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Old 30th October 2018, 21:48   #61
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Default Re: #MeToo - Women's Safety in India

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Originally Posted by nikhilck View Post
This guy starts staring at her, I was like "dude what are you doing, what's that for?". He was unapologetic. I don't remember the exact words he said but he was unapologetic. I felt that he had been rejected in the past and was bitter about it.
He stared.. that's a fact, but how can one infer that a guy will stare only if there is a past rejection and as a result he will be bitter and will resort to staring? Heck, even you noticed that she was a "pretty girl", impossible to know that she is pretty unless one looks. Relationships happen, even with those who aren't looking for one.. eventually there is also a parting of ways in certain cases, it takes two to tango. I can almost certainly tag this as misandry, though I do understand the context in which you're saying it.

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And he was showing that anger on others by staring at them and making them uncomfortable. This is an educated man working for one of the top MNC now. He recently got married. I wonder if his wife knows he's a misogynist.
Education is just something one does in order to earn a living, a top MNC is another airconditioned-shop where the bottom feeding via America happens.. has absolutely no connection with virtues or behavior. I know a few women who're married and still stare at "good looking" men, BTW, and are quite open about their crushes. I think in this globalized world where everything is known via the internet.. there is so much virtue-signalling that maybe even a partly biological propensity to "look around innocently" is seen as misogyny (a.k.a outright hatred of women), I don't quite see the connection. However I'm not saying that the man you know did nothing wrong, specially if he is married, but I wouldn't jump to tagging him a misogynist by any stretch of imagination.

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When women step out, they are subjected to a lot of stares. It's hard for us men to grasp the extent of it because we're not on the receiving end. But I've seen it and it's just upsetting.
Its an India thing, ever seen women who peek and look around when walking? One would have to observe very keenly because they are very discreet in doing so, but they do look around 360 degrees, either for their own safety or just as a natural walking habit. In India everyone is taught to stare.. it starts in school itself. America is quite the opposite, you can be bumping elbows walking around in NY or even walk around in your underwear and most people will not stare (though catcalling videos are recorded in hours shown in America, on YouTube).

What I do have a problem with is, in all the platitudinous virtue-signalling that is happening today.. blindly painting all men as chauvinistic, selfish, a menace to society etc all with a swift stroke of a brush, one fact seems to escape the most in this gender divide - men and women are destined to dance together until they exist. I read a fantastic article on the gender divide and how each gender is programmed subconsciously to act a certain way in order to obtain a life-partner.. a DNA level programming that is so mind-blowing that we'd all feel so cliched when we learn to analyze it.

Yes, bad people exist, its the reason why crime is so high, its the reason why robberies happen, why we take so many precautions. Female related crimes do happen, and on a human level these depraved perpetrators of said crimes should be suitably punished and be set as an example seeing which there should be nothing but fear... however that is for the law to crack down upon and process accordingly, even the recent case of a male who committed suicide due to a constant pressure of another woman to have relations with her even though he was married.

Times are a-changin in India.. good or bad I do not know, however one can only wish that every man/woman uses their discretion and precaution whilst trying to live as much of a normal life as possible through all the phases of their life. Most of the #MeToo stories are because of a regressive society, a pathetic legal framework and people who are aware of both and fully intend to exploit them.

Last edited by dark.knight : 30th October 2018 at 21:57.
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Old 2nd November 2018, 10:14   #62
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https://indianexpress.com/article/in...e-bar-5430257/

#MeToo | Day after, Tata Group says: We hear Pandit, opportunity to raise the bar
Written by Shalini Nair | New Delhi | Updated: November 2, 2018

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Tata Group was responding to a report in The Indian Express on former staffer Anjuli Pandit’s allegations of sexual harassment against former Taj Hotels CEO and MD Rakesh Sarna and that she knocked on many doors but few heard.

