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Changing sexual standards, “harassment,” and “equality”

by Greg Krehbiel on 20 April 2017

Imagine a culture where it’s expected and understood that women will sleep with the boss to get the job. It’s just the way things work and everybody knows it. (There are places in the world today where that is true.)

Then imagine that the culture shifts and they decide that’s not a good way to run things. (As, obviously, it isn’t.)

The new culture becomes the norm, the old culture is demonized, and very quickly after that the accusations start flying. “So and so harassed me ten years ago.”

Is that really fair — judging someone’s actions in the current culture based on what they did under the older culture?

No matter how you come out on that question, I have a bigger question.

Why is it only the men who get in trouble?

What about the women who got jobs or raises because they slept with the boss? Shouldn’t they get in trouble too?

For every man who sexually harassed there’s a woman who used her sexuality to get ahead. Where are the investigations into their sordid behavior?

I’m not saying any of this to defend anybody. I’m just pointing out how ridiculous and unfair this “sexual harassment” stuff can be.

2017-04-20  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 13

  1. William
    20 April 2017 @ 1:04 pm

    QUOTE: Is that really fair — judging someone’s actions in the current culture based on what they did under the older culture?

    My response would be predicated on what was considered legal and moral in the culture in question (before and after).

    QUOTE: For every man who sexually harassed there’s a woman who used her sexuality to get ahead. Where are the investigations into their sordid behavior?

    Sexual harassment is about advances being “unwanted” and/or creating a hostile environment. Given that, men have the same rights, under the law, as women. In the situation you identified, men could refuse the advances and place a complaint. Yet, in many cases, men are agreeable to the advances. I’m not saying the women are appropriate in their behavior…just that it’s not unlawful if men willingly accept their advances. In reality, many men would likely feel they “got lucky”, despite knowing they were being used by women. Therefore, they’d be less likely to report it or make an issue of it.

    That said, there seems to be some portion of the male workforce that reports these issues. In 2013, nearly 18% of all sexual harassment claims made to the EEOC came from men. So, the knife cuts both ways. Although women shouldn’t be making sexual advances in the workplace…the guys would do well to say no, keep it in their pants and report it.

  2. smitemouth
    20 April 2017 @ 5:34 pm

    So, if a teacher/professor sleeps with a student, should they equally get in trouble as long as the student is above the age of consent for the state?

    if a prison guard sleeps with a prisoner, should they equally get in trouble?

    I have no idea what your answer may be.

    My answer would be “no” because there is an inequitable balance of power and one person wields power and fear over the other.

    As far as 25 years back, I remember receiving HR mandated sexual harassment training when I hired into USAF and also for corporate gigs. Nothing new has changed in 25 years as to what is permissible and unacceptable. BillO knew what he was doing was wrong–assuming he did it since they paid out over $13 million for multiple offenses. That is the way Roger Ailes rolled.

    I always thought the training was worthless. In the workplace, I’ve always treated female co-workers (when there were any) as how I’d want my mom, sister, or daughter to be treated. Evidently, there are lots of creeps out there.

  3. Greg Krehbiel Gregk
    20 April 2017 @ 5:41 pm

    A boss has a certain kind of power over his subordinates. A gorgeous young woman has another kind of power.

    I’m not defending any kind of harassment or sexual impropriety by anybody. I’m pointing out that if there was “equality” there would be investigations about the women who abuse their power.

    Of course I don’t believe in equality.

  4. William
    20 April 2017 @ 6:04 pm

    QUOTE: I’m pointing out that if there was “equality” there would be investigations about the women who abuse their power.

    There WOULD be an investigation for a man or woman IF reported. The challenge is that it’s not often reported officially. From a male perspective…most times it’s because it’s not “unwanted”…they just “hit it” and keep going. From a female perspective…most don’t report it because it’s difficult to prove and they end up being labeled a trouble maker and targeted for the remainder of their career.

  5. Greg Krehbiel Gregk
    20 April 2017 @ 6:09 pm

    The people who should be filing are the other workers who are disadvantaged by the good-looking woman.

  6. William
    20 April 2017 @ 7:29 pm

    They could “attempt” to file a complaint. Yet, just like with classic cases against men, proof would be required…other than an unfounded allegation that her good looks cause them to be disadvantaged.

  7. William
    20 April 2017 @ 7:36 pm

    PS–of course you know being attractive is not a legitmate workplace offense in and of itself…just sayin’! 😉

  8. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    21 April 2017 @ 9:14 am

    It is almost universally acceptable for a woman to complement another woman on her dress, her makeup, hair, etc. if Prince charming, rich and handsome, unmarried, and available complements a woman On the same things, this is almost universally acceptable as well. But if a creepy guy uses the exact same language and the exact same words to the exact same person, in the exact same context, they can be disciplined or fired. This is not equal protection under the law.

    Example: a woman says to her friend, “such and such a person said he thought I looked nice and invited me to have a cup of coffee. I’m very excited.” Her friend says, “don’t you know that he is loaded? Instead, why don’t you claim that was an unwelcome advance, and threaten to sue him for sexual harassment?”

    I’m not trying to excuse Bill O’Reilly. My comment has absolutely nothing to do with Bill O’Reilly. I’m not saying there are not problems, I’m just trying to be consistent.

  9. William
    21 April 2017 @ 2:01 pm

    @Dave, your examples could occur but I’d suggest it would be more of the exception than the rule. Many times women don’t report even when they have “legitimate” cases because of fear retribution. As well, it’s not as if the “accusation” in and of itself will determine culpability and discipline. There still needs to be some reasonable evidence. Therefore, if an investigation is conducted and it seems reasonable that the man in question was simply being cordial…it wouldn’t go any further. Out of the thousands of sexual harassment complaints filed with the EEOC last year, only about 6% turned out to be for reasonable cause. When looking over the last 5 years, it ranged from 5.5% – 8% had reasonable cause. So, the system isn’t perfect and indeed there will be false allegations. Yet, the odds are not in favor for those who may attempt to game the system.

  10. Greg Krehbiel Gregk
    21 April 2017 @ 2:03 pm

    Dave’s comment reminded me of this.

  11. William
    21 April 2017 @ 2:12 pm

    @Greg…funny video…lol!

  12. Scott Wicker
    21 April 2017 @ 2:51 pm

    I wonder if many of these high-profile anchorwomen are itching for a lawsuit, going in for the glory and remuneration of the SH suit, when a brusque “Shove off, jerk!” would have taken care of things.

  13. William
    21 April 2017 @ 5:28 pm

    @Scott, you’re likely right in some cases. Yet, what also crosses my mind is why should women have to do that at all. They are there to work, not date. Why should the onus on them when men should able to conduct themselves in a professional manner and not initiate unwelcomed sexual advances?