Boundary Lines Gender Through The Prism Of Difference

1173 words - 5 pages

Sexual harassment is still not recognized today by many individuals as an actual offense. Sexual harassment was talked about and was recognized in 1976 but the law making it illegal was not passed until 10 years later in 1986. The law states that “it is unlawful to harass a person because of their sex. Harassment can include sexual harassment or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” The law doesn’t include simple teasing, small comments or incidents that aren’t serious. But it becomes illegal when it happens more than once and the severity of the comments makes the work environment uncomfortable. The problem today is knowing what is actually considered sexual harassment as everyone takes it differently and when comments or jokes are being taken too far.

Chapter 36 discusses a study that focused on waitressing as many restaurants have an obviously sexualized workplace. The book says “sexual attractiveness and flirtation are often institutionalized parts of a waitpersons job description.” When applying for jobs many workplaces hire attractive looking women, as they believe it will attract more people to their business. I find this to be unfair as men do not have this standard. When men apply for a job they look directly at the individual’s skills, not what they look like. It used to be said that in addition to popularity and access to their choice of a mate, attractive people tend to receive higher evaluations and salaries than their peers so people would then assume that it would always be an advantage to be an attractive male or female in the workplace. But this is not true in all cases. Newer research shows that being an attractive man was an advantage in all jobs being applied for, while being an attractive woman was considered a disadvantage in many jobs. In the study that was done women were being discriminated against and their attractiveness was considered a disadvantage when applying for jobs that are traditionally considered male jobs. Another study showed that attractiveness was more helpful for women who were applying for traditionally feminine type jobs. Some women believe looks are an advantage and others say it is a disadvantage in careers.

In 2010 there was a story in the news about a woman who sued her employer, at Citibank, for telling her not to wear the clothes she was wearing that were acceptable, even though the other women at the office were wearing the same things. The clothes that were banned included pencil skirts, turtlenecks and fitted business suits. She argued that the other women were wearing more revealing clothing than her. She ended up being fired and the companies managers argued that because of her body type the clothes she wore were more distracting than the other women and they told her that she needed to wear something that would change her shape. This news story goes along with the chapter as this could be considered...

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