Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

Moderators: Zamfir, Hawknc, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
sardia
Posts: 6565
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby sardia » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:14 am UTC

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/ ... ent-259832
Since sexual harassment is all over the news now, we should have a catchall thread to catch all the rapists/power abuse out there.
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/po ... n-culture/
Pelosi continues to defend Conyers, because he's a superstar harasser. That means that, like Bill Cosby, he's done great things for millions of people, but he rapes/harasses people, repeatedly. Per Nate Silver's podcast, he speculates that Democrats know dozens of Democrats that are rapists, and they are afraid of the fallout if they force Franken and Conyers out.

Edit: With the wave of harassment stories, one wonders when the spotlight will turn onto the expresidents like George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:12 pm UTC

Bill Clinton's already gotten the side-eye a bit, I think. That said, it's lacking the shock value. Given that it's already been outed during his presidency, it's not really news unless someone manages to find info that ups the ante a fair bit.

Right-wing news frequently draws attention to alleged creepy behavior on the part of Biden. Not sure who else is getting a watchful eye over such things.

Here's hoping the wheels come off and everyone using power for predatory ends gets outed.

Chen
Posts: 5489
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:53 pm UTC
Location: Montreal

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby Chen » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:24 pm UTC

How the Republicans must be laughing all the way to the bank. Democrat sexual harrassers getting booted by their constituents while the Republican constituents just don't believe any harassment stories about their side. That's like Win-Win...you know, except for human decency and all.

User avatar
ObsessoMom
Nespresso Bomb
Posts: 763
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:28 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:37 pm UTC

Yesterday one California state assembly member (Raul Bocanegra, D-Los Angeles) resigned and a California state senator (Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia) was stripped of his leadership posts, due to accusations of sexual harassment.

Today is the first hearing of the California Assembly Rules Subcommittee on Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation Prevention and Response. From the Sacramento Bee:

The Legislature has paid at least five settlements to victims of sexual harassment over the past two decades, totaling more than $850,000. In April, the Assembly reached another $100,000 settlement in a harassment, discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against former Assemblyman Steve Fox.

Among the ideas? Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, one of the lawmakers who plans to attend the hearing, said he is considering introducing legislation next session that would require lawmakers, rather than taxpayers, to foot the bill for their own sexual harassment settlements.

“We could deduct their pay. If they’re a former legislator, we could go after them in the judicial process,” McCarty said.


Here's another Sacramento Bee article from last week, on the retaliation against victims who have reported sexual harassment by California state employees, including legislators. That article raises the problem of public money, too:

“In government, no one’s ever held personally accountable for any judgment,” said Gary Gorski, a Roseville civil rights attorney who settled a harassment and discrimination case for $750,000 against the Medical Board of California. “The people at the very top of the food chain can get millions of dollars in judgments – not against them personally, but they cause it to be against a state agency – and nothing ever happens to them. All they do is rotate agencies.”

Employment attorneys contend that the state is notorious for dragging out sexual harassment investigations and lawsuits for years, driving up legal costs for plaintiffs and taxpayers alike – with little regard for the validity of the claims.

“It’s not their money, so they can afford to stretch these out as long as they can,” said attorney Andrea Rosa, who settled Fields’ case against the CHP. “They can afford to conduct as many depositions as they want.

“Their hope is that the employee basically gives up.”

morriswalters
Posts: 7073
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby morriswalters » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:21 pm UTC

sardia wrote:https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/26/pelosi-conyers-icon-harassment-259832
Since sexual harassment is all over the news now, we should have a catchall thread to catch all the rapists/power abuse out there.
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/po ... n-culture/
Pelosi continues to defend Conyers, because he's a superstar harasser. That means that, like Bill Cosby, he's done great things for millions of people, but he rapes/harasses people, repeatedly. Per Nate Silver's podcast, he speculates that Democrats know dozens of Democrats that are rapists, and they are afraid of the fallout if they force Franken and Conyers out.

Edit: With the wave of harassment stories, one wonders when the spotlight will turn onto the expresidents like George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton.
Bush senior has been hit with multiple current allegations. But he's on the way out on the senility train. And as of yet I haven't heard anything on his behavior while in office. Clinton is Clinton. Although the Clinton Foundation appears to be toast since Hillary got pounded.

