Rachel Charlene Lewis
August 02, 2016 11:05 am
Getty Images/Andrew H. Walker

In light of Fox News employees coming forward about sexual abuse by former Fox chief Roger Ailes, Republican nominee Donald Trump opened up about his thoughts on sexual harassment in the workplace. When recently asked what he would hope his daughter Ivanka would do — if she were harassed at work — Trump’s answer was… was less than what we’d hope to hear from a father and our potential future president.

“I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case.”

Fox / giphy.com

What makes Trump’s response so ridiculous is the idea that it’s so easy for women to up and quit our jobs every time a boss or co-worker decides to sexually harass us. When you consider the high rates of sexual harassment toward women, with 1 in 4 reporting the abuse, especially women of color and queer women, this is just so out there that it doesn’t even make sense.

Not only that, but he defended Ailes, saying, “I can tell you that some of the woman that are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them. And even recently,” Trump said. “And when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him. And now, all of a sudden, they’re saying these horrible things about him. It’s very sad.”

Sexual harassment, which violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is all too normal in the workplace. It’s a way of reminding us that we’re not supposed to leave our homes, let alone *gasp* pursue a career and gain power. By harassing women at work, men attempt to steal some of that power and regain their ~masculinity~ and remind us who’s really in charge. It’s also often done by men in powerful positions, which is a reason why many of their victims (not just women — men, too) don’t come forward.

The Republican candidate’s son, Eric, was similarly tone-deaf, telling CBS that, “Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman” who “wouldn’t allow herself to be subjected to it.”

Universal Studios / giphy.com

But let’s go ahead and turn this into an educational moment, because it’s clear that the Trump camp doesn’t have anything useful to add to the dialogue.

According to The American Association of University Women, there are a few things you can do if you’re being harassed at work.

1. Keep track of the harassment.

Write down every complaint, including as much detail as you can remember, like where you were and what was said or done. If anyone was around who can support your story, take note of who they were.

2. Review your employers policies about sexual harassment.

Your job should have some sort of policy in place for dealing with sexual harassment. Check that dusty handbook and see what steps you can take to shutting this BS down, and getting your employer’s support.

3. Call out the harasser.

If you feel safe, straight up call out your harasser. It can make your case safer if you can tell your supervisor,  human resources, or, eventually, a lawyer, that you directly told the creep to knock it out.

4. Go above everyone and file an official complaint.

The next step is to make an official complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Just know that the sooner you act, the better, because you tend to have no more than six months to file a charge to make sure you’re protected by the EEOC.

5. Take care of yourself.

At the end of the day, deciding to come forward about sexual abuse you’ve dealt with at work is your decision and your decision only. If it’s safer for you to quit, to stay quiet, or to otherwise handle the situation, we’re the last to judge. We know that the circumstances surrounding workplace abuse can be extremely nuanced, and one solution doesn’t fit everyone’s problem.

ABC / giphy.com
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