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

Two men killed in Hwy 3 collision west of Castlegar

The single-vehicle incident happened Thursday morning

Central Mountain Air to offer flights out of Castlegar

The company will be offering Castlegar to Vancouver flights October 1.

Health ministry to hire 33 new practitioners for Kootenay Boundary

Over 15,000 people in the region don’t have access to a primary care provider

Trail RCMP set up critical new service to help keep loved ones, safe

Registration is voluntary and can be withdrawn at any time

Update: School District 20 office reports COVID cases

Two cases of COVID were reported at the School District 20 office in Trail

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Interior Health reports four new cases of COVID-19

First hospitalization since mid-August announced

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Conservation groups blast province for logging in caribou habitat near Revelstoke

In the last year, 104 cuts have been approved near Revelstoke in caribou habitat

B.C.’s 1st mental health and addictions minister won’t be seeking re-election

MLA Judy Darcy is the fifth cabinet minister not intending to run in the next election

Most Read