Is It Sexual Harassment When One Guy Taunts Another in the Workplace, Even If Neither Is Gay?

Week of October 30, 2002

Vera Trolf
Pro-Bowler Chaperone
"Sexual harassment is an equal-opportunity situation for all genders -- man, woman, transvestites and even dogs. I was sexually harassed by a Great Dane once. We were on the couch, and he kept moving over, getting closer and closer and more and more excited. I barely escaped. I have never looked at a Great Dane the same way again."

Tim Peters
Postal Worker
"You need to state that this is unacceptable behavior in front of the offending party and if it continues after that, yes, absolutely, it is sexual harassment. It doesn't matter if it's male to female or male to male -- once somebody has stated, 'This is unacceptable,' it's unacceptable -- period."

Jeannie Beausang
Waitress, The Edge
"Absolutely not! I think this sexual-harassment thing has gone too far. Everybody's too serious. People need to lighten up. I had a guy say to me, 'You come with me, baby, I'll give you the best three minutes of your life.' I thought that was hysterical! That's the kind of stuff we listen to all day long. We get sexually harassed, and we love it! It makes us feel good about ourselves."

Rex Wall
Hairdresser, Napoli Design
"It's all right if it's done in private. I don't like it when people sexually harass each other out in the open. Keep it behind closed doors. You know, a little pat on the butt is fine every once in a while -- nobody should complain. If someone gets called a name, especially a sexual name, they should stop being such a baby about it. Take advantage of it; try to get lucky."

Diana Lucas
Skif International Boutique
"Absolutely. I think it's still sexual harassment, but it's accepted because it's locker-room behavior that's taught at a very early age. Guy-to-guy stuff -- one guy can say anything he wants to another guy. Doesn't matter what his orientation is, you know -- it's just acceptable, and the guy has to put up with it; otherwise then he really is a wuss."

Mary Embry
Fashion Jockey
"If that was being done to me, I would just rise above whatever was said and not let it intimidate me in any way -- and then they have no power over you. That's what I'd do."

 
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