Harassment and discrimination in business and the workplace: Surprise, surprise, it goes both ways

Workplace harassment, of which sexual harassment is the most high profile component, should not be tolerated. This together with associated behaviours such as gossiping and bullying, warrant serious consideration and remedial action. Ditto for gender discrimination in recruitment, promotion and workplace policies.

One would hope that media coverage reflected actual patterns of perpetration. If the majority of perpetrators are historically male, as is likely the case with regards to sexual harassment, then a gendered debate might be called for. What we are seeing nowadays though is more a case of systematic demonisation of male managers and staff, whilst female perpetration of sexist and abusive behaviours is downplayed or even air-brushed out of contention.

Despite the fact that both men and women can (and do) perpetrate these types of behaviours or be victimised by them, media coverage focuses almost entirely on the victimisation of female staff (example). Men (both collectively and individually) are painted as the architects of toxic workplaces, responsible for victimising a slew of women as well as other men.

Conversely, the media generally avoids identifying women as having significant involvement in discriminatory and/or harassing patterns of  behaviour.

One of the outcomes of this situation is that men are discouraged from reporting abuse, in turn reinforcing the view amongst policy-makers and managers that female perpetration is little more than a rare aberration.

Some examples now follow:

To the workplace sleazes of the world: Your time is up, by Julia Baird (21 April 2017) Because only men can be sleazes, right?

Workplace equality meaningless unless ‘macho’ culture disappears, by Mary Barry, CEO ‘Our Watch’ (13 February 2017) Not content to simply ignore female perpetration/male victimisation, the author suggests the answer lies in feminising the workplace. But wait there’s more, as the author draws an even longer bow in asserting a nexus between the perceived overt masculinity of many workplaces, and the incidence of domestic violence in the community.

Not asking for it (2016) Australia. This article interviews 13 women about their experiences of sexual harassment. I guess no men were available on the day.

In this example the author again makes no mention of there being either female perpetrators or male victims of inappropriate behaviour (see Reddit discussion thread here).

Similar bias can be seen in ‘Know where the line is: Melissa Hoyer and Elizabeth Broderick address sexual harassment‘ (May 2014). Interestingly though, readers comments paint a quite different picture. This then prompts a furious backlash, with feminists asserting that others are seeking to downplay the significance of harassment of women and/or justify that harassment on the basis that women also harass men. This tends to be the pattern with articles on this topic, and I sense a great deal of pent-up frustration with the one-sided coverage of these issues.

(Addendum: Ms Broderick is now raking in plenty of $$ shaming business into conducting surveys of sexist behaviour which confirm, surprise, surprise, that they have a toxic culture that can only be remedied by feminist consultants.) 

If you care, then stand up and say sexism is not OK (9 January 2016) and Sexual harassment is serious business (13 January 2016). Two further typical offerings, again both ignoring the reality of women as harassers and of there being substantial numbers of male victims of discrimination.

We need to do more about sexual harassment in the workplace (6 January 2016) One need go no further than the first two sentences of the article to note that male victims have been excluded from consideration.

Sexism fail? EOC’s sexual harassment video criticised for showing mostly female victims (30 November 2015)

Australian women share their experiences with sexism in the workplace (16 April 2015) This typical mainstream media article about discrimination in the workplace lacks even a single reference to the fact that men experience the same or similar problems and issues. But again, take a look at the subsequent readers comments both here and at the relevant post in the news.com.au Facebook page … an avalanche of angry men and women pointing out how biased and inaccurate the article is.

Things my male colleagues have actually said to me‘ (10 April 2015) Don’t hold your breath waiting for part 2 ‘Things my female colleagues …’, at least not in the mainstream media. And I note that readers comments are not permitted – which is typical in the case of these anti-male hit-pieces

In contrast very little indeed, with the exception of readers comments, has been written about toxic workplaces from the male perspective. Have men been given a free pass from having to endure such experiences? Or has the plight of male victims simply been ignored, as has occurred in the case of domestic violence and sexual assault?

