According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
Bill O’Reilly, formerly of Fox News, was recently accused of multiple cases of sexual harassment. Although none of these accusations have been proven, Fox News and 21st Century Fox have taken action. The Murdoch family, who control 21st Century Fox, decided that O’Reilly would not be returning to Fox News. I applaud their decision.
After the election, it has been proven women are almost never taken seriously when making sexual harassment or assault complaints against men in the workplace. Hell, we currently have a president who has had multiple sexual harassment and assault allegations made against him but nothing has happened. It’s not just that the president has these complaints made against him, but he has defended and supported O’Reilly as he has gone through the same thing.
Do we see the chain?
Trump supports a news reporter who has multiple sexual harassment allegations made against him, who then worked under a man who stepped down after allegations were made against him and the cycle continues on.
As a result, the message that sexual harassment is not a serious accusation is spread. It becomes understood that people of power will not face the consequences. Harassers will be protected and when women do report sexual harassment it will be fought until it is causing the victim more damage than good and they will agree to a settlement.
Even though O’Reilly’s departure was said to be mutual, it is a step in the right direction. Women shouldn’t feel threatened to step foot into their place of employment because another employee feels they have the power to tell her to pull up her skirt, keep her hair down or unbutton just one more button. Companies should be focused on the environment they provide for their employees instead of focusing so intently on their image that they allow men like O’Reilly to continuously cause pain to others.