November 2, 2017

Is it really that hard to figure out how to have a relationship with a co-worker?

I've been concerned about lumping too much together under #MeToo. Here's my post "#MeToo overload":
[Elie Wiesel] is deceased. It was 3 decades ago. The allegation is only that in a photo shoot, he put his hand on her ass. This kind of #MeTooism is diluting the category that we have been taking very seriously in the light of the Harvey Weinstein revelations.

I'm not approving of ass-grabbing. I have a problem with making an allegation this late against a dead man. And I have a problem with lumping things together the wrong way....

If too much is thrown into the category we've been activated to take seriously, many of us will deactivate. Those who want to keep the recent activation working should want to help keep up the distinctions. If the problem seems vague and expanding, the need to protect the unfairly accused will outweigh the interest in smoking out people like Weinstein, and — ironically — it will give them cover.
Today, I'm seeing Cathy Young writing in the L.A. Times:
[T]he #MeToo movement, which tends to lump together a wide range of male wrongdoing from rape to “creepy” or boorish behavior, raises a basic question about human relations in the working world: Can work and sexuality or romance ever mix? For many supporters of this campaign, the answer seems to be no....
But Young says many people want to initiate relationships with co-workers (and also enjoy some kinds of flirting or sexual banter in the workplace):
Instead of acknowledging such realities, current discourse on sexual harassment not only conflates predation with “low-level lechery” but generally reduces women to sexual innocents who must be shielded not only from sexual advances but from bawdy jokes. This did not begin with Weinstein or the #MeToo movement; however, the current moral panic is making the situation worse.

Sexual abuse in the workplace, or anywhere else, is unacceptable. Even boorishness that doesn’t rise to the level of harassment should be discouraged, especially from people in authority. On the other hand, sexual interaction will happen unless the workplace is regulated to a dehumanizing degree and realistically, some unwanted sexual attention will happen as well.
Creepy, boorish, abusive... these are all abstractions. And people are self-interested if left on their own to decide where's the line they shouldn't cross. What is Young proposing here? She doesn't like too many rules. They're "dehumanizing." But an individual judgment that X is a creep/boor/abuser will also be dehumanizing for X.

Not that I have a solution. For some people, going to work is all about sex. At the other extreme, work has nothing to do with sex — no no no, no means no, no.

I'd like to say the overarching principle is equality. That's the established legal concept: The working conditions for women and men should not be different.

By the way, have you noticed how impossible it is to apply that principle to Hollywood. Movies (and TV shows) tell stories that are highly gendered. There are roles for men and roles for women, and the actors are expected to show strong masculinity or femininity and to meet the extremes of sexual attractiveness. It's completely unfair if you think in terms of gender equality. But all of us are buying the product. We're serving our own sexual needs through these characters we see on the screen. We're seeking vicarious relationships.

72 comments:

Gahrie said...

The working conditions for women and men should not be different.

Unless of course women want them to be.

Sigivald said...

But all of us are buying the product. We're serving our own sexual needs through these characters we see on the screen. We're seeking vicarious relationships.

We, Bwana?

rhhardin said...

Just make Harvey Weinstein the normal, except for actual crimes, and the problem goes away.

Then it's just character.

Virgil Hilts said...

When I started at my firm (long time ago), there were lot of really cute young women in their 20s on the staff, and a lot of in-firm dating and some happy marriages even resulted. There were never any lawsuits, harassment claims, alleged assaults. Everyone was nice/decent.
Today my firm has eliminated the possibility of this ever happening again. The person in charge of HR is an older woman who only hires older men or very old an/or unattractive women to work in staff positions. Maybe brilliant from risk management perspective, but also sad.

Lyssa said...

I agree with Ms. Young's overall point, but I thought that this line:

In another harsh example, Roy Price, the former head of Amazon Studios, lost his job over a single complaint of propositioning a female executive at a booze-soaked event in 2015.

was a very disingenuous summary of what the executive alleged happened.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Is it really that hard to figure out how to have a relationship with a co-worker?

In general, no. However, I can see issues in certain industries.

