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Old 03 November 2017, 08:57 PM
E. Q. Taft's Avatar
E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
Join Date: 30 July 2003
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 14,406

I'm linking this article because it's being discussed in a few other places I hang out in. One of my Facebook acquaintances brought it up first; he's someone who is a dedicated liberal on most issues, but also despises anything that smacks of "political correctness."

I agree to the premise that there is some danger in lumping the occasional inappropriate remark or unwanted flirtation with actual rape, coercion, or continuous verbal harassment. For one thing, I think it puts more men on the defensive: comparing someone who put his hand on your shoulder once when you'd rather he didn't, or maybe made an unwelcome double-entrende remark, with a serial rapist is bound to produce some resentment.

However, that doesn't mean that the less extreme examples are things that should be tolerated or accepted. An example I occasionally use: if suddenly transported back in time to 1942, and given the choice of experiencing the next few years as a Japanese-American in an internment camp or a Jew in Auschwitz, I'm pretty sure I know which of the two just about everyone would pick. But that doesn't mean that interment camps weren't wrong. The existence of a greater wrong doesn't magically turn the wrong into a right.

I'm also aware that part of the problem is simply that people are different. A remark that one woman finds humorous, or a mock-flirtation that she finds fun and flattering, another woman might find to be inexcusably inappropriate and uncomfortable. I try, these days, to err heavily on the side of caution -- to the point where I think I might even go too far in that direction, resulting in less friendly relations with some co-workers than otherwise might exist. (Then again, I just generally am not sociable at work, so it may not matter.)

Anyway, I'm just throwing it out there, if anyone else wants to comment. If not, that's fine too.
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