Krista Loughton says she believes the awareness created by the #MeToo movement is going to reduce the amount of sexual harassment women face. (Arnold Lim/Black Press Media)

EDITORIAL: Putting #MeToo to work in your workplace

Workers from top to bottom need to stand together against the bully of sexual harassment

  • Dec. 17, 2017 7:30 a.m.
Intro Part 1
Speaking out
Part 2
How to report
Part 3
After the trauma
Commentary

It’s been said all the recent discussion about sexual harassment in the workplace should open some eyes.

We hope it has and that it will continue to do so. But we are also more than a little frustrated about why it is necessary.

When somewhere between one in two and one in three working women have experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace, it should be common knowledge. Because if you haven’t experienced it, you have probably seen it.

A common theme that runs through our entire #Me Too at work series is how predatory behaviour grows bold where no checks are in place to nip it in the bud.

It’s what can escalate someone from ‘dick’ to dangerous.

An entire generation is currently being schooled in the art of neutering a bully by standing together, pointing out the behaviour, and firmly saying it will not be tolerated.

Sexual harassment is bullying, plain and simple ­­— and workplaces need to stand together and do the same.

When someone makes you feel uncomfortable, speak up. Empower your co-workers by showing your support when you hear them speaking up. Or speak up for them. When somebody makes an inappropriate comment, don’t laugh, point it out. When someone feels threatened tell them you will stand with them.

There is strength in numbers. Every bully understands that. By remaining part of a silent majority you are basically lining up on the side of the bully.

And the schools have it right; start early. For every parent who sat their daughter down for a lesson on how to protect herself, how many have taken their sons aside and demanded they treat women in a respectful way? Maybe some “boys will be boys” because they have never been taught differently.

Some have suggested #MeToo has made it too easy to confuse an offer, or some harmless fun, with harassment. Or that men will be cutting off their professional relationships with women in some form of self-defence.

That seems like an overreaction.

Remember, harassment is not a sex thing, it is a power thing. A woman can laugh at off-colour comments just as much as a man can, as long as she believes they are equals and there is no threat.

All anyone is asking for is a workplace where someone can comfortably say ‘please stop,’ and that ‘no’ is respected.

Stand together and make it happen.

— The Me Too At Work team

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Northern Health ready for COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Prince Rupert citizens concerned by influx of out of province visitors

Local politicians call on Minister of Oceans and Fisheries to limit licenses

Bunkowski’s busted out of the boredom during self isolation

After 14 days Prince Rupert family finally finds freedom

COVID-19 liability protection for essential workers

Provincial government taking steps to limit operators from being sued

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

How to cope with your mental health during a global pandemic

Becca Shears, clinical counsellor in Vanderhoof speaks about ways to deal with stress and anxiety during this time.

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Most Read