Considering I am minoring in Women and Gender Studies in my university education, I have a passion for gender equality and for advocating issues such as sexual violence and harassment. Typically, sexual harassment and violence impacts women, however I was assigned a reading for my Gender and Politics Course that addressed numerous incidences of men being impacted by sexual harassment in the workplace.
The article by Margaret Talbot can be read on The New York Times online magazine, and it is titled ‘Men Behaving Badly’. The link for such article is as follows: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/13/magazine/men-behaving-badly.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1
I think this article is such a crucial component of literature within the realm of gender studies. Prior to reading this text, I was remotely aware of sexual harassment impacting men, however I had never encountered a definite example and this article by Talbot provides several. The article describes how men who were victims of sexual harassment were sometimes homosexual, though in other circumstances were heterosexual. Through means of providing examples of men being victims of sexual harassment that are both heterosexual and homosexual, the article unveils the harsh reality that men, like women, can be victims of sexual harassment, and said men can furthermore be targeted regardless of their sexual orientation.
The forms of sexual harassment described in the article were predominately verbal, however Talbot provides some examples of men being harassed physically, for example co-workers attempting to grab their genitalia. I think it is essential to generate an awareness that despite sexual harassment/violence most often impacting women, men are also victims of this demeaning behaviour, and it impacts more men than society acknowledges. Talbot explains how in most situations men who experience sexual harassment fail to report it because they fear being labeled as weak or as an attention seeker.
If you have a moment today, please give the article a read.