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Katie Roiphe Talks Sense About Sexual Harassment

Katie Roiphe’s recent  piece in the New York Times, In Favor of Dirty Jokes and Risqué Remarks , has predictably generated unanimous outrage in the femosphere. I found her piece very provocative, and I think she made some excellent points. (Emphasis mine.)

The problem is, as it always was, the capaciousness of the concept, the umbrellalike nature of the charge: sexual harassment includes both demanding sex in exchange for a job or a comment about someone’s dress. The words used in workshops — “uncomfortable,” “inappropriate,” “hostile” — are vague, subjective, slippery. Feminists and liberal pundits say, with some indignation, that they are not talking about dirty jokes or misguided compliments when they talk about sexual harassment, but, in fact, they are: sexual harassment, as they’ve defined it, encompasses a wide and colorful spectrum of behaviors.

…A study recently released by the American Association of University Women shows that nearly half of students in grades 7 through 12 have experienced sexual harassment. Their definition is “unwelcome sexual behavior that takes place in person or electronically.” Which would seem to include anyone who has been called a “whore” or “so hot” on Facebook, or is jokingly or not jokingly propositioned.

…when I was at Princeton in the ’90s, the guidelines distributed to students about sexual harassment stated, “sexual harassment may result from a conscious or unconscious action, and can be subtle or blatant.” It is, of course, notoriously hard to control one’s unconscious, and one can behave quite hideously in one’s dreams, but that did not deter the determined scolds.

 There is no better depiction of this booby trap for men than the now classic Tom Brady skit on Saturday Night Live:

The EEOC defines sexual harassment as follows:

Unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” The EEOC goes on to explain that in order to be considered harassment, negative behavior must be “so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile work environment.”

We may take some comfort from the stipulation that the negative behavior must be frequent or severe, but who defines “hostile?” The victim, of course. If a beautiful woman gets asked out on ten dates by men she finds unattractive, but goes on dates with two others, is the environment hostile?

Uncomfortable, unwelcome, creepy, intense, unprofessional – most of us have had these unpleasant moments in the workplace, it’s true. Just as we’ve had them at parties, public places of all kinds, and even in platonic friendships. There’s a reason most people agree that platonic male-female friendship is difficult to pull off – it only works when neither party is attracted, and that is all too rare. 

Sexual tension will always develop between women and men – that’s how we’re wired. Of course, the question is how do we deal with it? Obviously, that depends on how welcome it is to each party. That can’t be known until the approach is made. Roiphe:

Codes of sexual harassment imagine an entirely symmetrical universe, where people are never outrageous, rude, awkward, excessive or confused, where sexual interest is always absent or reciprocated, in other words a universe that does not entirely resemble our own. We don’t legislate against meanness, or power struggles, or political maneuvering, or manipulation in offices, and how could we? So should we be legislating against rogue flirtations, the floating out of invitations? 

In Time Out New York’s annual sex survey, a third of the 2,700 respondents admitted to having had sex with a colleague. That suggests that a whole lot of potential “harassment” took place and went unreported, because the “target” was interested. 

In a letter to the Editor, David Berman makes an excellent point:

…We as a society might be better off allowing everyone to negotiate his or her own way through these entirely normal interactions.

But when the off-color remark or unwanted advance comes from your boss or your professor, it’s an entirely different story. We do not have the same freedom to say no to those on whom our salaries or our grades or our futures depend. 

It is important that employees are protected from sexual blackmail, and every organization has processes in place to file a complaint in those cases. If one is dissatisfied with HR’s response, one may pursue the matter in court, and many have. 

Roiphe frequently criticizes feminism for wanting women to be powerful like men, but protected from hardball tactics, as if women are delicate flowers. Feminists can’t have it both ways. In this case, Roiphe rightly observes that women in the workplace have considerable power and influence. 

If this language was curiously retrograde in the early ’90s, if it harkened back to the protection of delicate feminine sensibilities in an era when that protection was patently absurd, it is even more outdated now when women are yet more powerful and ascendant in the workplace.

Indeed, women in their 20s living in large cities, where many companies are located, earn 117% of their male counterparts

Finally, let’s not forget the very real and present dangers that men face in the workplace. With women embracing, even flaunting their sexuality in all areas of their lives, including work, do they bear any responsibility? If a woman is showing cleavage in the office, does she have a right to be offended if she finds a male glancing that way during a meeting? Any women’s fashion magazine article about dressing for work will include mini-skirts, stiletto heels, filmy tiny blouses, etc. Women on Wall St. know better, but I’ve personally witnessed a lot of sexually suggestive clothing in the workplace, schools, etc. At the very least, confusing mixed signals are regularly sent by women, perhaps unintentionally, perhaps not.

There’s also the undeniable fact that women hit on men at work. We assume that men are so eager for sexual attention, they lap this up, but that is not true. I received a letter from one fellow blogger, a man in his mid-20s, who had foolishly entered an affair with his 30-something boss. The whole thing blew up and they both got fired. If we’re going to apply draconian standards to men, we need to take a look at the sexual innuendoes, flirtations, and occasional outright sexual aggression that women are engaging in.

Now for the fun part. Here are 10 hypothetical work-related exchanges, all in Fortune 50 companies.

Sexual harassment: Yes or No?

1. A young woman goes for an interview. It goes well, and as it winds down, the recruiter suggests that he would like to invite her back for a second round. Is she interested? If so, she should meet him at 8:00 that evening at a nearby strip club.

2. At the annual company Christmas party, a raffle is held, with all proceeds going to charity. Hundreds are in attendance. As the Senior VP prepares to announce the winner, he describes the grand prize as a weekend away with Ms. ___________,  who is in attendance.

3. A middle-level manager supports a woman’s request to transfer to another geographic location. Shortly after she relocates, he visits that city on business and invites her to dinner. She accepts, and after the meal he drunkenly suggests that they proceed to his hotel room, because she “owes him a favor.”

4. A woman contributes a check to the group wedding present for someone in the office. The next day, the VP – Finance asks her to come into his office and close the door. He proceeds to hand her back her own check and ask for an explanation. She is confused. What’s the problem? The problem is that she has a joint checking account with the man she lives with. He had not realized she was living with someone, or in a relationship that was serious enough to include pooling resources. He states, “I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.” He is married and has two children.

5. At the start of a group meeting, the middle level manager running the meeting stumbles, losing his train of thought. He recovers by saying, “Sorry, I was distracted by _________’s tits in that blouse.”

6. A male is being transferred to the Singapore office, and his going away party falls on the same night as his close coworker’s fiance’s birthday. She decides to attend the party and meet her fiance for a late birthday dinner afterward. The honoree corners her at the party and tells her to admit that she feels something for him – it’s obvious because she made him a priority over her fiance.

7. A female entry-level manager counts among her subordinates a 30-something, Harley Davidson riding, artist who works as a computer operator to pay the bills. He asks her for a private meeting in her office. He enters, closes the door and sits down. He then proceeds to tell her that her body is perfect for nude modeling, and he would like to hire her to sit for him at his studio.

8. A summer intern is looking forward to a special gathering for interns on her boss’s roof deck. Unfortunately, she comes down with violent food poisoning after eating chicken salad in the company cafeteria. When she telephones the boss to cancel, he whines, “No! You have to come! You’re the one I did this for! I don’t want to even have it if you won’t be there.” Nonplussed, she apologizes. He follows up with, “You have to make this up to me. How about drinks next week?”

9. After a presentation to senior management re a potential acquisition candidate, drinks are suggested, and the very junior employee who did most of the research and prep work is included. She is flattered and agrees to join them. After a couple of drinks, a very senior woman executive says she needs to use the ladies’ room and asks the junior woman to accompany her. When they get inside the bathroom, the senior executive pulls up her skirt, revealing a naked vagina, and raising one eyebrow suggestively.

10. Two coworkers are chatting at a retirement party in a nice restaurant. They are flirting and the man mentions that his wine is very, very good. The woman flirtatiously asks for a sip. Instead of passing her the glass, he takes a sip, leans over, kisses her and drains the wine into her mouth.

Quiz Answers:

A. I experienced all of these personally between 1978 and 1987.

B. Incidents 1-9 were unwelcome. Sexual harassment? Not according to the EEOC.

C. To this day, #10 remains one of my most memorable tingles ever. Shenanigans ensued.

D. I reported one incident only – #5. My male boss and mentor told me that he would support me but that I should think very carefully about the costs and benefits to my career of such a strategy. I decided to keep silent, and I continued to work for the offending manager. 

I have never regretted my handling of any of these incidents. In my view, they go with the territory. Part of working with other people includes learning to navigate and negotiate the tough situations. Recourse is available should one need it, but in general, I agree with Katie Roiphe. We’re all big boys now. Let’s stop this unproductive mewling and get back to work.

  • GudEnuf

    Kind of surprising that the most offensive (#9) of these was done by a woman.

    I am sorry you had to deal with all this crap in your professional life. In my experience, I have been hit on by two women and one man at work and they were all respectful. Maybe things have gotten better since then. Or maybe I’m just lucky.

  • http://rivelinoinspain.wordpress.com/ Rivelino

    don’t have time right now to read the entire post — impressive susan, i feel like i am back to reading the new yorker! — but i LOVE that susan highlights this statistic:

    “Indeed, women in their 20s living in large cities, where many companies are located, earn 117% of their male counterparts. ”

    susan, thank you for being a woman who uses her BRAIN and doesn’t just regurgitate the same  old feminist party line.

     

  • Jesus Mahoney

    Sue,

    Just to be clear, in #9, were you the junior employee or the senior executive?

  • Escoffier

    I am so sheltered.  I actually find all of that pretty amazing.  As is, I can’t believe people actually do that stuff.  Never seen it myself.

  • jack

    Every man is apparently supposed to “know his place” and know in advance whether asking  a girl out is “harassment”.

    This is just another means for women to keep beta males at bay without effort.

    Women do not like beta males because beta males are not unlike the mirror in their hallway, or the pair of jeans with the just-a-little-too-tight waistband. All three serve as painful reminders  that a girl who is a five – is a five.

    This is why women so often characterize getting asked out by a “nice guy” as creepy.

    It is an effort to delegitimize that particular man (or group of men), thus making her rejection of him perfectly legitimate. The woman’s sense of creepiness comes from the distressing idea that such a man sees her as a realistic match. This causes a narcissistic princess no end of discomfort.

    But time will take its toll on every female, and the day will come when they pass the event horizon of sexual invisibility. One day, every woman becomes a grey-haired granny. Too bad so few women are investing time and energy into becoming someone worthy of love even after their looks fade.

  • Passer_By

    LOL at Mahoney

    I must not be very hot – nobody ever shows me their junk at work.

     

     

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Jesus

    That cracked me up, thanks. Oh man, I wish I could show you this woman. She was married, but she looked like a man. She was very butch, very stocky, rather hirsute. This was not a waxed lipstick lesbian. Why she thought that might make an attractive sight is beyond me. She was so far above me in the organization I never had to deal with her again, thankfully.

  • Passer_By

    @Susan

    Were there lots of nooks and crannies?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Were there lots of nooks and crannies?

      Stop, you’re making my abs hurt!

  • AndrewV

    The one time that I was aware that I was possibly “sexually harassed” was the day I bent over to retrieve a pen I had dropped, and got “goosed” by one woman out of a group of three who were passing by.

    I guess I was “asking” for it as I was wearing tight pants (this was back in the 70’s) and had been told more than once by the women in the office that I had great legs.

    For some reason at the time, I was not offended in the slightest way, shape or form.

    In latter years I took to wearing a kilt to the office, but in these PC times, despite still getting the comments about my legs, no women has attempted to find out the truth about what men wear under their kilts.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @AndrewV
      Well, there you go. You were certainly not asking for it. It’s good for you that you didn’t feel offended, but you had every right to, that’s for sure.

      I have to say, if I wore a kilt, I would definitely wear some boxer briefs under there, at least in the cold weather. One thing I’ve always wondered is, if I had a penis would I dress left or right. I asked my husband this recently, and he laughed and said “Left.” I guess that’s not an issue with a kilt.

  • Ramble

    10. Two coworkers are chatting at a retirement party in a nice restaurant. They are flirting and the man mentions that his wine is very, very good. The woman flirtatiously asks for a sip. Instead of passing her the glass, he takes a sip, leans over, kisses her and drains the wine into her mouth.

    That sounds absolutely disgusting.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      That sounds absolutely disgusting.

      It was so unexpected, the kiss and then the wine, that my mind was reeling! My whole body shivered and it was like a dart to the clitoris. It was very, very far from disgusting. Perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but I think guys might want to try it. At the time, I told all my gf’s and we were all atwitter.

  • tmunson

    I gotta’ lot of catching up to do. “Beta males”? BTW the correct terminology is she showed you her pudenda, the external genitalia; the vagina is the fibromuscular tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior (pudenda). I don’t think there was a gynecologist’s stirrups in there, was there? Must admit, like Jesus, I found that one to be the most compelling (note you saved it for last). It reads like the script for the kind of porno films seen in trashy movie theaters circa late 60’s-early 70s, although in those it would not be the Angus who would display her credentials but rather you. I thought about tthis incident on more than the prurient level, because I enjoy exploring the male/female dichotomy with you. If this had involved two males, the senior would have had to “groom” (Sandusky) the junior some before trying this. He have to know he’s not going to get pummelled,he’d have to be sure that junior was gay. And girl, you have caused more sexual dustups then  Terry Southhern’s “Candy” (without of course the concomitant relinquishment of your person).

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @tmunson
      Thanks for the pudenda clarification. You’re right, I was spared the view through a speculum.

      And girl, you have caused more sexual dustups then Terry Southhern’s “Candy”

      I really don’t know if my experience is unusual. I do believe incidents like this are less common today then they were 20+ years ago. Also, in each of the companies I worked for, I was in some sort of special program or job that got a lot of exposure to senior management. A lot of these things were perp’d by quite senior men, IOW alphas. Several of them were alums of McKinsey, and they were all cocky as hell.

  • Passer_By

    @Andrew

    You weren’t harrassed.  You need to understand that, although the statutes and rules are written in a gender neutral manner, only straight men are subject to them.  Women and gay men are exempt.

  • Jesus Mahoney

    Dresses right.

  • Anacaona

    Eww Susan I was sexually harassed by a woman once and it was awful. Funny enough I’m an expert in the art of making yourself unattractive to a man so when bosses or coworkers were a bit flirty I managed to make them stop without placing myself in danger of getting shot in a dark alley and without making them hate me forever and stop talking to me, With women I have no such a training because in my stupid heterosexual mind all women were safe to be around so the two times that it happened it was…awkward as hell.

    I do agree that women should be able to do their own work instead of calling police all the time, but I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.

  • Passer_By

    “Perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but I think guys might want to try it. ”

    Just be sure you’re hot like Tom Brady.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      “Perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but I think guys might want to try it. ”

      Just be sure you’re hot like Tom Brady.

      Haha I didn’t mean in the workplace! And it wasn’t random – we’d been flirting for a while. This was one of those welcome overtures, for sure, but I’d been sending IOIs like crazy that night. He was cute, though.

