Up until recently, it was very rare for a man to avail himself of his rights under the sexual harassment laws. These were seen as a means to protect women from discrimination and harassment on the job, which was and still is a big problem. The laws provided equal protection to men, but the idea of a sexual harassment lawsuit by a man was unusual. This trend is gradually changing, however. In the years from 1990 to 2009, the number of men filing sexual harassment lawsuits increased from 8 percent of all harassment claims to 16 percent. In fact, the number of men filing sexual harassment claims is increasing, even though overall numbers of such claims among both genders are decreasing.
What are the reasons for the increase in the number of men who are filing sexual harassment lawsuits? Here are three probable causes.
1. Men Are Becoming Less Embarrassed About Reporting Harassment
In the past, many men may not have come forward with sexual harassment claims because they were embarrassed about it. This has traditionally been especially true when the harassment was coming from other men. There has been a pervading perception in society that men should be happy for the attention if it is from women, and that they should feel shame if it is coming from other men.
As society moves more toward real equality between the genders, more men who have experienced sexual harassment are feeling confident in moving forward with sexual harassment claims. There is less of a stigma attached to it. In fact, the more men who come forward with a sexual harassment lawyer by their side, the less stigma there will be for other men to do so, too.
2. More People Believe Men Experience Sexual Harassment
In the past, a man who claimed sexual harassment may not have been believed. There is a pervasive belief in society that men welcome the sexual attentions of men or women, based on their sexual preference. Even if they don't welcome it, many people have believed they somehow encouraged it.
Examples from news headlines have proven that men do indeed experience sexual harassment on the job, at home, and while they are out and about in society. According to Inc.com., the fact that this has even been highlighted as a reality in such popular movies as Disclosure and Horrible Bosses (where female characters were openly sexually harassing their male employees) has gone a long way toward giving credence to the sexual harassment claims of the men who make them.
3. Men Are Less Afraid of Losing Their Jobs Over Sexual Harassment Claims
Just as women were once reluctant to bring sexual harassment lawsuits for fear of losing their jobs, it was the same for men. People often were fired if they "rocked the boat" by bringing a harassment lawsuit.
Lawsuits that resulted in the woman being reinstated in her job and/or getting back pay for the time she was fired (plus an award for the sexual harassment she suffered) have made men just as bold in bringing similar lawsuits. They know they will not be fired for claiming sexual harassment if the harassment is real.
If they are, they are confident this will be overturned in court, and it often is. Instead, it is now the perpetrator of the sexual harassment who is usually fired.
Men are harassed on the job and in society just like women. While there are no definitive numbers on whether they suffer harassment in similar numbers to women (due to a continued lack of reporting from both genders), it is known that male harassment is a real thing. Any man who has been sexually harassed, especially on the job, should not hesitate to hire a sexual harassment lawyer from places like Lisa Kane & Associates. There is no shame in it, and it helps other men feel empowered to do the same thing.