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Old 03 November 2017, 08:41 PM
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E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is online now
 
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Ponder Is 'Weinsteining' getting out of hand?

The fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandals and the ripples from the “#MeToo” movement are having indubitably positive effects — above all, exposing and bringing to account predators who have enjoyed impunity due to their power and status. But there are some pitfalls. Many people — not just men with skeletons in the closet — fear that careers may be destroyed over minor misconduct and ambiguous transgressions. Troubling rhetoric abounds, condemning all sexually tinged dynamics in the workplace, stereotyping men as abusers and women as perpetual victims in need of quasi-Victorian protections.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed...101-story.html
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  #2  
Old 03 November 2017, 08:57 PM
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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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Old 03 November 2017, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post

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 have lost count of the times I've seen TV shows and movies use the notion that women are actually flattered by wolf whistles and catcalls as a plot point. While I'm not going to deny that there must be a few women who would actually feel this way it's by no means the way most women feel when this happens to them but you certainly wouldn't know that based on sitcoms etc. If nothing else happens in Hollywood I'd really like to see a little more attention being paid to how most women really feel when they are rated and judged by random strangers on the street.
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Old 03 November 2017, 09:18 PM
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This sounds like #notallmen2
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Old 03 November 2017, 09:24 PM
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I would note that (a) the article is written by a woman, but (b) she's a contributor to Reason and The New Republic (something I didn't notice till after I posted it), which means she may (or may not) be motivated more by a political agenda than personal feelings.

Another place the article was linked was on Mark Evanier's blog -- he gives his usual sensible take on the whole thing here.
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Old 03 November 2017, 10:02 PM
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I think there is a disturbing narrative that says talking about all of these things together is somehow equating them, and treating "minor" transgressions as far more than they should be, tarring with the same brush, and all the other arguments for treating the worst actors as sui generis.

Of course these things should be talked about together. They are related. No one is equating them. And it is utterly ridiculous to treat Weinstein as sui generis, and pretend that what he did has nothing to do with a single unwanted flirtation from a coworker. The ubiquity of inappropriate sexualization of women is a huge part of why and how Weinstein was able to do this not just with impunity, but virtually without it even being publicly remarked on.

Why the NFBSK would it not all be discussed together?

Why would we not talk about both Nazi concentration camps and US internment camps as illustrating racism, and how it can play out in scapegoating and the othering of racial and ethnic minorities? They are related. Talking about them together does not mean they are being equated.
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Old 08 November 2017, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
This sounds like #notallmen2
No tall men? That's just discriminatory.
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  #8  
Old 08 November 2017, 03:54 PM
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I thought the response to revelation about Spacey was quite moderate until he stepped in it with his apology. Then more accusations came out and it seemed sufficient to believe he was guilty.
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Old 03 November 2017, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
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.)
I highly recommend not flirting at work. In general, if you wouldn't behave that way with a male colleague, don't treat a female colleague different. Even if you and the colleague enjoy it, chances are the people around you are rolling their eyes and not enjoying the show.

If you are interested in a colleague - ask them out and do your flirting outside of work (if they accept).

However, please don't be a Mike Pence :P and assume that all working women are evil corrupters.
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Old 04 November 2017, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by khisanth View Post
I highly recommend not flirting at work. In general, if you wouldn't behave that way with a male colleague, don't treat a female colleague different. Even if you and the colleague enjoy it, chances are the people around you are rolling their eyes and not enjoying the show.

If you are interested in a colleague - ask them out and do your flirting outside of work (if they accept).

This.

Much of the complaint in the article posted seems to be this:

Quote:
Except in college, nearly every man I have ever dated was either a co-worker or, once I switched entirely to free-lancing, someone I met through work. This is not unusual, even in the age of dating websites and apps. An informal 2015 survey for the online magazine Mic found that men and women under 35 were almost twice as likely to have met their current significant other through work (17.9%) as through online dating (9.4%). [. . . ]
sexual interaction will happen unless the workplace is regulated to a dehumanizing degree and realistically, some unwanted sexual attention will happen as well.
But the thing is -- humans have invented this thing called 'language', by means of which it's possible to clearly express desires and intentions. It's not a matter of 'we have to be able to use dirty jokes and innuendo and flirting at work, even though we know that many people don't like this and some of them are seriously disturbed by it, because otherwise there's no possible way for workmates who might form genuinely consensual partnerships to get together'. It's perfectly possible to ask a workmate out. Pick a moment when they're not in the middle of a serious work discussion and just ask them. Make it clear that an answer of no is entirely acceptable, and that if the answer is 'no' or the softer 'not now', either to the one date or after the date if accepted, you will never bring it up again; if they change their mind it will be up to them to say so. Because we have words, this can be done. 'I'd like to ask you something, if you've got a minute? it's fine if you don't want to, and if you don't want to I'm only going to ask this once: but would you be interested in going out with me?' (And then, and this is crucial: if they say no, whether hard or soft no, stick to it. Do not ask them again, either overtly or covertly.)

And, for those who actually do want to try a sexual relationship, replacing office innuendo with clear wording has the huge advantage that they don't have to guess whether the 'flirting' means anything or not, and risk being horribly embarrassed when they try to take somebody up on what wasn't an offer after all.
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Old 04 November 2017, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
And, for those who actually do want to try a sexual relationship, replacing office innuendo with clear wording has the huge advantage that they don't have to guess whether the 'flirting' means anything or not, and risk being horribly embarrassed when they try to take somebody up on what wasn't an offer after all.
I mean, it basically boils down to what we tell toddlers: use your words.

Why is that so hard?
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Old 04 November 2017, 04:17 PM
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And is it so impossible to understand that for the most part "Weinsteining" isn't about colleagues in a workplace it is about someone using their position of power to their advantage. Workplace relationships are fine if handled maturely - that isn't what the discussion should be about.
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Old 04 November 2017, 07:34 PM
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I have had multiple co-workers at multiple jobs who managed to date, and in some cases form partnerships with/marry, co-workers. They all managed to do it without sexually harassing anyone or otherwise acting inappropriately. No dirty jokes, no overt workplace flirting, and oh yeah, no unwelcome mouth-kissing.
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Old 04 November 2017, 11:20 PM
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It still drives me bonkers that if two colleagues of the opposite sex go to lunch, people wonder if they're dating.

When I was starting out I had advice like 'never have lunch alone' because you needed to network for your career.

Ask someone to go to lunch with you as female in a male dominated field and you're not sure if they see it as friendly or as you're hitting on them

Weinsteining - has it gone to far? Nope! People really need to have some deep thoughts about this as a culture.
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