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MYTHS and FACTS regarding SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Hey guys, just want to share this with all of you ...
(this is reprinted from “Advocating Anti-Sexual Harassment Policies” – United Nations Project for Disadvantaged Women (DAW), 1995)

MYTH: It is a compliment to women.

FACT: It is an unwanted, uninvited and unwelcome sexual conduct which consequence is the mental and emotional anguish arising from the offensive or intimidating sexual conduct of the perpetrator. It can never be regarded as a compliment to woman’s sexuality.

MYTH: Women may seem only offended at first, but they are really flattered by all the attention.

FACT: Sexual harassment thrives because of the belief that when women say no they actually mean yes (or silence means yes).

MYTH: Women invite the behavior by the way they dress, sit, laugh, or look at men.

FACT: Sexual harassment can happen to anyone. Women do not invite unwanted sexual conduct on themselves. The style of dressing, the manner of sitting, laughing or looking at men are all irrelevant.

MYTH: Women make up stories to get back at their male bosses.

FACT: It is hard for women-victims to come out in the open and report incidents of sexual harassment. Most cases of sexual harassment are not reported because of the stigma attached to the victims. It is most unlikely for victims to make up stories of sexual harassment when they know that their names and reputation will be dragged into public scrutiny.

MYTH: Men “cannot help themselves” when they are sexually attracted to women, they have to act.

FACT: Men are human beings, innately gifted with rational thinking. They can, therefore, control their sexual desires, or at the very least, they should be held responsible for the consequences of their behavior. To say that they could not control themselves is running away from responsibilities.

MYTH: If we take sexual harassment seriously, it will “chill” relations between men and women in the workplace.

FACT: Sexual harassment should be taken seriously because it is a serious problem which affects the whole work. If we can not treat women well, then the relationship between men and women is already strained on the outset.

MYTH: Management and government should not get involved in the issue of sexual harassment because it is a “private offense”.

FACT: Sexual harassment is not just an issue between the perpetrator and the victim. Sexual harassment poisons the workplace and the workers cannot be productive in a poisoned environment.

WHY WOMEN HESITATE OR REFUSE TO REPORT SEXUAL HARASSMENT
a) Fear of embarrassment, considering the sexual nature of the offense;
b) Fear of retaliation by supervisors and co-workers who may feel threatened by the report;
c) Fear of loss of jobs;
d) Fear that they will be blamed for having invited it because of their manner of dress, speech and actions;
e) Anxiety over the expected inconveniences and complexities of filing charges; and
f) Lack of awareness that sexual harassment is a power issue.

Comments

alia's picture

i agree with you totally , i

i agree with you totally , i want to know too why we donot work on reports about this topic ? when we should stop the society from controlling us ? why we don't have any associtation to protect women from that?

thanks alot for this great article , i was thinking to write something about harassment in Syria m and this article would help me alot in my story

best regards
Alia

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Cheers!

Hi Alia! I was rummaging my files for this article! I got it when I first joined the Network for the Empowerment of Women in 1995. I'm real glad this can help you. I believe we need to share articles like this here at PulseWire because I read a lot of testimonies that tell me there is still much to share, much to learn, and much to work for .... All the best for us ... women of the world!

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

HARMONY's picture

I should be printed and pasted everywhere!

Tis is so truly painting what is happening in the society.
Pulse wire is helping us share things like that and more. Our Voice will be heard!

Trust your HOPES, not your fears... Harmony

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Cheers!

Yes, of course Harmony ... we will be heard! We are getting bigger and our voice will grow louder each time ... it would be impossible for the whole world to ignore us...
You see, that article was released 15 years ago but it has not circulated much ... now is the chance and the incentive to really work for women empowerment. In PulseWire, we spread our faith and conviction as fast and as loud as we can ... and cause miracles to happen ....

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

Amei's picture

For men it has to be YES!

Thanks Emie,

I was in a situation when a man would not take "NO" for an answer! It was so ridiculus, utterly painful, hurt, embarrassing and I was totally shocked .....I still am!!! I feel as if it was like yesterday!!! it is painful!!!. They just think when a woman say NO it still means Yes... Gosh! I sometimes wonder whether these men have a brian in their heads or there is a vacum of air ... I feel helpless, angered with these men who has such an awful attitude...

I am totally with you guys to do something about it :-)

Cheers, Amei

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Yes!

Of course, we can do it, Amei! We are doing it here and now - at World Pulse.... letting the world know what we are. We will speak and stand our ground like we really mean it because we meant it!

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

everlyrose's picture

hello Emie

i have twin daughters with me right now and they are very quiet and shy
they barely speak
they walk from home to school and back and they have only been here less than 2 years
i enrolled them in TaekwonDo a korean martial art to boost their confidence but primarily to learn self defense
they are in training now for 5 months and i can see the improvement
they are still timid
but i know deep inside they can now defend themselves from predators and attackers
there are so many benefits when you are healthy physically and mentally and when you have a skill
i am a strong believer in that
i love your posts
i hope magkita tayo pag nakauwi ako next year
take care

everly

Solvitur ambulando
(it is solved by walking)

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Thanks!

Hi Everly! Of course we need to work double-time, if only to spare our daughters and the younger generation from what our mothers and us have been through ... because even if the women master martial arts or learn to shoot, the truth is that men are physically stronger! And we must always remember that the devil does it gently ... that's why women, innocent or smart, get trapped and hooked into men's demonic orchestrations.

I'm working in Manila but I go home to Pagadian City,Mindanao ... I hope we chance upon each other one day!

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Thanks!

Hi Everly! Of course we need to work double-time, if only to spare our daughters and the younger generation from what our mothers and us have been through ... because even if the women master martial arts or learn to shoot, the truth is that men are physically stronger! And we must always remember that the devil does it gently ... that's why women, innocent or smart, get trapped and hooked into men's demonic orchestrations.

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

Pushpa Achanta's picture

Men's insecurity?

Dear Emie,

Thanks much for this crucial information. I believe that a probably difficult yet important means to counter unwanted, unwelcome yet compulsive male attention/advances is not losing our self-esteem. If this isn't possible, we should try not to let them think that they have affected us although we must discourage their actions however we can.

Btw, you probably know that here in India, sexual harassment in public is called eve teasing. Here's a popular online campaign against it - http://www.blanknoise.org

Love, joy, peace (LJP)
Pushpa

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Thanks!

Hi Pushpa! Yes, you are right ... keeping our self-esteem is very important! Sometimes the only way to keep ourselves out of men's animalistic instincts is simply to send the message that we are impregnable! That's power from within.... and we call it character. It's sad that some cultures could not nurture this kind of character in their own women. But those of us who are aware and who enjoy the freedom to be and to become must find a way to reach out to our sisters who need to know who they are and what they are here in this world for! That's why we are here at World Pulse ... to care and to share...

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Cheers!

Hi Pushpa! And they call it "Eve teasing" huh? Is that dropping the weight on women - as teasers? Wow ... so very like here in my own country! It's the woman's fault if she gets harassed ... because she's so desirable men could not help it!!!! As if looking good is meant only for seduction or sexual attraction! So cheap ...so base ... so narrow ...!!!!

And by the way, sister ... my PC is down for the moment ... I wish I could check that link. I'm just snatching moments from someone else's PC here at the office for now ...

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

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