  • tmunson

    BTW this whole “men are harassed too” is bullshit. It is impossible for a woman to physically intimidate me (absent a weapon) and that is the core of this; it expands out to the more ephemeral but that’s its start. This morning I was dressing and my wife pointed out that my naked body could be seen from the street below. I couldnt give a shit. If you want to look at me naked go right ahead.I guarantee you any woman in my neighborhood would turn away; it’s just how it is. If a man leaves his zipper open women do not angle to get a shot at his penis the way EVERY (straight) guy tries to look up her skirt. If you (female)want to put your hand on my ass do that too. Coming from a woman, it’s a submissive gesture, not a possessive one. Ok maybe there has been a junior male importuned into sex by a superior female; men bite dogs too. But if I don’t like something from a woman I’ll pick her up, set her on the counter like a 4 year old, and lecture her with my finger in her face. If a female total stranger came up to me and placed her hand on my crotch, delicately, I’d be flattered, but if she was ugly, I’d tell her she has 2 seconds to remove it or I’ll rip her arm off and shove it up her ass sideways. If she was not, I’d at least spend a few  minutes exploring the motivations behind this (somewhat indelicate) expression of appreciation. You cannot discount the physical power dynamic in this. It plays out in male/male stuff too. but this is its clearest manifestation.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      This morning I was dressing and my wife pointed out that my naked body could be seen from the street below. I couldnt give a shit.

      This cracked me up. Good for you.

      If a female total stranger came up to me and placed her hand on my crotch, delicately, I’d be flattered, but if she was ugly, I’d tell her she has 2 seconds to remove it or I’ll rip her arm off and shove it up her ass sideways.

      Oh, we’re going to have fun with you around tmunson.

      It may be true that men don’t get intimidated as often by overtures, but the rights should be the same for both genders. The case I referred to – that guy was not interested in the woman – she was 12 years his senior and he was not attracted to her. She basically said, “Fuck me or you’re fired.” He admitted that he did get into it, and they started doing it like rabbits – in the conference room, blowjobs in the stairwell, sex in a stall in the women’s restroom – you name it. It’s not wonder they got caught and fired. But still, she should be held accountable for an abuse of power.

  • Escoffier

    Susan, your #10 is a pretty clear manifestation of something the manosphere types are absolutely right about.  If that guy had not been attractive to you, you would have been repulsed by what he did, and under current law, you would have had only to push a button to destroy his career and possbly his life.  In other words, there is no “rule of law.”  It all depended on your reaction and your will.

    This is not a good or fair thing for men. So, men, as much as Susan says that was great for her, don’t try it.  At least not on anyone you have any kind of a business relationship with.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      So, men, as much as Susan says that was great for her, don’t try it. At least not on anyone you have any kind of a business relationship with.

      Sorry for the confusion. Let me clarify! Try this with a woman you are dating, when you’re looking to escalate physically and you’re getting IOIs. Oh man, I don’t want to be seen as encouraging random mouthfuls of water, coffee and green tea at the office.

  • DerHahn

    I have to echo Escoffier.  Behaving like this in a professional setting is practially incomprehensible to me but then I’ve got tech job so my exposure to upper level management has been (thankfully) minimal.  Ditto the sales/marketing types.

    Though #10 brings to mind the time I was at a conference and wound up doing a little slow dancing with a lady tech from another office .. it didn’t go any farther than that (I was married at the time) but I wonder if it could have.

  • Jesus Mahoney

    Worse would be if guys read your post and started trying that with food.

    Her: “That lasagna looks delicious.”

    Him: (Takes a big forkful and moves in for the kiss.)

    Her: …..

  • tmunson

    Susan (re “Candy” ref): Your modesty is becoming, and I didn’t want to comment direclty on your looks, but I can see you are pretty, and obvioualy very attractive and alluring. Your experiences are probably not “unusual” taken sequentially, isolated, but put together they are an impressive account of someone who must be not only physically attractive but engaging (indeed, as to the latter, I can attest based on our correspondence). Men say things like #5 in an adolescent vein; I’ve seen guys do this face-to-face, and it’s done to avoid the risk of rejection that an honest, real approach entails. But #s 6,7,8 and 10 are not  men thinking only with their hormones (it starts there of course). Crude as it may seem there was some element of romance there (#10 was an inspiring combination of crudity and romance, with a touch of Christian mythology thrown in), ok a guy’s idea of it, and cocky or not men only do that when their heart, not merely their blood, has been stirred. I know what it is; young lady, you have class, then, now, always. This catalog is explainable only in that conext.

    BTW in ref to #10 and SNL clip-you better be one very very hot dude to try this, and you better be with a gal with quick reflexes who’s also very very “into” you

  • tmunson

    Susan Ref “Case” where guy wasn’t into boss:

    I can’t see how a guy could do it. I remember whet Jackie O married Aristotle Onassis.Now, Ari looked like a very large tumor that had been grown to adult size in a petri dish. But Jackie probably got out the old KY, rolled a reef, 2-3 shots of Jack Daniels , and watched a movie over his hunched back while he pounded her peach/fish (Tom Robbins). Now, keeping it with the Kennedy’s, if Rose Kennedy had come on to me, an honest, impecunious young lawyer, with promises of wealth, connections etc., my heart might have been in it, but one sight of her puckered up steel gray Brillo pad of a cunt patch and my manhood would have withered  like a spider on a hot stove (Thomas Berger), and I  daresay my tongue would have crawled out of my asshole before it would minister to that fetid scowling battled-scarred pudenda (hey, were like Sesame Street; sorry for that last image) . This dude must have ate his Wheaties before he whistled through the wheatfield (Tony Soprano).

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @tmunson
      Philip Roth must have some good ones you can drop in.

  • AndrewV

    @Anacaona,

    I was only propositioned once. My suggestion is to do what I did, give thanks for the offer, declare yourself flattered, explain that you are not gay,  and carry on as if nothing happened. YMMV of course.

    @Susan,

    It is not considered “manly” in my family to wear anything under your kilt. I actually know of only one man who did so (a McLeod!)  but I never have, and to the best of my knowledge no one in my family ever has either.

    The most I have ever had to do was cover my ears with my scarf (-20C). But I have been out in all kinds of weather  and never felt the lack, even while tramping through the forest. If the wind is strong enough to keep blowing your kilt up, then clearly your coat is not long enough.

    A proper kilt, made out of wool, is not only comfortable but warm. Your bonnet, socks, sweater, and scarf are also wool, and so is the coat. My problem is once I get indoors it is too hot, and the coat, scarf and sweater have to come off before I roast. Taking off your bonnet once inside should also be a given, but I notice many people who wear a cap never do so.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @AndrewV
      I am utterly charmed by your comments. Are you in Scotland now? I’m channeling both Sean C. and Local Hero.

  • AndrewV

    @tmunsun,

    You may find this interesting, but I notice that it is mainly women that try to find out what is under my kilt without asking.

    Positioning themselves under the stairs and dropping things on the floor in front of me for example.

    Previous comment in moderation. I must have set off the “perv” filter with the words kilt, hot and gay.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Previous comment in moderation. I must have set off the “perv” filter with the words kilt, hot and gay.

      All fiiters hate this blog. I’ve whiltelisted you though, shouldn’t be a problem in future.

  • Jim

    From my experience in corporate America,  the incidents of sexual harassment weren’t nearly as problematic as employees of varying levels seriously dating each other. I’ve seen incidents similar to those that Susan described occur, but generally most people gauged what was acceptable behavior with their colleagues and remained within those boundaries. A few were never properly socialized but thankfully they were fairly uncommon. 

    The real problems began when co-workers began to enter relationships and brought their relationship problems into the workplace for all to see and be apart of whether one wanted to or not. If I had a dollar for every time that I was witness to some girl breaking down in tears in the middle of the office or meeting because the guy from marketing she had been seeing started banging his secretary or the new gal in sales, well, I’d have lots of extra money to spend on martinis at Roppongi in La Jolla.

    At first I found these public breakdowns and fights pure entertainment. Then after having to tiptoe around the feelings of some female co-worker who was in near-suicide mode after being pumpedN’dumped for fear of having her breakdown infront of me just because I needed a report made me really intolerant of office romances. The truth is that I didn’t care, I didn’t want to know and I became really resentful that they were wasting my valuable time with their personal shyte. That’s before one even gets to the minefield of office politics that was made vastly more difficult by these failed relationships. Rarely, the office relationship worked, but most of the time they ended up in tears(the best relationships always do, no?) in the most public humiliating fashion.

    FWIW, my advice: never mix personal shyte with business.

     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jim

      Everything you say makes total sense, but people are going to continue breaking that rule. In the US at least, young people work such long hours they often have little contact with others outside of work. I think I read somewhere that 74% of people have dated in the workplace. Things are going to get messier in this area, though I agree it’s a minefield.

      Many companies now spell out their policy during orientation – I’ve heard of everything from a thumbs up, to a requirement you notify HR, to absolutely forbidding it.

      Under no circumstances should anyone ever have a ONS with a coworker. I would say hang out platonically for three months first, and if there are genuine feelings, take it to the physical. If it looks like the real deal, one party should start looking for a different job.

  • H man

    1 Was sexual harassment.

    2 and 5 were hostile work environments mostly because they were public putdowns.

    The rest were as Chris Rock say just trying to get laid. If they continued then that becomes and issue of a hostile workplace.

  • http://oldtimemoviereview.blogspot.com jamie

    And this is why I loved wearing a uniform to work.  My chef whites revealed NOTHING and my hair was tied up under a hat.  Makeup has a tendency to melt when you’re standing over a hot grill so I didn’t bother with it.  Sexual harassment is rarely an issue in the back of the house.  Sometimes I’d come in wearing street clothes on my day off to pick up a check or something and I’d get some looks but it never made me uncomfortable.

     

    I think the answer to the sexual harassment dilemma is to make everyone wear unflattering uniforms.

  • Challenger Grim

    Every man is apparently supposed to “know his place” and know in advance whether asking  a girl out is “harassment”.

    This is just another means for women to keep beta males at bay without effort.

    Women do not like beta males because beta males are not unlike the mirror in their hallway, or the pair of jeans with the just-a-little-too-tight waistband. All three serve as painful reminders  that a girl who is a five – is a five.

    This is why women so often characterize getting asked out by a “nice guy” as creepy.

    It is an effort to delegitimize that particular man (or group of men), thus making her rejection of him perfectly legitimate. The woman’s sense of creepiness comes from the distressing idea that such a man sees her as a realistic match. This causes a narcissistic princess no end of discomfort.

    Amen to that.  I’ve just generally stopped socializing with anyone any more since I’m apparently not attractive enough to do so.  Some days it really seems like society just wishes you’d die already.

  • Challenger Grim

    Whoops, formatting mistake on the above.  My fault. (I was quoting Jack from earlier)

  • Passer_By

    Somewhere, White and Nerdy is dying to comment on this thread.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Somewhere, White and Nerdy is dying to comment on this thread.

      Sssshhhhh. He has a blog.

  • Jim

    I think the answer to the sexual harassment dilemma is to make everyone wear unflattering uniforms.

    Totally agree. It is well past time for all employees to wear ‘Hot Dog on a Stick’-style uniforms.

     

     

  • Challenger Grim

    Under no circumstances should anyone ever have a ONS with a coworker. I would say hang out platonically for three months first, and if there are genuine feelings, take it to the physical. If it looks like the real deal, one party should start looking for a different job.

    But with the way things are (like you said, working hard for “the man”), getting a different job would entail never seeing your significant other (sigo) again, leading to feelings towards the cute person at your new work place and… it all starting over again.

    It would seem that either companies need to start making allowances for people to have some free time, or you just need to find someone in another department.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      It would seem that either companies need to start making allowances for people to have some free time, or you just need to find someone in another department.

      I remembered one other rule that I think is common. No power disparities, and no one dating a direct report or boss. Obviously, either of these sets up all sorts of conflicts of interest.

      I know one couple – she is a partner in a DC law firm and she and one of her associates fell in love. He’s several years younger. He ultimately left to take a job in the FCC, and she became the major breadwinner. They have two children now, and she works “part time” – 50 hours per week.

  • Jim

    Susan,

    fwiw, I live in the US now, San Diego to be precise. Also, in terms of colleagues dating each other because of the proximity and lack of other social outlets, it’s the same way in the UK. Perhaps even more severe considering that pub culture is part and parcel of British life and that it’s all to easy for one’s inhibitions to lower with a pint or two or three or four or..well..never mind, and then end up hooking up with someone from your office. Socially, it’s just to be expected that you and your colleagues are going to end up at the local pub for drinks where things just, well happen. I don’t deny that people are going to date each other when they are spending lots of time together in a moderately stressful situation. I’m merely advocating that people realize that if you look upon work as a place to make money and further one’s career, don’t bring your drama and personal shyte into the  workplace and expect there won’t be any consequences.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve survived many rounds of downsizing, lay-offs, and redundancies if not promoted because my bosses observed that I was there to work and that I didn’t bring lots of drama into the workplace. Many who did bring drama into the work place didn’t survive in those work officeplace culls. If people believe they can manage that risk and bump uglies with their colleagues and still retain employment, then more power to them.

    My advice was merely a survival strategy.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    With regard to so-called sexual harassment, there is no law. There is only the feelings of the woman you’re flirting with. Sexual harassment is simply whatever a woman says is harassment, no questions asked.

    If you are alpha, it’s a hot date; if you are beta, it’s harassment.

    Women say they want to be seen as equal to men? They should drop their special privileges.

  • tmunson

    BTW #10 alos contains elements of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. In it, Dracula has Mina Harker drink his blood, thus coming under his spell. The Christian mythology strats with Christs transformation  of water inot wine (wedding feat at Canaa), wine into blood (the Last Supper) and blood into the Holy Spirit. The cycle is complete when the soldier spears his left side producing blood and water. The literl conjugal toast you created has elements of these I should think.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @tmunson

      Stop, please, I’m getting all tingly about that move. I will have to take it out on my husband :-)

      I doubt anyone will be surprised when I say that guy turned out to be not very nice. Fortunately, there was no real fallout.

  • tmunson

    “Not very nice”-well, that’s seldom the case with “children of the night”. BTW Dracula did not drink wine (Bela said it best:”I don’t drink….wine”-pronounced “vhwine”) so you were safe there.

  • stillcode

    Because you never really know whether your advances are going to be welcome or not and the potential severe penalties that may come from being wrong (losing your job or worse), I never ever initiate anything beyond casual interactions with my coworkers. Even though I would like to, I don’t even compliment the women I work with when they get a new stylish hairdo or a new set of clothes that really suits them. You could say it’s a form of ghosting, but I act defensively as a protective mechanism. I’ve gone to school for far too long and worked far too hard to jeopardize my career.

    As many others have said, if a person is looking for a relationship then they should follow the saying, “don’t crap where you eat.”

  • Doctor Doom

    Susan, I had my ass and crotch grabbed by other men in my high school locker room. I was humiliated.

    Was it sexual harassment, or was I right to ignore it?

  • tmunson

    @Doctor Doom-If some dude grabbed my ass or crotch,in a locker room or in the Sistine Chapel, I’d break my leg off in his asshole. “Ignore it”-huh? Dude, if this is on the level, you need to buy yourself a one way ticket to Manup.

  • AndrewV

    @Susan,

    I have lived in Canada for more than over the last thirty years, and all incidents happened there. As you may have surmised, I have Scots in my family, and there are quite a few men in Canada who wear a kilt, though the frequency of wear will vary from place to place.

    Generally, if there is a regiment nearby people are accustomed to it (e.g. Brampton). In Toronto and Vancouver while not uncommon, and wearing one on a day to day basis is rare, being seen in a kilt for the most part will attract little or no attention.

    @Jim and others,

    I broke my rule on not fooling around at the office once and regretted it afterward when I broke it off.

