As Harvey Weinsteins’s alleged skeletons continue to tumble out of the closet, thousands of women take to the Internet with #MeToo tags to demonstrate how many of them have been sexually harassed. There’s just one problem; they may be making things worse. Weinstein may not have meant to expose anything, but his alleged actions and the resulting consequences in American society have exposed some ugly truth, namely, that hypocrisy is running rampant and many Americans don’t understand the definition of their accusations.
The #MeToo tag was meant to raise awareness, as the post asks for women who have been sexually harassed to copy and paste the post. The numbers may be astonishing, but the post raises awareness about two glaringly obvious issues.
- The post asks for women to share, further widening the gap between men and women who are willing to admit to being victims of this type of abuse or harassment.
- Most people don’t share the same definition of sexual harassment. As stated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment in the workplace is defined as “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.”
There are several different ways to avoid being involved in any kind of sexual harassment in the workplace. Mike Pence leads the way with some of his choices, including not attending alcohol-embedded events without his wife, and never meeting with a woman alone.
- Keep your hands to yourself, period.
- Call people by their names, only.
- Avoid remarks concerning who you would or wouldn’t be physically involved with, and any indications as to why or why not.
- Immediately report any instances of sexual harassment to those in positions of authority and continue to go up the ladder until the issue is addressed with the person in question.
The truth is that almost 100% of the population could declare sexual harassment because the term is being used so loosely. Sticking to these guidelines may make the workplace boring for those who enjoy some mutual fun banter, but it also means fewer instances of unintentional boundary crossing and outright condoned harassment.
What do you think of the #MeToo trend?