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Jan Hitt Mein Jaari: How to Not Sexually Harass a Female Colleague

Here’s a public service announcement to make sure you understand office boundaries.

1 min read

A female colleague is not honey, sweetie, sweetheart, darling, sexy or cutie. She has a name. Use it. That way you’ll be acknowledging that she is a real colleague and not eye candy brought to the office for your viewing pleasure.

When speaking to a female colleague, look at her face. Don’t drop those eyes. She’s not an object placed in front of you to ogle.

And. Keep. Your. Hands. To. Yourself. A hand on her hand? No. A caress of her arm or shoulder? No. Just grazing her thigh? Totally no! This is a workplace. Not a romcom.

And if she’s involved, what you do outside the office is her business too. And you’re still colleagues. Don’t send her dirty emails or smses or ishq ke izzhaar. No following her home, no virtual stalking either. Especially if she’s already said no. No means no. Believe it.

And if she hasn’t said no but seems uncomfortable, that’s not a yes either. Only a yes is a yes.

Basically, just like you, women are also in the workplace to work. Not to be hit on. Not as accessories or objects. If they dress smartly or apply make-up, it’s not for you.

And if you can’t wrap your heads around that, there’s always the Vishakha Committee Guidelines to ensure you’re booted out of a work environment that you can’t respect.

Toh boss, samjhe kya?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)


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