    Now, neither of us were in management at the time, but I got blowback from her friends, one in particular was very hostile, to the point of swearing at me repeatedly. So I tend to go along with the sentiment that it is usually not a good idea. I have seen quite a few over the years and heard of more.

    My favourite is the company outing to a golf course which resulted in a married (but not to each other) couple, publicly engage in noisy sexual intercourse near the 6th hole to the edification of numerous spectators. They were both subsequently fired, the very next day apparently.

    That was a memorable outing and it was probably just as well that I was unable to attend, as who knows what I might have got up to?

    Among other things, those wild men in Accounting and IT took it into their heads to engage in a cross country race with some golf carts resulting in damage to the greens, driving range, sand traps and carts, including  one abandoned in a pond.

    There were various other alcohol fueled incidents but those already mentioned were the highlights.

    Incidentally the firm was subsequently banned from that golf club in perpetuity. I have no idea why though.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Andrew
      Thank you for that very amusing account. I don’t know if Seinfeld was ever popular in Canada, but there is one episode where George gets fired for having sex with the office cleaning lady on the conference room table. His defense, “I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to do that.”

  • Doctor Doom

    Tmunson, I shouldn’t have just gotten back to work (or in this case track) as Susan suggested?

    Was I dressing too slutty, perhaps?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Doctor Doom

      Ah, as I thought. A troll. I was awfully surprised to hear that straight young men would reach out and touch another guy’s junk. Why not just say what’s on your mind DD?

      I’ll play. You had a means of recourse available to you. You chose not to take it. Why? If you had taken it, and the school had scheduled an assembly to talk about a certain someone who’d been manhandled in the locker room, and how that kind of bullying would not be tolerated, then the entire school would have quickly known of your humiliation. In any case, it was your decision to make. Obviously, you did some kind of C/B analysis and decided to keep silent. Which is perfectly sensible.

  • tmunson

    @Dr.Doom

    I recall the original Dr. Doom., played safety for UCLA and had skull & crossbones towel/band in front.You are as unlike him as Mother Theresa and Adolh Hitler. Susan, is this guy for real? If you are for real Dr. you need serious help. Guys doing this to you have nothing sexual in mind; they are disrepecting your manhood, and it’s on a par with getting “bitched” in prison.If this is a joke, it isn’t a funny one. If it isn’t a joke, you have been tragically compromised in a way I am unable to imagine, and your apparaent unawareness of it shows it has has penetrated (perhaps literally) to your very core.

     

  • tmunson

    Very funny Dr. So you are a bitch.

  • AndrewV

    @Doctor Doom,

    I will assume that this really happened, but I can assure you that if it were me, it would have happened the once only.

  • Doctor Doom

    @Susan

    BWAHAHA, Thanks for playing!

    My point is that harassment shouldn’t be ignored and that I quite clearly made the wrong decision in not reporting it. I am critiquing your advice that people ignore sexual harassment, since it can lead to incidents like this going unreported. A bully who thinks he can get away with harassment due to it going unreported may repeat his or her behavior on individuals who will find the experience more hurtful than the individuals who decide not to take action.

    My comment about ‘dressing slutty’ critiques your notion that women hold responsibility for the impact that their dress can have on men. If what you’re saying is true, then don’t straight men also have responsibility for the reaction their outfits can have on gay men?

    I think that bullies justify stuff like this by thinking of the teased as the gay ones while they themselves are straight. We see similar stuff in male prison rape, where the rapist retains his heterosexuality in contrast to the penetrated male who gets considered a fag or a bitch.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Dr. Doom

      I am critiquing your advice that people ignore sexual harassment, since it can lead to incidents like this going unreported. A bully who thinks he can get away with harassment due to it going unreported may repeat his or her behavior on individuals who will find the experience more hurtful than the individuals who decide not to take action.

      The question of when to report sexual harassment is a complicated one. As I’ve written, what constitutes SH is debatable. One incident does not meet the standard. In the case of a child, or student, I would report that as a bullying incident. My son once had his hockey helmet filled with mayonnaise and I took that straight to the principal. Parents should be involved in any case involving a high school student.

      Back to SH though – filing a claim may or may not be in the best interest of the victim. It is not without its risks, and I have personally heard accounts of women who regretted ever speaking up about it. They lost their jobs, were on the beach (not literally) while the case made its way through the court system, and in the end got a settlement that may or may not have been worth it. The point is, it’s the victim’s choice about whether to report. There are channels for that, and that is communicated to all employees.

      My comment about ‘dressing slutty’ critiques your notion that women hold responsibility for the impact that their dress can have on men. If what you’re saying is true, then don’t straight men also have responsibility for the reaction their outfits can have on gay men?

      This is essentially the same as the SlutWalk question. My advice to women is to never wear anything to the office that will invite the male gaze. Period. If you do that, then don’t be surprised if your invitation is accepted. The example I gave was not an office rape, it was a male’s eyes traveling to a woman’s cleavage. We’re all human beings – as Katie Roiphe points out, many of our actions are not even conscious. I would argue that it’s unfair for women to dress in a revealing way in the workplace. It’s not only distracting and potentially hazardous for men, it can’t be good for productivity. I think a strict corporate dress code is appropriate.

      Honestly, I think the gay question is a red herring. The rules and the standards should apply equally to everyone. I was neither more nor less offended by the woman’s sexual overture than I was by the men’s, even though it was by far the most graphic.

  • Doctor Doom

    Tmunson, thank you for referring to me as a bitch and proving my point that bullied men get considered the effeminate ones in male-male sexual harassment cases.

  • Passer_By

    @Doctor Doom

    If what you’re saying is true, then don’t straight men also have responsibility for the reaction their outfits can have on gay men?”

    Maybe if they were dressing like this:

    ” alt=”Bruno” />” alt=”” />

  • Olive

    Interesting stuff. We had this conversation about sexual harrasment in one of my classes the other day, and it got pretty “girl-power”-ish. One girl complained because when she wears tight shirts, men talk to her and she’s uncomfortable about it. Another girl said she wishes women could be beautiful without having to worry about men talking to them. Honestly, I listened to them with hypergamy in mind. I don’t think they’d be complaining if hot guys started hitting on them… in fact, they may be dressing that way just to get the attention of hot guys. In any case, their comments bothered me.

  • Doctor Doom

    I’m sorry, I didn’t read your argument fully Susan. You do mention that recourse should be available to those who want to take it. Sorry!

  • Doctor Doom

    @Passer_By

    How about if he’s wearing an awesome suit at work that catches the interest of the gay men in the office?

  • Passer_By

    @Doctor Doom

    My point was that when men distracted by womens’ provocative dress, what they are wearing is typically more analogous to that Bruno outfit than it to a snappy (but unrevealing) looking suit.

  • Doctor Doom

    Passer_By

    Thanks for clarifying. I would argue otherwise, since male fashion typically shows less skin than female outfits and thus indicates to me at least that sexy male outfits need not be revealing, but your point’s very valid in light of the similarities between gay and straight male sexuality that were explored in A Billion Wicked Thoughts.

  • Dogsquat

    @Tmunson

    “BTW this whole “men are harassed too” is bullshit. “

    I hope you reconsider your opinion. It’s not true in any female dominated environment I’ve ever worked in.

    Hell, I’ve been “harassed”.  It sucks.  I was helping a buddy teach EKGs to a group of beginning health care providers and I was sitting there with my shirt off and a bunch of leads stuck to my chest.  One girl (she was 19 or 20 if I recall) actually ran out and got her friend from another class to come watch.  The class was disrupted, inappropriate comments were made, and…well…it was uncomfortable.

    If I was female and of a certain mind, I could have gotten a lot of people in trouble that day.  I was also very, very angry – in the class I was simulating a patient – and you DO NOT treat patients that way – not in any class I have a part in teaching.

    “But if I don’t like something from a woman I’ll pick her up, set her on the counter like a 4 year old, and lecture her with my finger in her face. “

    You’d be unemployable shortly thereafter, at least in health care.  I can chew ass with the best of them – I was a Sergeant of Marine Infantry, after all – but you can’t treat women like men.  You’ll “Hurt their feeeeeeellllingssss,” and then you’re the one either unemployed or apologizing.  Also, the second you lay hands on one, you’re fucked.  Especially if she did something wrong – she’ll use your assault and battery to cover all manner of her misdeeds.

    Women have other psychological handles that are more effective and less risky to get them to do what you want.  Use them instead.

    “I’d tell her she has 2 seconds to remove it or I’ll rip her arm off and shove it up her ass sideways. “

    Again, you’d be unemployable, at least in healthcare.  Sure, she technically harassed you (but everybody knows that women can’t sexually harass men, right?), but you threatened violence(gasp!) against a coworker.

    That kind of talk sounds good, and it might work if you’re a mechanic or something, but don’t pull that shit around nurses.  They’ll use The System to hand you your balls.

    “You cannot discount the physical power dynamic in this.”

    I agree, and it works against the man in the long term.  Sure, right at that moment you can intimidate the woman, but after she has a chance to think (and report you to the boss), the bigger and tougher you look, the more you’re in trouble.  When dealing with shady women, it’s very important to think strategically, even if you have to forgo some tactical advantages.

    I had an interesting conversation not 24 hours ago.  One of my female coworkers needed a shot in the glute, and she asked if I’d do it because I wasn’t busy at the time.  Her comment was,”I trust you, Dogsquat.”

    I told her,”No, I’ll do it because I trust you.  You’ve got all the power here.  You could end my career.”

    We had an interesting conversation about our workplace’s harassment policies, and I think I got a nice lady to take a nibble at the Red Pill.  Until then, she’d never noticed all the males continually keeping doors to patient rooms open while we’re in there, or logging in to our computer system, doing a procedure on a female patient, then immediately logging in again, thus creating a time-stamp to defend ourselves with if accused of something.  She was shocked to know that I’ve refused to do certain procedures on some patients (and another coworker) and found a female nurse or ‘medic to do it, instead.

    I love my job, but I (and a lot of dudes I work with) have to keep this stuff in mind.  Our patient population isn’t the greatest, and neither are some of the women we work with.

  • hsu

    @Doctor Doom

    That was just normal male bullying. You were picked on because the bullies knew you would respond by wimping out and feeling shame. The proper response is to…

    1. Confront the offender, right then and there, with a putdown that questions their manhood or their motives. If you can make it a funny putdown, all the better.

    2. Deck the guy. Completely out of the blue, with no build up, no chest pumping, no taunting, no words, no glaring, no stare down, no advanced warning of any kind. Just deck him, as hard as you can.

    3. Learn juijitsu or wrestling or some other martial art designed to deal with bigger, stronger opponents, so that the situation doesn’t happen again.

  • Dogsquat

    AndrewV said:

    “My favourite is the company outing to a golf course which resulted in a married (but not to each other) couple, publicly engage in noisy sexual intercourse near the 6th hole “

    Wait…the 6th hole?  Which one is that?  Does she have some awesome physical deformity?  You still got her number ?

  • Odds

    I’ll say upfront, it’s tough transferring from college to work in that sense.  In college, the girls were all okay to hit on, but weren’t looking for my type (provider guy).  Once I started working, the girls were off-limits, but were looking for exactly the kind of man I was.

    Going back to school and spitting some Game fixed that problem, but there were a few months there where I could not help but think that life was rigged.

  • Lokland

    Don’t shit where you eat. Unless of course you enjoy the taste of shit go ahead. I’ll take your promotion as well.

    Men can be sexually harrassed, we just can’t complain about it because everyone thinks we want to have sex with anything living. Kinda sucks knowing that all it takes to end your career is one SH claim, regardless of whether its true or not.

    Last, the number one situation I find strange and weird but not SH. I don’t know if that makes me crazy or not?

     

  • Anacaona

    @AndrewV

    I would had done that, but she never actually said something I could use to confront her. She grabbed my ass, asked me to hang out and offered me money, no to mention all the praise for my looks and smarts. but she had a boyfriend and I was working there never to have a boyfriend in my country that is strange so there was the real chance she could just accuse me of being the lesbian one and get me in trouble. Facts were in her side I decided to just become downright hostile towards her to make her avoid my presence and look for another job. Lucky me she got a better job before that and I could have peace again. It wasn’t pretty at all. This is the same job were my boss hit on me a couple of times and although I didn’t found her attractive I found him less bothersome than what happened with her at least he never grabbed my ass.

  • Nate Winchester

    Did I say this before? (feels familiar)

    At any rate, Susan, I think you’ll appreciate this quote I heard from John Derbyshire.

    [From] attorney Kurt Schlichter, writing in the New York Post on Tuesday, quote:

    Where sexual-harassment law once protected women from being forced to be the playthings of crude lechers, it’s been transformed to enforcing a prim puritanism that drains the humor and humanity from the workplace. People are afraid to make an innocent joke or compliment a co-worker’s appearance for fear of crossing some unspoken line that will bring down the wrath of the human-resources department.

    Also, I agree with Dogsquat.  When it comes to the law and the workplace, you have to be VERY smart.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Nate Winchester
      That’s exactly what Katie Roiphe is protesting – sucking all the life out of the workplace so that people must resort to sitting in cubicles like drones, interacting with one another as little as possible.

  • Anacaona

    @Dogsquat

    In my country doctors can see their patients alone all the time. The times I had my gyno do his job with no nurse at all, sometimes during the nurse lunch break, are countless. It was very interesting when I got my first check up here and the doctor got practically horrified of me started to undress right when he told me. He raised his hands and called the nurse, now I do wait for his sake but the first time I was shocked like “What did I did wrong?! do I look evil or scary or something?!” But then I kind of got why is that after a few search on the Internet. Although the nurse and I praised me for being the only patient that makes jokes while having a speculum inside, for some reason laughing makes me forget the pain and the coldness (really can’t they invent something that is a bit warmer?)

  • Doug1

    Jim–

    30-40% of people in big cities working in offices do though.  This is way natural given how much time office working people at the professional career track level spend there, especially when in their twenties and thirties.

    30-40% of people in big cities working in offices do though. This is way natural given how much time office working people at the professional career track level spend there, especially when in their twenties and thirties.

  • http://www.yohami.com/blog/ YOHAMI

    Fucking in the workplace is bad idea. But it happens all the time.

    Regulating hostility and pressure is good. Making it about regulating men while letting women free to flirt and fuck their way up, isnt.

  • tmunson

    @dogsquat

    You overread my remarks. I was only addressing raw physical intimidation, not the kind of importuning you describe. I was talking about the very core of this; you’re talking about esoterica like losing one’s job. The examples I used were coming from a very different dynamic. Being made uncomfortable isn’t they same as assault, which is what i was describing. Actually it’s battery (an unwanted touching-the legal definition). I have no doubt you encountered some of the hassles you mentioned, but I was merely addressing the PHYSICAL dynamic. That’s all. to the extent I went beyond that, I described how I did not give a shit if someone saw me naked. Or if she saw my dick ‘cuz I didn’t zip up. As for your last point, I might be unemployable, but the bitch would have to pull her arm out of her asshole to make me so. My point was admittedly puerile and not intended to address workplace harassment of men by women. I still think it’s a man bite dog story, not a real big problem,and I’m sure I’ll be subjected to more thimble-eyed analysis by uptight anal nit pickers who can’t grasp the necessity for some degree of generalization in conversation in order to have a logical discourse, who require such a degree of exactitude and over-qualification for every single fucking point made that by the time the point is made there is no motherfucking reason for making it. I work with lawyers; the sentence isn’t even out of your mouth before they start thinking of exceptions to your premise, onion-slicing everything until the idea bends in on itself, crawls up its own asshole, and disappears. Susan-do I have an anal fetish?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @tmunson

      Susan-do I have an anal fetish?