If Nate knows something he should print it, otherwise he invites the conspiracy theorists to have a field day. If he's not careful he could get listed as a contributor to some conservative rag. We won't be sure about impacts until elections come and then go. By getting rid of weak links now the Democrats get to exercise the frailty of human memory. People will forget in a year. Or so I believe. Reality may kick my ass on this.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10273
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:34 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:By getting rid of weak links now the Democrats get to exercise the frailty of human memory. People will forget in a year.


Have people forgotten Bill Clinton already? No? Well then.

mcd001
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:27 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby mcd001 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:49 pm UTC

It's not just politicians. This whole epidemic really started in Hollywood with the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, and has spread to the mainstream media companies (most recently Matt Lauer of NBC, just this morning).

It confirms my suspicions that Hollywood and the big media corporations really are the cesspools they have always appeared to be.

User avatar
Liri
Healthy non-floating pooper reporting for doodie.
Posts: 1113
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:11 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby Liri » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:49 pm UTC

mcd001 wrote:It's not just politicians. This whole epidemic really started in Hollywood with the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, and has spread to the mainstream media companies (most recently Matt Lauer of NBC, just this morning).

It confirms my suspicions that Hollywood and the big media corporations really are the cesspools they have always appeared to be.

Or... any place with large power imbalances. There were skeezy politicians long before there was a Hollywood.
There's a certain amount of freedom involved in cycling: you're self-propelled and decide exactly where to go. If you see something that catches your eye to the left, you can veer off there, which isn't so easy in a car, and you can't cover as much ground walking.

User avatar
Ranbot
Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:39 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby Ranbot » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:19 pm UTC

Liri wrote:
mcd001 wrote:It's not just politicians. This whole epidemic really started in Hollywood with the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, and has spread to the mainstream media companies (most recently Matt Lauer of NBC, just this morning).

It confirms my suspicions that Hollywood and the big media corporations really are the cesspools they have always appeared to be.

Or... any place with large power imbalances. There were skeezy politicians long before there was a Hollywood.

Along those lines, I am a little surprised we aren't hearing more stories of sexual harassment from the modeling industry, which I've read is also rife with it. If a serial harasser/rapist was uncovered who had connections Trump's past modeling/pageant businesses... that could be juicy.

It's also odd how decades of male pop music stars get a pass for all their horrible treatment of women. But, I guess it's like bringing up Bill Clinton; their shit is known or wouldn't surprise anyone, so there's no shock value in it.

Mutex
Posts: 1388
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:32 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby Mutex » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:23 pm UTC

The places where it's worst might be the places where women are most afraid of speaking up.

User avatar
poxic
Eloquently Prismatic
Posts: 4718
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:28 am UTC
Location: Left coast of Canada

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby poxic » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:32 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:The places where it's worst might be the places where women are most afraid of speaking up.

And where the power imbalance is the greatest. You go public with what happened to you (and every other woman who went through that system) and suddenly you're unhirable -- because the people doing the hiring are abusers, or are buddies with the abusers.
All empires fall.
Don't look back.
- The Secret Knots

mcd001
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:27 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby mcd001 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:35 pm UTC

Liri wrote:Or... any place with large power imbalances. There were skeezy politicians long before there was a Hollywood.

There is certainly some truth to that, in that a power imbalance is necessary for the kinds of sexual abuse that we're seeing in recent news reports.

But that power imbalance is *not* the cause of the abuse. There is a power imbalance to one degree or another in any work place in the world where workers have a boss (which is most work places). And since the great majority of those bosses manage to refrain from groping, harassing, or making unwelcome sexual advances to their subordinates, then there must be some other cause for this behavior.

In my experience, organizations will take on the character of their leaders. If you have a company (or an entire industry) with leaders that lack a moral compass, you'll get results like we're seeing now. That's my theory, anyway.

As for politicians, I think they're a special case. It seems even the good ones are eventually corrupted by the toxic environment that is partisan politics.

User avatar
Thesh
Made to Fuck Dinosaurs
Posts: 6333
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:55 am UTC
Location: Colorado

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby Thesh » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:56 pm UTC

Sexual harassment is something that goes on in offices everywhere, as well as pretty much any public place - in fact, sexual harassment was considered acceptable behavior by men in power until quite recently. Hell, the Catholic church had a major scandal where they covered up abuses and kept abusers in power. It's a power thing, and a culture thing - it's not limited to any industry.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

User avatar
sardia
Posts: 6565
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:04 pm UTC

mcd001 wrote:
Liri wrote:Or... any place with large power imbalances. There were skeezy politicians long before there was a Hollywood.

