When you think of sexual harassment, you likely think of a man harassing a woman, and most cases of sexual harassment do involve a male harassing a female. However, there are cases that don’t fit the stereotype, including women harassing women, men harassing men and women harassing men.
A story came out recently about employees of the U.S. company Thinx accusing the founder and former CEO of the company of sexual harassment. Thinx produces underwear designed for women who are having their period. The allegations include inappropriate comments and unwanted physical contact directed at the employees by the CEO. These types of allegations are fairly common in workplace sexual harassment cases.
In this situation, however, a woman is accused of harassing her female employees. The employees allege that the harassment was a way for the CEO to show dominance and control over them.
As in many of the cases we highlight, these sexual harassment complaints have not been proven so it is important to note that they are only allegations.
However, we mention this situation as an example of sexual harassment that people often overlook. If you assume that sexual harassment can only take the form of men harassing women, you may not notice less common forms of such behavior.
The reality is that anyone can be the harasser and anyone can be the victim. The important thing to remember is that any unwanted sexual interaction is unacceptable, regardless of the parties involved.