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Ask Dr. Helen: Workplace Discrimination Against Men

It's high time for men to start fighting back against this ugly trend.

by
Helen Smith

Bio

August 20, 2008 - 12:00 am
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The dismissal of your complaints by managers and the resulting verbal abuse by them and your co-workers is sexual harassment, pure and simple. Do not hesitate to take action. I’ve seen men win these cases before. I understand that you feel you need your job but what you are going through is atrocious. The “take it like a man” line is said to psychologically weaken you and shut you up so don’t listen — it is a manipulative tactic meant to silence you. Remember that one definition of bravery is “the quality of mind enabling one to face danger or hardship resolutely.” If you stand up to these workplace bullies — and that’s what they are — in a constructive way, then you will know deep inside that you really are a brave person who has inner strength, despite what your co-workers say.

I do want to point out that it may not be constructive in your situation to shout back vicious things, for you have seen how it can backfire, as the women can easily use it against you and make you seem like the bad guy. Keep your cool, remember your plan of action, and do not stop until you are satisfied that your complaints have been taken seriously.

Readers, do you have any other advice for Len on how to handle his workplace situation? If male, have you experienced discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace? How, or was it resolved?
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If you have a question you would like answered, please leave it below or email me at askdrhelen@hotmail.com. Your questions may be edited for length and clarity. Please note that your first name only or no name at all will be used to identify your question — if you want me to use your name, tell me; otherwise you will be referred to by your first name or as “a reader,” etc.

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Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.
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