Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sexual Harassment in the Work Place

You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

1 Peter 3:4

Perhaps the most obvious lasting result of the Thomas-Hill hearings and other high profile cases has been the discussion of sexual harassment in the workplace, specifically men sexually harassing women. I'm sure that most people already understood that unwanted touching, outright propositioning, and demands for sexual favors in exchange for promotions would be "harassment." What millions of Americans continue to learn, however, is that suggestive talk, dirty jokes, asking for dates, and even lustful looks also fall into that category.

When men act surprised at that, they are told in no uncertain terms, "You just don’t get it!" In other words, because they are men in a male-oriented society, they just don't understand how it feels to be victimized, used, and seen as an object or piece of meat.

I agree--certainly no man can truly understand what it means to be a woman, at the mercy of lustful and lecherous superiors, especially in this sex-saturated society.

But I would hasten to say to women, "You, also, just don't get it!"--that is, you don't understand what it means to be a man. I worked for many years with high school students, and as part of our program we would often have seminars on sex and dating. Time and time again I would explain to girls what goes through the head of a typical male when he sees a beautiful, well-built female in revealing clothes. Invariably these girls would look at me, listen, and nod knowingly . . . and then continue to dress in skimpy outfits and wear their bikinis. They just didn't get it.

The fact is that men are turned on by what they see or what they think they see. That's why the porn magazines do such a booming business. Add to this natural bent a society saturated with television shows and movies featuring bed-hopping bimbos and sexual conquests, lewd-talking disc jockeys, suggestive lyrics of popular songs, and loud proponents of sexual expression and you have a recipe for disaster.

I'm not saying that women are at fault because of the way they dress and act around men. The offending man is wrong and should be held responsible for his actions. If I leave my keys in my car and the car is stolen, that's still grand theft auto. If I leave a $50 bill unattended on my car seat with the window down, and the money is taken, that's still stealing. But everyone would agree that leaving keys in the car and cash on the seat is foolish or stupid.

That's the way I feel about the actions of many women today. Where's the womanly wisdom? By letting fashion designers dictate what they wear and disregarding human nature of the male variety, they open themselves up to all sorts of problems. They just don't get it.

Men do need to recognize and control their impulses. And women would be wise to say no to suggestive fashions. We can all say no to sexually explicit music and media. We can say yes to treating each other with understanding, concern, and respect. (1)


(1) More to Life, Tyndale House Publishers, Weekly devotion.


Raj Kosaraju

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