Unfortunately, one outcome of ignoring female perpetration/male victimisation is the relative lack of objective research. And of course as long as research bias results in such behaviour being excluded from consideration, then there is an over-reliance on conjecture and anecdotal evidence. Hardly an ideal situation in terms of getting the powers-that-be to sit up and take notice.

On that note I just google-searched using the words “My female boss …” and was surprised by the topics that automatically appeared. Try it yourself. Looks like a lot of people having problems with female supervisors. Personally, both my best and worst bosses were female. But boy, the bad ones were shockers.

Moving on, I think it’s clear that some of the behaviour that is perceived as harassment or discrimination in the workplace is a function of the different ways that men and women operate. There are gender-based differences at play, and it is hardly unreasonable to suggest that both men and women should try to understand and compromise.

This WSJ article is another in a long line of articles proposing that men need to adjust to women, but never the other way round (read the comments too). See a critique of this article here, and again I would suggest also reviewing the readers comment.

And again, this August 2016 article appearing in the pro-feminist/SJW ‘The Conversation‘ provides a remarkably one-sided view of the issue. It’s entitled ‘Calling all men! Five ways you can be a feminist at work‘, and it’s by UK academic Scott Taylor.

This provider of business training videos obviously hasn’t heard – or doesn’t care to acknowledge –  that women can also be perpetrators (scroll down to ‘Employment and Workplace Issues‘).

More recently David Schwimmer and Sigal Avia produced a series of short videos portraying sexual harassment of women (12 April 2017) None of the videos showed women harassing others or men being harassed.

The following sources consider discrimination/harassment/false allegations suffered by men/boys:

Co-worker made a grievance claim to end my career, I gathered facts to prove otherwise. Compromised HR says I’m taking this too seriously an dismiss it. Advice? (4 April 2017)

Wayne County Deputy Philip Kozlowski files sexual harassment suit aginst female sergeant (3 January 2017) USA

I [25M] am getting sexually harassed by my [32F] co-worker (8 December 2016) Reddit discussion thread

Ex-Yahoo employee sues Marisa Mayer claiming she led an illegal purge of male employees (8 October 2016) with more on that issue here

Sportsman Julian Edelman groped by female fans at book signing (undated) USA

Father wins £30,000 sex discrimination case in row over shared paternal leave (3 October 2016) UK

Men are targets of sexual harassment at work far more commonly than we assume (25 August 2016) UK

‘A bunch of Gaylord Fockers’: The prejudices failing male nurses (20 August 2016)

Teaching accreditation exams reveal grading biases favor women in male-dominated disciplines in France (29 July 2016)

Lorry driver, 40, sent home from work and docked a day’s wages for wearing SHORTS on the hottest day of the year (20 July 2016) UK

Feminist instructor proudly informs readers how she discriminates against male students (15 July 2016) Australia. Reddit discussion thread with linked article.

Student investigated by uni for harassment (19 June 2016) NZ

Workplace sexism: we still don’t want to talk about it, by Kate Jenkins (1 June 2016) Australia. A sole reference to male victimisation in an article that otherwise implies sexism only affects men – should we be glad or sad? I’d suggest that one reason why men “don’t want to talk about it” is the strongly gendered nature of the debate which is equal parts disinterested and dismissive of men’s concerns.

Update on Rates of Violence in Male and Female Exotic Dancers (18 May 2016) France. Reddit discussion thread with linked article – be sure to click through to the earlier study which showed roughly equal rates of harassment/abuse of male versus female performers.

Why women need to stop complaining about their high heels at work (13 May 2016)

Workplace (In)Equality (7 May 2016) Reddit discussion thread. On situations where men & women are paid the same but men routinely given the harder jobs.

Exclusive: Calgary call centre dispatchers accuse female colleagues of sexual harassment (26 April 2016) Australian Human Rights Commission and state anti-discrimination agencies, are you hearing this? This is what happens when you focus on harassment of women 100% of the time:

“She turned towards me and she said, you can’t sexually harass a man”

Are Sexual Favors In The Workplace Discrimination Against Men? (11 April 2016) with related Reddit discussion thread here.