There is certainly some truth to that, in that a power imbalance is necessary for the kinds of sexual abuse that we're seeing in recent news reports.

But that power imbalance is *not* the cause of the abuse. There is a power imbalance to one degree or another in any work place in the world where workers have a boss (which is most work places). And since the great majority of those bosses manage to refrain from groping, harassing, or making unwelcome sexual advances to their subordinates, then there must be some other cause for this behavior.

In my experience, organizations will take on the character of their leaders. If you have a company (or an entire industry) with leaders that lack a moral compass, you'll get results like we're seeing now. That's my theory, anyway.

As for politicians, I think they're a special case. It seems even the good ones are eventually corrupted by the toxic environment that is partisan politics.

https://gender.bitc.org.uk/news-opinion ... harassment
According to this, anywhere you have these characteristics, you'll find harassment.
Power and gender roles. The relatively powerless at work are easily targeted, such as temp workers[2] or those at the bottom of the hierarchy. Yet women in positions of power and authority are also at increased risk – it is used to put them back in their place; their subordinate and submissive position to men in society.[3] ‘Laddism’, a form of ‘modern masculinity’ has emerged in parallel with women’s increased economic empowerment and consequent separation from their traditional, powerless societal role. On the rise in UK universities, it is largely defined by the sexual objectification of women, and sexual harassment and molestation are commonplace.
Workplace anonymity. The formal grievance procedures in large organisations protect against serious abuse, however the anonymity of large organisations increases the risk of all other types of sexual harassment, because employees are less connected and more able to act without the awareness of others.[4]
Lack of manager and co-worker solidarity will also enable sexual harassment to continue, since employees are less invested in their colleagues’ wellbeing and less willing to intercede.[5]
Male dominated and physical work has long fostered male solidarity and pride, and centres on the physical body, so the presence of women may be seen as a threat to such masculinity, leading to an increased likelihood of sexual harassment.[6]
Gender composition. Sexual harassment is more likely to occur in workplaces or teams with a high proportion of men, mostly because it is easier and safer to target those in the minority.[7]

I'm struggling with tamping down harassment at work right now. There's an overwhelming male workplace, harassing Superstars, physical work environment, etc etc. It's a real challenge to solve, by which I mean to not lose money due to harassment complaints.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10273
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:08 pm UTC

The people that go into politics are the popular, outgoing kids in high school that rarely got rejected for dates and never had boundaries slapped on them. Of course they wind up as dirty old men harassing the interns.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7213
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:32 pm UTC

mcd001 wrote:But that power imbalance is *not* the cause of the abuse. There is a power imbalance to one degree or another in any work place in the world where workers have a boss (which is most work places). And since the great majority of those bosses manage to refrain from groping, harassing, or making unwelcome sexual advances to their subordinates, then there must be some other cause for this behavior.

In my experience, organizations will take on the character of their leaders. If you have a company (or an entire industry) with leaders that lack a moral compass, you'll get results like we're seeing now. That's my theory, anyway.

As for politicians, I think they're a special case. It seems even the good ones are eventually corrupted by the toxic environment that is partisan politics.
I'm trying super hard not to be angry over just how ignorant this perspective is, particularly since it's the cover story that lets us address shit like Weinstein without addressing the all-pervasive, ongoing epidemic of sexual harassment and abuse that's going on in our society today. "Weinstein doesn't indicate a broader problem, it just tells us how Hollywood is an exception on account of it being a cesspool."

Fuck that noise: The problem is not a "lack of strong leadership". The problem isn't that Hollywood is a cesspool. The problem is that *American society* is a cesspool. The problem is that men keep sexually harassing women. Everywhere in the US. All the fucking time. In pretty much every single fucking industry where men have the lion's share of power (IE, pretty much *all* industries).

Strong leadership can help, but any leader who thinks that lack of leadership is the problem here isn't acting as a strong leader -- they're just engaging in thinking so magical it qualifies them to attend Hogwart's.

Basically, what I'm saying is that you've found a way to address something like Weinstein without addressing the problem Weinstein represents. Weinstein is the tip of an iceberg, and this iceberg is not localized to Hollywood or Washington. This iceberg is America, and the only way you can start to melt it is by rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. You need to actually understand how big this problem is.

