sexual jokes in the workplace - page 4

I'm all for having a few good laughs at work, but I'd like an opinion on this. We have a new male RN and he frequently makes comments that can be taken sexually. He has been there less than a... Read More

  1. by   chuck1234
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    chuck, be very careful with people like this...fun and games can turn into a snake if something comes up if there is a disgreement that incident of her showing you her g-string will turn into 'he asked me to pull down my scrubs

    find the fun and games away from work, you will never be sorry
    That is true. However, sometimes I have to go along with it. I know it is wrong...but it is part of the job. I don't want other people to say "Chuck does not like women!" Sometimes, some of them even grab my butts just for the fun of it. I just want to see what would happen to me if I do this to a female nurse. If I chose to go along with it, then Chuck is a good co-worker. If I chose not to go with it, Chuck is gay. But what could I do, if she chose to put down her scrub pant, it happened so fast.....well, I just enjoyed it....but it was really a sexy G-string.
  2. by   jill48
    Quote from stevielynn
    i agree with you spacenurse. not professional. not appropriate.

    and no, i'm not an old prude.

    we've had this sort of thing happen with one female nurse in particular - very vulgar.

    steph
    i am a prude and proud of it.
  3. by   firstyearstudent
    I've always lived in liberal, big cities with younger people and conversations could get quite raw and actually weren't anywhere in the realm of sexual harrassment at all. This was not in the medical field. I find it suprising that folks are so strict here. Sex is a normal human body function. A funny comment about someone's bowel or hemorrhoid issues and no one would bat an eye, but sex and everyone gets bent out of shape. And there is a double standard. I've heard female nurses good-naturedly taunting another about her love of anal sex and no one called it sexual harrassment. If it was a male nurse?

    Just because a man makes a sexual joke or comment does not mean he is intending to harrass someone or is interested in sex. I feel bad for guys in an environment where the culture is to make these kinds of comments. What do you do? Join in and be one of the gang or stand by stone faced and be a wet blanket?

    But that's just me -- I'd never get upset at a racy comment from a male or female coworker unless I suspected there was a intention to humilate me involved. And then I'd be VERY ANGRY. And I'd never made the jump to assuming a guy wanted to "get with me" just because he made a racy crack. Frankly, I'm not "all that." And the overwhelming majority of men, aggessive, assertive or passive agressive DO know how to take a polite NO for an answer.

    To me, true sexual harrassment is about someone in a position of authority over another person making sexual demands and insinuating there will be consequences if those demands are not met. And that's wrong, no way about it.

    All it takes is a decent or just silly someback to put someone in their place anyway. One of the male students in my class made a crack about me being menopausal -- I'm a little older than most of the students, but not that old! I just shot back that menopause was just making me meaner, mean enough to kick his huge butt. Everyone just laughed. Doesn't anyone have a sense of humor any more?
    Last edit by firstyearstudent on May 13, '07
  4. by   anonymurse
    Quote from spacenurse
    Even in a break room I can help a colleague know when their words or behavior are not OK.
    Heck, I just go off on things like that. Once I chewed out a locker room full of GIs who were yocking it up over a highly inappropriate comment about one of our female NCOs. Now in our training we had all that stuff about finding stuff offensive, and the individual it was directed at obviously wasn't in the men's locker room. But I didn't care. To me it was absolutely intolerable and I went ballistic, no need to think things over. You know that's all it takes. Moral indignation has its own authority. There was dead silence, not the slightest murmur, and I didn't have to put up with any more of that thereafter. I haven't run into that at the hospital, but I don't doubt I'll have the same instant reaction. I feel absolutely entitled to not have to put up with ever listening to bigoted language of any kind in the workplace.
  5. by   hollyvk
    Quote from firstyearstudent

    Just because a man makes a sexual joke or comment does not mean he is intending to harrass someone or is interested in sex.

    To me, true sexual harrassment is about someone in a position of authority over another person making sexual demands and insinuating there will be consequences if those demands are not met. And that's wrong, no way about it.

    Doesn't anyone have a sense of humor any more?
    1st Year--harassment consists of more than "quid pro quo" (this for that--put out or you're out) or "I get to torture you with inappropriate comments cuz I'm your superior."

    ANYONE can inadvertently create a "hostile work environment" with ill-considered remarks or behavior that someone finds offensive. The intent of the person causing the offense does not control. (If I call someone "a nappy-headed ho" because I think it's clever or cute without intending to offend, the intent doesn't matter if someone hearing the comment is in fact offended--it's offensive).

    Many people can have what you may consider to be heightened sensitivity to such comments or behavior, mainly because they've had plenty of previous experience with being harassed, insulted, and put down. Do women appreciate workplace sexually-based comments about their appearance or job skills--no. Do African American people appreciate comments race-based comments about their appearance or job skills--no. Does anyone appreciate a stranger making comments about their sexual relationship with their spouse--probably not. Would any of us appreciated a laughingly clever but denigrating comment from a coworker about our weight, age, IQ, gender, child-bearing status, race, religion, or appearance--no!

    Just because we're healthcare professionals and are exposed to all sorts of intimate and invasive situations with patients does not blur the line of what is and is not appropriate conduct from coworkers and colleages. If a comment makes someone feel uncomfortable--it's inappropriate! And if your manager fails to follow up on the situation, I guarantee that HR will take it seriously and provide the appropriate counseling to the employee and the manager.