Incidentally, it is the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) at Workplace Act 2013 that applies to complaints like Pandit’s — rather than any “code’ adopted by a company.
Calling the #MeToo movement as a “watershed moment occurring across the country and the world”, the Tata Group said today that they “hear” Anjuli Pandit and “recognise the opportunity to raise the bar”.

The Group was responding to a report in The Indian Express on former staffer Pandit’s allegations of sexual harassment against former Taj Hotels CEO and MD Rakesh Sarna and that she knocked on many doors but few heard.

The Indian Express report had pointed out how Sarna was also on Taj Hotel’s Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) internal committee, leaving Pandit with no option but to approach the senior management at Tata Sons, a step, she said, that eventually cost her her job in November 2015.

In her piece in The Indian Express, also published Thursday, Pandit said “my experience at Tata derailed all my professional and personal life goals” forcing her to change “career paths, move countries, and cry, a lot”.

Months after her resignation, when she refused to sign a letter stating that she quit “purely on personal reasons”, Tata Sons set up a second committee to look into her complaint. While Pandit deposed before the second committee in August 2016, she said that she has still not received a copy of the panel’s report.

Yesterday, in an email response to The Indian Express, IHCL (Taj Hotels) spokesperson said: “The matter referred to in your mail was investigated and dealt with by an appropriate independent committee constituted for this purpose.”

Today, in a second email, a Tata Group spokesperson said that the hearing with Pandit was held under the “Tata Code of Conduct”. The spokesperson said, “Every complaint matters, and each matter is investigated with the highest care and respect, through a rigorous process established under the Tata Code of Conduct. We have always taken decisive action on evidence of inappropriate conduct in the organization.”

Incidentally, it is the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) at Workplace Act 2013 that applies to complaints like Pandit’s — rather than any “code’ adopted by a company — and mandates certain processes including that the complainant be given a copy of the report within a stipulated time.

The Tata spokesperson added, “The matter regarding Ms Pandit was investigated by an appropriate independent committee. The findings were informed to Ms Pandit by a former director of IHCL.”

But Pandit reiterated that she is yet to get the report. “Since the hearing in August 2016, I repeatedly chased them for a copy of the report. All I was told is that I should drop the case now and we should all move on. It was made very clear that they didn’t want to conclude the report. The very next day, I was shocked to see an article in a financial paper stating that Rakesh Sarna has been given a clean chit in the sexual harassment case,” she said.

National Commission for Women Chairperson Rekha Sharma called the company’s refusal to hand over Pandit a copy of its probe report as “totally illegal”. “The survivor can approach us and we will direct the firm to hand over the report to her,” said Sharma.

Sharma pointed out that the current composition of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) under POSH fails to protect survivors whose perpetrators are higher up in the organisational structure as in case of Sarna.

“When the sexual harassment complaint is against the top-most person and the committee members report to him, most of the time the decision of the committee members is according to that of the top-most person. This is the main lacuna in the law,” she said, adding that one possible solution is to have more external members and experts in the ICC, especially when it comes to the ICC chairpersons so that they cannot come under the pressure of superiors within the firm.

In its reply, Tata Sons also added that it has “zero tolerance policy when it comes to harassment of any kind”. It said, “We must all acknowledge the pivotal position that corporate workplaces play in promoting inclusive and empowering environments. The role of women in the workforce and participation in decision-making structures is mission-critical for our future.”
I salute the courage of this brave young woman. Her experience in greater detail can be read on the web in other news reports. It is an example of what do you do if the head of the POSH Committee is the perpetrator. We do not know the other side of the story but the fact that she pursued it through the hierarchy only to be rebuffed says something about Tata's stables.
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Old 2nd November 2018, 12:10   #63
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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
I salute the courage of this brave young woman. Her experience in greater detail can be read on the web in other news reports. It is an example of what do you do if the head of the POSH Committee is the perpetrator. We do not know the other side of the story but the fact that she pursued it through the hierarchy only to be rebuffed says something about Tata's stables.
And this is where I see the value of movements like #metoo. Organizations or groups which chose not to act or remain silent (against individual voices) cannot afford to do so now. Similar thing in Bollywood as well. I see many articles/news bits about how strongly Bollywood has reacted to the #metoo allegations. As if other members of Phantom films did not know about Vikas Bahl, or Akshay Kumar was completely unaware of Sajid Khan’s shady ways. Because it came out as a collective voice, they are forced to act on.
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Old 2nd November 2018, 12:37   #64
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Default Re: #MeToo - Women's Safety in India

