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Simply show respect for women at work

From left, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., Rep. Cheri

From left, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Gretchen Carlson, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., hold a news conference to introduce legislation to curb sexual harassment in the workplace, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. Gillibrand and fellow female Democratic senators have united in calling for Sen. Al Franken to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Photo Credit: AP / Andrew Harnik

I read with amazement that labor lawyers are hearing that men are “unwilling to interact with female co-workers for fear of saying or doing the wrong thing” [“Ignoring charges can mean big legal costs,” Business, Dec. 4]. Is it really so difficult to show respect for another human?

In 1963, a sexist song, “Wives and Lovers,” was released. The lyric “Day after day, there are girls at the office, and the men will always be men” seems to be relevant today. How was that acceptable then, and why does this culture still exist?

Recently, I’ve taken my own informal poll, asking women whether they have been made to feel uncomfortable at work or otherwise. I sadly report that an overwhelming majority have been subject to unwanted advances, and not just at work.

Sometimes, it’s a “too close for comfort” hug from a casual friend, or a kiss on the lips from a man who thinks that because you’re a friend of his wife, it gives him a free pass.

For men, the solution is simple: Conduct yourself in a professional, courteous and respectful manner, and your workday should go off without a hitch.

Catherine Kropf Harris, Levittown