Men are victims of sexism too (18 March 2016) Some interesting readers comments

Men of Reddit, have you been sexually harassed and if so what did you do? [serious] (13 March 2016)

Male teacher numbers dwindling, work in education an ‘isolating experience’ for men (22 February 2016) Australia

Karalee Katsambanis: Male teachers face shocking prejudice (1 February 2016) Australia

Former Yahoo employee accuses company of gender bias – against men (3 February 2016) Men standing up for their rights under the law dismissed as “some kind of ridiculous trend”

Here are two of countless Reddit/mensrights discussion threads about the sexual harassment of men and boys in the workplace: http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/26kmyx/deleted_by_frogman/ and Bfs boss being highly inappropriate, HR shrugging it off because she was intoxicated (21 January 2016)

Colton Haynes Speaks Out About Male Model Income Inequality (8 January 2016)

Rise of the female sex pest: Think it’s only men who harass colleagues with wandering hands and crude taunts? Not any more (7 January 2016) UK

Men too are victims of sexism, finds survey (21 August 2015) Discussed results of a survey of 2,000 people in India

Sexual harassment inquiry: senior doctors say women can also be perpetrators (12 August 2015)

Women sexually harass female soldiers, says report (20 July 2015)

Traditional Scottish pub barmen stop wearing kilts as women check what is underneath (14 July 2015)

I’m being discriminated against at my job! Help! Reddit discussion thread (24 June 2015)

Privileged Feminists STUNNED by Empirical Evidence – Mike Buchanan MRA London Live TV (26 May 2015) UK

Stop punishing the family man (15 May 2015)

Why Some Male Members of Congress Won’t Be Alone with Female Staffers (14 May 2015)

The unfairer sex? (18 April 2015) Recruitment bias in the STEM sector

‘I was the victim of women sex bullies at work’ (12 April 2015)

Told by my boss I’m intimidating and less effective at my job “because I’m a male” (3 April 2015)

Gender and prestige bias in philosophy (18 March 2015)

How I learnt the importance of reporting sexual harassment in the workplace (10 March 2015) As always, have a good look at the reader’s comments

How feminist propaganda is destroying men’s lives (2 January 2015)

Verbal abuse in the workplace: Are men or women most at risk? (17 November 2014) The same study is also discussed here

Paternity leave:  The rewards and the remaining stigma (7 November 2014)

Sex discrimination against men: 10 ways employers could fall foul (13 October 2014)

Workers happier with members of the same gender, study finds (6 October 2014)

I found a hostile anti-male environment at my new job (2 October 2014) (Reddit discussion thread)

Sexism alive and well in the workplace (A brief discussion on Reddit – perhaps a bit picky but still makes a valid observation) (22 May 2014)

Domestic violence: The NFL isn’t the only workplace with a problem (23 September 2014) See the infographic, which also provides some stats for male victimisation

The myth of the glass ceiling (24 July 2014)

Sexual harassment of men revealed (25 June 2006)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2628308/Childrens-chef-Annabel-Karmel-fired-employee-rejected-sexual-advances-employed-good-looking-men.html (15 May 2014)

http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/22im1h/i_work_in_pr_and_this_happened_in_a_meeting_the/

Women complain a lot, interrupt, developer says at conference (4 June 2014) The article is a beat-up but there are some interesting reader’s comments about harassment/discrimination in the workplace)

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/technology/technologys-man-problem.html?_r=0&referrer=

http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/22ekyr/the_tech_community_works_fine_without_females/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Discussion thread about female on male harassment

Article about male US academic taking action against harassment in his workplace (4 September 2014)

Black knights (22 March 2013)

Profile: Male nursery worker reveals how he faced sexism and prejudice working in the childcare sector (7 March 2013)

Articles concerning false allegations of discrimination or harassment at work

Deutsche Bank Executive Wrongly Fired on `False’ Sex Complaints (25 September 2015)

Monash University awarded $900,000 in indemnity costs for failed sexual harassment case (11 June 2015)

Women falsely accuse man of sexual harassment, man takes women to court (26 March 2015) This was known as the ‘Team Harpy’ case. A good Breitbart article on this issue can be found here.

