Published on January 21st, 2014 |
by Ari Nellen
Why We Don’t Call Out Sexual Harassment
I don’t want to go into too much depth into this article, most people are currently saying what I’m saying, maybe even better than I am about the totally abhorrent work interaction of a games journalist towards a female game developer.
It’s obviously unprofessional, and it should never come up in a work situation. Why? Because work is a place where people are given power. Your boss has power over you, they can fire your ass. A reporter has power over you because they write about your content and you want that to be positive. Literally Jo Smoe in your workplace has power over you because they talk to the people you have to work with everyday and they can make your life difficult by changing social dynamics making it harder (or easier) to work.
Obviously. Most people seem to be on this page.
But people are blaming the victim for not calling this guy out.
For not saying no.
I’ve already mentioned the power structures of work, that a person you work with, even peripherally, can affect how your other coworkers see you how they interact with you. Also it’s hard when the offender starts the harassment out as a joke, it makes it so easy for them to deflect criticism because ‘it’s just a joke, can’t you take a joke?’ So you put up with it, in case calling them out backfires. Makes you the aggressor, the prude, the bad guy.
When a person at work attempts to hit on me, do you know what my first thought is?
Oh god, how do I tell him I don’t want to date him without him telling him I’m assuming he’s hitting on me, and without threatening his masculinity.
It’s not, how do I get this guy to never do this again, it’s how do I do this without him becoming aggressive, with him going away thinking I’m some sort of ‘prude’. Without that entering the work dynamics, ‘oh you don’t want Ari for the job, she’s cold and unfriendly.’