      I was just wondering that. So I guess the answer is yes.

  • tmunson

    @Dr.Doom

    I don’t know what to do, apologize because I thought you were not serious or because I believe you are. I have never heard of a guy dissed by straight guys like this, nor can I imagine any guy, even the most pusillanimous I’ve ever known, not attempting some type of physical response to protect himself, rather choosing to “ignore” it. That simply does not comport with anything, anything, in my experience. If this truly happened to you I will say this: to allow this, in the manner described, shows that you were unimaginably damaged BEFORE the sexual importuning occurred,that  you had no proper sense of self, let alone manhood, and no perspective of your existence; I have no other words for you.

  • Jesus Mahoney

    Susan-do I have an anal fetish?

    No, you just like talking out of your ass. It’s not really the same thing.

  • Michael of Charlotte

    @Susan,

    Not cool…  I’m going on a first date with a co-worker Saturday.  Your timing is not appreciated :P

    I will tell you two sexual harassment stories, both of which are my favorite as to how stupid SH laws are.  First, this woman touched another woman on the shoulder.  Apparently woman 1 was trying to get woman 2’s attention.  This woman was made uncomfortable by her actions and reported her to HR.  Woman 1 was fired.  And before you tell me that story is BS, that story came from the HR manager who fired woman 1.

    Second, this supervisor in a customer service environment sees this girl.  He thinks he recognizes her and asks, “Weren’t you a stripper?”  She goes crying to HR and the guy is fired.  Mind you, this is a job where she could literally be cussed at.  She feels guilty so HR lets him be a regular employee on the night shift.  I knew the guy (and he was an A**hole) so I wasn’t too broken up about it.  But one comment shouldn’t have gotten him fired.

    Heh, now I’m beginning to re-thinking that date…

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Michael of Charlotte
      Whoops! Actually, I’m not in the camp that says never date coworkers. Obviously, the two of you are in sync, there’s no danger of misunderstanding. I do think taking it slow is probably advisable in such circumstances though.

      I cannot believe a woman was fired for touching another woman on the shoulder. That is just ridiculous.

      As for the other guy, what the heck? Who tells someone they look like a stripper? He deserves to be fired for sheer stupidity.

  • Jesus Mahoney

    Dr. Doom and tmunson are the same troll?

  • Jesus Mahoney

    Think about it. Two men make debut appearances at HUS on the same day, on the same thread. Both men are named after old athletes. Each man has taken the POV that’s the diametrical opposite of the other. Drama ensues.

    Dr. Doom=tmunson.

  • Jules

    Susan, I used to like your blog a lot more but this really makes me sad. As someone who went through a lot of sexual harassment in the workplace, you obviously want to help stop harassment. In order to do that, we cannot downplay SH as something that women (or men) should just laugh off. It’s not about whether or not women can take a joke, it’s about the power dynamics in the workplace, and when women are feeling humiliated, scared, or violated at work, they should not be blamed for speaking up. Also, since when are dirty jokes and sex talk necessary for an interesting, dynamic workplace? I’d much rather have sex not mentioned at work at all (unless it was pertinent to the work itself). Just because there’s no sex in it does not make work “drab.” The fact that it’s work makes it drab haha

     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jules

      In order to do that, we cannot downplay SH as something that women (or men) should just laugh off. It’s not about whether or not women can take a joke, it’s about the power dynamics in the workplace, and when women are feeling humiliated, scared, or violated at work, they should not be blamed for speaking up

      Not one of the examples I gave were about women taking a joke. The problem is, the guidelines are vague and subjective. That Tom Brady skit is exactly the way it plays out in the workplace. I’ve seen it many times. You’ve focused on Katie Roiphe’s article rather than mine – I didn’t defend dirty jokes and sex talk – at all. Nor did I say they make work more fun.

      If women do feel violated, humiliated and scared at work, there’s obviously something going on that can and should be reported. Every company has procedures for doing that in a way that is not hostile to the victim. It’s the law.

      As I pointed out, none of my experiences meet the legal definition of SH, even though they were mostly unwelcome. In a few cases I felt humiliated. I had a choice to make – do my job and do it well, ignoring that behavior, or report the senior executives of my very large company. Honestly, that would have made the New York Times and derailed my career. I chose to handle it personally, and that worked out well. YMMV.

  • Esau

    Jules: “it’s about the power dynamics in the workplace, and when women are feeling humiliated, scared, or violated at work, they should not be blamed for speaking up.”

    Does it occur to you, that men can also feel humiliated, scared or violated at work, because they perceive a significant risk that they can have their career seriously harmed, or even be fired, if they ever happen to make some woman feel subjectively uncomfortable?  To whom, do you think, should men speak up?  about this power dynamic.

  • stillcode

    @Dogsquat

    I agree 100%. The healthcare profession is full of mines that you need to navigate. For us it’s always, “guilty until proven innocent” so it’s best to just keep to yourself, put up with whatever crap (sexual harassment related or not) they throw at you until you’ve made it through the day and then get the heck out of there. Woe be to any man or woman who becomes the target of bullying and ridicule by the hens in the hen house.

  • Wudang

    A man I talked to that had work in IT in teh states told me that in the company he worked in it was company policy for men to go out of an elevator whenver a woman entered it in order to avoid women becoming “uncomfortable” and the company risking sexual harasement lawsuits. His friend almost got fired for in celebratory joy over a big success for them both lifting up a colleague who was also a close friend. This was despite the close friend saying she did not mind at all. Someone else who saw it reported it. The resemblance to Saudi Arabia or the Iranian morality ploice is stirking.

  • Wudang

    Susan you need to read the lattest two posts at heartiste. The studies he discussing are VERY interesting. Here is one interesting piece of info from one of them:

    As Table 4 indicates, Hypothesis 4d was fully confirmed. Women had a preference for having sex with men who pursued more a short-term mating tactics but did not tend to develop a romantic relationship with them, whereas the long-term interest of men did not influence women’s mating or relating.

     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Wudang

      As Table 4 indicates, Hypothesis 4d was fully confirmed. Women had a preference for having sex with men who pursued more a short-term mating tactics but did not tend to develop a romantic relationship with them, whereas the long-term interest of men did not influence women’s mating or relating.

      Yes, that is interesting. And so is this:

      Conversely, men had a preference for relating with women who pursued more a long-term mating tactics but did not tend to have sex with them…

  • tmunson

    @Jesus

    My name is Thomas V. Munson. I do get the Thurman reference a lot, in fact clearing customs last month the agent said when he looked at my passport he saw Thurman. I use tmunson because when I first started blogging it registered. I am an attorney in Boise, Idaho, bar license #2748.  I do not hide, nor do I troll (I’m 59; not sure what trolling is, but assume it means posting stuff you don’t back up. I back up what I say.)

    As for talking out my ass, well, there’s interesting synchronicity there. I just started writing at theblueturf.com (I’ve been a Boise State fan for 43 years) and my next blog is about how the physical location of the Boise State stadium, and school, has had a metaphysical impact on the success of the program. In order to emphasize the importance of “location”, I intend (with considerable technical) to inbed (?-is that right) the scene from John Waters “Pink Flamingos”, the infamous “ventriloquist” scene. Waters as you may know centers all his films in Baltimore. I relate to his concept, that location is both haphazard and mystical, and that there is a symbiosis and,yes, synchronicity to it that plays out in our collective and individual destinies. I am also going to reference Michener’s series esp. “Hawaii” where he makes much the same point albeit on an extended basis. When I awoke this morning and saw your ref to me talking out my ass it confirmed that indeed the synchro was copacetic and I was on the right path.

    I am not Dr. but, more synchro, can relate. I used to get “pantsed” in the boys room in 7th grade. This stopped when I got into a fight with a taller, more athletic dude  (not one of my oppressors)and we beat each other to a pulp. The type of harassment Dr. describes is entirely foreign to my experience; straight boys fondling etc.? Nah. They might violate him with an instrument, but he is describing gay flirtatious behavior, not cruel sexual machismo of the type straight high school boys engage in. I did not believe him, I did not think it was true. It is sadder if it is.  BTW more synchro: at the end (well just before the revolting “real” end) of “Pink Flamingos” the characters move to Boise, Idaho!

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Wudang

    This was despite the close friend saying she did not mind at all. Someone else who saw it reported it.

    There are college campuses where a third party may report sexual coercion. So if a woman has no-strings sex and regrets it the next morning, her roommate may decide to report that as coercive sex to the school, leading to a rape investigation. I know of one case where the woman herself said it was not rape, but the school went through the whole process anyway.

  • Ramble

    I know of one case where the woman herself said it was not rape, but the school went through the whole process anyway.

    The school does not care about her, they care about covering their own ass.

    Look, every “intelligent” person knows that women will often claim that they were not raped when they really were, so, it is important that the school follow proper procedure. And we all know who developed the proper procedures.

  • Barbara

    About sexual harassment, woman should know her right and she should know how to wear clothes according to the occasions, the is not provocative showing a lot of flesh. Because clothes are huge factor to attract   sexually the opposite sex.

  • tmunson

    @Susan

    I realized we made the same mistake re anal(wiht me) that we did with vagina(with you). I have a fetish for women’s butts; the alimentary canal qua canal has no interest for me.I am a butt amn the way Rousseau was a tit man (Florence King recounts this wonderfully in “With Charity Towards None”. Brief history: in 3rd or 4th grade I was in Catholic elementary school,intent on becoming a priest. All was going swimmingly until I saw “The Parent Trap” starring the irrepressibly nubile Hailey Mills. In a scene that forever changed my life,  Hailey’s twin sister (played by her natch) cuts the back of her dress off; unbeknownst, she steps on stage,baring  her perfectly nuanced round ass, not quite  plump with just the right profile, ensconced in gleaming white panties which burned the image into my eyes, heart and soul. The ass man was born. Goodbye priesthood, Catholicism, religion. I began to see women’s asses everywhere; indeed, when I saw the heart that appears at the beginning of “I Love Lucy” I turned it upside down in my mind; it remains the perfect representation of the female posterior. I make no apologies. And Iam certain women can tell I’m an ass amn at my approach. They see me coming, and I can tell they think “Ass man ahead-will he check out mine?” As I pass, and do, they turn their heads ever so slightly, pretending to be distracted looking at something but I’ve seen it so many times I KNOW  that they are actually confirming that Yes, I have checked out their ass and I’ll take it one step further -as an ass man, I beleive it is my God given duty to check out EVERY woman’s ass which comes even remotely in my vicinity and contains the slightest element of feminine pulchritude. So there. Make of it what you will. I have plenty of company, and I like to think that I and my fellow ass men are a cut above the tit men, they of the glandular overbite, extroverted, obvious (ref Butowksi as played again by Mickey Rourke), their gladhanding bonhomie no substitue for our quiet introspection and intensely nuanced appreciation.And to those who suggest a certain latency in our fixation, I saw “Pshaw! It is to laugh!” Women’s behinds inspire the proper man in a way that mere breasts cannot, the folds and contours embracing both the visual and  tactual fields as well as providing the truest, most secure ballast in consummation.   Indeed, the epicene nature of the feature enhances the femminity of the suitably endowed femle rather than detracting from it. Time does not permit me to elaborate futher; please allow this brief explication to suffice, although it does slim honor to the feature.

  • pvw

    Hi, Susan,

    Those stories you spoke of, just amazing!  Not seen as sexual harassment, because they were each just one incident, not a pattern?  Not even a hostile work environment?  Hmm. 

    I find interesting as well something I have seen raised here, the argument that sexual harassment is used as a ploy to keep certain men at bay by calling them creeps.  But I think giving such a broad description to sexual harassment does aid in minimizing those instances when men can act creepy. 

    That is what I was thinking of as I read a few of the stories, that these men had some creepy fixation on you that they saw all sorts of sexual interest where there was none, building up in their own minds that you were interested in them, when from what you are describing, there was no basis.

    All of them are crazy, but the craziest example, in my mind, ie., that it was inappropriate for you to be living with a man?  Did this character imagine that you and he had some type of relationship that he had a right to even imagine he had some say?  Or that the boss had some function and if you weren’t there, he wasn’t going to be happy and that you owed him.  Or that just because you showed up at the event, your colleague mattered more than your fiance?  Unbelievable how these men’s minds operated…

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @PVW

      Of course, after each of these incidents, I would rack my brain to identify where I had given the wrong signals – I must have done. Not in all cases, of course. The woman who exposed herself in the restroom had never even met me before. Some of it was the sense of entitlement that the male executives displayed – as I said, every one of these men was cocky. I never felt put upon or harassed by anyone like Fred Armisen’s nerdy character in that video. I also witnessed sexual attention directed toward other women. Once in a meeting, i looked below the conference table and saw that the CFO and a brand new MBA recruit had their shoes off and were rubbing toes. Meanwhile, his 8 year old daughter had just been into the office and described her father’s birthday present to her – “ancient Chinese masks.” It was like something out of the movie Wall Street.

      But I was very lively, I laughed a lot (not at sexist jokes) and I believe some people may have misinterpreted that as interest. The guy going off to Singapore almost certainly did that. We worked together closely, we got along very well. Sometimes I worried that he felt more, but he never said anything until his last night in New York. At the time I considered it selfish on his part, but sometimes we just have to say what we’re thinking. I did not consider that harassment, though it was misguided and obviously presumed too much.

  • Doc

    I’ve always been amazed at the difference in how men and women experience the world. It is COMPLETELY different as far as what behavior  is acceptable and what isn’t.

    When in grad-school, I was at a Christmas party and one of the female admins in our department was at the same table. When people went to dance,  I moved next to her to schmooze a bit. She was single, attractive, and directly over the department, but I was into co-eds so any woman older than 20 wasn’t of interest to me at that point in time.

    So with the music being loud when I leaned in to talk to her, she pulled me to her so that we were cheek to cheek with our mouths at each other’s ear. (Today I understand how powerful this is because her hair acts to isolates you, and makes it so that your olfactory senses are filled with the smell of her and the warmth of her neck. That is a *very* intimate position and hits your subconscious like a ton of bricks.) Anyway, this behavior surprised me but due to how loud the music was, I thought something like – “Oh this makes sense, this way we can talk without yelling.” I doubt that a male could do this to a young woman without more than a few issues cropping up. But for a woman – it was surprising, but nothing any man could possibly object to.

    Anyway, I understood co-eds but not older women. Now being who I am, I commented something to the effect that “the Devil on my shoulder is whispering to me to lick your ear-lobe just to see what kind of reaction I get”. With a younger woman, I would have just done it if she had set herself up like this just for the heck of it, but since she was a lot older, I wasn’t sure what to make of it, or how to behave as she was definitely out of my “target zone.”

    Well, I got a reaction which I would have expected from a 20 year old, but not a 40 year old – teaching me women are the same regardless of age, and we ended up back at her place for the rest of that weekend. For the rest of my years in grad-school we hooked up whenever the stars aligned. (She was one of those women, who seems to exude sex-appeal, but subtly. Every now and then I’ll meet such a woman today – guess she just pushed my buttons,)

    Anyway… Since she was a head administrator she had to deal with all of the harassment non-sense against the professors in the various departments, and I was amazed at what would be called “sexual harassment.” She basically confirmed that “sexual harassment” is basically whatever a woman/co-ed says it is, and the man is branded as guilty if he’s ever accused. She basically said, “It’s sexual harassment, if the woman didn’t want *him* to do it, but it’s not if she craves it or is the one undressing him.. One of the problems is these guys just don’t know how to make a woman beg for it.”

