Adyar Gopal Parivar
Sexual harassment at Work Place
Sexual Harassment at Work Place
By Mohan Shenoy
There has always been 'man chases woman'
syndrome among the homosapiens (the
species to which the modern human beings
belong).
It is not new to find a boy seeking a girl to
fulfill the natural desires, but his knowledge
and wisdom restrains him from becoming a
beast. What does the girl do? The girl takes
to flight which is the natural phenomenon.
The natural instinct to take to flight is
buttressed by learning and copying of similar
behaviour by her mother, sisters, aunts and
female friends. The influence of the female
friends is the strongest of them all. If flight is
not possible then there will be a protest. The
protest will be strong or weak depending
upon the willingness or concurrence of the
girl.
There are chances that the girl might get
interested in the boy, but unless the protest is
strong or flight is complete, the chase by the
boy will continue. If there are sure indications
from the girl that she does not like the boy to
come close to her then I suppose 99.9% of
the times the boy recedes and gives up the
chase. The flight or protest have to be
immediate and also very evident, so that
there are no doubts in the mind of the boy
regarding the aversion of the girl to his
advances.
In the animal world, the female animal is
somehow made to agree to mate. The male
uses all means at its command to put down
the protests of the female.
In the present, the woman is more often than
before, seen working on the job with distant
people. The distant people are those people
who are not members of her household.
Within the household a woman is protected
because of her inherent rights as a member
of the household. Also there are other men
and women in the household who come to
her rescue if anyone questions or
compromises her rights within the household.
Also the relationship in a family of parents
and children normally does not involve 'boy
chases girl' syndrome. But outside the
household she becomes a distant person.
She works with people who do not have the
understanding of her rights that she enjoys in
her household.
Neither does the woman in the beginning
realise that the work place is different from
the household and she has to be more
careful in her behaviour with the distant
people. The distant people are the ones who
naturally seek companionship of the woman
that has entered the work place which is a
free-for-all domain and not a household.
Depending upon the knowledge and
awareness  about their rights, of both the
man and woman in the work place, there is
interaction between them.
Better the knowledge, wisdom and
awareness, more restrained is the
interaction. The circumstances and the
environment of the workplace plays a
substantial role in this interaction. Notices
about the definition of harassment and the
labour law relating to it that are displayed
prominently in the premises help.
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Educating the employees regarding the
labour law is necessary to avoid sexual
harassment in the work place. Repeated
reminders once in a month or so is also
necessary to keep the employees on their
toes with regard to seriousness of such
misbehaviour keeps sexual harassment
cases away.
It is unnatural to expect a restrained
behaviour on the part of the males or
females in an environment of a stressful
work place. Especially in an open field far
away from any road or habitation, a woman
should never find herself with a distant
adult man. Both a woman and a man distant
to each other and all by themselves in a
room is a position of compromise. A woman
should never close the door after her when
she enters a room alone and finds an adult
man in the room, but this is not possible in
the modern offices that have cubicles and
cabins that are private and exclusive. If the
woman does not take to flight from such
unfriendly environment then she is going to
find herself as a target for misbehaviour by
the males around her.
The women should take to flight in any
situation where her rights can get
compromised. By taking to flight it does not
mean that she has to quit her job. It only
means separation of herself from a risky
situation. She might get herself into taking a
risk which could go against her personal
safety if she does not follow her natural
instinct of taking to flight.
A good woman stops a distant adult man at
the first moment she instinctly senses his
interest in her developing. The messages
she receives in hundreds of different means
from the distant adult male give her a clear
notion that she is going to be attacked the
next moment. She has to respond to such
messages immediately and retract herself
from such risky situations. At least she
should send out her messages that she is
not interested and she does not like to
receive any more messages of sexual
interests from the man.
On the other hand if the woman in a work
place, blatantly traps the man by
encouraging his advances and then
accuses the man of sexual harassment,
then it is an unfortunate situation. This is
more likely to happen between a
disgruntled female employee and her
superior adult distant man. It does not
happen if there is frank and sincere
communication between the woman and
man. A woman is always favoured by the
jury and the judges in a sexual harassment
case in the work place in the present
system. The present system is the system
which is followed in most of the countries
with regards to the rights of a woman.
There are stringent laws laid down by most
of the countries to punish harassment of all
natures in the work place, but sexual
harassment is considered especially
harshly by the Law and the punishment
meted out is disproportionate to the crime.

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