For example, in tech. Imagine a 5 to 1 ( or worse ) male to female ratio. With the males having below average social skills, and no social life outside of work. The guy's best hope for a relationship is to hit on the female coworkers ( they're in tech, so they must have something in common! ) The women end up getting hit on by a large percentage of their coworkers. Awkwardly, since the guys aren't picking up on the usual signals that such an attempt is unwelcome.

I could see this putting women in tech in an uncomfortable position, even if none of the guys, individually, are doing anything inappropriate.

Jupiter said...

"I'd like to say the overarching principle is equality. That's the established legal concept: The working conditions for women and men should not be different."

Ha-ha! What color is the sky on your planet?

Martin said...

Well, heck, in campus "rape" lingo we have defined "Rape" to include overhearing A tell B a joke that bothers C even though C is just walking by. So, C is now a victim of sexual abuse. Throw that along with every other offense into a big bucket that includes rape at the high end, then label the whole bucket "Rape."

That's how you get to "25% of women will be raped in 4 years of college," which was from a survey of a huge range of sexual offenses... aggregate them all and tag them with the worst descriptor, and Voila!! Then you can weaponize the government and through it, colleges, to enforce a reign of terror on (mostly) men. Then, just follow the precept that if you don't understand why somebody did something, look at the results.

That is the game, and it worked, is still working in many quarters. So why are you pretty sure that #MeToo won't work the same way?

Jupiter said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

"I could see this putting women in tech in an uncomfortable position, even if none of the guys, individually, are doing anything inappropriate."

Well, don't worry about it, because the women in tech aren't actually required to do any work. They mostly just jet off to give a talk at the Grace Hopper Conference on how hard it is to be a Woman In Tech.

rhhardin said...

It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission. - Grace Hopper, on one free grope.

Art in LA said...

An old rule of thumb ... "don't get your meat where you get your bread and butter."

rhhardin said...

We had a made-up tech female who got all the department magazine subscriptions and did ongoing departmental research fluff PR for the April fools issue of the company newspaper.

Meade said...

"We're seeking vicarious relationships."

Then I recommend blog commenting. Movies and novels are so pre-21st century.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Jupiter said...

Well, don't worry about it, because the women in tech aren't actually required to do any work.

My daughter is in tech. I don't know if she is required to, but she works damn hard.

rhhardin said...

Mitchell and Webb, The Bad Vicar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ndkz7HTjc8

DKWalser said...

The problem is with trying to treat men and women as if they were interchangeable. Many times they are not. When I was still in high school, a local chicken fast food place always put attractive young women up front to interact with customers and used other workers (both men and women) in the back to cook the food. (My younger sister was one of those working in the front of the store.) It was blatant discrimination. Young men can take orders and ring up customers just as well as young women. Working out front was easier and more comfortable (it was really hot next to the fryers). Why discriminate against the young men?

The owner's rationale was that customers tended to order more and come back more often if young women worked the counter. He was most likely right. But, the law doesn't allow for such distinctions if it assumes men and women are fungible for virtually all jobs.

Jupiter said...

Back when I was single, it was not at all difficult to figure out how to have a "relationship" with a co-worker. You got drunk at the Office Christmas Party (back when Christmas was legal) and she took you home with her. Fuck like minks. When things got dicey was when you wanted to unhave that relationship.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Watch more Monty Python. The men played many roles that were for women.

Jupiter said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

"My daughter is in tech. I don't know if she is required to, but she works damn hard."

How would you know?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Creepy, boorish, abusive... these are all abstractions. And people are self-interested if left on their own to decide where's the line they shouldn't cross. What is Young proposing here? She doesn't like too many rules. They're "dehumanizing." But an individual judgment that X is a creep/boor/abuser will also be dehumanizing for X.

Well, yeah. If we agree and write down RULES then those bad men will just fine LOOPHOLES and stay just on the other side of the line and get away with it. We can't have that.

It's better to leave career-ending decisions about men's speech and behavior up to self-interested women's own subjective judgement--including of course RETROSPECTIVE judgement for incidents that occurred many years in the past.

The people directly hurt by this position will overwhelmingly be men and the people who immediately directly benefit (in power/relationship terms) will be mostly women. So some guys get screwed. Serves 'em right!

