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What to do about sexual harassment


I can think of several men I would find it next to impossible to believe had committed a red offense, or even an orange one: Phil Donahue. Alan Alda. Barack Obama.

The sexual-harassment epidemic has been diagnosed. What’s the cure?

By Monica Hesse November 19

A man walks into a conference room, where two women are planning the company’s booth at an upcoming trade show. (Sit tight, this is eventually going to turn into a story about gender, despair and whether our society is completely busted.) “Hey girls, we need to prep for this show,” the man says. “So unless the plan is to stop traffic with thigh-high boots and halter tops, we’re going to need strong messaging and branding.”

The above scene is from one of those workplace sexual harassment training videos. It encourages clients to code inappropriate behaviors as yellow (problematic), orange (moderate), or red (toxic). The thinking being, it’s easier to say, “Oof, Jerry, that joke was a little orange,” than it is to say, “Jerry, that’s harassment.”

The video is coded by Emtrain as orange. But in recent weeks, Emtrain’s founder, Janine Yancey, has noticed that when viewers watch the video — which goes on to show the male boss ranking the hotness of female workers — they can submit questions and comments. “Women are writing in saying, that’s red, that’s red!” Yancey says. “And men are saying, is that really orange? It looks yellow to me.”

Yancey knows juries in the past wouldn’t have thought of that incident, in singularity, as toxic. So that’s the legal conundrum. The sharper point in this thigh-high anecdote is that men and women do not even appear to be watching the same video.

It would be easy, as a woman, to look around at this point and worry that every male was a hyena.

Kristi Colter has been asking herself the question that women have spent the past month asking. Who is the powerful man who, if accused, would be a crippling blow? What theoretical harasser would break her? Tom Hanks? Dick Van Dyke? “Thank God Mr. Rogers is dead,” she found herself thinking at one point.

Finally it came: “Bob Newhart,” Coulter says. “For some reason I’ve settled on Bob Newhart as the one that would push me over the edge.”

How do we deal with it? Prison for everyone? Firing for some?

A few weeks ago, following allegations about Kevin Spacey, we spent days contacting crew members from “House of Cards” (Spacey has since checked himself into a clinic for sex addiction). Some people said the actor’s on-set habit of hitting on extras was disturbing. Some said it was merely eyeroll-worthy. Sometimes these two camps were describing the exact same behaviors.

Do we question whether some men didn’t realize how wrong they were? Could we divide those men into categories?

What’s the category for a 76-year-old ad man who spent the 1960s pinching secretaries’ bottoms at the office Christmas party because the women always seemed to laugh, and he somehow didn’t realize it was terrible? Can we say, “It was terrible. Old men, raise your hand if you ever did this. Don’t do it again. Now go away; we have bigger fish to fry.”

“I really don’t think so,” says Aminatou Sow, a host of the podcast “Call Your Girlfriend,” when I raise the possibility. She recognizes that there are gradients, “But, those ‘small’ things add up to a lot.” Psychologically speaking, small things do add up to a hostile work environment. “I worry that the attention to really egregious cases is going to make us think the other types of harassment aren’t such a big deal.”

You need only to hop on Twitter to find an army of guys arguing that this wave of awareness means they’re “not even allowed to flirt anymore.”

“Are they serious?” asks Sow, the podcast host. “Everyone knows the difference between flirting, and assaulting women.”

But as for what happens next, and how this all gets fixed?

We can’t fix this while women still want to grab men by the collars and say, “That. Offense. Was. Red.”

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11/21/2017, 3:00 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: What to do about sexual harassment


quote:

Yancey knows juries in the past wouldn’t have thought of that incident, in singularity, as toxic. So that’s the legal conundrum. The sharper point in this thigh-high anecdote is that men and women do not even appear to be watching the same video.



There is a simple way for men to determine if something they would like to do to or in front of a woman would qualify as sexual harassment. Ask themselves how they would feel if another man did the same thing to them. Would that bother them or not? If it would bother them then it qualifies as sexual harassment.
11/21/2017, 5:19 pm Link to this post PM Philer Blog
 
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Re: What to do about sexual harassment


Women react differently to such things. Some slap the guy and go on their way. Others claim sexual harassment. We all do not think alike.