    Again – how different the world is for men and women.. Just as an aside she opened my eyes that women are women, and if you find one attractive, she is available to the right approach, no matter how much it may appear otherwise since women cannot control who they find attractive. And if she finds you attractive – it’s not harassment – then it’s flirting.  So the key is to tailor the approach to the woman. and look for feed-back from her body-language.

    But I learned a lot from her which has benefited me to this day… Of course, your mileage may vary.

  • AndrewV

    @Susan,

    In my experience, sometimes it has nothing to do with how the woman is dressed or how she behaves at all!

    I have had two experiences where I found myself so strongly attracted to a woman, that my brains fell out whenever I was in their presence.

    I could not blame it on the way they dressed because it was not revealing in the slightest, they both wore no makeup, they were both married and gave off no IOIs at all.

    One case was particularly miserable because I had to attend weekly meetings with her. Not only would I have a raging erection during the meeting, I could not focus on a single word anyone said.

    At the end of the meeting I would be unable to recall a single thing said in there. I always had to delay my tasks till the minutes came out, because while in her presence I could not focus and remember anything.

    Sometimes, it has nothing to do with the woman at all.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Andrew

      Not only would I have a raging erection during the meeting, I could not focus on a single word anyone said.

      I’m sorry, I know you didn’t mean for this to be funny, but it cracked me up. Honestly, women need to understand male sexuality better. I think most women who caught you with that erection would probably be offended, when they really should take pity! It goes back to Princeton’s claim that SH can be conscious or unconscious. That’s insane!

      I once took a drawing class and there was a male model. For whatever reason, he kept getting an erection while posing. The teacher spoke with him during the break, and he said it had never been a problem before. Back up onto the stage he went and back up his penis went. I was stifling a laugh, focusing on drawing his calf and foot, haha. No one said a word though. The next week the teacher said he had been “released” and she introduced our new model, an overweight woman in her 60s. I felt really sorry for him. It must be hard to have your arousal show on the outside like that.

  • http://www.yohami.com/blog/ YOHAMI

    Doc,

    I doubt that a male could do this to a young woman without more than a few issues cropping up.

    Alpha can. Or if she likes the guy, he can. She´ll me mesmerized.

    And if she finds you attractive – it’s not harassment – then it’s flirting.

    The whole thing about sexual harassment is not about behavior. The emphasis is the “unwanted”. Its about filtering men. Women dont want most men.

    Like anything with women, if you are what they want, all the obstacles and barricades and impulses they use against most men, work in your favor.

  • Jules

    @Susan,

    I agree with you that I focused more on Roiphe’s article. Your post is titled “Katie Roiphe Talks Sense About Sexual Harrassment,” so I thought it made sense to reference her article.

    I don’t think that the definition of sexual harassment is vague at all. The EEOC defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when it is “quid pro quo” or “has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.” Even if it is subjective to a woman’s tolerance for that sort of thing, the comments/actions have to be humiliating or intimidating enough that it interferes with an employee’s work performance. Personally, most of the things that happened to you would have made it hard for me to work effectively. Most of them seem to me to be so blatant that the men (or woman, in the case of #9) must have known that they were crossing some sort of line but knew that they could get away with it. This is what makes me think that SH is really more about asserting power over women in the workplace than about anything else.

    @ Esau

    Does it occur to you, that men can also feel humiliated, scared or violated at work, because they perceive a significant risk that they can have their career seriously harmed, or even be fired, if they ever happen to make some woman feel subjectively uncomfortable?  To whom, do you think, should men speak up?  about this power dynamic.

    That’s a very interesting point, I hadn’t thought of that before. I would hope that women would be able to communicate to men if they made them feel uncomfortable by something they said before reporting it, but that isn’t always the case. Undoubtedly, it will be difficult to create an environment where no one feels vulnerable or suspicious, but I don’t think that telling women to downplay incidents of SH is the answer.

     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jules
      You missed the part in the EEOC definition about repeated negative behavior. Not one of those 10 items qualifies, none met the criteria for SH.

      This is what makes me think that SH is really more about asserting power over women in the workplace than about anything else.

      I agree that powerful people often take a lot for granted – they’re entitled, and feel immune from judgment. The constant political scandals around infidelity demonstrate that – we wonder “What could Elliot Spitzer have been thinking?” Intentional harassment that serves as a sort of career blackmail is clearly about the power differential. But there’s a great deal of behavior being prosecuted under the SH umbrella that doesn’t meet that description or include any kind of power play. Coworkers at the same level, flirting, joking – this is SH if it is “unwanted.” If it is wanted, it’s all good. Therefore, it is incumbent on the initiator of the flirtation to ascertain the other party’s level of interest. Since flirtation is the time-honored method for doing that, you’ve set up a Catch 22.

      Undoubtedly, it will be difficult to create an environment where no one feels vulnerable or suspicious, but I don’t think that telling women to downplay incidents of SH is the answer.

      And it’s men who feel vulnerable and suspicious – all men, wrt this issue. The point is not to tell women to downplay incidents of real SH. The point is that the popular definition of SH is so broad that we risk overplaying incidents that are not SH at all. And again, the popular definition, including such things as “he gave me a look” is not valid in court, or presumably, even in HR.

      Overplaying the SH issue, which is generally perpetrated by feminists, leads to a corporate culture where everyone just averts their eyes in mixed company. That’s bad for biz.

  • SayWhaat

    Haha, here’s one of mine. A guy at work (not the date bomber) told me I had “curves like a coca-cola bottle” and a “barely masked, noticeable sexual energy”. His reasoning for the latter was that he said that there were times when he was checking me out, noted that it seemed like I noticed, then slyly made it easier for him to look. (In reality I had no f’ing clue this was going on!)

    I wasn’t offended or anything, I just thought it was really inappropriate for the workplace. He just got fired for sleeping on the job. :/

    I have a feeling that as more college grads transition into the workplace, the collegiate attitude will also be exported to some extent, so some people will be more okay with this sort of thing than others.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @SayWhaat

      When you say he got fired for sleeping on the job, do you mean ZZzzzzzzzzzz or sex on the conference room table?

  • http://aplace-formythoughts.blogspot.com/ Renee

    The Spearhead had a their own post about sexual harassment.  It was a pretty interesting read.

    Men are competitive and not always very nice in work environments. Some can be mean – even abusive – and most men understand that this is just part of the job. Sure, it would be nice if everyone could just be friendly and easy to work with, but such a tame environment does not usually characterize any workforce that is under pressure to perform.

    …….Men are generally more productive than women because they are more competitive, and being competitive is very nearly the opposite of being nice. Sometimes, male colleagues or employers use sexual innuendo to jibe other men at work. Athletes do it to each other on the field. Men do not generally behave this way around women, but when they work together it’s bound to happen from time to time.

    When men face this kind of treatment, it’s just one of the things you have to deal with to get the job done. However, when women are exposed to it, it’s sexual harassment.

    I admit, it was a new way of looking at the issue for me.  That behavior deemed as “sexual harrassment” can be kind of like a workplace sh*t test for women.

  • http://aplace-formythoughts.blogspot.com/ Renee

    Susan Walsh,

    I once took a drawing class and there was a male model. For whatever reason, he kept getting an erection while posing. The teacher spoke with him during the break, and he said it had never been a problem before. Back up onto the stage he went and back up his penis went. I was stifling a laugh, focusing on drawing his calf and foot, haha. No one said a word though. The next week the teacher said he had been “released” and she introduced our new model, an overweight woman in her 60s. I felt really sorry for him. It must be hard to have your arousal show on the outside like that.

    OMG that’s awful :(  Poor guy!  And yeah, I don’t really understand how any type of harrassment can be unconscious.

  • http://3dmodelsart.com Clair

    women should know their rights and shethey should know how to wear clothes according to the occasions. Clothes are huge factor to attract sexually the opposite sex.

    Clair´s last [type] .. 3D Softwares The Real Art

  • http://3dmodelsart.com Clair

    Thanks Renee for the Shephards article it was an interesting read, worth to check out.

  • http://bbsezmore.wordpress.com Bb

    “I have had two experiences where I found myself so strongly attracted to a woman, that my brains fell out whenever I was in their presence. I could not blame it on the way they dressed because it was not revealing in the slightest, they both wore no makeup, they were both married and gave off no IOIs at all.”

    @AndrewV, were they stunningly attractive? Or was a combination of personality + chemistry + looks? I took a class in college taught by a TA. He had no sense of style with hair or clothing, but I found him so appealing that I could barely concentrate on any of the material he lectured over. Very, very difficult to take the class. ;) I should have dropped and taken it with a different person. I stayed and “suffered”, though…

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Bb

      I took a class in college taught by a TA. He had no sense of style with hair or clothing, but I found him so appealing that I could barely concentrate on any of the material he lectured over.

      At Wharton there was a TA for my Operations Research class. His name was Jean-Marc and he was getting his PhD. He wasn’t handsome, but he was French and very confident. He rarely bathed – he always smelled very ripe. Yet his review sessions were always packed with the female students, and he fielded many requests for special tutoring sessions. We were all in a swoon. Personally, I had much better luck learning the material by going straight to the old professor for help. :-)

  • http://aplace-formythoughts.blogspot.com/ Renee

    No problem Clair ;)

  • http://www.iki.fi/keh/ Kari Hurtta

    There is no better depiction of this booby trap for men than the now classic Tom Brady skit on Saturday Night Live:

    “We’re sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed with the United States”

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      “We’re sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed with the United States”

      Bummer! I’m sorry about that.

  • Jess

    Sexual harassment: Yes or No?

    1. A young woman goes for an interview. ….should meet him at 8:00 that evening at a nearby strip club. OUTRAGEOUS- CLEAR HARASSMENT- FINAL WARNING OR EVEN DISMISSAL IN THE UK

    2. Christmas party….ekend away with Ms. ___________,  who is in attendance. DIFFICULT- DEPENDS ON RELATIONSHIPS AND CONTEXT- VP IS TAKING A RISK- IF TAKEN WELL THEN SLAPS ON BACK AND CHUCKLES- IF UMBRAGE TAKEN- WELL – FINAL WRITTEN WARNING AND POSSIBLE DAMAGES

    3. A middle-level manager….cause she “owes him a favour.” IF HE HADNT MENTIONED ‘FAVOUR’ THEN ITS OK- THEY NO LONGER WORK TOGETHER- I DOUBT ITS ACTIONABLE- MOST LIKELY A TICKING OFF FROM HIS LINE MANAGER. IT HAPPENDED OUTSIDE WORK AND SHE NO LONGER HAS TO WORK WITH HIM. HE JUST MADE AN ASS OF HIMSELF.

    4. A woman …..“I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.” He is married and has two children. JUST PLAIN WEIRD- YES THAT DESERVES REPORTING SURELY- I WOULD IMAGINE A 1ST WARNING BUT NO DAMAGES

    5. At the start ….ught. He recovers by saying, “Sorry, I was distracted by _________’s tits in that blouse.”  FINAL WARNING OR DISMISSAL

    6. A male is being transferred to the Singapore office, and his going away party falls on the same night as his close coworker’s fiance’s birthday. She decides to attend the party and meet her fiance for a late birthday dinner afterward. The honoree corners her at the party and tells her to admit that she feels something for him – it’s obvious because she made him a priority over her fiancé. NO ACTION REQUIRED AND NOT HARRASSMENT

    7. A female entry-level manager ….her body is perfect for nude modeling, and he would like to hire her to sit for him at his studio. ITS INAPPROPRIATE BUT IF HES AN ARTIST HE COULD CLAIM NON SEXUAL MOTIVES- IST VERBAL WARNING

    8. A summer intern …..s up to me. How about drinks next week?” IF ITS THE1ST TIME HE HAS DONE ANYTHING LIKE THIS ITS UP TO HER TO SAY NO THANKS. A 2ND TIME ITS HARASSMENT.

    9. After a presentation  her skirt, revealing a naked vagina, and raising one eyebrow suggestively. HOW AWFUL. DISMISSAL OF COURSE. IMAGINE IF A GUY HAD EXPOSED HIMSELF TO A JUNIOUR FEMALE?

    10. Two coworkers ….. wine into her mouth. IM SORRY THIS IS QUITE DISGUSTING. FINAL WRITTEN WARNING

    Quiz Answers:

    A. I experienced all of these personally between 1978 and 1987.  DONT EVER TAKE UP GAMBLING- YOUR LUCK SUCKS

    B. Incidents 1-9 were unwelcome. Sexual harassment? Not according to the EEOC. ARE YOU QUITE SURE? I HAVE PRETTY GOOD HR EXPERIENCE AND HAVE WORKED WITH USA COMPANIES AS WELL AS UK ONES- IM PRETTY SURE MY RESPONSES ABOVE ARE WHAT MOST PANELS WOULD GO WITH.

    C. To this day, #10 remains one of my most memorable tingles ever. Shenanigans ensued. I AM NOTHING SHORT OF ASTOUNDED- HE MUST HAVE BEEN ADORABLE (AND VERY SURE YOU LIKED HIM)

    D. I reported one…..strategy. I decided to keep silent, and I continued to work for the offending manager.  THATS A PITY BECAUSE THAT DYNAMIC HAS HURT WOMEN FOR DECADES

    I have never regretted my handling of any of these incidents. In my view, they go with the territory. NO. THEY. DO. NOT.  COME ON NOW!

    Part of working with other people includes learning to navigate and negotiate the tough situations. NOT INCLUDING THE PRESENTATION OF EXPOSED NAKED GENITALS!

    Recourse is available should one need it, but in general, I agree with Katie Roiphe. We’re all big boys now. Let’s stop this unproductive mewling and get back to work.

    I AM THE 1ST TO CONDEMN CYNICAL OR UNWARRANTED HARRASSMENT CASES. THEY ARE UNETHICAL AND UNDERMINE GENUINE CASES THAT ARISE FROM TIME TO TIME.

    I HAVE FACED UNWANTED ATTENTION MANY A TIME AND I DEALT WITH IT THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE WHICH IS BY MYSELF BUT YES SOMETIMES THINGS GOT SO NASTY I HAD PRETTY MUCH NO OPTION BUT TO REPORT IT.

    AND MY MANAGERS WERE BRILLIANT AND THE SITUATION RESOLVED.

     

     

  • lovelost

    @Susan #40

    Under no circumstances should anyone ever have a ONS with a coworker. I would say hang out platonically for three months first, and if there are genuine feelings, take it to the physical. If it looks like the real deal, one party should start looking for a different job.

    I actually have different take on relationship at workplace. I believe it is unfair to your employer if you indulge in office romance. You’ve been hired to do a job and the do the best, you’re being paid for your professional services rendered to the company and not for running your romance life.

    In addition, do you all agree that it’s a distraction?  Further if you love your job (thats’ me ) then how will you find time to start a relationship and hit on girls?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I actually have different take on relationship at workplace. I believe it is unfair to your employer if you indulge in office romance. You’ve been hired to do a job and the do the best, you’re being paid for your professional services rendered to the company and not for running your romance life.

      I think this is a fair point, though I also think it’s possible to date someone from work and keep it outside the office.

  • lovelost

    @ Nate Winchester #75

    Also, I agree with Dogsquat.  When it comes to the law and the workplace, you have to be VERY smart.

