Can we ever have a myth free concept or explanation of something?
Of course NOT!
We live in a world full of common misconceptions about sexual harassment. And the topic of sexual harassment is no exception. A number of myths surround it.
Myths about sexual harassment are based on prevailing attitudes and stereotypes about sex, sexuality and other compounding factors such as age, race, sexual orientation and disability. Myths about sexual harassment deny the harmful nature of its conduct. They shift the blame to the victim and obscure the motivation of the harasser which is to achieve power and control over the person harassed.
Here are the top ten myths about sexual harassment:
Common misconceptions about sexual harassment: Sexual harassment is simply an expression of sexual desire.
Reality: Sexual harassment is an expression of hostility and aggression. It is an abuse of power using sexual behavior as the vehicle and it is against the law.
Common misconceptions about sexual harassment: Sexual harassment is merely done in "good fun."
Reality: Sexual harassment is abusive. It is not done in jest or "good fun"; rather, it is done to intimidate and hurt others. All people have a right to be treated professionally with respect, decency and consideration.
Common misconceptions about sexual harassment: There is a profile of a typical harasser.
Reality: Harassers are found in all types of occupations, at all organizational levels, among businesses, academic and all ethnic and religious groups. Those who sexually harass are not distinguishable from their colleagues who do not harass with respect to gender, age, marital status, rank, job title, occupation or national origin.
Common misconceptions about sexual harassment: Men can't help themselves when they are sexually aroused.
Reality: Men are capable of and responsible for controlling their behavior and acting professional in workplaces and educational institutions, just as women are.
Common misconceptions about sexual harassment: If you ignore sexual harassment, it will stop.
Reality: Generally, simply ignoring sexual harassment will not stop it. Ignoring such behavior may be taken as a sign of encouragement or tacit consent. Many report that when they directly tell the harasser to stop, the harassment often, but not always, ends.
Common misconceptions about sexual harassment: Some people just interact in a physical way and are accustomed to touching others, nothing is meant by this.
Reality: Family and social interactions differ from individual to individual, community to community, and ethnic and racial group to ethnic and racial group. However, unwanted and unwelcome physical gestures such as hugging, pinching, or brushing up against a person's body may be forms of sexual harassment. Everyone must conform to the law.
Common misconceptions about sexual harassment: People who dress in a sexually attractive manner are asking for sexual comments.
Reality: The harasser is always responsible for having committed the harassment regardless of an individual's appearance, behavior, judgement, or previous actions. Professional dress codes, if they exist, should be enforced for both sexes.
Common misconceptions about sexual harassment: Only men can sexually harass women.
Reality: Both men and women may be targets or perpetrators of sexual harassment. Many times men may not realize that they are sexually harassed because society has unwritten rules that men are supposed to enjoy conversations, attention or behaviors of a sexual nature. As such, it may be difficult for an individual man to recognize his discomfort in these situations or to vocalize this discomfort. Also, women can harass other women and men can harass other men. It is unwelcome sexual behavior or attention regardless of who is perpetrating, or who is the target of the behavior.
Common misconceptions about sexual harassment: There is nothing that can be done about sexual harassment.
Reality: On the contrary, there are many steps that can be taken to prevent sexual harassment, and to respond appropriately when it does occur. Strong policies and effective procedures articulated by the head of an organization or institution that are communicated to and understood by all employees are critical for prevention.
Preventing sexual harassment and creating a culture of respect and consent, requires community education and engagement. Part of this education is correcting the misinformation and busting myths that surround the topic of sexual harassment. We at Abudo love you and love begins with knowledge.
Educating you on sexual harassment is our way of debunking what leads to a societal menace.
So stick to facts, help us raise awareness and be an advocate of disseminating only the information that is authentic.
What are you waiting for?