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11/21/2017, 8:06 pm Link to this post PM Noserose
 
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And some don't mind. Look at Al's pic with Behar and Huffington, they thought it funny and have said so. Some women have a different relationship with coworkers and male friends, where they don't mind this type of 'joking/fooling' around and don't feel at all sexually harassed.
11/21/2017, 8:14 pm Link to this post PM katie5445 Blog
 
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True, women react differently and some may occasionally overreact. What I was talking about is a good rule of thumb for men who may be having trouble figuring out what would qualify as sexual harassment.

To be on the safe side, if they wouldn't like a male co-worker doing it in front of them or to them they shouldn't do it to a female co-worker.

For example, if they wouldn't like a male co-worker showing them nude pictures of men, making lewd comments about the models or having such pictures in their office don't bring in pictures from Playboy to hang on their office wall. That's true even if we're talking about a gas station which employs women.
11/21/2017, 10:35 pm Link to this post PM Philer Blog
 
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“Hey girls, we need to prep for this show,” the man says. “So unless the plan is to stop traffic with thigh-high boots and halter tops, we’re going to need strong messaging and branding.”


"we’re going to need strong messaging and branding.” ... unless we JUST do the expected, with the enthusiastic support of all the willing local models whose agency contacts are listed in trade show briefing ?

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Last edited by Geezess, 11/22/2017, 8:47 pm
11/22/2017, 8:06 pm Link to this post PM Geezess Blog
 
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I took my vacation days in 1991 to watch the hearings. Anita Hill was spectacular. The white male senators were several different degrees of appalling, and I'm not exempting Joe Biden, although he was not in the same shameful league as Orrin Hatch, Alan Simpson, and Arlen Specter. Some of the witnesses told stories of their own about being harassed, not by Thomas. Anita was the only one who accused Thomas. Another accuser was available to testify, but Joe decided against putting her on. Anita's women co-workers said that since he had not harassed them, they knew he had not harassed her.

Anita Hill and her 1991 congressional defenders to Joe Biden: You were part of the problem

By Annys Shin and Libby Casey November 22 at 9:00 AM

On Nov. 16, Anita Hill sat down at The Washington Post offices with five current and former Democratic lawmakers: Nita M. Lowey (N.Y.), Barbara A. Mikulski (Md.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.), Pat Schroeder (Colo.) and Louise M. Slaughter (N.Y.) — all allies of Hill during her historic appearance at the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991. Hill, now a professor of legal history and public policy at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, alleged at the time that Thomas had sexually harassed her when she was in her mid-20s and worked for him at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The five female lawmakers were part of a larger group of members of Congress who prevailed on their colleagues — including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden (D-Del.) — to allow Hill to testify. Millions of Americans watched on television as the all-white, all-male panel questioned Hill with prosecutorial zeal. Thomas denied the allegations and called the proceedings “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.” He was confirmed 52-48.

Now, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual-assault scandal, Biden has faced renewed scrutiny over Hill’s treatment during the 1991 hearings. At an event hosted by Glamour magazine on Nov. 13, he said he was “so sorry” for what she went through. A few days later, at our gathering — which was set up for a forthcoming issue of The Washington Post Magazine, in which we’re asking a number of political and cultural figures to revisit their roles in seminal Washington moments — Hill said “some part of” Biden’s recent remarks was a real apology, “but I still don’t think it takes ownership of his role in what happened.” (In June, when we began setting up the meeting, we invited Biden, but he declined. On Nov. 20, he declined to comment on Hill’s statement. Thomas declined to comment as well.)

Over the course of a 90-minute conversation moderated by Post reporter Libby Casey, Hill spoke about her experiences testifying, and the lawmakers talked about their advocacy for Hill. What follows is a transcript — condensed, edited, annotated and reordered for clarity — of the exchange. Mikulski, then in her first term as a Democratic senator from Maryland, picks up the story in June 1991.

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11/23/2017, 3:42 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: What to do about sexual harassment


It seems that certain people have gone over the top on this subject.

