Posts Tagged ‘#metoo’

#MeToo Movement and Package Deals

July 12, 2018

The #MeToo movement, while well-intentioned, may be the package deal of our time.  Its original intent was to highlight the high rate of sexual assault in our communities.  The idea is that sexual assault isn’t just a once-in-a-while occurrence, but that it happens every day, in our own town.

Sexual assault is pretty clear- you physically bother someone when they have said, “no thanks.”

Sexual harassment is also encompassed in the #MeToo movement, and it is a little bit more dicey.  The dictionary definition of sexual harassment is:

“harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks.”

I am actually impressed that Feminist.org actually has an objective list of harassment definitions.  I agree on all counts.

This should all seem straight forward.  You can’t ask for sexual favors of your employees as a condition of employment.  However, let’s turn to the internet and see what is considered sexual harassment.

I keep seeing #MeToo tags covering things that are neither sexual assault, nor harassment.  These are things like, “He asked me out, gross” or “he was making me uncomfortable.”

The first one IS sexual harassment if he continued to harass her after she turned him down.  The second one is only sexual harassment if you have objective reasons.  Your feelings are NOT an objective measure of harassment, or anything else for that matter.  If you say, “it made me feel uncomfortable when he (fill in the blank with a objective charge against him)”  then it is harassment.

Why would I say that?  Why aren’t her feelings evidence?  Because how you feel about something is NOT under another’s control.  Because how you feel should never be what costs someone their job or freedom, just as how they feel should never cost you yours.  I’m sure plenty of suburban white folks felt “uncomfortable” when African Americans became more affluent and moved to their neighborhoods.  The feelings of the neighbors should never interfere with the rights of the African Americans who just wanted to legally purchase a home.

Well isn’t it more important that we protect women from unwanted advances than to worry about the rights of a few harassers?   No.  Let me give an example:

Teenage boy likes teenage girl.  Boy asks girl out.  Girl is not interested at all, and feels uncomfortable that he should even ask.  Boy is broken-hearted but does not ask again.  However, because the girl felt uncomfortable, he is accused of sexual harassment.  He is suspended from school, moved classes, etc.  His entire future is changed simply because he dared to ask a girl out who was not interested.

Granted, had he continued bothering her, it would be a clear-cut case of harassment, and I would agree with the administrative response.  However, our “fictional” scenario happens frequently.  Using only her feelings as a guide, we can severely ruin a young man’s career before it even starts.

Do you want to know why more men haven’t supported the #MeToo movement?  Is it because we are all secretly rapists?  No.  It’s because every one of us was once an awkward teenage boy that asked a girl out who was not interested.  We wonder if that was harassment.

You may say, “but that’s not harassment!” and I would agree with you.  However, even the accusation of harassment is enough to deter many of us.  How many high profile folks have lost jobs over harassment accusations?  Let alone the rest of us!

The package deal is that all of these things are lumped together under sexual harassment.  An honest interest and sincere request for a date is lumped in with back-of-the-alley rape.  The rejected requester may have to prove his innocence, which is impossible, if the only evidence offered is her feelings.

So, ladies, next time that cute guy quietly sips his drink at the bar and doesn’t ask to buy you a drink, it might be because he doesn’t want to be accused of harassment.   Maybe it’s simply not worth it anymore.

Thank you for reading my post.

Advertisements

Why #MeToo is a Waste of Time

October 20, 2017

Recently, the hashtag #MeToo has been cycling around social media.  The idea behind this hashtag is for women to come forward and discuss their stories of sexual harassment.

The problem is, sexual harassment is pretty vague.  According to The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment is stated as,

“It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.

Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.

Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.

Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.”

Sounds clear right?  You can’t fire your secretary for turning down your advances, according to the law.

The problem is the package deal that is wrapped up in the sexual harassment.  To be found guilty of sexual harassment, the only proof is that someone else felt uncomfortable.

Obviously, rape, sexual assault, and so on are a violation of individual rights, and the perpetrators should be dealt with harshly by the law.   However, lumped into this same category is everything from rapists to a single catcalling construction worker.

Instead of recognizing that there is a long distance between an unwanted comment and rape, we are expected to swallow, as one package deal, that everyone who has received a catcall or an unwanted comment is a victim equal to a rapist victim.  And, that everyone who has laughed at a sexist joke, or went in for a kiss and got rejected, or whatever is now on par with a rapist.

The end result of this is to treat every man as though he was a rapist.  Furthermore, it is to teach every man that they are no better than a rapist, for every single (straight) man has glanced too long at a woman, or made a stray comment, and are now guilty of rape.

It’s the danger of a package deal.