Martin said...Well, heck, in campus "rape" lingo we have defined "Rape" to include overhearing A tell B a joke that bothers C even though C is just walking by.

No joke: I read an article last week that discussed the findings of a recent survey of college students (I think it was Columbia, but don't remember). Their survey wanted to find out how many students had been victims of sexual assault. Ok. They listed a bunch of things that qualified, and included in that list was something like "someone asking you out more than once." It might have been "asking 3 or more times" or something like that. That definition, of course, was right next to stalking, unwanted groping, etc.
So, yeah--getting defined down a bit, there.

n.n said...

We followed a progressive slope with the establishment of liberal religious practices that deny women's agency after positioning conception before choice, and denying individual dignity of men by placing them in a collective male diversity class.

YoungHegelian said...

@Jupiter,

Fuck like minks.

You mean you actually bit your co-workers on the nape of the neck during copulation?

I bet that left a difficult to explain mark the next day at the office.

John Borell said...

I had to read the sentence with the typo twice.

Also, my wife and I met when we worked together. And she was junior to me. Somehow it worked out.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Jupiter said...

How would you know?

I've had discussions with her about what she is working on. In technical terms, with enough details to make it clear that she was the one doing the work.

William said...

There's was a recent article in the Daily Beast about some women in porn claiming that the men they work with make unwelcome advances. I didn't read the article because I didn't want to become disillusioned about the one sphere of human activity whose ideals and romanticism I still respect. Still, I'll make the general observation that wherever you draw the line some men will feel compelled to go over it and/or some women will feel compelled to tell men that they have crossed the line of permissible behavior.

Humperdink said...

My lovely bride of 27 years removed herself form social media a year ago, so she was unaware of the Me-Too campaign. I mentioned it to her. Her response? Every woman alive has been subjected unwanted sexual harassment at some time in their life. You respond with a warning or a slap and move on. If it happens again, you report it.

We are dealing with cupcakes here.

Jupiter said...

YoungHegelian said...

"I bet that left a difficult to explain mark the next day at the office."

You would win that bet.

gg6 said...

ALTHOUSE says: "....I'd like to say the overarching principle is equality. That's the established legal concept: The working conditions for women and men should not be different."
I would suggest your Hollywood exception, along perhaps with professional Politics(ugh!), are primordial swamps and mostly irrelevant to everything else except as clarion examples of hypocrisy. More to the point, I would suggest your "principle" of 'equality' is overwhelmingly already in place in most industries/institutions...maybe even overly so to the certain disadvantage of males. Females ALREADY have the full legal conditions to say 'No' when they mean 'No' or to callout a piggish, thuggish male and win a $million settlement in response while he goes to jail and/or unemployment. Any female of the 'youngish' generations who doesn't already fully know that is either a moron or a liar. imho, the #MeToo crowd is doing more to erode the public perception of Female honesty and credibility than any narrative even Hollywood could dream up.

Jupiter said...

William said...
"I'll make the general observation that wherever you draw the line some men will feel compelled to go over it and/or some women will feel compelled to tell men that they have crossed the line of permissible behavior."

Yes, and when you devise a process for punishing people for transgressions, some people will abuse that process by making false accusations in order to further their own goals. And if it is understood that such accusations are far more credible against men than against women, what you have is second-class citizens. Men cannot refuse to work with women, but women are allowed and indeed encouraged to set the terms of interaction. I used to enjoy working with women, but now I'll be happy if I never see another one. Which is possible, I work remotely.

Static Ping said...

Beyond obvious stuff that falls into the criminal realm and offenses that have been explicitly barred by the employer, the proper solution to unwanted behavior is first to inform the offender to stop it and, if that does not work, escalate to HR. Anyone who is not capable of handling that should not be employed.

As to the dilution effect, I can vouch for the impact. After everything has become racism, I really am having trouble caring about it anymore beyond the more extreme situations. For instance, I was puzzled why I was supposed to care about the whole Gurriel affair. I still am.

Lucien said...

