Sexual Harassment Dishonors Human Dignity
The dignity of each human person demands integrity, character, and moral decency. Society demands that these qualities are critical for one’s own personal dignity and must be applied by word, example, and action to all.
Human dignity demands ethical behavior and is diametrically opposed to behavior that dishonors personal reputation, or reflects disrespect toward others.
An individual who truly stands on a foundation of respect for self and others, is authentically ethical by word, example, and action. Disrespect, which dishonors the respect due to self and others, is never to be tolerated.
Every person, is called to exemplify lives of character, and to honor the dignity of human freedom through self-mastery, discipline, and respect. These are the virtues we are called to live by, and they always contradict the defects of duplicity, living a double-life, and vulgarity.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says that sexual harassment is a “form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
The commission defines sexual harassment as:
“Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.”
The commission also states that sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:
- The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
- The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
- The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
- Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
- The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.
Sexual Harassment: Scandals Demand Actions
A storm of sexual harassment stories throughout America is our wake-up call and a time of reckoning.
The crisis reminds us of our social order and that actions of individuals can adversely or favorably impact the common good.
By the common good it is understood that social behaviors and conditions must always respect rights due to individuals and society.
These rights demand respect for all members of society which are now being contradicted by headlines nationwide which include the following:
- Sexual harassment tipping point: Why now?
- Political media engulfed by sexual harassment crisis
- Sexual Harassment troubles mount in statehouses around the country
- Special Report: A Cultural Turning Point on Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Harassment Scandals are blowing up the media
- Former USA Gymnastics doctor pleads guilty to criminal sexual conduct
- Hollywood Has Shined a Spotlight on Sexual Harassment: Now What?
As members of American society, each of us has a responsibility to contribute to the common good, and to play an active part to remedy deficiencies.
Each person has an ethical responsibility according to one’s talents, capabilities, and position. When sexual harassment issues violate human dignity and adversely impacts society, we have the duty to respond with full force determination.
During my character presentations and published works over the past twenty years, I have been privileged to address law enforcement, government leaders, corporate representatives, educators, and students.
The issues of sexual harassment as a violation of human dignity have been an essential element of my response to a crisis of character. These initiatives have demanded that we have the moral decency to stand against insensitivity, victim blaming, dishonesty, evasiveness, enabling, inaction, cover-ups, superficiality, and hypocrisy.
America must have the moral courage to remedy the sexual harassment crisis. We have a problem that must honestly be addressed with ethical leadership that expresses itself not only through words, but by example and actions.
We must take the moral high ground in our families, schools, communities, houses of worship, and workplaces to ignite an ethical renaissance throughout American society. The foundation of this renaissance must be built on the pillars of character, which respects human dignity.
When America honors the dignity of sexuality as essential to the character of the nation, we will be on the path of our true destiny.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen to Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.