Before you start acting weird and complain to every female friend of yours – ‘Ab toh casually baat karna bhi mushkil hai’ – here are a few scenarios to help you understand the line that exists between sexual harassment and casual friendly chatter in workplaces.
It’s important to understand that one cannot demean or make sexist comments to female colleagues under the pretext of ‘casual conversation’.
These few dialogues could either be considered genuinely casual conversation, or cross into sexual harassment. Do you know where to draw the line?
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It is crucial to understand that all such conversations are context dependent – it depends on the personal equation, the history of the relationship, and the power differential. But if there is a level of discomfort on the receiving end, it is likely to be sexual harassment.
So, be aware, and think before you say something that could cause offence.
Humour is great, but keep the sexism and insults to yourself.
(Graphics: Rahul Gupta)