Sexual harassment in the office

Have you ever been harassed or do you know what to do if you are sexually harassed in the office?

Thankfully I never happened to me. Honestly, I don't know what to if it happens to me.

My friend shared with me that she had been working with a male boss for two years. It was only after she joined that she found out the real reason why the lady in the vacated position resigned. This boss allegedly sexually harassed her and she eventually quit because no action was taken against the boss and nobody believed her. The company did some "investigation" like a background check and interviewed other employees. Of course, nobody found anything peculiar about the guy and he had no past records of such behaviour.

Whether or not the harassment really happened, only the two people involved know - there was no proof. But I was shocked that the big boss - an American woman - remarked, "What's the big deal? He only touched her. It's not like he raped her." I had the impression that sexual harassment is taken very seriously in the US? Furthermore, I thought a woman would at least be sympathetic towards another. Can I just be nasty and comment that the big boss must be the sort who is deprived of physical contact and would enjoy being sexually harassed?

Males can get sexually harassed too. In another company, a man was sexually harassed by his female boss. She looks all prim and proper but when there's nobody around, she would say things like, "Do you want to have some fun?" Perhaps some guys would be more than happy to be in this position!

A guy in his early 20's whom I used to know told me that his female Caucasian boss invited him to her house. He found her hot so he got into her car and went to her place. The moment they got into the house, she took him there and then. He enjoyed every bit of it.

Sexual harassment is only fun when both parties consent - but then, it won't be called harassment!

I am not confident of companies' ability to handle such cases. I can only protect myself by avoiding being alone in the office with a male colleague after office hours.


David said...


Sexual harassment should always be reported.

There is also heterosexuals sexually harassed by
homosexuals. Some homosexuals try to intimidate straight men or women into admitting they latent homosexual tendencies, and threaten to out them if a relationship is established.

Sexual harassment of any type reveals a lack or personal morality and ethics.

This type of harassment is made easier by society and many societal double standards, along with a disregard for traditional family values.

Very good post!


Anonymous said...

YK, be aware that if you dress to attract, you might be getting at lot of attention. Its just normal opposite sexual attraction behaviour. But you have the right to say: NO, DON'T TOUCH ME, GO AWAY, or IF YOU TOUCH ME, YOU WILL BE REPORTED FOR MOLEST.........
But if thats what you want and consensual there is nothing to stop you....go else where not in the office please!

kingkong said...

don't be naive, do you think HR practitioner really care? let's be realistic, organization couldn't care less on whatever sexual harassment on employees, they are just hypocrite that encourages reports and pretentiously care to ensure they keep the flame under control to prevent untoward PR and legal lawsuit to the organization

Yu-Kym said...

I would definitely report it if it happens but I tend to agree with kingkong that HR doesn't care and they would rather sweep it under the carpet than spend time and money to investigate and take necessary action.

Kfr, unless the woman is working in "that sort" of KTV, how she dresses is not an open invitation for sexually harassment. The molester might know that there's nobody around, no proof, so he is not afraid of what the woman says.

Anonymous said...

YK, What you say has (power), and the potential molester will have respect for you and back off. But if you dont say anything,the harassment can become real and you may be scard for life. So be assertive!

Yu-Kym said...

Kfr, I think you are right in a way. Some of these molesters get turned on by the powerlessness of their victims, but still there are others that get turned on by the struggle.

Anonymous said...

Kingkong has highlighted a common flaw of many Singaporeans.
If the perpetrator is in a senior post, most colleagues would adopt "I dont know anything" attitude.
My wife was almost molested by the relative working for her boss. Initially, he believed her. Subsequently, his words hinted he thought she was "asking" for it - because of her voluptous figure.
We discussed the matter with the police at Tanglin Police Station & found that should it proceed to an open trial, her boss might testify against her! She left the job.
At another workplace in a hotel, the owner who is 70+, engaged her as an accountant but wanted her to be his mistress! He even made his son, the Company MD, personally fetch her to his family functions. He was always trying to make her stay back late - eg, the night receptionist fails to turn up, he would ask her to stand in while the MD/GM put on a show of ringing for a temp. Of course no temp could be found until way past mid-night. During those hours, other staff will miraculously offer to man the reception when he invites her to his private suite for supper!
One day, after locking the main door to the office, he brazzenly grabbed her. To fend off, she threw office files at him! She dare not fling the files with strength because she was afraid of fatally injuring the old fella! While retreating, she tripped and he did a clothes-on rape on her and climaxed inside his pants! After that, she thought he had died because he laid so still on the carpet, white faced & mouth wide open.
She visited Tanglin Police Station - again! Her mobile rang non-stop as his sons & daughter took turns begging for forgiveness. The daughter pleaded that her dad would die if he was imprisoned!
My wife called me for advice, long-distance int. call. We relented. The female police sergant was persistant in enquiring whether my wife was certain about not filing a police report.
Other than his libido, he was very protective. The job was chicken-feed, pay was very good, all meals on the house, and she was pretty much the power-behind-the-throne.
When she called in sick, the MD drove over with hot bird's nest soup. (During that period, I was running a business in Pupua New Guinea and had more than my fair share of problems - imagine having to carry a gun in your pocket when you leave your house!).
Anyone reading this might wonder why we were so forgiving. Would you sent an old man to jail?
Forbidden fruits taste sweet - he can afford professionals far better looking than her. The demure lady who arrives every morning, smelling fresh yet sweaty from the brisk walk from the Bugis MRT station, balancing the hotel's accounts, her clevage distracting impatient male customers at the front desk,.... It must have been very difficult for him to resist the allure of this chaste woman who would not surrender her dignity.
If not for his age, we would not hesistate to report to the police.

Yu-Kym said...