    Very smart, calculated, circumspect, cold, calculating and when a woman is being too friendly she is drawing you into a conversation besides work, be VERY VERY Careful treading down that road.

  • lovelost

    @Susan #122

    I think this is a fair point, though I also think it’s possible to date someone from work and keep it outside the office.

    However if the relation goes south, then for that discussion Susan you’ll have to write another blog post. :)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @lovelost

      However if the relation goes south, then for that discussion Susan you’ll have to write another blog post. :)

      That’s actually a really good suggestion. Noted.

  • AndrewV

    @Bb,

    There was nothing special about either women.  I have never had a reaction like that to more attractive women.

    They did nothing in any shape or form to solicit my attention that I could see, yet my reaction was a clear danger signal, and I did everything possible to stay as far away from them as possible.

    In the second case, I dropped all contact with the husband once I met his wife. Which was a shame and a pity, but there was no way I could explain what the problem was.

    I put it down to personal chemistry myself, but it gave me an insight to the events around Helen of Troy.

     

  • SayWhaat

    HAHA he got fired for Zzzs. And shoddy work. Also, nobody get me started on hot TAs. -__-

  • lovelost

    @HUS,

    i checked my company’s SH policy, they advice you not to date coworkers, obviously indicating in sugar coated words as play the safe game.

  • Jules

    @Susan,

    You missed the part in the EEOC definition about repeated negative behavior. Not one of those 10 items qualifies, none met the criteria for SH.

    Can you show me where it says that? I’m looking on http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-sex.html

    Also, I agree that flirtation can be a Catch 22. But I also think there is a huge difference between saying, “Hey, would you like to go out for dinner sometime” and asking someone to meet you at a strip club for an interview. Even if the dinner invitation is “unwelcome,” it wouldn’t make me uncomfortable. The important thing is distinguishing whether a colleague is just trying to make conversation or if they’re deliberately trying to humiliate you. And I know that some people might say, “but they weren’t trying to humiliate/harass you,” but take an example like #5, I can’t believe that the man who said that did not think it would humiliate you.

    I agree with Jess that even though SH might “come with the territory” now, it doesn’t have to.

     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jules

      In California and throughout the country, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as “unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” The EEOC goes on to explain that in order to be considered harassment, negative behavior must be “so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile work environment.”…If an individual feels so trapped by sexual harassment laws in the workplace that he or she needs to revert to becoming drab or unproductive, then that individual may be better served by time in therapy than in the office.

      http://www.sanfrancisco-employment-lawyer.com/2011/11/anti-feminist-katie-roiphe-criticizes-sexual-harassment-definition.shtml

  • Jess

    thank you Jules, relieved to know someone concurs- I rather  thought i had gone back 30yrs  in time when i read the article

    ps example 1 meets the HS criteria because the guy is in a position of power and the strip club is bound to be sexually intimidating/humiliating for the girl. there is the tone of, if you play game with me, you get the job kinda thing.

    its sexual discrimination, abuse of power, inappropriate,etc. thus dismissal and damages would follow in 2011.

     

    its ins

  • Abbot

    it’s possible to date someone from work and keep it outside the office.

    Of course if you like someone it cant hurt to make a go of it.  But really, in the US/UK is this all really worth it?  Women made their “rules” and they can live and die with them, alone.  If a man can pull it off, the most ideal strategy is to amass dollars/euros in a place where women are viewed as untouchable yet helpful cogs in the machinery and foreign women who know nothing of this nonsense are reserved as wives.

  • Guestopher

    @ SayWhaat,

    Oh, we should get started on the hot TAs.  I was one and it’s only fair that guys on this site who might become TAs know about the pussy wave they can ride.  No one told me.  It was only implied during graduate school orientation when the segment on TA positions went something like “Don’t sleep with your students.  Wait until you graduate. Better yet, wait until they graduate.  Nevermind; just for the love of God, please don’t sleep with your students.” What could the average beta guy think other than “Why would I ever do such a thing? I’ll gladly follow the rules!” and “Wow, these female students are being so goofy.  It’s almost like I’m the one in control.  Jeez, it’s just a class on entering data, calculating statistics and getting output.”

  • Jennifer

    Ok, what is this about 1-9 not being harassment?? Are you serious? Do you mean 1 TO 9, or 1 AND 9? Abbot, the junk described here isn’t nonsense, even if the article’s right-on about definitions becoming ridiculous.

    Among other things, maybe the rule about “unwanted” sexual attention should be changed: how about any sexual attention when it comes from a superior?

     

  • Jennifer

    Here’s my summation:

    1. A young woman goes for an interview. It goes well, and as it winds down, the recruiter suggests that he would like to invite her back for a second round. Is she interested? If so, she should meet him at 8:00 that evening at a nearby strip club.

    He’s a pig and should be told so. Being a pig shouldn’t entail a lawsuit, however.

    2. At the annual company Christmas party, a raffle is held, with all proceeds going to charity. Hundreds are in attendance. As the Senior VP prepares to announce the winner, he describes the grand prize as a weekend away with Ms. ___________,  who is in attendance.

    Depends. Not harassment, but is it inappropriate? Is he a common good-natured joker, or has he been making unnecessary comments about her for some time?

    3. A middle-level manager supports a woman’s request to transfer to another geographic location. Shortly after she relocates, he visits that city on business and invites her to dinner. She accepts, and after the meal he drunkenly suggests that they proceed to his hotel room, because she “owes him a favor.”

    Inappropriate. If he does this again, sober, report him.

    4. A woman contributes a check to the group wedding present for someone in the office. The next day, the VP – Finance asks her to come into his office and close the door. He proceeds to hand her back her own check and ask for an explanation. She is confused. What’s the problem? The problem is that she has a joint checking account with the man she lives with. He had not realized she was living with someone, or in a relationship that was serious enough to include pooling resources. He states, “I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.” He is married and has two children.

    Tell him it’s none of his damn business, and move on.

    5. At the start of a group meeting, the middle level manager running the meeting stumbles, losing his train of thought. He recovers by saying, “Sorry, I was distracted by _________’s tits in that blouse.”

    Report promptly.

    6. A male is being transferred to the Singapore office, and his going away party falls on the same night as his close coworker’s fiance’s birthday. She decides to attend the party and meet her fiance for a late birthday dinner afterward. The honoree corners her at the party and tells her to admit that she feels something for him – it’s obvious because she made him a priority over her fiance.

    Butt him out of there with a warning, and move on.

    7. A female entry-level manager counts among her subordinates a 30-something, Harley Davidson riding, artist who works as a computer operator to pay the bills. He asks her for a private meeting in her office. He enters, closes the door and sits down. He then proceeds to tell her that her body is perfect for nude modeling, and he would like to hire her to sit for him at his studio.

    Say what you want to him, but this is not a matter necessary for reporting.

    8. A summer intern is looking forward to a special gathering for interns on her boss’s roof deck. Unfortunately, she comes down with violent food poisoning after eating chicken salad in the company cafeteria. When she telephones the boss to cancel, he whines, “No! You have to come! You’re the one I did this for! I don’t want to even have it if you won’t be there.” Nonplussed, she apologizes. He follows up with, “You have to make this up to me. How about drinks next week?”

    Say yes or no, and if you find it distasteful, tell him.

    9. After a presentation to senior management re a potential acquisition candidate, drinks are suggested, and the very junior employee who did most of the research and prep work is included. She is flattered and agrees to join them. After a couple of drinks, a very senior woman executive says she needs to use the ladies’ room and asks the junior woman to accompany her. When they get inside the bathroom, the senior executive pulls up her skirt, revealing a naked vagina, and raising one eyebrow suggestively.

    Have the gross tramp dumped pronto. Seriously?

    10. Two coworkers are chatting at a retirement party in a nice restaurant. They are flirting and the man mentions that his wine is very, very good. The woman flirtatiously asks for a sip. Instead of passing her the glass, he takes a sip, leans over, kisses her and drains the wine into her mouth.

    Spit it back, and hope for maturity over animal-rutting instincts next time. Also, be careful about flirting with a guy with wine.

  • Jess

    nicely put Jennifer-

    i think you were more forgiving than me- maybe my HR experience has made me too harsh- not sure.

    and yeah- totally bemused by the wine thing.

    asked a few friends about this- they all made retching gestures.

  • Jennifer

    Thanks Jess.

  • Parenna

    Hmm, I found this post particularly interesting.  Reading your examples, my thoughts were “Wow, that guy’s a dick”, but not “That’s sexual harassment.”  Really, I don’t think there’s anything a guy could do that would get me to take him to a higher authority.  The indignity of having to relate the situation to my boss and then go through all the legal procedures would certainly be far greater than the indignity of the event itself.  But I also just don’t like involving higher authorities in my day-to-day life; I prefer to take care of things myself, or if it gets really bad, call a friend.

    Also, thinking about how I would react to the things that happened to you, Susan, it seems awfully contingent on the whole workplace environment.  If the environment was generally friendly, and I felt like my co-workers had my back, then one dickish action on a co-worker’s part wouldn’t bother me.  If the environment was hostile and competitive to the point where a comment like those actually made me feel threatened, then I feel like the problem would be a lot bigger than an isolated incident of sexual harassment, and that I would ought to look for another job regardless.

    Regarding the women who have commented here saying “sexual harassment is serious and a woman should feel comfortable going to a higher authority”…  Perhaps in an ideal world, no one would have to deal with unpleasant comments or unpleasant people.  But these are things that everyone, male or female, will have to confront, and it’s best to learn how to handle them.  The problem with feminism (along with many other ideologies) is that it is very concerned with how the world “should be”.  When taken positively, such ideologies inspire activism, as their proponents try to shift society closer to the ideal.  But taken negatively, these ideologies only foster resentment and indignation, as people constantly compare the real world to the world as it “should be” and find the real world lacking.  People should learn to deal with the world as it is (or become an activist), not sit there vainly wishing the world were a different way.

    Feminists are very concerned with empowerment.  I agree that empowerment is important, but I see empowerment as more closely tied to self-sufficiency than social or physical power.  A woman who is truly empowered can handle herself in the workplace without needing to go crying to her boss because a man said something mean to her.  The very word “empowered” means a person contains the power within him/herself.  By going to her boss or some other external power, a woman reveals that she does not have the internal power to deal with the situation herself.  Perhaps feminism, if it’s actually concerned with empowering women, should look for ways to teach women the internal strength and resolve to deal with these things, and not constantly encourage women to go to authority figures for help.  I’m not talking about social power here, I’m talking about internal strength and maturity.  A strong person will be able to brush off a mean comment and not let it affect her; she won’t break down crying, or if she does, she’ll do so in the bathroom stall where it won’t cause any drama.

    Of course, I’m mostly talking about dickish or uncomfortable comments of the sort Susan describes in this post.  There are certainly situations where no amount of internal strength or resolve on a woman’s part will make the problem go away (I’m thinking repeated abuse from an authority figure or something), and for those cases I think a woman would be justified in going to an authority figure.  But I think that should be seen as a last recourse, because it is a final surrender of one’s own will to the will of the bureaucracy.

    Also, I am a big fan of hot TAs.  And hot professors.  And attractive academics in general.  =)

  • Jennifer

    Apparently, being attracted to hot professors or co-workers really affects your tolerance level of appropriateness.

  • Jess

    Jennifer- ha…well possibly…ahem

    Pareena- don’t really agree

    i wasnt impressed with the female- female harassment Susan mentioned and i would think harassment can happen to young males too. so i don’t buy the ultra feminist empowerment thing at all. this is just about fairness and decency.

    it is possible to deal with many an awkward or inappropriate boss or colleague.

    “But what if the boss asks you for a drink when you are aiming for promotion. Does my promotion depend upon my agreeing?”

    “what about the other candidates?”

    “if i don’t allow the racist jibes in my office, will they not renew my contract?”

    “if i tell my boss not to touch my shoulder all the time will he slow up my career?”

    “if i report someone will it effect my career and reputation?”

    “should i report the guy who flashed me at the copier? i wouldnt want his wife to leave him, or for him to be sacked but….. i feel so intimidated- i can’t even get my copying done.”

    “If that guy who spat wine in my mouth grins at me again i might lose it and punch him in the mouth! i can’t stand it! ”

    You see- i don’t get why women should go through the above examples or what Susan did.

    I dont harass anyone at work- i expect the same in return.

    you know its real easy not to harass someone. kept your mits to yourself and keep personal comments to a zero. You wanna flirt? go to a bar AFTER work. you wanna grope someone?- go to a prostitute. You wanna make dirty jokes?- go to a bar with your mates.

    i think the law has curbed the excesses of the office room pest and that can only be applauded.

  • Dogsquat

    Jess said:

    “you know its real easy not to harass someone. kept your mits to yourself and keep personal comments to a zero.”

    I’ve read your comments here with interest.  I’ve never had a long term gig in an office, but I think a lot of what you say makes sense in that environment.  I work in emergency medicine, though, and much of what you’re espousing has very little application to my workplace.

    For example, a guy in my paramedic class was run out of the university for sexual harassment.  He was ugly and didn’t have very good social skills.  He was, to put it bluntly, very irritating.  What was his crime?!!? you ask with baited breath…

    If you’re trying to figure out what’s wrong with an unresponsive trauma victim, you do a bunch of stuff to them.  One of those things is called a Secondary Assessment.  During the Secondary Assessment, you palpate the sternum, ribs, and flanks of your patient.  You’re looking for broken bones, swelling, burns, impaled objects, stuff like that.  You’ve got to be quick but thorough – flail chest or cardiac tamponade can kill in minutes if not addressed.

    The poor, irritating bastard in my class was paired up randomly with an attractive, large boobied girl.  The instructors told us we’d better get used to it, as our patients were not always our gender.  Well, it just so happened that this had a crush on a guy in the class who wasn’t her exam partner.  After her irritating exam partner finished his secondary assessment, she went and complained to the head of our department (a non-medical type).  She apparently said her exam partner groped her and leered suggestively at her.

    Mind you – I was watching from five feet away.  I saw none of this.  The assessment was done just like all the other assessments were being done in the classroom.  But the girl “felt” harassed.  My school had a zero tolerance policy for such things, so the guy was kicked out of school over many objections – no appeal allowed for zero-tolerance stuff.

    10 years ago, I’d have thought that maybe I’d missed something – I’d have doubted my own eyes based on the word of the girl.  Now, though, I find it more probable that she was broadcasting her exclusivity to the guy she had a crush on, and rejecting a guy who was way below her SMV.  That subconscious drive was so powerful that she destroyed the career of a guy she barely knew, before his career even started.

    I’ve got several stories like this, where the concept of “it’s easy not to harass” doesn’t hold up.  They all seem to come from my experience in medicine, though.  I don’t know what it is about this field that proves so much SH conventional wisdom wrong.

    Note:

    I’m not sounding the “All men are victims” gong, here.  I’ve known some scummy guys, too, and had good female friends who were legitimately harassed.  Hell, I’ve been sexually harassed at work.  I’d just like people to take another look at what is commonly accepted as “fact” with regard to this issue.

  • Jennifer

    I don’t know, Dog; if he had bad social skills and was attracted to her, I’d say it’s far more likely that he touched her badly, even subconsciously, rather than that her instincts somehow went so berserk that she decided to nail him. There have been plenty of times medical people have not even acted sexually, but have acted inappropriately, by being too rough, rude, or disrespectful by making the patient feel like less than a person.  The guy was probably clumsy, distracted, and awkward, or all three of the things I mentioned above; I’ve heard of things like that numerous times. It may have been for the best that he left, if there was any good chance he’d be like that to a real patient. I can actually identify perfectly with the revulsion of being touched by a guy I dislike, but can’t imagine reporting a guy just because I didn’t like him; I hope she didn’t do that. (OTOH, not sure I’d even be comfortable being touched by a guy I DID like; would prefer a guy I neither found nasty or attractive).

