When people come to define sexual harassment in general, the first thought which comes to mind is physical harassment. Although the perplexity of verbal harassment is much more severe, and much graver, most people tend to overlook the manner at which men communicate with women in the workplace. Living in a male dominated society, we have yet a long way to go, especially given the terms and sentences men say to women at the workplace, thinking there is no offense with what they are saying. Things some men think to be terms of endearment.
Some unconscious biases need to be broken, and need to become conscious yet again. One would think it only takes common sense in order to distinguish the appropriate from the inappropriate, however hard it may be to grasp, women do not find these expressions to be in any way respectful, appropriate, ethical, moral, or socially acceptable. So today, we have compiled a list of things one should never say to a woman at the workplace, and how women actually feel about them.
Sweetie, cutie, honey
“I am not sweet, cute, or an edible to you, these are not terms of endearment and I go by my own name.”
Is it that time of the month?
“Why thank you for keeping my menstrual cycle on your daily schedule.”
“Yes my hormones are out of whack please collect them, get them on a leash, and bring them back to me to tame.”
How did you learn to do all of this?
“Yes because my mind is the size of a squirrel’s, only men can learn this task.”
You’re a girl, but you’re not like a girl.
“Well thank you for noticing, pointing it out, and then stating that I am not what I actually am, your wisdom is teaching me so much.”
Are you going to eat all that?
“Yes, I have the belly of a monster; one more word and I might accidentally devour your presence only to get rid of you, do you have a problem with that?”
You’ll get that job because you’re a woman.
“What’s that supposed to mean? Really?! And my degree and diplomas make beautiful wall decorations.”
You look great for your age! Or: You look younger!
“Why thank you, that’s because my age is very much your business is it?”
Can you take notes?
“Why did your hands just fall of, or were you dropped on your head?”
Are you one of those feminists?
“Yes because you understand feminism so much you think we are already equals”
You seem awfully relaxed today!
“Yes, thank you for sticking your nose into my business and assuming I feel relaxed with your genius comments.”
You ask a lot of questions.
“Why thank you for taking notice of that, my tiny brain doesn’t comprehend your perfectly unclear explanation, I enjoy hearing your voice so much I need you to repeat.”
Why are you dolled up?
“Not for you, or this office I’m not.”
Are you wearing that?
“Yes because all of a sudden you are the fashion police, or the human resources code of conduct on legs, you really have the right to impose your tasteless opinion.”
This job is not fit for a girl!
“Does your masculinity really determine what is fit for me or not?”
I didn’t mean to say that in front of you!
“Because it is much better said behind my back, right?”