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It is an example of what do you do if the head of the POSH Committee is the perpetrator.
I find this part odd. According to POSH rules, the MD/CEO cannot be part of the ICC. The ICC president has to be a woman, and then some senior staff as members (can be male), and an external NGO member. The ICC will advice MD/CEO to take action after their investigation. If the MD/CEO ignores the advice, the NGO member can raise hell, unlike the employee members.
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Old 2nd November 2018, 13:14   #65
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I find this part odd. According to POSH rules, the MD/CEO cannot be part of the ICC. The ICC president has to be a woman, and then some senior staff as members (can be male), and an external NGO member. The ICC will advice MD/CEO to take action after their investigation. If the MD/CEO ignores the advice, the NGO member can raise hell, unlike the employee members.
I believe this occurrence was in the 2013 or slightly earlier. The POSH Act was passed in December 2013 and given operational guidelines through the new Companies Act 2013 which took effect from April 1st, 2014. Having said that it seems several large companies are not compliant with the Act even today.
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Old 2nd November 2018, 13:32   #66
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The India head at a company I was working for was fired on the basis of a complaint made by an intern. Apparently the India head 'suggested' that they travel together to a country and spend a couple of days on holiday there, en route to a business-related conference in another country.

So, there are some companies that take this sort of thing very seriously.

But alas, there don't seem to be any long-term consequences for such behaviors. The above-mentioned India head is now working as one of the top guys at another company in a different city and his photo is very prominently displayed on that company's website.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 08:44   #67
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I worked in Human Resources for a prominent professional services company and while dealing predominantly with women what I've come to understand is that most of the inertia the '#MeToo Agenda' has garnered among women is to the best of it made-up and I'm not referring to reported cases, I'm referring to the cloud of confusion that eventually matures into an official complaint.

If I go by most of their standards of determining what abuse/harassment is then I've been abused and harassed all my life and I've been too naive to notice it.

Another thing I've observed is that women have a way of discrediting someone they dislike without ever taking a logical stand or giving the other party the benefit of the doubt. I've literally seen people use this as a conversation starter;

(Me, Female Colleague, Female Manager)

Female Colleague: Have you noticed how XXX stares at our boobs?

Female Manager: Is it? I've heard about this but I've not experienced it yet.

Female Colleague: (Blows up the Incident, trying to extract pity out of the situation playing the damsel in distress)

Me: Have you told XXX that he is making you uncomfortable?

Female Colleague: No.

Me: You do realize that in retrospect XXX doesn't seem to have caused you any harm or have displayed any intent of doing so, right?

Female Colleague: Yes.

Me: Then why are you discrediting him like that behind his back? Because from where I see things primal urges are natural and just like you and me XXX would also have them, and if they're making you uncomfortable then the educated thing to do would be to confront him first rather than spread rumors.

(At this point the Female Manager sides with my Female Colleague and gangs up on me advising how society works and how the 'Indian' culture is, all the while I was contemplating killing myself as it would've been better than sharing breathing space with these idiots)
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Old 3rd November 2018, 16:55   #68
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Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
I worked in Human Resources for a prominent professional services company
Refer to this post. You might find it useful in your professional life...

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
It always helps to look at hard data. Gives a clearer picture than panic stricken initial reactions. Allow me to share my experience on the ground
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Old 3rd November 2018, 17:27   #69
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I worked in Human Resources for a prominent professional services company ...

If I go by most of their standards of determining what abuse/harassment is then I've been abused and harassed all my life and I've been too naive to notice it.
...

