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

Company with Nanaimo lab gets federal approval for psychedelic drug research

Numinus’ CEO says company seeing a shift in how people look at mental health treatment

Library takes Summer Reading Club online

Children, teens, parents in Nanaimo can participate in online reading challenges and events

More than 100 apartments for seniors approved in Nanaimo’s hospital area

Development permit issued for 1125 Seafield Cres.

Outreach team making connections with young people experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre youth advisory council initiative offers ‘no-barrier’ help downtown

Alzheimer’s society offering online support for caregivers in Nanaimo

Webinars explore ‘mindfulness’ in caring for dementia patients

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Nanaimo RCMP want speeding motorists to ‘slow the blazes down’

Police raise alarm after seeing 400-per cent rise in excessive speeding tickets last month

City of Nanaimo takes inventory of its land for official community plan review

Report recommends high-density residential development, identifies shortage of industrial land

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIU faculty members looking at COVID-19 impacts on communities

Vancouver Island University’s research award committee funds nine projects

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Most Read