1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

14

12

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

35

34

36

40

37

38

39

41

45

42

43

44

46

50

47

48

49

9

10

11

13

Dealing with workplace harassment, bullying and discrimination to create a respectful workplace

Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.

ARTICLES

#5
WOMEN PUTTING UP PROVOCATIVE PINUPS

 

Over the last several years there has been a lot more sensitivity shown in the workplace with regard to co-workers putting up pictures of near-naked women, provocative calendars, or other erotic or suggestive pinups. Many workplaces accept and understand these kinds of pictures can make employees uncomfortable.

 

Interestingly, women who put up pictures of provocative male poses, such as Fire Fighter or Chippendale calendars, often feel this is acceptable. Why is this? It could be because they feel they’re “getting back” at men, or “if it’s ok for the guys, it’s ok for us,” “it’s harmless,” or even “it doesn’t bother the guys.”

 

But we’re looking for respect and fairness in the workplace. Pinups and drawings, even in private places such as a locker, the bathroom or in an office, can lead to a hostile work environment. You can think of it this way – if a guy would get into trouble for pinning up a sexual picture, but a woman wouldn’t for pinning up something similar – where is the fairness? Plain and simple, all such material needs to be removed or not sent around via social media. But before you approach anyone else, make sure you are not contributing to the issue in your own area. If you have in the past, see "But I used to say that" for ideas on what to do.

 

TRY THIS:

 

Talk to the person one to one. Explain your concern about the pinup, and allow an exchange. If she says any of the above excuses, such as “it’s harmless” or “the guys don’t care,” then ask how she would feel if a sexual picture of women was pinned up. If she responds, “that’s different,” ask how so? Discuss that the workplace environment needs to be comfortable for everyone, and it doesn’t matter if no one has complained.

 

HOW ABOUT:

 

“I’d like to talk to you about the calendar you have posted at your desk. The picture is very suggestive, and I don’t feel it belongs in the workplace. We need to be respectful of all our employees, and the calendar is objectifying men.”

 

(after an excuse that it’s ok) “I understand you feel that way; however, I’m sure if a male co-worker put up a nearly-naked woman it would be a concern to you and/or to others. Even if you said that would be ok, either picture would make this place seem like it’s ok to treat people as objects.”

 

“Pictures such as these silently tell visitors, guests, and all our employees that we are fine with having sexy pictures. This is unprofessional – it doesn’t belong in the workplace. Having a picture like this at your desk also sends a message about you. We need to make sure we respect ourselves and have others respect us in turn.”

 

“It’s unfair to say men are ok with it. They might not feel comfortable telling you, as you might tease them about their sensitivity.”

 

 

Stephen Hammond, B.A., LL.B., CSP

If you have any questions, please contact Stephen.

Stephen's NEW Book

available now

© STEPHEN HAMMOND - HARASSMENT SOLUTIONS INC.    
 
CONTACT

Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.

Here's a FREE selection of articles that address many different problems and situations in your workplace.

© STEPHEN HAMMOND HARASSMENT SOLUTIONS INC.
 
  
 
CONTACT