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French women to the rescue, and the silliness of the #metoo business

by Greg Krehbiel on 11 January 2018

The only safe thing to do, in the current frenzy over Weinstein and such, is to take a servile, obsequious attitude towards the #metoo thing. Fortunately, there are courageous French women in the world.

French star Catherine Deneuve defends men’s ‘right’ to chat up women

Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not — nor is being gentlemanly a macho attack ….

[These brave French women] insisted that women were “sufficiently aware that the sexual urge is by its nature wild and aggressive. But we are also clear-eyed enough not to confuse an awkward attempt to pick someone up with a sexual attack.”

Right.

There is real sexual harassment that needs to be dealt with. But you know how this works. If you want to “raise awareness” about X, you define X so broadly that you can claim zillions of people are suffering from it. It doesn’t matter if X is depression or homelessness or sexual harassment. It’s like a class-action lawsuit. You want as many victims as possible.

I poked fun at the excesses of the #metoo crowd on Facebook, and a dear friend lectured me about it. In her rebuke, she told me …

Sexual Harassment is defined as any unwanted/unwelcome sexual action that makes another person feel unsafe/intimidated/uncomfortable.

Who got to “define” it this way, I wonder?

The definition is ridiculous. How is someone supposed to know ahead of time if something is unwanted or unwelcome?

This “definition” of sexual harassment is a big part of the problem of #metoo. It lumps rape and serious abuse in with “Oooh, yuck, I didn’t want him to ask me out.”

One night, while on a business trip, a professional colleague suggested several of us go to a club he liked. I’m usually game for such things (and I wanted to practice my salsa), so I tagged along, only to discover that it was a gay club. Before I could get out of there, some guy grabbed me in the crotch.

Unwanted? Check.
Felt uncomfortable? Check.

So I can now join the illustrious ranks of the #metoo crowd over an incident that was completely no big deal. No harm was done. I wasn’t interested, and that was that. I don’t need counseling or a shoulder to cry on, and I certainly don’t need hordes of sympathetic women posting sad emoji faces.

Yes, I realize I’m being rude and insensitive. That’s precisely the consequence of making sexual harassment and this #metoo thing so broad as to be ridiculous.

Obviously I’m sympathetic to victims of rape, or assault, or genuine sexual harassment. But for a lot of this stuff, just brush it off, for God’s sake, and get on with your life. I thought you were supposed to be strong!

2018-01-11  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 6

  1. Lew
    11 January 2018 @ 12:07 pm

    Damn.

  2. William
    11 January 2018 @ 2:37 pm

    QUOTE: This “definition” of sexual harassment is a big part of the problem of #metoo. It lumps rape and serious abuse in with “Oooh, yuck, I didn’t want him to ask me out.”

    The law does indeed use “unwelcomed” as a key part of the definition. Yet, it also adds…“Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).”

    QUOTE: …so I tagged along, only to discover that it was a gay club. Before I could get out of there, some guy grabbed me in the crotch. Unwanted? Check. Felt uncomfortable? Check.

    I don’t mean to be insensitive but this was hilarious! Thanks for sharing! 😉

    QUOTE: So I can now join the illustrious ranks of the #metoo crowd over an incident that was completely no big deal. No harm was done.

    It’s fine that it wasn’t a big deal for you. Yet, everyone isn’t like you. For some, being felt-up in public would be quite an offensive thing. As a side note, the groper ought to be glad he did that to you. Someone else may have beat the living crap out of him.

    That said, there should be limits to the #metoo movement. Some allegations can get to the point of being ridiculous and need to be screened out from serious consideration. For the record, I wouldn’t recommend screening out being publicly groped in the crotch.

  3. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    11 January 2018 @ 3:46 pm

    The legal definition you provide is a little better, but the question remains how the harasser is supposed to know that he’s harassing. Does he have to be psychic? Someone could complain that a person’s repeated offers have created a “hostile work environment.”

  4. William
    11 January 2018 @ 4:14 pm

    Indeed, it’s an open question. Yet, part of the answer is…good judgment by those who have to evaluate the claims. People make bogus claims in law suits all the time but the law still allows for it. The judge determines the merits of the case and decides if should go forward.

    Interestingly enough, more than half of the allegations of sexual harassment made to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2015 resulted in no charge. Stats over the previous six years, show a consistent pattern in which claimants are unsuccessful.

    As well, in 2015, the EEOC was asked to investigate 6,822 sexual harassment allegations. Of the cases that were settled, the EEOC dismissed 52% since it had “no reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred”. A further 25% had a result for the claimant that was deemed positive. These “favorable” outcomes include negotiated settlements, withdrawals of claims but with benefits, successful conciliations and unsuccessful conciliations (the last category means “reasonable cause” was established but there was no conciliation). The remaining 23% of sexual harassment legal claims were simply closed for administrative reasons.

    Overall, it seems when claims are reported (which most aren’t), they are fairly well vetted. We’ll see if the #metoo movement has an impact this going forward.

  5. William
    11 January 2018 @ 5:00 pm

    PS…I forgot to mention…practicing some good ole common sense and common curtsies might go a long way too.

    Generally, it might be a good idea not to spontaneously kiss or grab strangers by the crouch (our President proclaims to know a bit about that). As well, not to go into conniptions or hyperventilate if someone offers a compliment. Also, maybe, just maybe people need to take a moment to “talk” to each other and discover the intent of a given statement or action (instead of assuming). Lastly, when required, inform the offending party that something is unwelcomed and make a simple request not to do something again.

  6. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    11 January 2018 @ 5:02 pm

    … inform the offending party that something is unwelcomed and make a simple request not to do something again

    That’s the part that seems peculiarly lacking to me. Any obligation on the part of the one offended to inform the offender! It’s like he’s just supposed to know.

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