Sexual harassment is no laughing matter in today’s society. Sexual harassment is seen in many varying ways, from abuse to hostile. Abuse and hostile ways of sexual harassment are starters to help define the harassment and the severity of the matter. The readings assigned for this main question, Working Women in America: Split Dreams by Sharlene Nagy Hesse-Biber and Women’s Rights in the U.S.A. by Dorothy Stetson, have not only brought together many ideas and first hand experiences but also helped to answer any lingering questions that I had about sexual harassment.
“Sexual harassment has become a problem in every field of the workforce” (Hesse-Biber 2005, 149). This statement is completely truthful. Not only has sexual harassment, from what I’ve gathered, become a more occurring aspect of American society, but also, it’s being plagued as an ordinary occurrence in television shows and movies seen today. Should this be socially acceptable to now see on our televisions? I absolutely think so because this will help to further occurrences from happening. It’s not hard, from gathering material from the readings; sexual harassment is generally from men towards women.
Why should women be subjected to this type of treatment? Women have been trying to prove they’re capable of anything men can do since the 1840s, with the beginning of the Women’s Rights Movement in Seneca Falls, New York. Women always seem to be seen as only being capable of taking care of children and the home while men go into society to earn a living wage. Now that women are finally sharing their skills, they are being tormented, psychologically abused and physically abused because they seem attractive and won’t know how to fend for themselves. As stated by Hesse-Biber (2005, 150), 2002 saw a total of 14,396 complaints of sexual harassment with 85% being from women! This is absolutely insane at how much sexual harassment is being recorded in society and dealt with/ not dealt with. Going along the lines with the amount of complaints seen in 2002, it’s also known that women clerical workers seems to be the brunt of most sexual harassment because they are deemed attractive and perform tasks around the office; being named the “office wife” (Hesse-Biber 2005, 150).
Going back to the main question, what is considered quid pro quo and hostile? As defined by Hesse-Biber (2005, 149-150), quid pro quo is seen as giving an incentive to an employee that performs a sexual act while hostile is considered to involve: sexual innuendos, blatant vulgarities, touching, multiple advances, promised promotions (after guaranteed sexual advances), and attempted rape!
“Men feel it is their prerogative to sexually harass women” (Hesse-Biber 2005, 150). My question is why? Keeping women at home to take care of the children and the household wasn’t enough? Hesse-Biber (2005, 150) shares the facts that many victims of sexual harassment suffer: psychological and physical consequences, which include but are...