It is way bigger than you think. Way, *way* bigger.

cphite
Posts: 1302
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby cphite » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:49 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:The people that go into politics are the popular, outgoing kids in high school that rarely got rejected for dates and never had boundaries slapped on them. Of course they wind up as dirty old men harassing the interns.


Politics, public media, celebrities, corporate leadership, military leadership, and media production... there is a common thread here. These are all positions of power that are generally filled by people who are aggressive, who actively seek power, and who are used to getting their own way.

The fact that they're in positions of power makes it easier for them to act like scum; but the personality type has a lot to do with it too.

User avatar
Bloopy
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 9:16 am UTC
Location: New Zealand

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby Bloopy » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:53 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:The people that go into politics are the popular, outgoing kids in high school that rarely got rejected for dates

True for the good-looking ones. But some only have the outgoing attribute and had to get into the position of power first to get anywhere.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:58 pm UTC

Chen wrote:How the Republicans must be laughing all the way to the bank. Democrat sexual harrassers getting booted by their constituents while the Republican constituents just don't believe any harassment stories about their side. That's like Win-Win...you know, except for human decency and all.


There is always a level of schadenfreude when the other side suffers setbacks, of course.

That said, in actual practice, I have to imagine that say, ditching Franken would likely result in a democrat replacement, so likely no real change in power. I think democrats have fairly little to lose by ousting the troublesome sorts. And probably more to lose by not doing so.

Republicans do indeed suffer setbacks due to misbehavior. Denial doesn't make a problem go away. At least, not all the time. The fact that they like to moralize often makes it worse. Blatant hypocrisy can be juicy.

Thesh wrote:Sexual harassment is something that goes on in offices everywhere, as well as pretty much any public place - in fact, sexual harassment was considered acceptable behavior by men in power until quite recently. Hell, the Catholic church had a major scandal where they covered up abuses and kept abusers in power. It's a power thing, and a culture thing - it's not limited to any industry.


I dare say that the ridiculously strong correlation between steep power imbalances and harassment actually makes a pretty good case for reducing power imbalances in general. Not that this is easy, mind, but there's sound evidence that a significant proportion of folks will abuse power if they achieve it.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10273
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:15 pm UTC

Hippo,

You make it sound like it's an American thing. I'd like you to show me one major society where it's the case that sexual harassment of women by men is significantly less than in the US.

Dark567
First one to notify the boards of Rick and Morty Season 3
Posts: 3685
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:12 pm UTC
Location: Everywhere(in the US, I don't venture outside it too often, unfortunately)

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby Dark567 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:47 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Hippo,

You make it sound like it's an American thing. I'd like you to show me one major society where it's the case that sexual harassment of women by men is significantly less than in the US.
Scandanvia. Canada.

Otherwise, yeah.

EDIT: Although I think it takes lots of different forms depending on the specific culture. Asia, (most of) Europe, Middle, Latin America, and Africa all have plenty of sexual harassment(or outright oppression), it just often takes a different form due to specifics of the culture.
Last edited by Dark567 on Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:54 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
I apologize, 90% of the time I write on the Fora I am intoxicated.


Yakk wrote:The question the thought experiment I posted is aimed at answering: When falling in a black hole, do you see the entire universe's future history train-car into your ass, or not?

User avatar
slinches
Slinches get Stinches
Posts: 1009
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:23 am UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby slinches » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:47 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
mcd001 wrote:But that power imbalance is *not* the cause of the abuse. There is a power imbalance to one degree or another in any work place in the world where workers have a boss (which is most work places). And since the great majority of those bosses manage to refrain from groping, harassing, or making unwelcome sexual advances to their subordinates, then there must be some other cause for this behavior.

In my experience, organizations will take on the character of their leaders. If you have a company (or an entire industry) with leaders that lack a moral compass, you'll get results like we're seeing now. That's my theory, anyway.

As for politicians, I think they're a special case. It seems even the good ones are eventually corrupted by the toxic environment that is partisan politics.
I'm trying super hard not to be angry over just how ignorant this perspective is, particularly since it's the cover story that lets us address shit like Weinstein without addressing the all-pervasive, ongoing epidemic of sexual harassment and abuse that's going on in our society today. "Weinstein doesn't indicate a broader problem, it just tells us how Hollywood is an exception on account of it being a cesspool."