Articles about how women treat other women/girls at work

“I can’t understand the push for more women in the workplace. My partner has just quit specifically because of problems with women at her workplace. Her sister also has quit her job from a different workplace for the same reason. This prompted me to ask other women I know if they have problems with women in the workplace.

The answers I received staggered me. I have two sisters that I could ask and both said they were having problems with women in the workplace at the moment, but never with men. My own mother when asked said to me, “to be honest with you the only problems I have had in my working life have been with women”.

I have asked now dozens of women when I get the chance, many that are friends, and every one of them say the same thing. That they find it difficult to work with women and that they are the cause of stress in the workplace for them, preferring to work with men.

I challenge readers to ask this question to women they come across. The answers I receive are amazing to me. A real problem that is either unknown or swept under the carpet in my opinion.” (Source)

OPINION: ‘Sexism among women is still sexism. It’s time to stop dragging each other down’ (24 March 2017)

Sexual-Harassment Claims Against a ‘She-E.O.’ (20 March 2017) USA

When female managers are better at kicking you down than helping you up (15 March 2017) Australia

‘Just got thrown a really dirty look like to say ‘ewww”: More than half of women give each other unfriendly and judgmental glares (8 March 2017)

Lorna Jane sportswear former employee Amy Robinson suing company for $550,000 (14 February 2017) This is not the first time female staff at this company have been accused of bullying (google on ‘Lorna Jane bully’)

‘Go and grab a jacket!’: Nine newsreader Amber Sherlock blasts colleague for wearing similar outfit (13 January 2017) Australia. But we’re not allowed to draw attention to women generating toxic workplaces because – misogyny! And now even Clementine Ford has weighed in about terrible it is that people dare to call out inappropriate workplace behaviour by women.

Senior policewoman ‘bared her breasts at younger colleague’ during drunken rant (30 November 2016) UK

Do women prefer female bosses? (18 September 2016)

Horrible bosses exist. But does their gender make a difference? (16 September 2016)

How The Bachelor turns women into misogynists (18 August 2016) Read this article which tells how women only undermine other women when manipulated by TV producers … then read the papers below.

Woman fired because of other women’s insecurities (10 August 2016) Reddit discussion thread

The myth that women secretly hate other women has a long history (24 September 2015) Australia. This author gives every indication of being someone who is deeply, DEEPLY, in denial. Here is a related reddit discussion thread.

A Crack in the Lens: Women working for women, by Lucy Brogden (6 May 2015)

Cutting down the tall poppies: female athletes bullied in Aussie schools (21 July 2015)

Women who don’t want to work for other women (4 May 2015) Video

Sleep with me or be sacked (14 July 2014) with the same issue addressed here where some guy is quoted as having said: “You’ll see more sexual harassment cases in Silicon Valley [like this] because of the male dominated culture“. Here are two of the readers comments that followed:

“Don’t be shocked. My female manager harassed me for years. I was maybe 24 and single, she was probably 40, married and had 2 kids. I knew her family pretty well, which made it even more weird.
For years she would come in and sit on my lap, or make comments like “If I don’t eat soon, I’m going to get goofy and rape you or something”… It was very uncomfortable. Especially since I knew her husband, and her regular “boyfriend”.. Finally, one day she was teasing me, I turned around and said, must you? She says, why is it sexual harassment? I responded, I don’t know, what if you were sitting in this chair and I was behind you tickling your neck, would that be harassment? A week or two later I got my layoff notice… So I don’t find this story hard to believe at all….”

