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

Wet’suwet’en nation supporters brandish signs on Kelowna pedestrian bridge

The protestors took up the overpass bridge near Parkinson Recreation Centre Saturday

The Incredible Hulk: Kelowna community rallies for 9-year-old fighting brain tumour

Casorso Elementary’s Urijah Fisher, nicknamed Hulk, has been battling the tumour since he was 3

Foote expected to return as Rockets seek momentum in Family Day weekend double-header

Kelowna hosts the Red Deer Rebels Saturday, Calgary Hitmen Monday

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Mink farm once operated in Summerland

From 1967 to 1973, the Nielsen family raised mink

Wet’suwet’en return to northern B.C. forest road pipeline workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

Over a dozen birds found mysteriously dead on rural B.C road

Ministry of Agriculture notified of the strange occurrence on No. 4 Road in Abbotsford

B.C. men arrested after theft of heavy equipment leads to highway blockade

One man surrendered to police while the other was taken into custody the next morning, RCMP say

Vernon RCMP investigating ‘serious’ early-morning assault

Vernon RCMP were advised of the alleged assault around 4:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15

Most Read