Harassment of Women in the Workplace
In December 2017, author Susan Chira wrote an article for The New York Times titled, “We Asked Women in Blue-Collar Workplaces about Harassment. Here are their Stories,” with the idea to inform people on harassment women endure in the workplace. Her article is aimed to elucidate on the fact that harassment is real in the workplace and that women do not make these stories up. Chira interviews over a dozen brave women who have to experience the harshness. She details how the women explain the several accounts of sexual harassment along with acts that are beyond dangerous. She explains the disadvantages of women speaking up and the emotions they suffer from it. Chira provides a clear understanding of the issues women deal with and the risks involved in blue-collar workplaces. The article succeeds due to using real stories of women, the use of clear, informative evidence, and overall opening the eyes of society.
In the article, Chira acknowledges the bold women who have enough strength to speak out about the topic and the women who stay quiet through the pain. The harassment is set apart from sexual when it becomes physically dangerous. Chira interviews a miner, Hanna Hurst, who describes the harassment at work “rougher than any she endured while serving in Iraq.” Men would harass her by making remarks about her ovaries and passing around pornographic pictures or messages. Another woman interviewed, Katy Degenhardt, spoke out about the aspects of sexual harassment while working in a small plastic factory. She states how a male co-worker would brush his genitals against her and became angry when she would push him away. He would often hug her leg in front of other co-workers, never give her lunch breaks, and reaching over her so his arm would touch her breasts. She reported the man, however, she was the one being disciplined and she was later fired for his wrongdoings. Many lawyers believe sexual harassment is the biggest reason for women leaving jobs. Women are never believed when they speak out and the men are not punished for their actions. Men do not take women as seriously and think of women as an object. The author shows how many women would rather “suffer in silence”, as attorney Megan Block stated, rather than be criticized or fired for something they had no fault in. In the blue-collar environment, women will be told to go along with the culture and to accept that boys will be boys. The author argues that women are not looked at as something important in the workplace and the men take advantage of the women. The author ends the article with a statement from a woman who is so proud and relieved that someone is finally listening to the stories of victims.
One of the strongest points in the article is the use of women speaking out about their stories, rather than just an author writing about harassment who has never experienced it. The stories allow readers to empathize with the women and to realize that men...