“This is about a woman harassing another woman, but yet this running dog had to curry favor with his feminist masters and find a way to vilify men and make them responsible somehow for the wrongdoing to this female victim. Nobody can just admit that women are as prone to indulge in harassing behavior as men are”

http://c4mb.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/more-american-and-british-men-and-women-prefer-male-bosses-to-female-bosses/

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/24/books/q-a-women-are-nurturing-how-about-cruel-especially-to-one-another.html

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/jul/16/sorry-martin-amis-women-can-be-cruel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c87j-qDStUY&feature=youtube_gdata_player (Warning: Bad language and politically incorrect humour abound in the Youtube offering)

http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/women-ruin-fellow-females-careers-leadership-management-australasia/story-e6frfm9r-1226780106951 (11 December 2013)

Too many women ignore their own misogyny (4 June 2014)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2018776/Why-female-boss-womans-worst-nightmare.html

I don’t want to hire women (14 May 2014)

Women In Academia Are Less Likely Than Men To Cooperate With Lower-Ranked Colleagues (3 March 2014)

Women prefer male bosses even more than men do (16 October 2014)

Out Of The Mouth Of A Female Who Worked At Yahoo: “Who Are The Meanest People In The Corporate World? Women” (12 February 2014) USA. Go to 3:41

Bitches be mean. Ladies be crying. Let’s give them MORE responsibility! Clearly, they can handle it (31 March 2013) USA

Girl cop ‘felt up and slapped five officers’ (10 May 2012)

Women Helping Other Women? Not so Much, it Seems (15 November 2010)

Good Game presenter claims ABC gender bias after axing (October 2009) Australia

Catfights over handbags and tears in the toilets. When this producer launched a women-only TV company she thought she’d kissed goodbye to conflict… (7 April 2009) with related reddit mensrights discussion thread

Women like women more than men like men (December 2004) and related reddit discussion thread

“Hostility to the Presence of Women”: Why Women Undermine Each Other in the Workplace and the Consequences for Title VII (May 2004)

See also:

If festival crowds can unite to help a crowd-surfer, they can unite against sexual assault (6 February 2017) Australia. This article demonstrates the prevailing mindset of only men harass/only women are harassed & it’s men’s duty to defend women. The hypocrisy of creating an assistance ‘hotline’ that only caters for women is lost on these people. See also the reader’s comments

Heinous sexist culture inside STEM industries exposed, by Liz Burke (27 January 2017) Ignores discrimination and recruitment bias against men – the implication being only women are affected. Relies heavily on anecdotes, and fails to provide corresponding statistics for men (ditto) – all typical of pro-feminist journalism/’research’.

Women suffer much more work stress than men, says psychiatrist (30 December 2016) When was the last time you saw an article in the MSM entitled “Men suffer much more <anything>“? Wonder why that is

No man is above unconscious gender bias in the workplace – it’s “unconscious” (14 December 2016) And no woman is above unconscious gender bias either, but this author can’t bring herself to admit that. Perhaps indicative of her own bias?

Women more likely than men to be bullied at work: Report (30 November 2016) Australia

Swedish women get hotline to report mansplaining (16 November 2016) Feminists hard at work addressing the big issues. All men magically know whether each individual woman knows more about a given topic than they do. Well all men except the misogynists it seems. NB: Women never guilty of behaving in a patronising manner.

Statistics from the UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line and Bully OnLine reveal that at least 50% of over 6000 cases involve a female serial bully. The top four sectors for cases are teaching, nursing, social services, and the voluntary / not-for-profit sector, in which there is a higher percentage of female managers. Serial bullies, male or female, can be recognised by their behaviour profile.

Sexual harassment in politics, by Karen Middleton (15 October 2016) Australia. The article contains details of a string of incidents of gross conduct by men in the political sphere. Karen asserts “that attitude and that kind of predatory behaviour is extremely – extremely – common” (para 9), and then in the final paragraph:

“The men I’ve described are ordinary men. That’s the problem – that it is and has been ordinary to behave this way. Women don’t talk about it for lots of reasons. They fear it would damage their careers, their social lives, their relationships. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen …”

No, ordinary men do not behave in this manner, and such conduct is not part of the ordinary course of events in Australian workplaces. It is certainly not “extremely common“. In fact the author admits “it was only a handful of our elected representatives who did these things“.

Karen omitted any/all incidents of female perpetration of abuse. And yet men are also victims, albeit it to a lesser extent, though they also “don’t talk about it for lots of reasons“. Whilst journalists fail in their duty to report the other part of the workplace harassment problem … “But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen”.

