The line between actual "flirting" and "sexual harassment" as it can be understood, is quite a thin one, it could even be called tenuous.
But, let's unravel the inner workings of each other to see a little more clearly.
Flirting is a pretty common behavior, as all humans know (we are talking about being human, because this concerns women as well as men!) As long as it stays within acceptable proportions, there is nothing wrong with it. The game of seduction has been around since the world began, and it started in caves. Remember when homo sapiens dragged his mate along by the hair!
What is acceptable in the domain of "flirting"?
It's easy to see when someone likes us:
• Their behavior is more affectionate
• They pay a great deal of attention to us
• Their conversation takes a more personal turn
• Their gestures are more tactile
• They are no doubt a charmer
At first glance, this is all pretty classic in the "I like you" mode and is okay as long as it's normal and no barriers are crossed - see below for this.
What about sexual harassment?
Things are totally different when it comes to sexual harassment.
It is an attack on the integrity of the subject, a kind of personal violation which is not admissible.
How is this reproduced?
• The vulgarity of the words used is unequivocal
• The same is true for body language which can go as far as touching of all kinds
• He who harasses seeks to destabilize and intimidate his victim who, for him, is his prey
• More or less serious mockery and domination are all part of the plan, as well as sending rude SMS or messages
• The above procedures are repeated until the other person’s life is hell
These heinous demonstrations are punished by law in most countries, because sexist behavior is not, under any circumstances, tolerated. It can create great stress, sleepless nights and even lead to depression, or worse.
Unfortunately, most of the people who experience these assaults do not talk about them, from fear of not being believed, of jeopardizing their jobs, or just out of shame.
In our opinion, it is imperative to gather all the possible evidence, however small it may be, to constitute a real case. Talk to those close to you and seek the advice of a lawyer who handles such cases, which are, alas, quite widespread, it seems.
Letting things happen is not a solution and can only comfort stalkers in their approach.
Courage, Let’s Flee is really not an end in itself… but Courage, Let’s Take Action is.