Don't worry, there will always be workplace sex and romances. Remember, if Harvey Weinstein had looked like George Clooney instead of Harvey Weinstein, none of this would be happening. The actresses would have happily slept with him and he'd have a reputation as a "notorious ladies man" a la Warren Beatty rather than a lecherous, creepy pervert like he does now.

As ever, there is nothing wrong with sexually harassing a woman in the workplace as long as she wants you to do it, because then it's not harassment, it's courtship. What men need to do is figure out when the woman wants you to do it. Quick hint: if you look like Harvey Weinstein and she looks like a hot Hollywood actress, she doesn't want you to do it.

lgv said...

"There are roles for men and roles for women, and the actors are expected to show strong masculinity or femininity and to meet the extremes of sexual attractiveness. It's completely unfair if you think in terms of gender equality."

Are you saying equality can't exist if there are men roles and women roles? Equal doesn't mean the same, does it?

The post hits upon the very real difficulty of the #metoo meme. What is sexual harassment and what is sexual assault? What is the difference between harassment and flirtation? "Hello, would you like to go to dinner?" "Hello, would you like to go to dinner, and then spend the night with me?""Hey, would like to f*** and then grab something to eat?"

How about flirtatious double entendres? Are they out, also?

AA supposes that the issue is now out because Clinton no longer matters. I purport that it is now the rage, because if we dumb the definition down enough it can be used against Trump regardless of what level of inappropriate behavior occurred.

Jupiter said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

"I've had discussions with her about what she is working on. In technical terms, with enough details to make it clear that she was the one doing the work."

I won't say it doesn't happen. But here's what I did see happen multiple times over the course of a couple years at the last place I worked. When there was an open position, and they could not find anyone who was qualified, they would hire a woman. The term used was "diversity hire", and she counted towards your quotas. You could find something for her to do, that might even be useful. And then, when you did find someone who was qualified for a position, and was, inevitably, male, you could hire him. This was discussed quite openly. After all, the corporate management had made "improving diversity" a primary goal. People's bonuses depended on it.

Known Unknown said...

"We had a made-up tech female who got all the department magazine subscriptions and did ongoing departmental research fluff PR for the April fools issue of the company newspaper."

Was her name April F. Ools?

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

I'd like to say the overarching principle is equality.

Generally speaking, men and women interact on two levels. One is in the public squares as classmates, co-citizens, co-employees, neighbors, consumers, etc. Almost everybody now agrees that, with very few exceptions, men and women are equal at that level, not only in the sense of being of equal worth, but also in the sense of interchangeability of skills, aptitudes, etc. The other is personal as lovers, partners, parents and predators/victims. Radical feminist theorists try to posit interchangeabilities in that field too, but few believe it. If men and women were equal in the personal, sexual predators wouldn't be almost all men. It's the subject of endless conflicts, debates, arguments and subtleties, but was well summed up by a colleague at university years ago who quipped "If I were a woman, I'd be the easiest lay on campus".

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Creepy, boorish, abusive... these are all abstractions.

And...very subjective. All of these terms are on a sliding scale of personal perception from mildly ignoreable to woah! back the fuck off buster! levels.

A creepy guy might just be a well meaning geek on the Asperger scale who has zero social skills. If you work in an IT field...you know these who these guys and gals are.

A boorish lout. Same thing except again no social skills, unable to figure out boundaries. Momma didn't bring him/her up right. Set boundaries and tell him/her what they are doing is objectionable. If they continue...well...then you may have a problem.

Abusive. There is a different category and again it can be subjective in the eye of the recipient of the actions, words etc.

Intent or how the person means their actions is also subjectively received. People should really cool down on this current witch hunt to find fault or abuse in every action. At some point the Boy Who Cried Wolf syndrome is going to be perceived. Over react to everything and soon when something real happens you are not going to be believed.

A sense of proportion would be nice too. Being ass grabbed by a 93 year old senile man in a wheel chair shouldn't cause anyone to have the fantoid vapors. Get a grip ladies!!!!

buwaya said...

The real working world, outside of quite narrow areas, is also highly gendered.

Even in an area where a team is nominally made up of workers with the same job description.

bagoh20 said...

"I'd like to say the overarching principle is equality. That's the established legal concept: The working conditions for women and men should not be different."