Watch your language: The gender bias in job adverts (7 October 2016) To avoid frightening away special snowflakes one shall not use terms like ‘leader’ or ‘competitive’ in job advertisements. Seriously

Why are women stil being judged by appearance? (2 October 2016) Unintended harassment via acts of benevolent sexism (eye roll)

Feminist guru paid $2 million to weed out public service gender bias (17 September 2016) Surely a study that only considers discrimination against women is itself evidence of systemic gender bias? This together with the fact that 66% staff are female (a point I see that has now been raised by Andrew Bolt).

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s department is paying a feminist “change agent” almost $200,000 to conduct a three-month “cultural audit” to find and weed out any unconscious bias against women”

The Unexpected Effects of a Sexual Harassment Educational Program (2 September 2016)

This person has the perfect solution for women in the workplace (2 September 2016) Because only women have to walk on eggshells due to the entitlement and/or fragile egos of their co-workers. Feminist erasure – This blogger failed to upload my comment in relation to her post.

Half of women in UK have been sexually harassed at work, study finds (10 August 2016) No men were surveyed so results give the impression that this problem only affects women. Now why would they do that? See also ‘Report Claiming Half Of Women Harassed At Work Involved Hardline Feminist Group

How men and women can help reduce gender bias in the workplace, by Emma L Johnston (15 July 2016) This piece in The Conversation oozes gynocentric condescension …

“I am a professor and a newly minted pro vice chancellor and I have spent my entire research and working life with male bosses or supervisors. I have never reported to a woman.”

So presumably men have mentored the author throughout her career, and been instrumental in her elevation to the top job. Despite this she implies that the disproportionate number of men in senior positions is sinister, given their inherent propensity to exercise power to the benefit of men. Greater gender equity is only achievable through listening to women’s voices. Men should be grateful for sound guidance that women shall provide … and for any incidental rewards that may come their way. Oh wait, I get it, those men, the first lot, they were different.

(As a footnote: I sent three tweets in response to this article (see Twitter stream 15 July 2016) and was immediately blocked by the author. What a curiously inept response for someone so obviously well-credentialled to attempt to defend her position.

Middle-aged women bosses more at risk of sexual harassment, finds study (30 June 2016) I can’t locate the results of the Australian Journal of Public Administration study cited in the article anywhere online … if anyone reading this can provide a link, then pls let me know. Thanks in advance.

Research: Vague Feedback Is Holding Women Back (29 April 2016) with related Reddit discussion thread here.

Sexual harassment rife in service industry because ‘customer is always right’ (8 March 2016) Article ignores harassment of male hospitality workers

Flexible work a career killer for men: report (3 February 2016) Australia

Men must be on board to help eradicate workplace gender bias (18 December 2015) Ireland. Because workplace gender bias only consists of (according to feminist journalists) men discriminating against women.

Female firefighter hits out at secret report, feels ‘used’ by Jane Garrett (16 December 2015) Jane Garrett is the Victorian State Emergency Services Minister. A feminist politician “pushing an anti-male agenda“? Oh, surely not.

Julia Gillard was right. Sexism is rampant in Australia (9 December 2015) The article is predictable one-sided feminist tosh – more interesting were the number of anti-feminist and anti-Gillard reader’s comments

Well done, feminism. Now men are afraid to help women at work (1 October 2015) UK

These men’s rights activists are using a 1950s law to shut down women in tech (2 September 2015) and related reddit discussion thread

#ThankYouEllenPao? Only if You Like Bullying, Vexatious Opportunists (30 March 2015)

Why the U.S. Economy Is Biased Against Men, by Marty Nemko (18 April 2012)

Elsewhere in this blog you might also be interested in reading:

Recruitment bias favours hiring female staff

Fudging the figures to support the feminist narrative

Profound gender bias at the Australian Human Rights Commission (Part 1)

I thought women were meant to be more empathetic?

Companies with women at the helm perform better (so they say)

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