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How There Is A Generational Difference In The View Of Sexual Harassment How There Is A Generational Difference In The View Of Sexual Harassment

Bronze medal Reporter Adv. Aneeta Posted 12 Nov 2020
How There Is A Generational Difference In The View Of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is “…any form of unwelcome sexual behavior that's offensive, humiliating or intimidating….”

These days sexual harassment and sexual misconduct are a constant theme with new allegations on a daily basis.

There is a big difference in the view of sexual harassment between older and younger women.  It seems younger women are the ones who are willing to speak out about sexual harassment and move to remedy the situation. 

In the olden days, it was believed that women will lose their job if they complained of being sexually harassed. But the youngsters now a day are not keeping quiet. Instead, the young woman often responds by reporting it to the manager of her particular department.

However, this behavior---which would have thought to be bold in an earlier generation---doesn’t mean the young woman doesn’t face the same consequences the older generation of women would have faced.

Young women who experience sexual harassment have often been taught to keep quiet about the misconduct they faced. More than unemployment, it seems that in the earlier generation it was a shame in those days to give a complaint. One needs to be clear: the shame was usually placed on the woman, not the man.

Now some parents are actually teaching their younger female children to be safe by talking to the parents about any difficulty they have any situations which are uncomfortable. These same parents most likely are also teaching their male children to respect women of all ages. This is usually a part of the discussion about the equality of women in today’s industrialized society.

This looking at the generational difference between the response of older and younger women to sexual harassment also needs to put the generational difference into a cultural context. While older women may well have had far more traditional and rural values as their cultural upbringing, this younger generation is far more individual-focused.

With the help of MeToo sites, women can be more open about their situation and the sexual harassment they face. It is widely believed in the modern, urban, individualized culture of cities around the globe that being open is what will help the upcoming generation of young women who will follow.

Among behaviors that are most mentioned as inappropriate by both older and young women, including winking, comments on attractiveness, or lower-back touching, many older women are more likely to say they didn't have any strong feelings about those behaviors, accepting these as the price of being in a mixed community or office of men and women.

Younger women were likelier to find these and any intrusion on their individuality inappropriate. Individuality is important because it can give young people the courage and wisdom to put aside society’s demands. It is the primary characteristic of adolescence.

Yet even in the time where individuality is the strongest driver of personality, society intrudes.

For example, the cultural rule for many older generation women around the world is: “…when a child, nurtured by the parents; when a woman, obedient to her husband;, when older, the ward of her children...”

In a modern, urban, industrialized world, all that disappears. The young woman learns through experience that being alone is also being vulnerable. Being in a hostel is not being in heaven.

What this suggests is that the “sweet spot” between the experiences of older women and younger women is balancing personal individuality with relationships with supportive men who offer respectful friendship, income-sharing, and care-giving when there is sexual harassment in the workplace.

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