SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF MEN AT WORKPLACE

No, you don’t get to read this in the newspaper every day. SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF WOMAN AT WORKPLACE is a common topic and almost everybody has something to say or post about it. But, SEXUAL HARASSMET OF  MEN AT WORKPLACE did not find any place.  The first ever reported case of male sexual harassment was in the United States in 1995, when a female supervisor at Dominoes pinched the male manager’s butt.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued the outfit and the manager was paid $237,000 in damages. The issue about sexual harassment against men in India is largely unreported. Sexual harassment at workplace is a common issue in growing & competitive world.

When the topic of sexual harassment at workplace is reported or talked about , the first thing that pops up in everyone’s mind is that the male colleague  must have sexually harassed the female colleague and then the conversation starts how it must have been for the “poor working” woman. Employees have the right to freedom from sexual discrimination and harassment at work regardless of their genders. The prime thing to be noted down is that in sexual harassment victim and perpetrator can be of any gender and the place of harassment can be any school, office, home, university, coaching centers or any other. Also, with the advent of the Internet, sexual harassment has increased by occurring online[1].

At workplace, sometimes the female boss may ask the male employee to show their six-pack abs or touch their beard to attract attention towards them making the male employee uncomfortable or may ask for a sexual favour from them to keep the male employees’s job secure. In such situations, how will a man protect himself when majority  of the laws are made to protect the woman in India? Under the Indian law, only section 377 of IPC talks about ‘sodomy’.

The Indian judiciary and society all talks about equal treatment of men & woman but there are loopholes for such type of laws. The legislature enacted The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act,2013 aimed at providing protection to women at workplace. The amendment brought to the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) Section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), Section 354A (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), Section 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) Section 375 & 376 (Rape & Punishment for Rape), are women centric and do little to provide any protection for men against a female aggressor[2]. There are barely any cases that have been filed and reported on sexual harassment on men in India but with growing technology and growing education with global access to information, people are coming out of their Shell’s and coming to a better understanding that talking about their experiences is not only going to uncover the tragedy but also is going to set them free emotionally, physically and mentally[3].  

The important thing to understand in sexual harassment is that there is nothing about sex or gender, its all about power. In today’s world, with more women coming to powerful positions in the workplace, there is no reason why a woman in power cannot be as abusive as a man. The problem of not acknowledging and recognizing male sexual harassment is perhaps because of men not accepting that they are vulnerable as well. Just like for woman, the sexual harassment at workplace was drafted and the aggrieved woman could take the help, the male victims can  also file complaints with the HR departments of their respective workplaces, and hold their ground for strict action against the perpetrators.

I would like to conclude by saying that some specific sections should  also be inserted under Indian Penal Code to protect harassments against males. For the sake of humanity it is a very brutal act and both the male as well as female perpetrators must be punished equally under law[4]. According to my personal opinion, employers who employ 10 or more employees will have to set up a grievance committees to investigate all complaint. Every employer with a business or enterprise having more than 10 workers will have to constitute a committee known as ‘Internal Complaints Committee’(ICC) (As per Repealing and Amending Act, 2016, the nomenclature of Internal Complaints Committee was changed to Internal Committee ) to look into all complaints of sexual harassment at the workplace exactly as it done under ‘POSH’.


[1] Prashanti-Sexual harassment of men, http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/2039/Sexual-Harassment-of-Men.html#:~:text=There%20is%20no%20law%2C%20no,are%20meant%20only%20for%20females. Visited on 1-06-2021 at14:42hrs.

[2] Seema Sundd, Davesh Bhatia and Damini Bisht-Gender Neutrality & Sexual Harassment Laws In India: An Overview, https://www.mondaq.com/india/employee-rights-labour-relations/988146/gender-neutrality-sexual-harassment-laws-in-india-an-overview, visited on 1-06-2021 at 15:36hrs.

[3] Yogeethasai- Harrasment on men, http://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-3888-harassment-on-men.html ,visited on 1-06-2021 at 15:41 hrs.

[4] Prashanti-Sexual harassment of men, http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/2039/Sexual-Harassment-of-Men.html#:~:text=There%20is%20no%20law%2C%20no,are%20meant%20only%20for%20females. Visited on 1-06-2021 at16:18hrs.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

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