Me: Have you told XXX that he is making you uncomfortable?

Female Colleague: No.

Me: You do realize that in retrospect XXX doesn't seem to have caused you any harm or have displayed any intent of doing so, right?

Female Colleague: Yes.

Me: Then why are you discrediting him like that behind his back? Because from where I see things primal urges are natural and just like you and me XXX would also have them, and if they're making you uncomfortable then the educated thing to do would be to confront him first rather than spread rumors.

...
It baffles me that an HR manager would make an employee understand that staring at her body is okay as long as no harm is done. A man who can't control his eyes in a workplace has really ran out of options, I think.

Also, do you expect employees to solve problem within themselves first before raising the issue? Should the women have asked the other person to stop ogling? If they are not comfortable talking to him, then they shouldn't come to HR, is this what is suggested?

It is not necessary for ANY complaint to wait till some harm is caused. 'Preventive action' is necessary and useful in many cases, especially when multiple people experience same symptoms from a lunatic.

Protecting an office psycho ogling women just because he hasn't 'done' anything yet is not right. For whatever it is worth, the correct action in this case is to warn to the man (not the complainant) to control his urges and eyes, or else to suffer to consequences.

BTW the incidence you have narrated is what women tell in MeToo. If someone's 'Primal Urge' is to ogle at women to the point to make them uncomfortable, then perhaps they don't belong in the world of humans, but only primates.

Last edited by ani_meher : 3rd November 2018 at 17:29.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 20:06   #70
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Humoserious aside.

A colleague was tall, female and well endowed. Her manager was quite short, but that was not an excuse. One day, I laughed at her "I'm up here" t-shirt. She told me that she wore it specifically for that manager.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 20:42   #71
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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Refer to this post. You might find it useful in your professional life...
I sure have read it.

Though as experienced as Mr.N is I'd rather form my own opinion of things after witnessing the fact as numbers alone do not do justice when it comes to human metrics, period.

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Originally Posted by ani_meher View Post
It baffles me that an HR manager would make an employee understand that staring at her body is okay as long as no harm is done. A man who can't control his eyes in a workplace has really ran out of options, I think.

Also, do you expect employees to solve problem within themselves first before raising the issue? Should the women have asked the other person to stop ogling? If they are not comfortable talking to him, then they shouldn't come to HR, is this what is suggested?

It is not necessary for ANY complaint to wait till some harm is caused. 'Preventive action' is necessary and useful in many cases, especially when multiple people experience same symptoms from a lunatic.

Protecting an office psycho ogling women just because he hasn't 'done' anything yet is not right. For whatever it is worth, the correct action in this case is to warn to the man (not the complainant) to control his urges and eyes, or else to suffer to consequences.

BTW the incidence you have narrated is what women tell in MeToo. If someone's 'Primal Urge' is to ogle at women to the point to make them uncomfortable, then perhaps they don't belong in the world of humans, but only primates.
Dear Sir, just like the other parties involved in the extract shared you've made your own assumptions and concluded that the person in question i.e XXX is at fault.

Have you considered that;

1. XXX could be suffering from strabismus.

2. My Female Colleague could've misinterpreted the whole scenario.

3. My Female Colleague was just trying to start the conversation at the expense of someone else, a practice quite common in the Indian corporate setup.

If you widen your perspective you would realize that there are 'N' number of scenarios that have been unconsciously overseen to reach the cliche conclusion that the 'Guy' is at fault for making a 'Girl' feel uncomfortable, which is the result of years of psychological conditioning an individual growing up in a typical Indian household is subjected to.

Irrespective of gender say if you do something that makes me uncomfortable do I have the right to discredit you behind your back or convince other less informed individuals to gang up on you?

The plain and simple answer is 'NO'

The ideal thing for me to do would be to confront you in a civilized manner to make better sense of the situation and then proceed according to situational demands.

That is all that I am saying.

