The workplace and harassment

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Brianna Patt | Staff Reporter

In the past months, an avalanche of sexual harassment allegations has come out against big names among media and politics like Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Aziz Ansari, and Donald Trump (years of disturbing allegations have been made against Trump, but have been ignored fervently by certain media outlets); men who’s fame and reputation in their respective industries makes it clear to see why speaking out was the hardest thing for their victims to do. These cases seem to have affirmed something frightening but somewhat known: that to survive in show business, politics, journalism, or any heavily publicized profession that’s often dominated by men; a woman might have to accept the likelihood that sexual harassment and misconduct will ensue. This is undoubtedly sad, but very accurate reality for women in not only media focused professions, but also in every day occupations.

To be even more specific, the professions with the most sexual harassment charges from 2005 to 2015 according to a Vox article are accommodation and food services (a low wage industry dominated by women) at 14.23% with the retail trade not falling far behind at 13.44%. These statistics essentially show that women are unfortunately going to be subject to some sort of sexual harassment in their work environment no matter what that environment is. You don’t have to be a female politician, a journalist, or an actress to be exposed to these things; you just have to be a woman in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong man.

So, if a woman is statistically bound to experience sexual harassment or sexual misconduct in some form regardless of her profession, how can it be stopped or at least prevented? Well, the solution to that problem is deceptively simple: for women of all socio-economic statuses to continue to fight back against these misogynists in power. It simply shouldn’t be common for women to expect groping in the workplace, or to be inherently frightened of being alone in a room with their male co-workers. Boundaries should be respected regardless of if the person is a woman or man; or if the extent of the assault is flashing, grabbing, sodomy, or rape. Women of all social classes supporting and standing with each other rather than accepting sexual misconduct as a part of being a woman apart of the workforce is a big step towards men like Harvey Weinstein being taken down.