OK, but you drop your gun first.

Susan said...

I'm a woman who works in tech and I have a daughter who is an engineer for Tesla and a sis-in-law who is also an engineer and we have discussed the perception of women in STEM.

The "diversity hire" chick in tech who is there to check the box is a very real thing and it makes the rest of us look bad. And these chicks are the twits who cause problems in the workplace. Any woman worth her salt has no trouble dealing with male attention, wanted or unwanted.

That said there ARE companies who have a climate that condones mistreatment of underlings. Rarely is that limited to females on staff. Underlings males are mistreated too. Best thing to do in that situation is bail for a more hospitable company.

Ann Althouse said...

"'We're seeking vicarious relationships.' Then I recommend blog commenting. Movies and novels are so pre-21st century."

This is the true story... of 2 strangers... find out what happens... when they stop being vicarious... and start getting real... Meadhouse.

Fr. Gregory Jensen said...

Ms Young is arguing that there be shared norms that help people learn to express their romantic feelings in ways that don't harm the other person. I agree this would be a good thing.

What Young--and I presume others--want is for people to cultivate the virtue of chastity. In the absence of a cultural and cultural commitment to chastity, we will have rules that, sooner rather than later, will become dehumanizing.


Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn explains why we either cultivate virtue or suffer dehumanizing rules when he writes that "If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

Or to quote Pogo, the St John Chrysostom of the Okefenokee Swamp, "We have met the enemy and he is us!"

Bruce Hayden said...

You can’t get around dating at work. That is where single people of both genders and sex spend much of their time, and the people they spend their time around. Your coworkers are also whom you often spend much of your time with when away from work, at least when single. I had two romances starting at work when in my late 20s, and met the mother of my kid at work when in my mid thirties. Fond memories of that. She was finishing up her MS/CS, and our programs were supposed to communicate. So, she came in to work, on occasions, to a message from me that the good news was that my program worked. The bad news was that hers didn’t (and I would explain why). In all 3 situations, we would work together, party together, play softball together, etc.

Jupiter said...

Peter said...

"Almost everybody now agrees that, with very few exceptions, men and women are equal at that level, not only in the sense of being of equal worth, but also in the sense of interchangeability of skills, aptitudes, etc"

Almost everybody agrees to that, do they? Are you sure you didn't miss a couple people, when you were asking around?

Jupiter said...

Susan said...

"That said there ARE companies who have a climate that condones mistreatment of underlings. Rarely is that limited to females on staff. Underlings males are mistreated too. Best thing to do in that situation is bail for a more hospitable company."

I was treated very poorly, and very well, by two different bosses at the same company. I'm afraid the reality is that bosses get to be assholes if they feel like it, as long as they don't get the company sued. I finally quit the first boss, as you suggest. The second still hired me. But if I'd been a STEM chick, I could probably have gotten the first one fired.

n.n said...

Equal and complementary. In between work, leisure, and pleasure, it's women chasing men chasing women. Perhaps the signals are being corrupted in transit by environmental and extrinsic (e.g. anthropogenic) causes that force a perception that men are from Mars, while women are from Venus.

Luke Lea said...

As if sex were some minor human drive. Lot of denial here.

Sebastian said...

"I'd like to say the overarching principle is equality." For you. In an Althousian world, it might work. Even in an Althousian world, there's a question whether the overarching principle can apply effectively to people whose reactions to problems are so disparate, as illustrated by the #metoo snowflakes, or the anti-Summers or anti-Damore freakouts.

In the real world, the overarching principle is that women are special. In college sexual harassment proceedings, in actual divorce law, now in the reconfiguring of the workplace, and so on. Forget equality: masculinity is toxic.

The Drill SGT said...

And the difference between a "wanted sexual advance" and an "unwanted sexual advance" is?

A. In the eye of the woman, even retrospectively?
B. Losing your job?
C. Being publicly hounded by thousands?
D. All of the above?

Lewis Wetzel said...

Why are women always the victims in these stories? Aren't they, in every way, the equal of men?

readering said...

Part of the problem is age differences. If men and women at work from the same age group date then there is generally power parity. But when older men take an interest in younger women there is usually power disparity.