How is your wife doing?
It's so unfair to hint that she asked for it because of her figure. People are just jealous.
Who knows how many women that old man has molested!

Anonymous said...


Those incidents happened over 20 years ago. She was a 23 yr old newbie.
Attractiveness is not always useful. Even when she dressed down, men noticed her.
She mentioned she often has nightmares of dirty-old-man paws coming at her. I think she will never get over it.
I tried explaining some guys are propelled by their hormones. I get the hots too for, Dianne Lane pouting in a tight outfit.
Furthermore, 50 year old man can come in close contact with a 20 year old lass..
only as colleagues or employees!
Even when pregnant, she had this rare glow. No water retention in legs, no double chin, no plumb facial cheeks, ....
At one of her past jobs, the alternate MD wanted her to inspect the factory in KL. His secretary tip her off; he had reserved a suite with adjoining-rooms at the hotel. She took MC citing her pregnancy.
When the situation, eg, male bosses who could not focus when she was around, became intolerable, she gave up the job.
One client insisted on SITE Meetings at her Company office (in Jurong)though they were maintaining equipment at Changi Airport!
She was HR & Accounts Mgr. but had to take minutes of meetings, followed by lunch, which she must attend.
One time, the Co. Chairman was astonished to find her amoung his Directors at a Kara-Ok lounge.
And there was not a hostess entertaining the client! Instead, the client was entertaining his HR/Accounts Mgr about the finer art of Jap tea ceremony!
5 months on, she was given another role - Executive Secretary to the Jap client & 2x salary. A fully furnished office suite was prepared for 2 persons. The office had a DINING Room. Opposite her office window; a side view of Takashimaya Dept. Store!
She had to shuttle from Jurong in the morning, to the Orchard office before 2pm.
A week later, the client was recalled to Jap. Their Co. Founder had passed away. They kept the office vacant until the Co. MD found out.
She was livid! Her office furnishings were nowhere near those enjoyed by an Executive Secretary! Because my wife was pally with the Chairman's associates, she remained civil. The moment the contract with the client was not renewed, my wife wisely resigned.
This is the justice of working for some Singapore Employers.
She now runs our own Company. No more harassment, no more nightmares.

Regards, Leo

Yu-Kym said...

Leo, good for you and her now that you run your own company! It's so unfortunate that those things had to happen. What a story!

Anonymous said...

I relate these for your readers - young or old, male or female.
It's just a snapshot of the harrowing experiences of a young couple in "The number (1) City in the list of First World Cities".
For all the showroom facade, Singapore have more than its fair share of sick people.
Have a nice BMW? It'll get scratched; ditto, pretty wife or gf.
Go on holidays in, say Switzerland; SOME colleagues will "wonder" how could they afford it? 10 years after I left a job, I heard my Works Orders were being scrutinised in detail - because my wife & I drove premium German cars.
At one Christian school, staff below the Head Honcho, bitched incessantly how corrupted my predeccesor was. Because they knew his hatred for my predecessor. I couldn't stomach the back-stabbings, so I left. I heard an Apple-polisher was engaged after me.
3 to 4 years into the job - he died !
Creepy; but 3 people who took on the jobs immediately after I left, passed away.
Poetic JUSTICE ?
Our Government could yak, yak, yak about improving productivity for all they want. The opposition could yak, yak, yak about how wrong Government policies are.
All these folks, they have not even gone hungry before, they surround themselves with "Yes!", men, they shout about how clever their policies are - creating wealth, blah, blah, blah. But who gets more? - the rich. Who get less? - the poor. Those who get less ENVY those who got more.
Today; we have a society 'based on justice & equality' ? Or a society of 'green-eye-monsters' ?
Why do people prefer to migrate to New Zealand, Canada, ...... ?
Because society there is much, much more polite, gracious, kind,..... and much, much less rude, materialistic, overbearing, show-off,... Their Prime Minister drinks beer at the local PUB and greet you good day.
One evening, I was at a Tampines coffee-shop having dinner. Sitting across the table, our maid was feeding our baby girl.
Suddenly, big din errupted with beating of drums and gongs. Big, ugly & stinking- of-sweaty guys surrounded our table. I thought, "couldn't they stand a bit further, we're finishing soon, then they can have our seats".
Bonk! A video camera hit my head, Bonk! another hit again, Bonk! My head was SHOVED aside. Photographers pressed around me.
The same ugly guys form a clear path towards my baby girl. Everyone clapping hands. What in the world???
Oh, LKY was walking towards our table.
Perfect HDB family. 3 kids, maid, mum & dad. All his minions stood around, hoping for a photo beside LKY holding a cute baby girl. Coffee shop & surroundings spick & span, not a cigarette butt in sight.
Perfect photo shot for TV & next day's papers. Mr LKY, this is how well Singaporeans are doing.
When I shoke his frail hand, I pity him. He has minions dying to show how clever they are; but not a single one of them have any manners.
Pardon my cynicism, this is what he sees,
Happy family. Obedient - raised 3 kids. Ordinary girl - still pretty after 3 kids.
Local guy - nerdy, skinny, eats lots of vegetables, adores his daughters.
Not a sign of what this young couple has gone thru!

Regards, Leo

Yu-Kym said...

Leo, I like your analogy of nice BMW=it'll get scratched; ditto, pretty wife or gf.
It's so strange that the people in that position died! From getting backstabbed perhaps?
I've heard from friends who live overseas that people are usually genuinely happy for you when you achieve success, unlike in SG where people are actually jealous and want to get "their share" of your success.
The photograph incident is so pretentious! Whenever I hear a minister is going to be somewhere, I avoid the place. Don't want to get hit by stray bullet! But I did shake hands with Minister George Yeo. I find him nice and rather humble.