Domination and humiliation are among the motives for sexual harassment in the workplace. Ask nearly any woman about being sexually harassed in this scenario, and she will likely tell you as much. Empowered by the #MeToo movement, many women have come forward angrily, and sometimes tearfully, to share their experiences of being a victim of sexual harassment.
According to a CNBC poll from late last year, 27 percent of the women surveyed reported they had been sexually harassed at work. But did you know that in that same survey, 10 percent of men also cited that they had been sexually harassed in the workplace?
The 17 percent rate has been steady for a decade
Roughly 17 percent of all sexual harassment claims filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) were done so by men. That rate has been steady for the last decade.
We know that work-related sexual harassment gets underreported, but especially for men, who – like women – fear that others will not believe them or are just plain embarrassed to take action. Stereotypes continue to abound in American society, and men are supposed to be tough, masculine and never need help. We know that’s just not true.
Chipotle case serves as an example
Look at a recent case right here in California. The EEOC has been investigating alleged sexual harassment that took place at a fast-casual food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill in San Jose. A 22-year-old male shift manager reported he had been groped and propositioned by a female manager at the restaurant.
The woman, who no longer works there, also allegedly posted a “sex board” in her office to highlight employees’ private sexual encounters. The male worker also reported that after he complained, other employees locked him inside the walk-in freezer. This case has been set for mediation.
Men most often harassed by men
The gender of the alleged harassers is not tracked by the U.S. government. However, researchers note that men are more often sexually harassed by other men at work than by women.
No one should work in a hostile environment and be subjected to sexual comments or physical intimidation. It’s against the law. Here’s a message for everyone who has been a victim of sexual harassment: Please have the courage to stand up for yourself and report incidents to your manager and human resources departments.