While you may assume you are being bullied, tormented, intimidated by your classmates, colleague, manager, the neighbor next door or the roadside Romeo, odds are it may not be phrased as bullying, tormenting or intimidating at all. Yes, a vexatious comment or conduct that is ought to be unwelcoming, disturbing you both psychologically, physically as well as abusing your sexuality is certainly something atrocious. And somewhere down the line these activities frames up together to constitute the horrible crime, the “sexual harassment”.
Anti Sexual Harassment Graffiti in Middle East
So what does sexual harassment looks like?
Sexual harassment comes in many forms and at many places. Let us go through the various types.
Consider an example where a girl who newly broke up with her boyfriend passing through her residential area and a group of guys and girls teasing her with names like “slut”, “hoe” and spreading sex related rumors about her. Using such words that insults or abuses anybody whether male or female is harassment, ultimately making “Name calling” as one of the most common sexual harassment.
Touching a girl without her consent on her private parts deliberately is a harassment too. If a man touches a girl’s breast and she is not at all ok with it, it is pestering. Similarly, if anybody grabs or hits a man’s in his genitals even as a prank is harassment. “Unwanted touching” is another form of sexual harassment which is common in crowded places and sometimes in our workplace too.
During a coffee break a man puts his arms around a female colleague and ask how’s it going on. The women shun it by responding please take off your hands. The man with a smile says lighten it up lady, it was just a friendly gesture as we are in a friendly office and I’m trying to make it more comfortable for you. Unwanted acts and behaviors like this are also a part of sexual harassment which are quite regular. And the culprits committing it, do it so wittily that women often get confused about their intentions.
— AAUW (@AAUW) August 31, 2013
Whether your boss needs some sexual favor from you in order to promote you to the next level or he is making comments in a sexual way that makes you uncomfortable, in either case he is pressuring you and harassing you. Pressure from senior authorities in this form is sexual harassment. Not only women, men too are a victim of this type of sexual harassment. For instance, a woman manager forcing herself on a male employee and violating him sexually to fulfill her sexual needs.
Hassling has always been a nuisance. When a person of an opposite sex picks on you and bothers you it is a part of the game. While you may think of ways to avoid it thinking you are “over-reacting” it is actually a sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment mostly happens in person. However, in this revolutionary world with everything going online it can even happen online. If you get an email comprising of your nude picture, image or photos in an awkward position, you are being sexually harassed online.
These are the prime elements that constitute sexual harassment. If you are a victim of any one of them, make sure you talk with the harasser or report the act to live life comfortably and peacefully. Don’t ever keep quiet but speak up for your rights.
By: Deepti Verma
Image: Anti Sexual Harassment Graffitti By Lilian Wagdy via Wikimedia Commons