And if anyone was wondering the actual reason was Option 3 stated above, and it is not a conclusion I've blindly made as the colleague in question later did apologize to me(Still illogical as I was not the affected party here!) and overtime has become a decent friend of mine and after a year of me resigning she still reaches out to me from time to time for non-work related personal matters, no vested interests here as I've been unemployed since as I'm currently working on a complete career shift.

Last edited by ashwinprakas : 3rd November 2018 at 20:46.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 20:56   #72
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Dear Moderators I am quoting the entire post as the full text is necessary for readers to grasp the points being emphasized and not have to toggle up and down. Please permit it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
I worked in Human Resources for a prominent professional services company and while dealing predominantly with women what I've come to understand is that most of the inertia the '#MeToo Agenda' has garnered among women is to the best of it made-up and I'm not referring to reported cases, I'm referring to the cloud of confusion that eventually matures into an official complaint.

If I go by most of their standards of determining what abuse/harassment is then I've been abused and harassed all my life and I've been too naive to notice it.

Another thing I've observed is that women have a way of discrediting someone they dislike without ever taking a logical stand or giving the other party the benefit of the doubt. I've literally seen people use this as a conversation starter;

(Me, Female Colleague, Female Manager)

Female Colleague: Have you noticed how XXX stares at our boobs?

Female Manager: Is it? I've heard about this but I've not experienced it yet.

Female Colleague: (Blows up the Incident, trying to extract pity out of the situation playing the damsel in distress)

Me: Have you told XXX that he is making you uncomfortable?

Female Colleague: No.

Me: You do realize that in retrospect XXX doesn't seem to have caused you any harm or have displayed any intent of doing so, right?

Female Colleague: Yes.

Me: Then why are you discrediting him like that behind his back? Because from where I see things primal urges are natural and just like you and me XXX would also have them, and if they're making you uncomfortable then the educated thing to do would be to confront him first rather than spread rumors.

(At this point the Female Manager sides with my Female Colleague and gangs up on me advising how society works and how the 'Indian' culture is, all the while I was contemplating killing myself as it would've been better than sharing breathing space with these idiots)
Respected Sir,

I do not wish to decry or question any part of your narrative. I am assuming it happened exactly as you have written it. You may wish to refer to my post number #47.

Allow me to share and lay out my personal and direct experience on such matters. The readers can draw their own conclusions. The statements below are based on around 50 serious full fledged investigations into cases of sexual harassment complaints at large companies whose Boards I have served on since 2002. One of these companies, an MNC, had such a POSH committee back in 2002 a whole decade before it became law.With reference to this case my observations are:

1. I cannot recall a single instance of the 100+ interviews I participated in where a woman referred to her anatomy with the word 'boobs'. Breasts or bosom was the term usually used. Most common in similar cases would be 'staring at me inappropriately all the time'. Women from Indian middle class while dealing with a difficult and potentially humiliating situation do not use such terms while referring to themselves. At least I have not seen in it in my 16 years on such committees

2. The fact that two women came to you together indicates that they had discussed this several times, weighed the consequences, gathered the courage and then approached the HR manager whom they expected would be more enlightened and less medieval. They did the right thing by following the process.

3. Because of the un-empathetic attitude the HR manager displayed they retreated under quiet intimidation and concern that corrective action is hard to get so better keep quiet before this HR manager makes us a laughing stock. When women are rebuffed when following the process they learn that the only route to being heard is through movements like #MeToo.

4. The correct thing to do under the law as well as an HR manager would be to counsel the man concerned. Very sadly this HR manager adopted the oft repeated style from the 19th century to attack the female victim as bullying the weak is easier than taking on a member of the dominant group.

This was a lower order case of harassment. If it had been more serious in terms of physical contact or stalking you may want to let the said HR manager know that with this behavior he can be made a co-accused too.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 21:16   #73
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Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
...
Irrespective of gender say if you do something that makes me uncomfortable do I have the right to discredit you behind your back or convince other less informed individuals to gang up on you?