Fuck that noise: The problem is not a "lack of strong leadership". The problem isn't that Hollywood is a cesspool. The problem is that *American society* is a cesspool. The problem is that men keep sexually harassing women. Everywhere in the US. All the fucking time. In pretty much every single fucking industry where men have the lion's share of power (IE, pretty much *all* industries).

Strong leadership can help, but any leader who thinks that lack of leadership is the problem here isn't acting as a strong leader -- they're just engaging in thinking so magical it qualifies them to attend Hogwart's.

Basically, what I'm saying is that you've found a way to address something like Weinstein without addressing the problem Weinstein represents. Weinstein is the tip of an iceberg, and this iceberg is not localized to Hollywood or Washington. This iceberg is America, and the only way you can start to melt it is by rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. You need to actually understand how big this problem is.

It is way bigger than you think. Way, *way* bigger.

Okay, my sleeves are rolled up. What do I do now? I mean, I already try to treat everyone with respect so it must be more than that, right? What work should I go out and do to help solve this systemic social problem?

The way I see it, we're in a transitional period between the traditional gender roles and something else. But I don't know what that "something else" should look like. While I agree that their inherent inequality is not acceptable, traditional gender roles existed because they served a purpose. I think some of the issues we're seeing today are due to a lack of social structure caused by the breakdown of those roles. We need something to replace them that will provide the same social stability without the inequality, but what is that? What does it look like and how do I go about convincing others to adjust their expectations of society accordingly?

It seems like we need to re-establish some roles, but not base them on gender. Would you guys be on board if there was a strong social expectation that there should be a "breadwinner" and "homemaker" in every family, as long as those roles weren't tied to gender? Or is there some other structure you'd prefer? And how should we identify those that choose complementary roles? There's the same issue in searching out relationships. If it's not socially acceptable for anyone to make sexual advances, lest they be unwanted, how do we know who should make the first move? Relying on subtle social cues like eye contact and facial expressions creates issues for those who are less adept at recognizing them and can create confusion between cultures.

If we really want to solve inequality without causing lots of chaos, we need a consistent set of rules and expectations that are easily identifiable, but not gender based, to guide our behavior toward positive outcomes. Until we have that, I don't see how we stop this sexual harassment epidemic.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:27 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Hippo,

You make it sound like it's an American thing. I'd like you to show me one major society where it's the case that sexual harassment of women by men is significantly less than in the US.
Scandanvia. Canada.

Otherwise, yeah.

EDIT: Although I think it takes lots of different forms depending on the specific culture. Asia, (most of) Europe, Middle, Latin America, and Africa all have plenty of sexual harassment(or outright oppression), it just often takes a different form due to specifics of the culture.


Would agree, it's not specific to US culture.

Not by a long shot.

I think it's more generally a problem with abuse of power than with US culture. The correlation with power is really hard to ignore, but there's not that strong a correlation with our culture.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7213
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:31 pm UTC

slinches wrote:Okay, my sleeves are rolled up. What do I do now?
Well, for starters, what I was saying: Don't act like the problem is localized to a 'toxic Hollywood'. Don't act like the problem is a lack of 'strong leadership'. Don't act like the problem is not caused by power imbalances.
slinches wrote:What work should I go out and do to help solve this systemic social problem?
When someone says that they've been harassed or abused, don't just dismiss it. When others dismiss it, speak up. When you see people around you -- people you work with, people you interact with -- objectifying, demeaning, or otherwise dismissing women (or anyone claiming to be harassed; it's not like women are the only targets, they're just by far the most prominent and common), don't give them a pass. Support people when it looks like they're getting a raw deal like this.

I mean, this is all small-level stuff, but it's basically the kind of stuff I expect would help.
slinches wrote:It seems like we need to re-establish some roles, but not base them on gender. Would you guys be on board if there was a strong social expectation that there should be a "breadwinner" and "homemaker" in every family, as long as those roles weren't tied to gender? Or is there some other structure you'd prefer? And how should we identify those that choose complementary roles? There's the same issue in searching out relationships. If it's not socially acceptable for anyone to make sexual advances, lest they be unwanted, how do we know who should make the first move? Relying on subtle social cues like eye contact and facial expressions creates issues for those who are less adept at recognizing them and can create confusion between cultures.
What the fuck are you smoking? You shouldn't make sexual advances on people who work for you. That's the problem we're discussing here.
slinches wrote:If we really want to solve inequality without causing lots of chaos, we need a consistent set of rules and expectations that are easily identifiable, but not gender based, to guide our behavior toward positive outcomes. Until we have that, I don't see how we stop this sexual harassment epidemic.
"Don't make sexual advances toward people who directly work for you or people who you have significant amounts of economic control over" seems like a pretty good place to start. Giving those people some measure of power to use against you if you do seems like an even better place to advance forward.

