There has been a lot of discussion recently about women facing sexual harassment or discrimination and, as a man who doesn’t have either a wife or daughter, I’m fine with it.
I can understand men out there who, as husbands and fathers, completely abhor sexual harassment and/or discrimination and perhaps if I ever end up getting married or having a daughter, I might feel the same way. But as it stands, I don’t see what all the fuss is about.
On the news this morning, there was this story about a woman who worked in a male-dominated environment and had put up with verbal and sexual harassment for several years. I wondered what it must be like to be a husband or father to a daughter and care about that sort of thing. It must be quite upsetting. I’m glad that I don’t have to do it.
Happily, I can just busy about my day going into the office, perhaps stopping in for a drink on the way home, and if there are women around me suffering from sexual harassment or discrimination then it’s none of my concern, really. I mean, why should it be? I’m not a husband or a father to daughters. It’s nothing I need to think about.
I must confess, though, every once in a while, my brain does start to imagine how awful it must be for a woman to suffer sexual harassment in the workplace or to be discriminated against because of her gender. I assume that’s some sort of biological instinct kicking in and preparing me for being a husband and father of daughters. Luckily, it goes away quite quickly, but it does give me pause to think about whether I ever do actually want to be a husband or father.
Not only do you have to commit to one person for the rest of your life or, if you have a child, commit to being completely responsible for that person for their whole life, but also, you have to start empathising with victims of sexual harassment or discrimination? I mean, that’s a lot. That really is a lot. I’m not really sure I’ll ever have the emotional space to deal with all that.
I suppose I could just have a long-term relationship with a woman. As far as I know, you don’t have to care about harassment or discrimination if you’re just in a relationship. I’ve never heard anyone say “As someone who has been in a long-term relationship with a woman, I can’t abide sexual harassment or discrimination,” so I think that’s fine. It’s nice to know that it’s not a straight-up choice between spending the rest of your life on your own or caring about sexual harassment.
Anyway, time to head into the office. A few of us are going to put all of the new girl’s stuff on the floor so she has to spend twenty minutes bending down to pick it up.
Thank heaven I’m not a husband or father of daughters or I would completely abhor my own actions.