For years I have studied the insidious reality of persons harmed by perpetrators of sexual abuse. The ones whose lives have been overthrown by such acts are without number. Yes, I am aware of the reported statistics, but the unreported incidents far outweigh the reported ones. The same situation exists with raging nemesis of sexual harassment. The unreported cases are greater that the reported ones. This is common knowledge to both researchers and employers.
Our cultural delimma regarding sexual harassment is the awareness that it is rampant on the one hand, and the formal repudiation of it on the other hand. The contradiction is played out in the corporate world and continues to grow. The phenomenon of “Sex In The Forbidden Zone” is not merely lightweight observational reportage on a moral relic from the past. It is a thunderous witness hurled into the murky waters of the present.
Orwell wrote prophetically about our time in his social epic 1984. Orwell wrote passionately about the confusion and split in thinking that occurs in culture when well-founded moral ground is trampled upon and discarded. Orwell calls this type of thinking “Doublethink.” Doublethink is the ability “to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them both to be contradictory and believing both.” He has captured the thinking about sexual harassment in our culture.
The State of California has put in place laws that protect persons on the job from sexual harassment. These laws are not merely there to hush the cries of the abused. They are there to protect persons from having to negotiate a hostile work environment that seek to undermine privacy and appropriate boundaries. The laws against sexual harassment are there to stay the tongue that is savaged by comments about the physical appearance of an individual.
Persons have the right to flourish and grow in their work environment without fearing the unwanted caress of unwelcome hands. Sexual Harassment training is mandatory in the State of California not only for employers of fifty or more employees, but their vendors too.
Sexual Harassment in the workplace is pandemic in our country. The State of California has again stepped out and become a leader in the movement to see to it that sexual harassment in the workplace becomes an ancient relic only dimly remembered. Sexual Harassment is traumatic. It creates a wound in the soul of a person because he or she is de-huamnized thereby and their self-efficacy is crushed. It is time to be serious about removing the Orwellian phenomenon of Doublethink from the workplace.
We must change the thinking about the importance of human capital. Persons are not to be exploited or used for the entertainment of the morally blind. Persons must be encouraged to become whole. Businesses can only harm themselves when their labor forces are compromised by sexual harassment. Surely a sound cost benefits analysis would reveal this to be true. Each business must have an anti-sexual harassment algorithm that addresses a zero tolerance for unwelcome sexual conduct in the workplace. Such a policy would go a long way in stopping Orwellian Doublethink in the American business marketplace.