You seem to be going on about a much broader problem, which is fine -- I guess? -- but you're acting like the problem of sexual harassment is much more complicated than it seems. It's much bigger than it seems, but it's not much more complicated. The solution is to get everyone to 1) Realize you can't treat your employees like fucking sex toys, and 2) Give those employees options to safely fight back.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10273
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:41 pm UTC

Or do what I supported for years now; expand the definition of statutory rape to include the cases of obvious power imbalance, e.g., boss and secretary, professor and grad student, etc.

User avatar
charliepanayi
Posts: 1531
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:26 pm UTC
Location: London, UK

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby charliepanayi » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:47 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Or do what I supported for years now; expand the definition of statutory rape to include the cases of obvious power imbalance, e.g., boss and secretary, professor and grad student, etc.


That's a terrible idea.
"Excuse me Miss, do you like pineapple?"

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it through not dying"

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10273
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:49 pm UTC

charliepanayi wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Or do what I supported for years now; expand the definition of statutory rape to include the cases of obvious power imbalance, e.g., boss and secretary, professor and grad student, etc.


That's a terrible idea.


Why?

User avatar
slinches
Slinches get Stinches
Posts: 1009
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:23 am UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby slinches » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:28 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
slinches wrote:What work should I go out and do to help solve this systemic social problem?
When someone says that they've been harassed or abused, don't just dismiss it. When others dismiss it, speak up. When you see people around you -- people you work with, people you interact with -- objectifying, demeaning, or otherwise dismissing women (or anyone claiming to be harassed; it's not like women are the only targets, they're just by far the most prominent and common), don't give them a pass. Support people when it looks like they're getting a raw deal like this.

I mean, this is all small-level stuff, but it's basically the kind of stuff I expect would help.

That's only part of an effective solution. It helps punish bad behavior, but does nothing to promote good behavior.

The Great Hippo wrote:you're acting like the problem of sexual harassment is much more complicated than it seems. It's much bigger than it seems, but it's not much more complicated. The solution is to get everyone to 1) Realize you can't treat your employees like fucking sex toys, and 2) Give those employees options to safely fight back.

It is more complicated than you're claiming. There are always power imbalances to some degree and saying any relationship where those exist is wrong is just as unrealistic as asking people to abstain from sex instead of using contraception. We need to provide a safe way for people to show interest and establish healthy romantic relationships regardless of power imbalances. And giving people with less power a different power doesn't balance the scales, it just raises the stakes.
Last edited by slinches on Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:32 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 3007
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby orthogon » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:31 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
charliepanayi wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Or do what I supported for years now; expand the definition of statutory rape to include the cases of obvious power imbalance, e.g., boss and secretary, professor and grad student, etc.


That's a terrible idea.


Why?

I can't speak for charliepanayi, but it would criminalise a lot of healthy, consensual relationships. I mean, the person in the senior position ought to be asking themselves, and their partner, some serious questions. They ought to consider the potential conflict of interest and whether they could take steps to mitigate it. But, a lot of relationships begin in the workplace. You spend a lot of time with someone, stuff sometimes happens. Perhaps it's a disciplinary matter. But no way is it, in and of itself, worthy of being a serious criminal offence.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 5008
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:40 pm UTC

It strikes me as potentially causing problems similar to ones that existing statutory rape laws sometimes do, like where if two high school seniors in the same class have consensual sex, but one of them is just over 18 and one of them still 17, it's a major crime (except in jurisdictions where exceptions to solve problems like this have been carved out).
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10273
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:47 pm UTC

I'm not saying the manager can't date any intern, just not the interns in their chain of command. That's already the law for the military, and it mostly seems to work. Mostly. I mean, the only problem I can see would be the case of CFO and CEO; still a massive power imbalance, but I get the impression that the CFO has enough "fuck you" money that they can say FU and walk out.

