Sunday, March 7, 2021

The interface between flirting and harassment in the workplace

Today’s young women are corporate high flyers and social and community leaders. Along with their natural lust for power, women have the capability to take control of every situation they come across.

At work places, they have much more to offer their bosses as compared to their male colleagues. Nowadays, women are more qualified and proactive enough to carry out duties outstandingly in the workplace. This is why some ascend to superiority within a very short space of time.

When it comes to promotion, men usually suffer the most, because they have to go through a hard time.
Apart from having to befriend their bosses, they have to do nice things for the right people at work.

A man has to work extra hard to be liked, which in simple terms is called bootlicking or in Setswana ‘bolope’.

Bootlicking is a long process. Some male employees have to go as far as going to their employers’ cattle posts/farms to help out the herd boys during weekends.

Soon after being employed, why do some women wake up to find themselves being promoted to being absolute leaders at their respective places of employment?

Lately, some clever women have developed smarter tactics, which they use to climb up the career ladder. Flaunting a bit of cleavage at work for example is more powerful than being an occasional herd boy during weekends. The one who talks with her hand lying on her chest is more manipulative than the bootlicker.

But because women love money as much as their male counterparts, they are willing to do anything and everything to get it.

Often people disregard the fact that had it not been for the flirting which leads to the affairs with their bosses, some high-flying women would not have scaled the corporate ladder in such a short space of time.

Some people argue that sex is equally as legitimate a means of gaining career success than intelligence or strong analytic skills or even outspokenness.

People have a big problem with this reality because they say it tarnishes women’s reputations. ‘‘It is a dirty tactic which is used by bitter men to tarnish successful women’s reputations,” says Malebogo Seipone. She suggests that even men do sleep their way up.

‘‘It’s very unfortunate that some influential people are spreading the wrong message about women sleeping their way to the top,” says Malebogo. ‘‘Just because they’re influential means that other people are playing along by believing that as a woman, sleeping your way up the top is a trend.”
Thapelo Motlhware, an industrial psychologist and head hunting practitioner, argues that some women are misled that sleeping their way up the career ladder is illegitimate.

‘‘It has absolutely nothing to do with the job at hand. The main argument is that, even the man who bootlicks his way up to the top eventually gets promoted, so why being so pessimistic?” he says.
People now argue that people who use sex as a way to move up the career ladder should be labelled as prostitutes!

Now couldn’t that come in relation with doing the job you hate, just for the love of the money? Most of us wake up every morning to spend our days doing the job we hate.

An example could be a herd boy who has to spend days in the bush looking for livestock gone astray that don’t even belong to him.

‘‘Even a prostitute or sex worker would tell you that they don’t like their jobs and that they’re just doing it for the money,” Bradley Shirto says.

‘‘All women who get hit on by their bosses at their work places can report them for sexual harassment, but if they don’t and rather play along, there’s nothing we can do,” says constable L. Rapaeye, an officer at Broadhurst Police Station.

According to the criminal procedural act, if a man touches a woman, and she doesn’t like it, then she can gladly open up a docket for sexual harassment, with attempted rape as the charge.

‘‘If a woman touches a man in a way he doesn’t like, then by virtue of being a man, there’s no charge which can be levelled against her be it sexual harassment or rape, so yes women have an upper hand at the work place,” says constable Rapaeye.


Read this week's paper