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Argument against sexual harassment policies - Essay Example

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Sexual harassment relates to the provision of a hostile or abusive environment, which includes “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature” (“U.S. Department of State” 2014, p. 1). Sexual harassment…
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Argument against sexual harassment policies August 7, Argument against sexual harassment policies Introduction
Sexual harassment relates to the provision of a hostile or abusive environment, which includes “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature” (“U.S. Department of State” 2014, p. 1). Sexual harassment policies lay out the consequences of people who get involved in sexual harassment as the act is recognized as an infringement of one’s civil rights. These consequences could be in the form of financial compensation, or otherwise. However, various instances regarded as sexual harassment do not qualify as such, as some actions should be looked at from a personal point of view. Therefore, the following discussion aims at highlighting various incidences that advocate for the abolishment of sexual harassment policies.
Sexual advances as a form of interaction
Men and women interact on a daily basis as they attend to their day-to-day activities. These interactions help them to form relations that make the world a better place to live in as they develop close ties. Given that men and women are sexual beings, it follows that they also get attracted to each other sexually. Consequent to these, either party could make sexual advances to the other party. Such sexual advances help in establishing relationships that may go bad, or succeed, hence benefit both parties.
Freedom of expression
All human beings possess the freedom of speech. They have the right to express themselves based on their independent opinion. Learning institutions, for example, serve as places where lecturers pass on valuable information to their students. Therefore, expression of such information in a manner that may result in a sexually intimidating environment should not be seen as illegal. Regarding such an environment as sexually harassing may hinder the development of valuable information, leading to a sterile learning environment. Consequent to these, sexual harassment policies ought to be abolished, thus allow the free flow of information.
Ambiguity of sexual harassment
Offensive behavior ought to be clear to any party involved, as well as the third parties involved in the situation. Such clarity allows the concerned parties to have an informed perception of the behavior in question. However, sexual harassment constitutes a lot of ambiguity. It constitutes of several interpretations, depending on the people concerned (Tinkler, 2008). People at times use their own values and beliefs to determine whether an act qualifies as sexual harassment. The different cultures that people come from also differentiate what people regard as sexual harassment. An environment, for example, which involves unwelcome sexual advances, yet not protested leads to ambiguity in determining if it constitutes sexual harassment. This follows the personal values and beliefs of the parties involved. If the person receiving the advances does not protest then it becomes tricky as to whether actual sexual harassment occurs.
Gender insensitivity
Sexual harassment policies mostly refer to women as the victims of harassment. However, women could also subject men to harassing behavior. Given that most sexual harassment emanates from people in higher positions in the workplace, women in higher positions than men could also provide male subordinates with a hostile sexual environment. Therefore, sexual harassment policies do not consider the position of male persons, which means that they should be abolished.
Conclusion
Conclusively, sexual harassment policies provide unnecessary restrictions. They hinder people from exercising their freedom of expression. They also interfere with the individual values that people hold based on their culture. Moreover, they tend to favor women at the expense of men. Therefore, these policies should be abolished.
References
Tinkler, J. (2008). “People Are Too Quick to Take Offense”: The Effects of Legal Information and Beliefs on Definitions of Sexual Harassment. Law & Social Inquiry, 33(2), 417-445.
U.S Department of State Diplomacy in Action. (2014). Sexual Harassment Policy. U.S Department of State. Retrieved from Read More
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