We’re at a pivotal point in American history where the sexual harassment genie has been taken out of the bottle, never to return.
Just last week, Time magazine named the Silence Breakers of the #MeToo movement as its 2017 Person of the Year. It’s hard to keep track of the sexual harassment allegations being raised against prominent male politicians, entertainers, and media figures on a daily basis.
The message is loud and clear. Sexual harassment toward women will not be tolerated.
While this subject raises some unique questions that I unfortunately do not have time to address in this post, I want to address the general topic of treating women with respect.
When working around any person for 8+ hours per day, it’s only natural that relationships will form. It’s called being human. I consider some of my female coworkers to be genuine friends.
The key is to keep all interactions respectful. Even when joking around, delivering a compliment (I work in an office where men and women regularly compliment each other), or talking about personal issues, I realize there are certain boundaries I cannot cross.
Thankfully, working in such a female-dominated office has taught me a lot about how to properly interact with them. There are simple gestures I take–opening doors, letting them step out in front of me on the elevator, asking if they need assistance when I see them lifting heavy objects–to show them an extra measure of respect.
Is every sexual harassment allegation plastered across my television screen true? Maybe not. Are some women making up stories to cash in on their 15 minutes of fame? Perhaps.
All I know is that I will continue to do my part to create an atmosphere where my female coworkers feel valued. I challenge every man to do the same.