Unknown said...

equality does not mean a lack of gender roles. equality does not mean "no sex" or "no looking". Clearly men are going to look and women are going to dress to be looked at. Women currently are wearing yoga pants/leggings everywhere. Is it for "comfort" as some might claim? Men are all about comfort but you never see men in leggings. It is about showing off their very nice legs and butt. Which is great, but then don't get upset that men look. Are women really totally unaware of what they are doing? I doubt it.
How do you eventually hookup and marry if you can't flirt? How do you start the process? Perhaps it is just as some have said that it is only when low-status men flirt that it is creepy.

Jon Burack said...

We are in the midst of a full scale moral panic about all this. Count me totally opposed. Weinstein ought to be roundly condemned obviously. But his case ought to be a call to restore above all a role for the traditional role of male honor and female authority over the relationship. Instead, we get bureaucrats enforcing insane rules such as always needing to get overt permission for EACH step in a sexual encounter. Something that no couple on earth, including the most humane and decent in all history, has EVER abided by or ever could or SHOULD abide by. This is nuts. As someone once said, the law is an ass. In this case, the law is an ass the size of the black hole at the center of the galaxy, and if we do not fight it tooth and nail we will all by sucked down it.

The Godfather said...

#MeToo -- When I was 12, Marylin Monroe groped me. I was shocked and aghast and didn't know what to do. I thought that part of my body was my own property, if you know what I mean. I'm sure I would have felt differently if she'd waited until I was 15, but unfortunately by then she was dead.

Don't get me on Gore Vidal.

wild chicken said...

Oh God not Pogo again.

Sebastian said...

"Aren't they, in every way, the equal of men?" Lewis, Lewis, some are more equal than others. Women are special that way.

Dude1394 said...

We used to be able to, until females began to see the sex-discrimination lottery.

Now, you are a fool if you are a male and have any relationship with any woman in the workplace.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

"Is it really that hard to figure out how to have a relationship with a co-worker?"

No, it's not that hard. Lots of people do it, without a handbook, and only a small percentage manage to get themselves in any trouble.

Even the few #MeToo stories that sound somewhat lame serve a useful purpose, as that helps establish the boundaries as to what will actually get you in trouble.

Ralph L said...

For some people, going to work is all about sex.

These people are called "sex workers."

Rockport Conservative said...

Somewhere in all the news and articles I read today, someone, I think in Great Britain, was accusing a man of placing a hand on her knee at a dinner party. Whether they were at table or not was not given. Small potatoes compared to rape. Why even bother?

Molly said...

When I was a grad student in the 1980s, I knew a tenured professor (young and attractive male) who dated and then married a grad student (close in age). And I knew a (very young) tenure track professor (also attractive) who dated an undergrad student in one of his large classes. For the last decade, I explicitly warn my teaching assistants (all young grad students) that they are not permitted to date student in the class for which they are a TA -- they must wait until the semester is over to initiate or accept a date with a student in the course.

My solution works in academia because the power relationship is temporary. Nothing prohibits a grad student from hooking up with an undergrad at a bar or social event, nor should anything prohibit that. And once the TA-student relationship is ended (prior to the relationship) this is where we are. (It is possible that a TA could say to me: "I'm dating a student in the class," at the beginning of the class, in which case I would seek a replacement TA (first best) or isolate the TA from the evaluation of that student (second best, but clearly not as good). That's never happened in reality, but it could.)

In a job, the situation is much less "temporary". We can begin to date as co-workers (or as they say in Wisconsin, "cow-orkers") and then I am promoted to be your supervisor -- problem.

I have had academic colleagues (co-workers) form serious romantic relationships. And I know of a (then) grad-student couple who married, and then were hired by the same department elsewhere. I think we have a system in place that would keep one of those two from becoming "supervisor" (department chair), but it is an informal collegial decisions-based-on-consensus system, not a formal system. I can imagine a situation in which we wanted to hire relatively famous person as department chair, and to achieve that would offer the spouse a faculty position. I do know my department (in the 1980s and before my time) explicitly refused to make this kind of accommodation for a person they wanted to hire.