    HollyVK, RN, BSN, JD
  6. by   RNDreamer
    Before I started dating my ex-boyfriend (whose was a co-worker)...our other females co-workers were always coming on to him, with "sexy" remarks and such ...when he would laugh it off, he was fine...when he would let them know he was not interested, they would start trouble...it was really hard watching him get called into the office for such idiotic reasons by these women who were upset that he was not giving them the time of day. Even the supervisors knew the real reasons behind these women's complaints. Chuck, I understand what you mean when you say "If I chose to go along with it, then Chuck is a good co-worker." The women we worked with were VICIOUS when he didn't give them a second look.

    lol, people were very shocked that we ended up together (the big bad Man and the innocent woman), but I was able to look past his handsome, FINE exterior and saw that he was an absolute gentleman.


    Quote from chuck1234
    That is true. However, sometimes I have to go along with it. I know it is wrong...but it is part of the job. I don't want other people to say "Chuck does not like women!" Sometimes, some of them even grab my butts just for the fun of it. I just want to see what would happen to me if I do this to a female nurse. If I chose to go along with it, then Chuck is a good co-worker. If I chose not to go with it, Chuck is gay. But what could I do, if she chose to put down her scrub pant, it happened so fast.....well, I just enjoyed it....but it was really a sexy G-string.
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    I ask again. Does anyone really think it is OK to say, "Well I guess your husband detained you in the bedroom this morning, huh?" ?

    I'm not saying report them to human resources or anyone else. I do think professionals need to learn to speak up and insist on professional behavior in the workplace.

    If people want to tease about sexual behavior, show their underwear, or such do it in a social context.
    RESPECT for our profession, our colleagues, our patients, and ourselves does not mean we have no sense of humor.

    Tell me what is so very important or funny about the comment being discussed here?
  8. by   firstyearstudent
    I'm old enough to have lived through the whole politically correct thing and I don't want to go back there

    To answer the question, Does anyone really think it is OK to say, "Well I guess your husband detained you in the bedroom this morning, huh?" Depending on the circumstances -- yeah.

    As far as adressing a hostile work environment, I'd rather focus on actual hostility than on harmless and innane "racy" comments.
    Last edit by firstyearstudent on May 13, '07
  9. by   CHATSDALE
    people old enough to have survive nursing school should be old enough to have respect for other people
    it is not about having a sense of humor, is sex the only thing that is funny?
    it is not about being 'with it'
    if it concerned the op it was probably not the first time and it was probably lewd..do you have to put up with being uncomfortable in order to make a living
  10. by   RNDreamer
    Honestly, I've made comments like that, and I have had comments like that made to me...I know who to make cmments like that to, and who not to make comments like that to... I also don't make it a point of saying things in front of an "audience"...If they tell me that they do not want me to say things that they feel are inappropriate, i will no longer say them...I am also the kind of person who will "shut you down from day ONE" if you say or do something to me that I do not like, whether you said it to me or not...If I can hear it and it offends me, I will let you know, and I want you to do the same for me...I have no problems pulling you aside and letting you know that the little comment you made has upset some of the people who heard it.

    At my previous place of employment, there was a guy who would flirt with the women in the office. It did not bother me at all, but I would never flirt back or laugh at anything he said to me. My reaction would always be a blank look. He also came on to a friend of mine and she was very uncomfortable around him. I was in agreement with her when she decided to report him. One day he made the grave mistake of touching another co-worker's leg when she work a skirt...After hearing the threats she made, he never bothered her again. if you don't like it, put a stop to it ASAP.


    Quote from spacenurse
    I ask again. Does anyone really think it is OK to say, "Well I guess your husband detained you in the bedroom this morning, huh?" ?

    I'm not saying report them to human resources or anyone else. I do think professionals need to learn to speak up and insist on professional behavior in the workplace.

    If people want to tease about sexual behavior, show their underwear, or such do it in a social context.
    RESPECT for our profession, our colleagues, our patients, and ourselves does not mean we have no sense of humor.

    Tell me what is so very important or funny about the comment being discussed here?
  11. by   mercyteapot
    Even if I thought off-color jokes at work weren't unprofessional (which I do), and even if they weren't specifically forbidden no matter who the audience is (which they are), I like to think of myself as having better sense than to tell them anyway. All it takes is one of those people who giggle along with you today to get upset with you about something tomorrow and zowie, you're in trouble. Personally, I'm not a fan of that kind of trouble and avoid it whenever possible.
  12. by   firstyearstudent
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    people old enough to have survive nursing school should be old enough to have respect for other people
    it is not about having a sense of humor, is sex the only thing that is funny?
    it is not about being 'with it'
    if it concerned the op it was probably not the first time and it was probably lewd..do you have to put up with being uncomfortable in order to make a living
    Let me guess, you live in the Midwest, don't you?

    Sex isn't the only thing that is funny, but it is pretty funny, so why not make jokes about it -- if it's appropriate to the specific work culture that exists. Obviously, if the work environment is professional (or uptight, deprending on your viewpoint), it would be inappropriate to make sexual jokes.

    I'm a person who jokes a lot. I make jokes about the lame food in the cafeteria and the impracticality of certain sexual positions. No one ever seems to take offense -- but then I know which comments to make at church and which not to and I'm a little old lady.
    Last edit by firstyearstudent on May 13, '07
  13. by   firstaiddave907
    Theres a time and a place for everything but telling dirty jokes at work is not appropriate.

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