Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
The pressure had been building for decades. As more women entered the workforce, the problem of sexual harassment continued to grow. For a long time, you didn’t hear much about it on the news or in the courts, but the rage was building; so was the outrage. Then last fall the New York Times published the Harvey Weinstein article and the dam finally burst.
It wasn’t just prominent men who were being accused. Within 24 hours of the first #MeToo tweet by actor Alyssa Milano, Facebook saw 12 million posts and comments. Millions more used Twitter and other social media to recount their experiences. Before long, it seemed everyone who hadn’t spoken up knew someone who had.
Now that the issue has gotten everyone’s attention, it’s important to ask some basic and deceptively simple questions.
- What kinds of behavior are (and are not) considered sexual harassment, in the courts, in the workplace and within healthcare?
- How widespread is the problem? Twelve million Facebook posts sounds like a lot, but there are more than 72 million working women in the U.S. Surely more than 16% have been harassed.
- Finally, what will it take to calm the raging flood of sexual harassment? Why haven’t seemingly commonsensical solutions worked? Are there any promising new approaches?