Analytical Essay on Sexual Harassment

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Sexual Harassment has been around for centuries but only currently have we seen a rise about the issue in media, nothing will change until people understand women reasons for not speaking up. Sexual Harassment is something men and women deal with daily, there isn’t a set definition that can be used for sexual harassment since everyone has their own definition in the back of their head. How Google Dictionary defines it is by “harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks.

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” When people think about why Sexual Harassment happens or if it really did happen, their mind goes to many things or even things to blame. Sadly society will base how long it took someone to speak up to prove if it happened or not. It is surprising how many people will shift all the attention and blame towards the women for not speaking up right away. Three of the many reasons why women simply wait is due to the incredible name we end up being called and instantly being labeled, our reputation and we end up blaming ourselves and become embarrassed. These are all sad reasons which cause women daily to hesitate about speaking up and they would rather sit quietly.

Harassers can instantly turn the story around, accuse you of lying about what happened. How would you show your proof, sexual harassment is through word of mouth usually and a person is unable to use that as evidence. This causes people to instantly call women liars and much worse. “If our allegation is deemed credible, it makes us “a victim of sexual harassment,” or at best, “a sexual harassment accuser.” If the abuser’s denial is deemed more credible, as is often the case, we can be labeled … attention-seeking, jealous.” (Psychology Today, Zoe Chance). The minute we tell our story and are finally able to speak up we are shot back down again with names and being labeled. When people hear our name or see it they will think about it. Our name gets dragged down even though we never did anything, we are simply telling our story. We become defined in the workplace or even by your friends through their eyes. People have to think about not only the benefit of speaking up but also the consequences they will face. It is hard to believe but women are called some very mean names for telling their story about their Sexual Harassment. If you were to look up Christine Blasey Ford and see some of the articles written about her it proves my point, it took her over 30 years to finally speak up and she received so much backlash and name calling from waiting. Women don’t want people when they hear our name to be worried about us, we want people to know us for our accomplishments instead.

People will ask, “why didn’t she just speak up”? If someone is being sexually harassed in the workplace there is even a longer list as for why we shouldn’t say anything. Their harasser may even be threatening their job or position at the company. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission found out that 75% of people who spoke up at the workplace got some retaliation back. Every 3 out of 4 people, their boss or HR has questioned them. The people who we have to speak up to are the people who are in charge of our jobs, they can make a life-changing decision all because of a sentence we tell them. Or even worse; the company does nothing. Sherry Marts once told “I took it to the head of the laboratory, who told me to just deal with it,” she said. “I took it to the chair of the department, who said he didn’t want to hear about it.”(ASBMB TODAY, Sherry Marts) Some companies don’t really care about the person who is harassing you, maybe the person is a valued team player, manager or even someone high up on the corporate chain. Speaking up in your workplace no matter how much you make is hard, working as a janitor or manager. The Cornel National Society Survey found that “ people making more than $150,000 in annual household income were just as likely as those making $20,000 to $40,000 to hold back their input in the workplace because of fear of consequences or a perception that speaking up would be futile” (HBR, James R Detert) This is why women question standing up, when they could just sit back and do nothing yet they still have a job. Now some could say that a lot of women wouldn’t get fired for speaking up, that the harasser would get fired instead of them. Men have gotten fired from there jobs for sexually harassing someone but sadly not all men have. People in high places don’t usually get fired for harassing

Another huge and probably the saddest reason women wait to speak up is we blame ourselves. There’s no way to sugarcoat it, but women usually think the sexual harassment was their fault. Even if there really was nothing they could further do, they said no, wore the right clothing and yet it still happened. Women focus their attention on the wrong, thinking what did I do wrong? Not what the harasser did wrong. We have seen society do this so for us it is a bit normal. Women are quick to pick out reasons as to why it was their fault, maybe I shouldn’t have worn that dress or maybe I shouldn’t have said hello to him on my first day. But why are we like that? Why have we become this? Our confidence drops down at this time, we get scared to tell people thinking they as well will blame and judge us. Gershen Kaufman stated in his book Shame: The Power of Caring, “Shame is a natural reaction to being violated or abused. In fact, abuse, by its very nature, is humiliating and dehumanizing.” Once women do get the courage to speak up the attention is focused on what we did wrong, not as for the man but the woman. We get asked what we were wearing, what all did you say to him. Questions like this can be embarrassing thinking to yourself about the situation “Sexual harassment…can be a humiliating experience to recount privately, let alone publicly.”(Psychology Today, Zoe Chance)

With sexual harassment, there are two people in the equation, two people who are in the story. Men’s names get dragged down as well they will lose their job because of their action. Many people argue that if women spoke up soon and quicker we could solve the problem a lot better and would not happen as often. Once someone felt even the bit unsettled tell the harasser to stop, and if that doesn’t work which is quite often, go straight to the boss or authorities. People don’t see why women can’t just take the matter into their own hands and end it quick so they won’t have to deal with it. Doesn’t matter if there are some consequences, you will at least be free of harassment. Google commented “in the last two years, 48 people have been terminated for sexual harassment, including 13 who were senior managers and above.” (The Verge, Chris Welch) This shows that if people do speak up right away, their harasser will get the punishment they deserve.

Sexual Harassment is a important topic to discuss, with there not being a set definition there are a lot of blurs in what counts as it and not. Women to think about the incidents over and over again in their minds wondering what they did wrong or even how they could’ve stopped it. Once people do know for sure that it was sexual harassment they are afraid to finally admit it, afraid of what the public will say about them. They will let their harasser get away because women are afraid of the bashing they will get for stepping forward, that is if they do step forward. About 71% of people harassed never came forward to someone about their harasser for many reasons. (Atlantic, Mikaela Delia) Sexual Harassment has been around forever but more and more the public is talking about it, spreading awareness which is amazing, but what society needs to realize is they need to look at it in the accusers point of view. They have very little to win, much to lose, and few they can actually trust.

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Analytical Essay on Sexual Harassment. (2022, Feb 12). Retrieved from