Let's talk about Sexual Harassment !

A (by Lebanese mena��s standards) sexy woman got on the bus today as I was heading home from work. Ia��m sure all day long a�?sexya�? women use public transportation to get to their desired destination. But, we dona��t really notice things unless theya��re in our face, happening right in front of us. Well, some of us notice, and others are the actors in the play.

Back to the story… Whata��s every mana��s perfect woman? High heels; check. Long black hair; check. Dressed in a way that accentuates her silhouette; check. This woman obviously met the criteria for a lot of men, because she definitely managed to turn heads. It was as if there was a different creature among us, maybe some kind of alien that we rarely get in contact with. Since the bus was a bit crowded, all the men fixed their seating positions, perhaps as an invitation for her to sit next to them? I had taken the entire seat, putting my head back and resting after a stressful day at work. She asked me if she could sit next to me, so I adjusted my position to give her room. Two minutes had barely passed as she turned to me and asked me how much she had to pay the bus. The two men sitting in front of me turned around and answered her before I got the chance to open my mouth. I repeated the answer…

This is a little story that makes me think of the world and how it works. Beautiful versus ugly, mainly. Everybody pays attention to hot and sexy women. People almost bend over backwards to do them favors. Whata��s the price though? Being harassed? Being marginalized? Being objectified? How many times have we heard men say a�?she had it cominga�? when they refer to a survivor of rape, because, well, she dresses in a revealing manner? How many times have we heard men refer to a�?sexya�� women as whores and express that they will a�?disciplinea�� them for speaking up and being more than a pretty doll? How many times have we heard young guys call girls sluts because they socialize with, in their opinion what is, too many guys?

If a beautiful woman applies for a job, she gets harassed and asked for sexual favors. So, she turns the job down, and goes on another interview. And the cycle continues. So, she settles and accepts one of these jobs. During the first couple of months the mood seems acceptable; the boss greets her with a smile. A little time passes and he starts to get physically closer, invading her personal space. And time passes again and we find him to be the clown of the office, making jokes that obviously make her uncomfortable. She tries to put limits for him, he turns it all to a joke and how can anyone really reply to the following: a�?walaw Ia��m kidding! Cana��t you handle a joke?a�?. With his behavior, the boss has now become the model to follow for all the men at work. And everybody thinks they are entitled to the same sense of humor their boss has, and in consequence to the same line of action or as he would like to put it, jokes.

Rape is not the only thing that counts as sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive work environment. Leta��s remember that!


Image source:A�saynotoviolence.org

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