Harassment is when someone inappropriately or excessively pursues another person. Although I can't define what is appropriate or not, excessive is pretty obvious.
11/23/2017, 6:19 pm Link to this post PM Yobbo
 
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Mostly what is talked about and going on is addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. If you read the laws there is criteria to be meant and it is described as severe and excessive. Offhand comments and teasing don't count, neither would bringing a "Playboy" to work. The rest of us have a different avenue and I don't think if it's a guy patting your bum, laying his head on your breasts as he hugs or hugging you to where he is squishing your breasts is not going to get a man arrested, it really is up to you to say something and that is also dependent on age, youth is different. These are the type of men who don't have any power or control over you, they typically are social friends, aquaintances. My male cousin copped a feel of my breasts just a few years ago when drunk, I told everyone, it pissed me off, still does. Dirty old man. My husband made a comment last night as well, no hugging, kissing on the cheeks of female friends, I don't want us to go there, I like affection from my male friends.
11/23/2017, 7:06 pm Link to this post PM katie5445 Blog
 
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Re: What to do about sexual harassment


quote:

katie5445 wrote:

Mostly what is talked about and going on is addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. If you read the laws there is criteria to be meant and it is described as severe and excessive. Offhand comments and teasing don't count, neither would bringing a "Playboy" to work. The rest of us have a different avenue and I don't think if it's a guy patting your bum, laying his head on your breasts as he hugs or hugging you to where he is squishing your breasts is not going to get a man arrested, it really is up to you to say something and that is also dependent on age, youth is different. These are the type of men who don't have any power or control over you, they typically are social friends, aquaintances. My male cousin copped a feel of my breasts just a few years ago when drunk, I told everyone, it pissed me off, still does. Dirty old man. My husband made a comment last night as well, no hugging, kissing on the cheeks of female friends, I don't want us to go there, I like affection from my male friends.



If you want hugs or affection from male friends you can always initiate it yourself. The rule of thumb I mentioned still applies for men. If they wouldn't want a man doing something in front of them or to them they shouldn't do the same thing in front of or to a woman.

If you're a man and you don't want another man to grab your butt don't grab some woman's butt. If you're a man and wouldn't want another man to suddenly grab you and try to kiss you don't do that to a woman. This stuff isn't rocket science.

As for Playboy, just bringing it to work isn't any big deal but if you have the nude photos plastered all over the work place I would recommend that female workers put up photos of naked males. From my experience men really don't like that.

11/24/2017, 5:49 am Link to this post PM Philer Blog
 
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Re: What to do about sexual harassment


From the Economist

What is sexual harassment and how prevalent is it?

Half of all working women in America will be harassed in the workplace. But the attitudes of younger men may change that


IN RECENT months myriad women have detailed the sexual harassment and assault they have experienced in the workplace. Hollywood, Silicon Valley, politics, the media, the armed forces, academia; few of America’s institutions have avoided scandal. Sexual assault, according to the Department of Justice, is “any type of sexual contact or behaviour that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient”. Sexual harassment, which by some definitions includes sexual assault, is rather harder to specify.

Despite its apparent ubiquity, sexual harassment is a relatively new term. It entered common parlance in the late 1970s, particularly after the publication of “Sexual Shakedown: The Sexual Harassment of Women on the Job” by Lin Farley in 1978. The book was published at a time when the number of working women was rising sharply. America’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) first gave a legal definition for sexual harassment in 1980.

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11/26/2017, 1:52 pm Link to this post PM shiftless2 Blog
 
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When It Comes to Sexual Harassment, Schools Are Not Immune

Early in Kelly Wickham Hurst’s teaching career, some of her colleagues warned her about an older male coworker. He came in early and sometimes cornered women, telling inappropriate jokes that at times led to uncomfortable physical contact he brushed off as accidental, they said.

The Springfield, Ill., middle school had a wave of young, newly hired female teachers that year, and they believed its administration didn’t take their concerns about the man seriously, Hurst said.
“I paid attention to it but I thought he’d never do this to me,” said Hurst, who retired after 23 years and founded an advocacy group called Being Black at School.

Then one day, she got to school before sunrise to arrange desks in her classroom. The older teacher was there, and he followed her around, trying to engage her in conversation. As he got closer, Hurst cracked a joke that she knew karate, a lie she made up on the spot. He got the message, she said.
“I wanted him to know that I was dangerous,” Hurst said. “I wanted him to know that if he put his hands on me that I would strike back physically.”

As a cascade of sexual harassment and assault allegations have come out publicly in recent weeks against high-profile men in politics, entertainment, and media, women in fields like customer service, retail, and education have raised a flag to say that their industries are not immune from such problems, though the people who’ve been accused are far less well known.

As women everywhere are reflecting on their own experiences with ...

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11/29/2017, 2:39 pm Link to this post PM shiftless2 Blog
 


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