Harassment & Assault
Do Husbands Really Think Sexual Harassment Is Funny?
The other day, a man I know laughed about some videos that he watches regularly on YouTube. He enjoys seeing the reactions of people from other countries and cultures to American food and products. On this day, he laughed about their reactions to some American jokes.
In one video, a young husband holds his cell phone in one hand. The viewer sees him waving his other hand around as he walks through his home. He ends up in the kitchen where his wife washes dishes at the sink. He slaps her on the butt and scurries away cackling madly.
The foreign viewers frown and look at each other, their faces questioning what they had just seen. One said, “Is this supposed to be funny?” The other said, “Do they think this is sexy?” Clearly the joke was lost on them. Me, too.
If you think it’s sexy
As a child, I often saw my father pinch my mother’s behind while she was busy with ironing, vacuuming, or other chores. He would also pinch my grandma or me. It’s called ‘goosing’. My mother would giggle, my grandma told him to “Stop that,” and I learned to duck-and-cover.
Looking back, my dad must have thought it showed his affection for us. It happened frequently. After my brother was born, he copied my dad’s behavior. It wasn’t funny or loving from either one of them. I always felt attacked and embarrassed.
In hindsight, I realize I felt sexually harassed. I think many women may feel the same.
Lighten up. You’re taking this too seriously.
I get it. It’s supposed to be a joke, but a joke for whom? And where do we draw the line on jokes? People who are on the receiving end of sexual harassment don’t find it funny. They may be embarrassed, but they also may feel unsafe.
Would you find this behavior funny if it happened to your daughter, sister, mother, aunt, niece, or grandmother? What if you were a young teenage boy and received that treatment from an adult, man or woman? Is it okay for a woman to treat a man that way? Would you feel flattered by this treatment, or threatened?