User avatar
Ranbot
Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:39 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby Ranbot » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:11 pm UTC

slinches wrote:Okay, my sleeves are rolled up.... It seems like we need to re-establish some roles, but not base them on gender.... If we really want to solve inequality without causing lots of chaos, we need a consistent set of rules and expectations that are easily identifiable, but not gender based, to guide our behavior toward positive outcomes.

Slinches, society is much too fluid to establish formal rules for gender and standards of conduct like it sounds like you are asking for. Maybe I'm not being fair to your statement though...

I think most people conduct their actions and words appropriately and actual harassers are a minority, but the surrounding social pressure on the harassers varies. If bystanders stay silent when they see or hear harassment that gives the harassers the freedom to do as they will. However, speaking out against harassment as a recipient or witness is an extremely uncomfortable face-to-face conflict that most people will avoid if they can, particularly if the harassment is borderline/questionable, which it often is. Humans are social animals who will generally avoid conflict whenever we can, including the uglier elements our society. I don't exclude myself from that failing... I will admit to having stayed a silent witness when I probably should have spoken up. I'll make my best effort not to make that mistake again in the future. The point is harassment lives in the physical world and it's much harder to engage conflict when you are staring into it's physical face, than write about what you think you would or should do.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:13 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Or do what I supported for years now; expand the definition of statutory rape to include the cases of obvious power imbalance, e.g., boss and secretary, professor and grad student, etc.


What, exactly, constitutes obvious power imbalance? It's a much less hard line than age is, I think.

Now, sure, ethically I think one ought not aim for relationships with gross power imbalances, but as a law, it's a little harder to codify exactly how much is too much.

And anyhow, a large part of the problem is that, legal or not, the power imbalance allows the one with power to get away with things regardless. It's like the dirty cop problem. If nobody is actually going to convict them, does making their misbehavior illegal actually change anything?

CorruptUser wrote:I'm not saying the manager can't date any intern, just not the interns in their chain of command. That's already the law for the military, and it mostly seems to work. Mostly. I mean, the only problem I can see would be the case of CFO and CEO; still a massive power imbalance, but I get the impression that the CFO has enough "fuck you" money that they can say FU and walk out.


Ehhh. The military is not perfect, either. And chains of command can also be used to cover things up. I'm not sure it's a role model here. If it is, it's only in the sense of having people outside the chain of command to complain to(at least nominally. In practice, it may vary).

User avatar
slinches
Slinches get Stinches
Posts: 1009
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:23 am UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby slinches » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:30 pm UTC

Ranbot wrote:Slinches, society is much too fluid to establish formal rules for gender and standards of conduct like it sounds like you are asking for. Maybe I'm not being fair to your statement though...

I'm not really asking for formal rules. I'm looking for positive roles that people can choose for themselves that come with certain behavioral expectations and a way for people to identify that choice. That would help minimize conflicts where people behave differently than expected in general. That's something we lost when the traditional male and female roles were deprecated.

I'd also like a rough guideline for conduct around establishing personal relationships between people that have varying amounts of political/economic/social power over each other. A map to navigate that minefield, so to speak.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7213
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:31 pm UTC

slinches wrote:That's only part of an effective solution. It helps punish bad behavior, but does nothing to promote good behavior.
Supporting and believing people who claim to be harassed and/or abused isn't promoting good behaviour?

slinches wrote:It is more complicated than you're claiming. There are always power imbalances to some degree and saying any relationship where those exist is wrong is just as unrealistic as asking people to abstain from sex instead of using contraception. We need to provide a safe way for people to show interest and establish healthy romantic relationships regardless of power imbalances. And giving people with less power a different power doesn't balance the scales, it just raises the stakes.
Okay, if you legitimately believe that empowering employees to stop their employers from sexually harassing them doesn't address the problem -- but just raises the stakes -- then we really can't discuss this issue credibly.

The problem isn't that employers don't know how to ask their employees out on dates in an appropriate manner. The problem is employers think it's okay to grope, kiss, and sexually assault their employees. I mean for fuck's sake -- Weinstein was *married* when this shit was going down. What, you think he wanted to initiate a healthy relationship with these people? No, he wanted to *fuck* them.

