Workplace Sexual Harassment: A Survivor's Perspective
At Daya, we believe there are many paths to healing. When faced with so many systemic barriers and roadblocks, survivors often find strength in creative activities such as art, dance, and creative writing. Below is an anonymous blog by a Daya client in which she recounts scenes that her employer actually asked her team to "act out". She shares her experience with the community to uplift the reality of workplace sexual harassment.
TRIGGER WARNING: The content below is sensitive in nature and may bring up feelings of anger or pain. She shares her experience with the community to uplift the reality of workplace sexual harassment.
For Help: If you or someone you are experiencing workplace sexual harassment, we invite you to reach out to Daya for support at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-981-7645
More for information, please see https://www.dayahouston.org/workplace-sexual-harassment
Whistleblower – unsubstantiated, Bollywood style.
Heroine- South Asian female
Villain/Director/Casting Director- South Asian male manager, of the cloth, and musician Lead Supporting Actress – Caucasian female
Supporting Actress #1 – Minority woman of the cloth Supporting Actress #2 - Mixed ethnicity female Supporting Actors – All men
Like the famous theme park, this company doesn’t hire “employees” – they hire cast members. They aren’t just hired for a job; they play a role in a show. It’s a full-time performance. Doesn’t matter that this is health care. We will still put on a show. It will be a Bollywood soap opera series. The South Asian female will have a short-term guest appearance, only there to create the optics necessary to hide acts of racism, gender bias, sexual harassment, and discrimination of age and national origin. Repeat as often as necessary.
“You want to get lots of awards?”
“You didn’t get a promotion? You want to get promoted with me? I’m President and you are
Vice President - in 5 years”.
“Want to have some fun while we do this?” Play along with me, you are in my show.
Trailer: Episode 1- Hide sexual harassment:
Be clever about sexual advances. Use nonverbals that can’t be recorded or proven. Turn around and use nonverbals that indicate that your penis is going up and you need a few moments for it to go down before you can talk again.
Be indirect. Slowly put a bottle of white sauce in front of the lady while indicating sexual interest with nonverbal gestures.
Mask your advances with innocent sounding questions: “Are we going to practice those customer interactions?”
Don’t say you want to get her to sleep with you. Say “she has a pretty face, she can be developed.”
All the men whistle and gather around her so she is the one seen as the problem.
Keep a trained woman next to you at all times to tell HR that nothing happened.
Trailer: Episode 2 - Hide racism and discrimination
Everyone talk to the other woman of the same ethnicity/national origin and be sure it is in front of her to create the optics that this is not about gender or ethnicity. Then get the other woman a promotion at another company.
Secretly set up a diversity group on LinkedIn and host guest speakers of different ethnicities.
Hire a blonde minority so she can play both sides.
Use religious beliefs to coerce the woman of the cloth to do the dirty work for you.
Stage a scene that you are interested in sex with a minority woman
Trailer: Episode 3 - Hide the gender bias
Brainwash/train 1-2 women to do exactly what you want. Create the optics that you support them fully while you belittle the others.
Tell them it is really about work life balance with their kids.
Trailer: Episode 4 - Unsubstantiate the whistleblower
Hire similar minorities in other areas of the company. Even have them work with Caucasians in your area on temporary assignments.
Say you are only effectively implementing the great “famous theme park” training. Say you are protecting the company from EEOC claims. Say it is all just a show to demonstrate you know how to unsubstantiate whistleblowers.
So, how do we prevent, address, remove all this? Not through HR or EEOC. It will take a different type of self-defense training. Stay tuned.
Any views expressed in the content of this blog belong to the author, and not Daya or its employees.