Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Sexual Harassment Season!

It's snowing outside and it can only mean one thing: the Holiday Season is coming, and along with it, the traditional office parties, where co-workers have fun and exchange mundane presents.

So, you ask, what's an appropriate present to give to a co-worker/your boss/a subordinate?

What about something sexy and fun? Like, for example, lingerie or lubricant?

I notice the ad below in today's Metro.

In this ad, Boutique Séduction, a Montréal sex shop, is suggesting upfront that its merchandize constitute appropriate gift ideas for office parties, and that such "sexy" gifts are just fun and playful.

You know, because somehow, being given lingerie by your boss or one of your coworkers is not sexual harassment around Christmas time, when everybody's drunk and happy.

The picture on the ad is pretty disgusting in and of itself. All the people picture look drunk, and all the men are either looking down someone's décolleté or grabbing a female coworker. The mere fact that it suggests that this sort of behaviour is acceptable in a work environment is unacceptable.


If you want to complain to Boutique Séduction, please do so at the following number: (514) 593-1169, or by mail, at:

Boutique Séduction
5220, boulevard Métropolitain Est
Montréal (Québec)
H1S 1A4

Make sure to CC your letter to Metro... :

625 Avenue du Président-Kennedy
Suite 700
Montréal (Québec)
H3A 1K2
Phone: (514) 286-1066

... and to la Commission des normes du travail:

Commission des normes du travail
26e étage
500, boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest
Montréal (Québec)
H2Z 2A5

You can also write an opinion letter to Metro, at:


A recent Canadian study, sarcastically called "The Sexual Harassment of Uppity Women", shows that women who don't conform to feminine stereotypes in the workplace are twice as much likely to be sexually harassed than their "traditional" counterparts.

As left-clicked, at F-email Fightback, explains:

"[S]exual harassment is motivated by a wish to punish women who blur gender distinctions. Women coming up through the ranks or entering a traditionally male work environment may threaten some men's sense of security and status. The dynamic is similar to harassment of minorities who threaten a majority group's dominant position in the workplace.

"Jennifer Berdahl, at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, found that women who behaved independently and assertively and spoke out were more likely to be sexually harassed than women who fit feminine ideals of deference, modesty and warmth. Ms. Berdahl noted this was especially true in male-dominated workplaces."

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