Sunday, 13 July 2008
Let me first state that sexual harassment is no laughing matter.
I still remember the 1991 Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings and I do not find the line, “Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?” humorous in any way whatsoever.
So when the women’s activist group Aware (Association of Women for Action and Research) released a study on workplace sexual harassment last week, it made me nostalgic for the politically correct ’90s when people were still using terms like “politically correct”.
If it’s really the first study of its kind published in Singapore, it has been long overdue – by at least a decade.
Of course, sexual harassment has been going on ever since men and women shared the same work space. In a more innocent time, it was called “wooing”. And it will continue to occur no matter what measures are put in place.
But one statistic in the study that I find the most interesting is hardly discussed at all. One-fifth of the people who say they have been sexually harassed are men.
Men? Who are these lucky son-of-a-guns?
Aware, being specifically a “women’s” activist group, is naturally gender-biased and not all that concerned about the poor male victims of workplace sexual harassment.
Which I find just a teensy weensy bit sexist.
Sure, we all know the stories about women fending off unwanted advances from male colleagues and/or bosses.
But where are the ribald tales of these one-in-five men being forcibly groped by colleagues and/or bosses, female and/or possibly male?
Will they sound too much like letters to Penthouse forum that I’m not supposed to admit I’ve read? Or bad gay porn?
So a guy would think twice before complaining about being sexually harassed because no one is going to take him seriously. All he’ll get is either ridicule or envy.
A woman can call Aware if she’s sexually harassed. Who is a man going to call? Amare?
This reminds me of a line I wrote for hua Chu Kang years ago: “When a man touch a woman, it’s called molest. But when a woman touch a man, it’s called... shiok, man!”
And when a man touches another man ... well, that's another story isn't it?
- Published in The New Paper, 13 July 2008
TRENDING POSTS OF THE WEEK
I first met Darryl David at Gurmit Singh's wedding dinner in 1995. David's date was a woman named Lynette Pang , who was a stag...
There will be no Today tomorrow. At least in print form. On Friday, Mediacorp published the final print edition of Today newspaper and S...
CSC stands for Civil Service Club. Flag-off for the half marathon category in CSC Run By The Bay on Saturday was 5.15pm. Yes, it was sunn...
I have a favourite T-shirt. One reason it’s my favourite is that it was given to me many years ago by a friend who has since passed away...
Are you sitting down? Apparently, a metal bench at a bus stop in Braddell Road is worth $1,500. And it’s not even created by Banksy . ...
Lately, I've been noticing the recurring use of an unfamiliar word on social media. Aisey. Posted by SMRT Ltd (Feedback) on Wedne...
They may not be 26 years old like NSP member Kevryn Lim , but these MPs are rocking their National Day outfits. Ms Low Yen Ling, 41. M...
It’s like 1996 all over again. Only instead of the Macarena , we’re dancing Gangnam Style . Instead of watching the White House get bl...
It started with this Cyberpioneer Facebook post: What does Military Expert (ME) 1 Clarie Teo enjoy, when she is not busy keeping ship eng...
Last month, it was reported that Nike would stop supplying to smaller shops like those in Queensway Shopping Centre and Peninsula Plaza. ...