  • Jess

    dogsquat (surely the all time greatest name by the way)

    in the case you describe- the girl was a bitch and i hope karma burns her back

    and the college was APPALLING for kicking him out.

    BUT your case is quite extreme.

    not all us have to practice our routine skills on the chest of a member of the opposite sex- its not gonna come up in a paper merchants is it?

    Actually- i was trained in resus as i worked with the police for years so i had to do similar stuff and guys had to man-handle me and vice versa. no big deal.

    so i would still maintain its easy not to harass someone in the workplace

    although there was that time i tripped on a cord and accidentally fellated the post boy.

  • Dogsquat

    Jennifer said:

    “I don’t know, Dog; if he had bad social skills and was attracted to her, I’d say it’s far more likely that he touched her badly, even subconsciously, rather than that her instincts somehow went so berserk that she decided to nail him. “

    Jennifer, I was sitting 5-7 feet away, as was an instructor.  We were both watching quite closely – me because I was being graded on the same thing next, and the instructor was grading the assessment.

    I’m at an advantage here, because I went to school with that girl for another year after this incident.  If another girl in the class said the same thing, I’d lean more toward your opinion than mine.  However, this is the girl who said stuff like,”Well, it depends on the situation!” when we were instructed to be mindful that women patients might not like to be naked in front of 4 firemen and 2 EMTs.  She was not what one would call a classy person.

    “There have been plenty of times medical people have not even acted sexually, but have acted inappropriately, by being too rough, rude, or disrespectful by making the patient feel like less than a person.  The guy was probably clumsy, distracted, and awkward, or all three of the things I mentioned above; I’ve heard of things like that numerous times. It may have been for the best that he left, if there was any good chance he’d be like that to a real patient.”

    I agree with us med folks not always interacting with the patient in the patient’s preferred manner – I’ve done it myself a very few times.  The fix for this is not exclusion, it’s education.  If I know how you like to interact (and that interaction doesn’t put either one of us or the community I’m responsible for in jeopardy) I’ll do that.  Most of us really do try and treat our patients the way we’d want ourselves or our families treated, despite the bad apples.

    I can save your life in some situations, and make your day go a whole lot better in many more, but I can’t read minds.  I hear that’s what neurologists and psychiatrists can do, but I’m just a dumb-ass street ‘medic.

    Also, he didn’t “leave”.  He was kicked out of the program and the school for sexual harassment.  I’m sure that has some permanent, life altering negative consequences far more severe than “being awkward” while learning a new skill warrants.

     

  • Dogsquat

    Jess said:

    “although there was that time i tripped on a cord and accidentally fellated the post boy.”

    I have a variety of extension cords and data cables, as well as an extensive wardrobe of various public service uniforms available at all times for this express purpose.

  • Jennifer

    I’m sorry, I thought you said you hadn’t seen what happened; clumsy reading on my part.

    “However, this is the girl who said stuff like,”Well, it depends on the situation!” when we were instructed to be mindful that women patients might not like to be naked in front of 4 firemen and 2 EMTs”

    WHOA! Boot her ass out!!! Then she has the nerve to complain about somebody else? My God, I can’t believe that. Thank God you guys in general have class and professionalism. Anyway, I wasn’t talking about just general little faux pas that might even differ from person to person, Dog, when I spoke of bad manners; more like being physically rough with a person’s body or making ugly comments to a patient (I’ve heard of regular docs doing this more than EMS’s, but it could happen). Like telling a patient snidely that they need to “get used” to pain in an exam when they request gentle treatment, or making an ugly comment about their weight, or roughly handling a patient, in private places or not, and not even explaining anything to them or reassuring them (especially if they’re clearly upset/scared). Hell, I even heard of a female doctor telling a clearly umcomfy male patient whose prostate she had to examine (in front of other women, no less) that it was ok, because he had a cute butt. Bitch; men need respect too.

    I stand corrected, it’s clear who really needed to be airlifted out of that practice, preferably with a kick.

     

     

  • Lokland

    @ Jenn

    I agree with most of your last post.

    Except telling someone their fat is not harrassment in any way (as long as its a statement of fact). Assumings its a doctor, obesity increases the risk for a slew of diseases other than cardiovascular. My country has public healthcare, I don’t want to pay for people who make themeselves sick. The doc telling them to lose a few pounds meanly is far nicer than some other ideas I’ve heard. Increased taxes being one suggestion (didn’t go very far), tax breaks for the skinny, public shaming. You get the idea.

    Since most obese people are not “sick” and the only symdrome they have is fork in mouth I don’t see anything wrong with it.

     

  • Jennifer

    No, not telling them to simply lose a few pounds, but making a comment in a disgusted or rude voice about their appearance. Like if an overweight woman said she was thinking of a having a baby and the doc said, “Seriously?” or something like that. Can’t remember the exact words (I heard of maybe two different cases), but it was pretty startling what I’ve heard that people have said. I agree with your example.

  • http://bbsezmore.wordpress.com Bb

    @Guestopher, lol, so you experienced this phenomenon from the other side? That must have been eye opening.

     

    @AndrewV, it is a mystery how and when personal chemistry strikes. I wonder if those women felt anything themselves from you. Rereading your story reminded me of a similar experience I had with a client. I felt a lot of attraction with him but it would have been extremely inappropriate to act on it, so I was formal with him in all cases. I couldn’t let any feelings or emotions out for half a second. I’m sure he thought I was a cold automaton. I was relieved when we no longer worked together.

  • http://badgerhut.wordpress.com Badger

    Sexual harrassment policy supposedly grew out of the legitimate disgust with the soliciting of sex acts in exchange for work favors or for not punishing underlings (“blow me or you’re fired.”) The philosophy that became law was apparently based on the notion that a relationship between people of differing power was inherently exploitative and “oppressive.”

    It is interesting to read up on how sexual harrassment workplace rules got so draconian – it’s because the cost in money, time and reputation for a company to be sued is so ridiculously high that they can’t risk it at all. It’s a classic example of deterrent law. Companies can’t risk that some batshit crazy employee go to a labor law attorney or the EEOC because they felt uncomfortable.

    Google the case of Bob Guccione, head of Spin magazine. An employee sued for SH. The trial was an absolute sideshow. Being a music magazine, the hours were long and the lifestyles fast, and BG fooled around with multiple members of his staff. He had a protracted relationship with one of them (not the accuser), who in a first-person story years later told of their tender relationship and how much they loved each other.

    She was put on the stand and grilled repeatedly in a feminist inquisition, with the plaintiff team demanding that she admit she was being exploited. It was madness.

    I found the Monica Lewinsky case to be the day that feminism jumped the shark. For decades they had been railing against the mythic “executive sleeping with his secretary” and the “fundamental exploitation” of workplace relationship, and then when the biggest boss in the world was getting blowjobs from an intern, all we heard was crickets. Actually, I was very young then but I realized at that moment that feminism was not about principles but about politics – the aggrandizement of power. Bill was on their team, and had to be protected.

     

  • Dogsquat

    Jennifer said:

    “Like telling a patient snidely that they need to “get used” to pain in an exam when they request gentle treatment, or making an ugly comment about their weight, or roughly handling a patient, in private places or not, and not even explaining anything to them or reassuring them (especially if they’re clearly upset/scared). Hell, I even heard of a female doctor telling a clearly umcomfy male patient whose prostate she had to examine (in front of other women, no less) that it was ok, because he had a cute butt. “

    Sometimes it’s hard to remember that you’re taking care of a human being and not a list of problems. That sounds horrible, but it’s true.

    The other day I had 15 calls in 16 hours – a no shit heart attack (patient lived and will do fine), a few nursing home calls, a car vs pedestrian accident, a regular car accident, a mom who thought her kid ate mouse poison (turns out he didn’t), some regular ones, and two idiots from our local Occupy Wall Street time-suck.

    I’m busy.  It is a struggle to be compassionate with, for example, the semi-retarded OWS dingdong who hurt himself doing something stupid, gets me and my partner there 3 minutes after he calls, whines about pain, and then has to be coaxed into letting me start an IV for pain meds because he’s “afraid of needles”.  Meanwhile, his arms are covered in tattoos.    Afraid of needles my ass.

    Oh, yeah – he doesn’t want to sign anything because he doesn’t want to pay for the service.  Apparently all my schooling, experience, acumen, and sheer balls driving like a maniac to his “unknown medical” call is a human right (and therefore exists magically), and I don’t deserve to be paid.  He’d happily sue me into poverty if I fucked something up, though.  I was with him for maybe 30 minutes, and he pissed me off the whole time.

    This guy was after a call for a really nice, really sick and miserable old lady.  While we were unloading him, we heard a call for a bad car accident in my area over the radio.  People were hurt bad, and I was dealing with this dipshit.  He could’ve gotten a ride to the hospital very easily, but he panicked and called 911.

    Now, he’s a human being and he was my patient, so he got treated just like I’d want my mom treated (even gave him a little intranasal Fentanyl before I started the IV)…but it’s harder than you think to do so.  It drains you in a weird way.  I’m not surprised that some of us in health care lose sight of our patient’s humanity from time to time.  I do every once in awhile.

    I’m not arguing with you, by the way – I agree with you.  I’m just trying to pull back the curtain a little, and show why that stuff sometimes happens.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Hell, I even heard of a female doctor telling a clearly umcomfy male patient whose prostate she had to examine (in front of other women, no less) that it was ok, because he had a cute butt. “

      True story: A friend of mine in grad school was asked out on a date while the Penn Medical intern was staring at her cervix through a speculum.

  • Jennifer

    Oh I can understand that, Dog; I find disrespect for medics distasteful too. But the people in my examples were cruel, and for no such reasons.

  • http://bloggingbellita.wordpress.com Bellita

    @Susan

    A few months ago, I got really sick and had to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night. The doctor on duty was seriously good looking. And I could have forgotten the fact that I looked (and felt) like crap at the moment and tried sending an “IOI” in his direction . . . had he just not asked for a stool sample.

    In the immortal words of Pvt. Hudson: “Game over, man! Game over!”

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      And I could have forgotten the fact that I looked (and felt) like crap at the moment and tried sending an “IOI” in his direction . . . had he just not asked for a stool sample.

      Haha, yes I can’t imagine your telling your kids how you met. Some things are just impossible to get past.

  • Jennifer

    Oh yick; the speculum?? Weirdo.

    Bummer, Bellita :P Yick again.

  • tmunson

    @Susan ref #10

    I don’t get the squeamishness re “wine/mouth” exchange. I hope this isn’t coming from guys, and if it is, dudes-you ain’t playin’ for my team.I love to go “south”, and by south I don’t mean “Florida” but past the Tropic of Capricorn and around Cape Horn. “HAVE TONGUE-WILL TRAVEL” is my motto and when I do I do like the ice cream cone says:I “EAT-IT-ALL”.

    A little mouth wash pales in comparison.

  • Jess

    tmunson,

    so if some guy, suddenly and unexpectedly, squirts wine from his mouth, into your mouth, at a party, your are cool with that?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jess

      so if some guy, suddenly and unexpectedly, squirts wine from his mouth, into your mouth, at a party, your are cool with that?

      You’ve missed the point, Jess. I was cool with it. I found him sexy as hell, and we went on to date. It wasn’t sexual harassment because it was welcome and wanted. This wasn’t some stranger – we worked together, had been hitting it off for a while. The point is the one person’s sexual harassment is another person’s exciting development. And based on the stats of how many people are dating and having sex in the workplace, it’s extremely common. The guidelines really only apply to unattractive men.

  • JD

    I had an older woman grab my ass at work one time.  She was hot but her husband could have crushed me with his thumb.  My wife found it humorous but not threatening.  I think that says it all.

  • jz

    Susan, I have to call foul on your list.  Something is off.

    I am the same age as you, and spent 1978-1987 in medical school, residency, and working my first job. Those dates are relevant, as you know, because they preceded the 1991 Clarence Thomas hearings.

    My MD-girlfriends and I never ever  experienced anything like your list. We were treated with respect, and your list did not  “go with the territory.”.  We talked, compared notes, and I know of only one woman who was insulted/scolded with a sexual reference. If anything, we were treated with mild contempt for intruding into our male mentors’ space. So, I’m  wondering what could explain your experiences at variance with my own:

    1) Your overwhelming sexual magnatism  and allure overpowered men’s judgment, and rattled loose those comments.

    2)  The environment of business was somehow vastly different than medicine. The men involved who constitutionally different.

    3) You presented yourself at work in a flirty. coquettish manner. You played up your sexuality, and  opened yourself up to sexual invites. Coupled with  your history of  ten ?? partners before marriage,  your experiences were not typical of that era.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jz

      1) I never experienced sexual harassment in a school setting, so your time in medical school (and possibly your residency?) isn’t comparable. I was specifically addressing and reporting incidents in the workplace that might be considered sexual harassment.

      2) My guess is that business is very different from medicine in terms of the way people interact with one another. I don’t know this, as I have never worked in medicine. But the nature of my employment involved a lot of working in teams and presenting information to groups of senior executives. Both the collaborative work environment, often going until late, and the access to extremely successful, i.e. arrogant senior males, probably made sexual innuendo more commonplace. Finally, part of the job involved some socializing and drinking with coworkers and clients.

      3) I was never treated with contempt by a male mentor. Quite the opposite. Nor was I ever flirted with by a male mentor.

      4) I am extremely extroverted, lively and fun. (Sorry to boast, but it’s not about sexual magnetism. However, I have always been told that I am very charismatic. Just a fact.) I believe that I made men comfortable with me in general, and I have always worked well with men. Some of that led to men having “feelings,” as some of these incidents attest. Other times it led to men having misplaced confidence. FWIW, I continued to interact professionally and successfully with most of these men. I even saw the creepy interviewer again.

      5) My friends who went to Wall St. endured (and sometimes welcomed) many more incidents than I’ve reported here. Sex is movie theaters at lunchtime, sex in the elevator, sex with Gordon Gekko. Masters of the Universe ask for more sex, and get more sex. Don’t know if this is true of Doctors as well. My guess is that bankers are more alpha than doctors. :P

      6) I was never flirty and coquettish and work. That branded one as flighty and ditzy – never a win in business.

      7) 10 partners before marriage not typical of the 15 years after the Sexual Revolution? It was in my circles.

      4)

  • http://markymarksthoughts.blogspot.com/ MarkyMark

    Sexual harassment is whatever the woman says it is-end of story.  If a man made her feel ‘uncomfortable’, then he’s guilty.

  • tmunson

    @ jz & Susan

    At the risk of stepping in between you women (I not altogether bad image) I’d like to remark. First of all jz, I’d rather imagine your fellow med students were tired from the rigor of med school which may play a part. Also, the medical field is a very round world, much more so than business (I’m talking circa ’78) and anyone in it will know it. Finally, by 1978 the medical malpractice tort situation was taking off like a rocket. Sexaul haraasment as a viable legal concept was nascent, but litigation was not in the medical field. I think this back drop informed the situation. As Susan infers medical doctors are intellectual; businessmen tend not be even though they are smart. You need balls to be a succesful businessman, more than brains, and in my experience they demonstrate that in very theater the engage in.