Gretchen said...

Hot guy flirts and asks a woman out at work, same behavior from a not-hot guy is sexual harassment. Like all concepts on the left there is no concrete rule, just emotion. This spills over to the new definition of rape. I used to know what rape meant. Now the definition has expanded to sex a woman regrets even though she initiated it or was a willing participant. Sometimes regret is because the man just wanted sex (remember how the left told women this is how they should treat sex, uncoupled from love or affection) and doesn't want to date the woman, or her boyfriend, brother or friends finds out and she is embarrassed, or she is just bat-shit insane and wants attention.

A pat on the ass or a stolen smooch might be creepy and unwelcome but it isn't sexual assault.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

The first rule of flirting, you don't ask a woman to Choose.

The second rule of flirting, you don't ask a woman to Choose.

chickelit said...

The Law in general and Althouse specifically have a real problem with the term "equivalency" vs. "equality." They think that equivalency before the law would imply separate but equal. In truth, there is no such thing as separate.

FIDO said...

But when older men take an interest in younger women there is usually power disparity


Two Words: Natalie Holloway.

The NAVY got mobilized to find a nobody 18 year old hot white chick. We had the CIA etc canvassing satellite imagery. We had Congresscritters making diplomatic noises. We had sweeping arrests. We had barrels of ink printed about this chick.


I am a 50 year old man at the top of my field, with a family, friends, and a reasonably important position.

If I disappeared, would they have three inches about it in the newspapers? Would it be discussed at all by anyone except a local paper where I live and where I disappear? Are they going to make a fucking made for T.V. movie if I am gone?

Yes, there is a power disparity. I do not believe it is so cut and dried as you make it out to be.

SDN said...

"That's the established legal concept: The working conditions for women and men should not be different."

And then there is the way that it works, where a woman padding her expense report by $500 a week can get away with it when her boss starts asking questions by calling HR and filing a complaint, which makes doing anything about the proven padding "retaliation".

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

""I could see this putting women in tech in an uncomfortable position, even if none of the guys, individually, are doing anything inappropriate.""

Especially if your future spouse has already been selected back in Delhi. Some stereotypes are so grounded in reality that they're more like dry humor than bigotry. Hit a high school Science Fair in the PNW sometime.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Don't even get me started on the Eastern Europeans pouring into tech in this part of the world. Those guys and gals show up with some odd ideas about what's appropriate. Not so much in gesture but in speech.

autothreads said...

If today's standards were in place in the 1940s, I wouldn't be here. If today's standards were in place in the 1970s, my children wouldn't be here.

My parents met in a swimming pool at a USO event at the Jewish Community Center in Detroit. My father was in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during WWII going to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for a quickie associates degree in engineering. My mom was a pretty 18 or 19 year old who always watched her weight and probably looked pretty good in a bathing suit. My dad was from Brooklyn and a bit forward. He insisted on walking her home. She wanted to get rid of him. Today they'd call him a stalker.

I met the mother of my children in a student coop in Ann Arbor. She was dating someone else and I was firmly in the friendzone. When we'd hang out, she'd ask what I wanted to do, so I told her, in no uncertain terms what I wanted to do with her. Her boyfriend confronted me about "threatening" her. I explained that there were no threats, just simple statements of fact. They broke up when he decided that her roommate's perfect teardrop breasts were just too nice to ignore and started sleeping with her. Women are funny. She broke up with him, but stayed friends with her roommate. We continued to be platonic friends until it wasn't platonic anymore.

Outside of a workplace, is it harrassment to say, "I want to fuck you"?

Rt1 Rebel said...

"Is it really that hard to figure out how to have a relationship with a co-worker?"

That's the question that has me scratching my head through all of this. I've had 4 serious relationships with close coworkers, 2 of which were significant enough that they would have resulted in marriage, except I was a worse person in my private life than in my work life. That's the thing... everyone is at their best at work, and for 10 hours with others that are also at their best. At work, I'm brilliant, energetic, personable, responsible, well groomed, witty, respected, and sober. It's not a wonder that it happens.

All I can figure is that nobody that we hear about now is interested in an actual relationship. Sad!