Yes, it's possible to have a healthy, consenting relationship in the context of a severe power imbalance. It's hard, but it's possible. That's not what we're talking about. And the more you act like it is, the more tone-deaf you come off as.
Last edited by The Great Hippo on Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:47 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

cphite
Posts: 1302
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby cphite » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:39 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I'm not saying the manager can't date any intern, just not the interns in their chain of command. That's already the law for the military, and it mostly seems to work. Mostly. I mean, the only problem I can see would be the case of CFO and CEO; still a massive power imbalance, but I get the impression that the CFO has enough "fuck you" money that they can say FU and walk out.


It's one thing to say that it's a bad idea for people to have a relationship where there is a power imbalance; and quite another to call it statutory rape. Two consenting adults in a relationship, if they're accepting of whatever power imbalance exists between them, may still be a bad idea - and it makes some sense for companies, schools, and other organizations with hierarchies to address the practice via their own internal policies - but to even suggest making it a criminal offense is simply absurd.

In the military it's considered fraternization and is a violation of military code of conduct; but it's not a criminal offense in the way that you're suggesting. Certainly not at the level of statutory rape.

arbiteroftruth
Posts: 449
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:44 am UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby arbiteroftruth » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:04 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Yes, it's possible to have a healthy, consenting relationship in the context of a severe power imbalance. It's hard, but it's possible. That's not what we're talking about. And the more you act like it is, the more tone-deaf you come off as.


Flag on the play: moving the goalposts. slinches was responding to a post which included the following:

The Great Hippo wrote:"Don't make sexual advances toward people who directly work for you or people who you have significant amounts of economic control over" seems like a pretty good place to start. Giving those people some measure of power to use against you if you do seems like an even better place to advance forward.


which definitely includes the kind of well-intentioned advance slinches was talking about.

User avatar
sardia
Posts: 6565
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:37 pm UTC

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/wh ... y-helping/
Trump's endorsements of pedophile Roy Moore has pushed him back into the lead over Democrat Jones. I guess the wapo reporters released the story too early. Bad luck for Democrats. They'll have to rely on a polling error to win ( polls would have to misjudge who would vote or misjudge turnout). Hard but not impossible. Either way, the pedophile is back in the lead.

This demonstrates how partisanship is a hell of a drug. He might even pull a Trump like act where nobody mentions the sexual assault after winning.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7213
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:45 pm UTC

arbiteroftruth wrote:Flag on the play: moving the goalposts. slinches was responding to a post which included the following:

The Great Hippo wrote:"Don't make sexual advances toward people who directly work for you or people who you have significant amounts of economic control over" seems like a pretty good place to start. Giving those people some measure of power to use against you if you do seems like an even better place to advance forward.


which definitely includes the kind of well-intentioned advance slinches was talking about.
That is not the part of my post slinches was responding to -- nor the part they quoted. It's also a misleading way to represent what I was saying. But okay; I'll bite:

"Don't make sexual advances toward your employees" is, as I said, a good starting point. It's an excellent rule -- but like most rules, there will be exceptions. Here, I'll even give you one: A husband and wife decide to start a business together. The husband works as the wife's secretary. The wife initiates sexy-times with their husband during 'work hours'. As long as everyone's okay with this, I don't see a problem.

Exceptions to this rule will exist, but they're going to be rare and situational. But if you think what we need here is a "roadmap" that allows employers to safely date their employees, you are not helping. You are part of the problem.

The problem isn't that employers don't know how to make sexual advances on their employees responsibly; it's that they're making these sexual advances at all. Outside of some pretty fucking rare instances, this is unacceptable behavior. I sincerely hope anyone who disagrees is never employed in any capacity where they have authority over anyone.

arbiteroftruth
Posts: 449
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:44 am UTC

Re: Sexual Harrassment Epidemic

Postby arbiteroftruth » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:38 am UTC

And the reason that's unacceptable is due to the power imbalance, correct? If so, the course of the argument would seem to be as follows:

A: Sexual advances toward someone over whom you have power is almost always unacceptable.

B: There's almost always a certain amount of power imbalance between people. I think we need a more nuanced standard of behavior.

A: We're not talking about attempts at responsible advances; we're talking about groping, and you're terrible for not realizing that.

C: Wait, you totally were talking about the power imbalance and not the nature of the advances.

A: That's not accurate. What I was actually saying was that sexual advances toward someone over whom you have power are almost always unacceptable.

C: Is...is that not what I said you were saying?


Return to “News & Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: iamspen and 23 guests