The plain and simple answer is 'NO'

The ideal thing for me to do would be to confront you in a civilized manner to make better sense of the situation and then proceed according to situational demands.

That is all that I am saying.

.

Why all this justification is coming from you and not from the accused? Have you considered the other alternatives too, that the women might be telling diluted truth, or maybe that male colleague is indeed of such character?

Also, preferring employees to solve matter themselves rather than coming to HR, isn't one of the tasks of HR precisely this, to avoid employee confrontation?

BTW this is getting too personal, so I will leave at this reply. I hope one maintains this stand of understanding why a person stares even when involved are one's mother or sister or wife.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 21:23   #74
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Dear Moderators I am quoting the entire post as the full text is necessary for readers to grasp the points being emphasized and not have to toggle up and down. Please permit it.

Respected Sir,

I do not wish to decry or question any part of your narrative. I am assuming it happened exactly as you have written it. You may wish to refer to my post number #47.

Allow me to share and lay out my personal and direct experience on such matters. The readers can draw their own conclusions. The statements below are based on around 50 serious full fledged investigations into cases of sexual harassment complaints at large companies whose Boards I have served on since 2002. One of these companies, an MNC, had such a POSH committee back in 2002 a whole decade before it became law.With reference to this case my observations are:

1. I cannot recall a single instance of the 100+ interviews I participated in where a woman referred to her anatomy with the word 'boobs'. Breasts or bosom was the term usually used. Most common in similar cases would be 'staring at me inappropriately all the time'. Women from Indian middle class while dealing with a difficult and potentially humiliating situation do not use such terms while referring to themselves. At least I have not seen in it in my 16 years on such committees

2. The fact that two women came to you together indicates that they had discussed this several times, weighed the consequences, gathered the courage and then approached the HR manager whom they expected would be more enlightened and less medieval. They did the right thing by following the process.

3. Because of the un-empathetic attitude the HR manager displayed they retreated under quiet intimidation and concern that corrective action is hard to get so better keep quiet before this HR manager makes us a laughing stock. When women are rebuffed when following the process they learn that the only route to being heard is through movements like #MeToo.

4. The correct thing to do under the law as well as an HR manager would be to counsel the man concerned. Very sadly this HR manager adopted the oft repeated style from the 19th century to attack the female victim as bullying the weak is easier than taking on a member of the dominant group.

This was a lower order case of harassment. If it had been more serious in terms of physical contact or stalking you may want to let the said HR manager know that with this behavior he can be made a co-accused too.
Sir you've misinterpreted the situation for which I am to blame, this was not a formal hearing nor did these women approach me.

The Female Manager is my manager as well, and me and the Female Colleague are equals and we're all in Human Resources.

Both the Manager and Colleague were new to the firm(I've been in the same firm for over 2 years at the time these two joined) and my colleague was trying to build a rapport with the manager and used this as a conversation starter to which I showed my distaste as I happened to be part of the conversation by mere chance as my colleague was the 3rd person to join us as my manager and I were discussing something else at the time.

'Boobs' was the exact word used as this was an informal conversation.

And as said by this colleague(my age) and a few of the older female employees, as I do not make a conscious effort to 'validate' women they feel free to or rather tend to be 'themselves' when I'm the only guy around.

Fact is I don't care much, be decent, be fair, do what you're paid to do and leave on time to live your life as you see fit. Might not be a nice thing to say but that was said in all honesty.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 21:35   #75
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At least one thing is clearer -

That both the standards of what constitutes sexual harassment and how other people interpret it, also varies greatly with Age, in addition to the usual suspects of background, intelligence (E and I), nationality, religion, race, family, culture etc etc.

No offenses to anyone; this is just a generic observation.

What's harassment to a 60 year old, isn't necessarily to a 40, and almost certainly not to a 20. Conversely what wasn't harassment at 20, can start seeming like one at 40 and may turn into a certainty by 60.
This is why it's almost impossible to arrive at any consensus.

Last edited by roy_libran : 3rd November 2018 at 21:46.
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