps just won't accept what Sexual Harassment means. So here are FOUR clear FACTS:
-First and foremost keep this word in mind. Burn it into the center of your forehead and share it with as many people as you can when this conversation comes up. UNWELCOMED. What more is needed to be said but I guess somehow we must.
-neck massages, shoulder rubs, back patting etc...
-noises, gestures, notes, sharing of sexual materials
-stalking, continuing to request for dates or sex even after being told no.
There are more examples but I chose these specifically for a reason. Social Conditioning. The "she asked for it" mentality so many people walk around with whether they are aware of it or not.
Last week I had a very interesting conversation with a male I know who runs a small office. There are not many employees under his command but he has been in business for so long I thought it would be great to pick his brain. I almost ended up on the news.
He said so many things that were just so antiquated and offensive my brain shut off but the one thing that stuck was his response to me say that there is no excuse for a woman being harassed at work for example because of her clothing to which he responded: "so why does she get all dressed up for, if she doesn't want the attention?" WHAT! Are you serious I said? He said yes, he said if you don't get all dressed up no one will comment or pay you attention. I said, "so if your daughter or mine buy an outfit they love and look good in they shouldn't wear it because of the ATTENTION they may get?" Basically yes. So I guess we should all walk around in Potatoe sacks is what he is saying.
This is pretty much what unfortunately many men in our society for decades have believed and acted on. All the Victoria Secret ads, all the other overly sexualized commercials, television programs, conversations had or overheard throughout the years. All these "things" have conditioned them socially to view women as objects. If I wear a nice form-fitting blouse, I am asking for someone to comment on my Breasts, their size or shape and even perhaps go as far as to say what they would love to do to or with them.
No. End of story.
If I don't say to you that I want such and such or if I don't suggest it then DON'T feel at liberty to discuss your thoughts out loud. This goes for women too. Anyone can be guilty of engaging in Sexual Harassment.
As a mother, I have always felt the responsibility to teach my daughter the importance of her setting the tone on how other's treat her. We must raise our children to understand the importance of respect in all daily interactions and how to be comfortable speaking up when they feel otherwise. I wrote a post some time ago about being Cat called in the streets of New York City. How women feel about the things yelled at them in the streets. I spoke to a friend about how he loves Prince and how growing up Prince was his idol and one of his teachers on how to "treat" women. These experiences are a few examples of how things touch our lives and form our thoughts.
I believe that Sexual Harassment and Social Conditioning if we really sit down and talk are two things we can't separate. I believe in order to stop old behaviors and reprogram ourselves we must first admit the problem. I also wrote about Harvey Weinstein and my perspective on how he and men like him come about. This is not an overnight thing. There is no overnight solution. Just because we are now waking up to this news as we can see it is not NEW news.
I hope this piece leaves you with just a little bit more clarity. Perhaps another tool to use in a conversation with your daughter and or son. Or even go as far as to make you rethink your perspective on Sexual Harassment. Your past behavior, your present and your future.
Let's start a productive conversation in which we all gain more than we lose. Share your thoughts.
Always stress-free xo,