More Men are Filing Sexual Harassment Claims

Julie Shenkman
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In a report earlier this year, MSNBC reported that a growing number of men are filing sexual harassment claims against their employers. The report revealed that from 1990 to 2009, the percentage of sexual harassment claims filed by men has double from 8% to 16%.
While women file the majority of sexual harassment claims, it is interesting to see men speaking up about workplace harassment. As a feminist, I believe that the workplace should be a safe place where your gender shouldn't be an issue and that supervisors shouldn't use force and sexual intimidation as a way to keep employees in line.
As I looked into the phenomena of male sexual harassment, I was surprised to learn that the majority of complaints filed by men were made against male supervisors and co-workers. It seems that men who don't fit the stereotype of the “masculine man” are often the ones who are targeted for this type of harassment. From unwanted sexual advances, being touched inappropriately or being forced to tolerate crude remarks and slurs because they are gay, are perceived as gay or just aren't manly enough, these men have legitimate complaints.
For a long time, employers have looked the other way when it comes to gender discrimination and sexual harassment as it pertains to men. There is this “boys will be boys” attitude, the mindset being that men aren't as sensitive to such things and that sexual harassment is only against the law if you are doing it to women. And what's worse, men who file complaints are less likely to be believed than their female counterparts. And, we all know that most of the time, people blame the victim in cases of sexual assault or harassment. But the truth is, no one deserves to have to deal with harassment, assault and a hostile workplace environment.
Sexual harassment is illegal. It can happen to men or women. It happens more often than it is reported. And, if it is under-reported by women, I can only imagine how often this type of behavior goes unreported by men. I, personally have seen instances in my own professional life where men are called “dogs” or “studs” and are subjected to supervisors patting them on the backside or calling their sexuality into question. The problem is that most men would never admit to having a problem with it or feeling uncomfortable by it, even if they were.
What do you think about make sexual harassment? Have you ever witnessed this type of behavior? Let me know in the comments.
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By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer, along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.

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  • Melissa Kennedy
    Melissa Kennedy
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Wilson - I know that you feel as though the charges were unwarranted. I don't know your situation, but since you can't change what happened, maybe this is a good time to re-evaluate the way you respect personal and professional boundaries. They say that a mistake is a good chance to learn something, so you can either take what you can from the unfortunate experience or you can allow it to make you bitter. Either way, the situation doesn't change. I hope you have better experiences in the future.
  • Wilson P.
    Wilson P.
    I recently was charged with sexual harassment in the work place and I feel as if I was wrongfully charged because the person who filed the complaint is a young gal that came to work discussing her personal life that occurs outside of work to the work place.  I guess you can say that I was considered the big brother or person people come to for advise and some how this girl went from looking up to me as a role model to sabotaging an image/legacy that I tried so hard to make of myself.  The facts of the charges are completely false and when I tried to clear my name from all wrong doing, I was told it was to late and it was an allegation that was brought up against you and that's why they acted on it and decided to hand me a B/S Reprimand in my file for 3yrs.  The problem with this is I should or could have done the same towards the girl but I didn't think anything of it because who would believe me.  I wish I could have sued my job because they wrongful charged me and didn't care what they knew about the situation.  
  • Chyna
    Great post!
  • Sexual Harassment
    Sexual Harassment
    This is one step in the direction. May be one day, we we will have equal treatment for men in divorce courts.
  • Willie booker
    Willie booker
    It is about time Men started standing up and speaking up for their rights

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