Sexual harassment — a subject women know all too well
Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America with a Stanford degree, says that her former boss subjected her to something that women in the workplace know all too well: sexual harassment.
In a lawsuit that has rocked the corporate, political and media worlds, the former Fox News anchor says that Fox News chairman Roger Ailes made sexual comments — and then got rid of her when she refused to give in – or put out.
She says Ailes “injected sexual and/or sexist comments” into conversations, made “sexual advances by various means,” and said to her last September, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.”
In response, Ailes denied the allegations, calling the lawsuit “offensive and wholly without merit.”
No surprise there— and precisely why women don’t come forward: character assassination, blaming and shaming, and dire career consequences are almost guaranteed. Rarely does the accused simply fess up.
But here’s the bigger problem: there are no easy solutions.
We live in a culture where people feel entitled to say and do anything they wish, without regard to what’s appropriate or not. Political incorrectness and jokes go way too far in everyday life and in there workplace — and nobody thinks they’ll be held accountable. They push and push, over the line, breaking the law, and yet they rarely face any censure.
It’s not so simple to tell women to report it to HR. Most small employers don’t have HR departments, and the companies that do have large HR staff employ them to protect the company and its big wigs, not the little guy or in this case, girl. Filling an EEOC complaint or hiring a lawyer is costly short and long term.
Adding to this hornets nest is that some women want it both ways: they want to flaunt their sexuality when it’s convenient, but complain about alleged harassment when it’s not. Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran has always told women to use what they have to get want they want in business, even if it means showing a bit more leg or cleavage.
So let’s hear your thoughts and ideas. How do we break a workplace culture of sexual harassment? Or can’t we?