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

Pitt Meadows technology to help grow leafy greens in Okanagan

Cubic Farms sold 16 of its machines to a company in Armstrong, B.C.

Maple Ridge mom wants justice on two-year anniversary of daughter’s death

Megan Kinnee, 19, died July 13, 2018 after motorcycle crash in Abbotsford

Maple Ridge neighbourhood rallies together for Saturday garage sale

Event aimed to bring Albion residents together – but not too close – while the financially strapped

Farmers market returns to downtown Maple Ridge

Next Saturday, July 18 people can shop at the newly reconfigured market in Memorial Peace Park

Ridge Meadows RCMP catch three more impaired drivers overnight

Local Mounties served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

Most Read