  • tmunson

    @Jess

    No guy would ever get close enough to me to unexpectedly squirt anything done my throat. My reflexes, even at 59, are sufficient to prevent that, and my strength, again even at 59 , has been maintained well enough to accomplish what I would do-break my arm off in his mouth. If an attractive woman, with a mouthful of wine, approached me in the circumstances Susan was in i e offering to allow me to “taste” the wine via her motuh, I would consider it, mindful that if my wife (also named Susan)observed it or found out  she would cut my eyelids off and bury me up the same on an anthill in the summer sun or, if it was winter, she’d cover me with clay and slow roast me over a firepit thus baking me into a piece of pottery as was demonstrated in 1968’s “The Naked Prey.”

  • Jess

    tmunson-

    I’ll take that as a ‘no’ then shall I?

    I like my food and fluids fresh from the plate or container- I have no wish to have them spat onto my tongue, in a semi masticated or swilled state, courtesy of someone else’s gob….. no matter how high their cheekbones may be.

    I guess its an uptight british thing….

  • Jess

    “You’ve missed the point, Jess. I was cool with it. I found him sexy as hell, and we went on to date. It wasn’t sexual harassment because it was welcome and wanted. This wasn’t some stranger – we worked together, had been hitting it off for a while. The point is the one person’s sexual harassment is another person’s exciting development. And based on the stats of how many people are dating and having sex in the workplace, it’s extremely common. The guidelines really only apply to unattractive men.”

    ……..

    Oh I get the point- I just think its a hell of a thing to do to someone (wine squirt), particularly if you want to seduce them. Its a high risk option at best.

    There is bound to be a grey area on this issue because as you have pointed out, people have different sensitivities, some are open to advances and some have vastly different levels of attractiveness. But there is a suggestion from some i feel that the anti-harassment laws are oppressive and a bad thing.

    I am aware some women may have used the laws cynically but this true of all laws when peoples rights are being protected. In general I think though most panels are sensible and common sense tends to prevail.

    To guys- I still say that with an ounce of emotional intelligence you can avoid being accused of SH as a guy. If you are interested in a girl then guys, flirt mildly with us and see how it goes- look for feedback and reciprocation. If you keep coming to my desk and I keep moving away- then you know, I don’t feel the hots for you. If you then grab my ass the next day- you can expect me to be offended.

    Those who know me, know that they can make filthy jokes in front of me and I couldn’t care less. But guys, make one in front of a girl you just met at work- expect her to feel uncomfortable.

    And if you do make an ass of yourself  by making an unwanted pass or even a ‘moment of madness’ grope- just apologise and show some respect. that will often diffuse it. Go on the offensive and call her a ‘stuck up cow” or “too good for the likes of me” or ‘no sense of humour” etc then expect to get a formal complaint.

    Just common sense really.

  • tmunson

    @Jess

    Let’s clear this up shall we (isn’t that how you limeys would put it?):

    Susan described her situation, in a bar, with an attractive co-worker. He’s drinking wine; she asks how it tastes.

    Let’s pause; get it? It’s a heterosexual scene. That’s my premise.

    Now, here’s where you and I lost focus. You said “if some guy”; do you see how that fundamentally alters the situation?

    A guy approaching me with a mouthful of wine would get no closer than the end of my fist, or perhaps an uppercut if we were in close quarters. But it is the gender I am objecting to, not the underlying exchange. If I were single, and an attractive woman made  a similar gesture, its meaning obvious i e to allow me to taste the wine through her, I’d allow as sure as God made little green apples.

    Clear enough old boy? By the way you have confirmed the stereotype that, “at the end of the day”(another limey expression) British males are overly fastidious twits who cannot wait to get into their tutus and lash themselves silly (ref Kevin Kline “A Fish Called Wanda”).

  • http://bloggingbellita.wordpress.com Bellita

    @Tmunson

    I believe Jess is a woman.

  • http://www.yohami.com YOHAMI

    Tmunson,

    Susan described her situation, in a bar, with an attractive co-worker. He’s drinking wine; she asks how it tastes.

    Let’s pause; get it? It’s a heterosexual scene. That’s my premise.

    Now, here’s where you and I lost focus. You said “if some guy”

    Dont waste your time bro. That´s Jess modus operandi. She´ll never acknowledge your point of view, but will keep repeating some parallel point of view where this bothers her / lets her repeat her agenda.

    You make a good point. There´s a difference between you and a person you like and “some person” coming at you with the same proposal. And there are so many shades of grays and variants to understand. For all purposes, though, Jess and her tribe, unfortunately, will paint arbitrary white and black, often in contradictory places, so they can fit their statements.

    Dont waste your time!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Dont waste your time bro. That´s Jess modus operandi. She´ll never acknowledge your point of view, but will keep repeating some parallel point of view where this bothers her / lets her repeat her agenda.

      I confess I find this especially annoying when, as the person sharing the experience, I am told that my interpretation of events is invalid!

  • Jess

    tmunson,

    i was teasingly making the point that for many women, the idea of a guy squirting the contents of his mouth into theirs is distinctly unappealing- about as appealing as you would find a guy doing the same to you.

    you felt like thumping such a guy? yeah i reckon i would too. after a quick puke.

    You and Susan quite like the idea it seems- fair enough- I like cold pizza- we all got our differences.

    But like I said, any guy better be pretty sure a girl likes him before he does that to her-  I mean that could end up going pretty badly.

    You got me pegged though- i am an unashamed middle class brit with all the trimmings (apart from the meat and 2 veg that is)

  • tmunson

    @Bellita & Jess

    What? Bellita, if you’re right, what Jess is saying is that I (that is Munson) would feel it’s ok to surprise some woman with a mouthful of wine? Jess, is this true? Of then, I misinterpreted; remember, Jess (ref SNL “It’s Pat”) is not a name in America we associate with women. I’ve met many; all guys. I forget it Susan was surprised by the wine; if she was, it could have been disaster. BTW Susan demonstrated what Tom Berger described in “Little Big Man”: a woman will put up with anything as long as it’s interesting “but bore her and she don’t know fear.”

    Bellita I think you were too abrupt with the doctor-I think it could have worked out. First fo all he’s an M.D.-heed I explicate the advantages of being Mrs. Dr.? Plus I cna see you 2 enjoying glasses of wine (no transfers though) as you come up with new titles to love songs based on your first encounter:

    “What a Stool Relieves”-Doobies

    “How Deep is Your Mud?”-Bee Gees

    “Take This Cup and Shove It”-Paycheck

    “Don’t It Make My Brown Slide Blue?-Crystal Gayle

    “I Put A Smell On You”-Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

    I know it’s gross, puerile and stupid, but Susan says I can write like that here.Rught Susan?

    I feel like I should be clapping Susan’s erasers after school.

  • tmunson

    @Jess

    I am very sorry-thought you were a guy. When you said some guy, I went with it. Now I’m tackin’, and no I would never attempt this even with my wife of 30 years, or even after we dated 3 years. I concede your point entirely. And as for being an overly fastidious British male, you are female, so no call. I was pointing out that given the very very familiar, dare I say clinically near dangerous things I love to do to my wife, a little Merlot mouth wash would not even register. No, I wouldn’t try this unless:1) my intent was obvious, and I received a clear indication that my intended knew my mouth was full of wine and I was going to transfer it to her and 2) an indication that she was nothing loathe (thought you’d like a little anachronistic Victorian expression) to receive me in this fashion.

     

    Again, if an attractive female presented in this fashion I’d probably consider it, well aware that if my dear Susan learns of it she will insert a glass tube down my penis to my urethra, then smash the protruding end with a hammer, shattering it into a million crystalline shards of which I shall feel every one of them whenever I pee, walk, or come within a 100 miles of an erection.

    Then she’d really go to work on me (ref “Pulp Fiction”-“basement” scene with Marcellus & Zed).

  • tmunson

    @Andrew V

    Didn’t realize you posted to me. I guess my def of harassment implies a physical threat such as women cannot put on men. I consider what you describe flirtatious; and if I didn’t like it I’d do as indicated tell her I’ll rip her in half if she does it again. A woman putting her hand in my back pocket is signalling her obeisance to me. A man doing the same thing would be “punking” me, and it would be “go” time.

  • http://bloggingbellita.wordpress.com Bellita

    @Tmunson

    Hahahaha!

  • Jess

    tmunson,

    thats ok sir- apology accepted entirely- I think my style of writing is a bit mannish sometimes anyway and my username is a bit gender neutral.

    gotta ask you though- what does your wife do to you if you leave the toilet seat up?

    …and how often have you had them surgically re-attached?

  • tmunson

    @Susan

    Am I missing something? I think the remark was addressed to Jess, not you. But I’m a guy and if I got this wrong I’m steppin’ out. Your interpretation of events is not invalid!

    @ Jess ref toilet seat

    I have had the following discussion with my dear Susan:this is a toilet seat. I need it up; you need it down. Might I humbly suggest that before you place your lovely bare naked ass on ANYTHING(!), be it a toilet seat, a bench, or the next door neighbor’s face, you ascertain whether indeed the object of your intention is in a position to accept in a fashion commodious to yourself the full bounty of your delectable tender behind. Up/down; up/down; up/down (Munson slamming toilet seats in emphatic demonstration).

    Jess, your remark though is intriguingly feminine, and very insightful. My dear wife’s violent tendencies are not aroused by simple masculine slovenliness, however extreme. But should she sense a rival, and the slightest impulse from me in response, then watch out everybody.

    Again, my sincere apologies-your latest remarks show you to be fully feminine and delightfully so. My truculence was arouse at what I thought was a deprecation of me in manner I do not countenance, even for discussion purposes.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @tmunson

      No, no, you’re fine. It’s Jess I’m annoyed with, as per usual. Cosign what Yohami said.

  • Anacaona

    The issue is that as long as there are people that end up dating their coworkers there is always going to be the risk of sexual harassment because no one knows if they coworker they find attractive will welcome their advances or not because sometimes it does happen. No matter how androgynous a person looks someone will might get the idea. Is a complex matter so there should be better guidelines than a she/he said situation.

  • Jess

    tmunson,

    thank you sir- you possess uncommon valour and a wonderful way with words (one might even think you still have a bit of English DNA in you!)

    Susan,

    Whilst Im not sure I agree with your views on SH or your reaction to some of the events you have described, it doesn’t mean I think your views are ‘invalid’ as such- Im merely disagreeing- we are all entitled to disagree with each other are we not?

  • Jess

    Anacoana,

    I think some colleges and companies do have guidelines actually. But I think common sense, trumps all of these ‘codes of conduct’ etc

    And also , given we spend so much time at work- it is in effect a potential source of romantic liaison so one wouldn’t wish to completely quash that.

    Ok conduct:

    1. lighthearted mutual flirting

    2. asking somebody out for a drink

    3. asking somebody out for a drink a 2nd time, after a month or so the 1st attempt was refused

    4. sending a suitable valentines card

    5. making a rude joke with a colleague one knows well

    6. making a light hearted compliment on an occasional basis

    not ok conduct:

    1. groping

    2. lechery

    3. making a sexual comment with somebody who you had known for less than a week

    4. making a comment about someones body

    5. asking out a subordinate or potential employee

    6. asking somebody out after 2 refusals

    7. exposing ones genitals

    8. making references to ones genitals.

    You see I think all of the above is pretty freaking obvious- and i have found it breezingly easy not to transgress any of my suggested ‘rules’ in a varied and demanding career thus far.

     

  • tmunson

    @Jess

    Your compliment leaves me blushing like a girl meeting Justin Timberlake (or whoever is the current heartthrob). To an American wordsmith to be complimented by a Brit, and  a female one, is equivalent to receiving an Oscar for best leading man. And yes as an American the slightest participle spoken in an English accent (I note you say English versus British)  evokes all of our inherent inferiority complexes re England which traces back to our very founding and includes none other than George Washington ( I am reading Chernow’s bio where he deconstructs this wonderfully). An English accent always sounds intelligent (to Americans); it’s why talk journalists from there do so well here. On Squawkbox there’s a Brit who wouldn’t know how to grab his ass with both hands if you diagrammed it and used  a puppeteers strings to guide him, but he’s British, so all sorts of inane nonsense comes tripping out of him but it sounds so good that by the time you realize he’s said absolutely nothing or worse, completely inverted the logic of the discussion, he’s on to something else.

     

    I love English interjections; it’s a near art form.You say “perhaps”, “as well”,”indeed”, “shall we”, “whilst” and all manner of  others that add such grace to your discourse. Americans just want to get it said, with “you know” and “uh” thrown in. The crisp British style (I’ve been changing back to “English” following your lead but now give up), perhaps a little formal but elegant, is absolutely beguiling to me. “One might think you have a bit of English (almost did it again!)DNA”- “one might”-classic English style. A bit of English DNA? The best “bit”.

     

    Let’s keep our correspondence, shall we?

  • Jess

    tmunson,

    thats so funny, my friends are always mocking me for my choice of vernacular. I use ‘indeed’ ALL the time. Im from Irish stock but was educated in a very posh school so my teachers are responsible for my ‘twee’ style. My parents are kinda ‘posh’ but not as posh as ‘moi’

    (I don’t actually ever say moi- I’m not quite that pretentious)

    Its true about the americans liking our accent though- its come in very useful professionally when I have worked in the usa.

    By stark contrast, in my homeland, some people think I’m aloof and superior (which I am so not) and can be a tad hostile sometimes.

    yeah- I know I just said ‘tad’…

  • tmunson

    @Jess
    “Tad”-love it. I’m glad I can’t hear ‘cuz (American familiarity) just reading you makes me , well I almost said “tingle” but realized I got that from M.s Walsh (we are going to be formal now so it’s a gal word.

  • Jamila

    I think all of the incidents qualified as sexual harassment, however I think you are correct Susan in that not all incidents are worth reporting and not all incidents will fit the textbook definition of sexual harassment.

  • Bobby Bill

    The guidelines really only apply to unattractive men.

    Since White & Nerdy has been already brought up on this thread and will show up sooner or later, I have to ask this. If SH only applies to unattractive men then isn’t Nerdy the victim of women trying to purge unattractive men from employment and society? If so, then haven’t we backed ourselves in a corner on this. It’s obvious that he sexually harassed women based on his personality, but admitting that only unattractive men are the victim of SH complaints only gives him ammo.

  • Jess

    bobby,

    i think the ‘attractive guys are immune from SH’ is a mischievous and untrue statement.

    For startes, attractiveness is often in the eye of the beholder.

    Also a ‘welcome’ action or comment is unlikely to cause distress.

    When younger, and still now sometimes, I used to get some leers and comments, and many from guys that I suppose, would be considered by some to be physically attractive. But I felt their behaviour intimidating, insulting and vulgar.

    They didn’t NEED to do it- so theres no harm in asking them not to do it to future girls. This does not preclude normal healthy flirtation and human interaction. See my dos and donts earlier.

  • Wudang

    I found this gem at fasterseduction.com:

    There is a guy, we’ll call him Egor, cuz he looks like the hunchback of Notre Dame. A month ago at our Xmas work party he took my GF’s hand and put it on the crotch of his pants

    A few days after the crotch grabbing incident, my GF and Egor were talking in the hall, (and of course she was laughing with him because he gives good feelings and validation). I later told her I don’t like her being friendly with someone who sexually harassed her. She later agreed, but said I was being very controlling. Funny cuz, a few months ago she got a different guy fired for sexually harassing her and he never even touched her. He spit really poor game and made her feel uncomfortable in the halls.

    Says it all really.