Opinion

Before we fight all forms of sexual harassment, we need to define what they are

To the editor: The Times editorial board attempts to shed light on sexual harassment in areas other than politics and show business. (“A #MeToo moment for the poor and powerless,” editorial, Dec. 28)

The board claims harassment is or could be “rampant” in lower-wage industries like restaurants, factories, farms and other places. It cites some evidence, but admits this evidence is hard to come by.

I think before pushing the panic button, it would be wise for the paper to tell us what it thinks sexual harassment is and what it is not. This is the 800-pound gorilla in the corner. Does harassment include off-color remarks made at the company drinking fountain? And where do off-color remarks or suggestions bump up against our right of free speech?

These difficult questions should be asked, because the scope and prevalence of sexual harassment could change drastically based on how we define it.

Robert Newman, West Hills

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To the editor: As a former senior vice president at a Fortune 500 company, I am very concerned about the #MeToo movement.

I’m concerned there are going to be fewer opportunities for women in corporate America to advance, as companies may be too afraid of the potential litigation from claims, both true and exaggerated.

It may be easier to pick a candidate with less risk.

Kathleen Taylor, Newport Coast

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