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Source: (consider it) Thread: Do we pressure men into sexual misconduct?
Ohher
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I wonder if, amidst the current flood of reports of sexual misconduct ranging from apparently accidental but misplaced touch all the way through and including rape (of both adults and minors), we are missing (or deliberately skipping past) some important aspects of the discussion.

It’s all very well to try establishing rules for workplaces -- for example, limiting permitted touch to handshakes, high-fives, and efforts to prevent accidents and injury.

But thinking about men in positions of authority makes me wonder. Highly-placed men may also experience high degrees of isolation coupled with increased job demands on their time. Given that men in mainstream US culture (assuming we can posit such a thing) are generally socialized to get their emotional needs met almost exclusively through a spouse / significant other, are we (as a culture) setting these men up? The male CEO of a highly visible corporation, the powerful male senator, the male “Wunderkind” of some entertainment empire, etc. – these are folks likely to experience huge time pressures and/or the need for lots of travel, which can put strains on that primary relationship, and make it difficult for these men to get their emotional needs met. Should we then be surprised if they start seeking alternative ways to meet these needs?

Even the small, ordinary-guy business owner can often fall prey to such pressures; to keep his business economically viable, he puts in more time at the job, cutting himself short on family time and potentially distancing himself from spouse / SO / kids, etc. But his needs for validation, support, connection and even just sex don’t go away. Instead, opportunities to meet these needs appear to him to arise, conveniently enough, on the job.

Should we be rethinking the demands and expectations our societies place on men?

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From the Land of the Native American Brave and the Home of the Buy-One-Get-One-Free

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cliffdweller
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Well, I'm not a man, much less a powerful "well-placed" man, but my immediate reaction is this is a load of rationalizing b***.

You feel isolated? Volunteer at a community center, mentor a younger colleague, join a church, form a professional association. Be a friend.

Unhappy in your marriage? Get counseling. Or be honest and get a divorce if you want, and be willing to take the $$ hit. Learn how to approach women you want to date in an appropriate manner, and deal with the disappointment if they're not interested.

No, I think this has nothing at all to do with the isolation of powerful men. Rather, I think it has to do with power. As POTUS notoriously said, "when you're famous they'll let you do anything." Alpha males like power, they like displays of power, and being able to control, intimidate and f*** women without having to go thru the niceties of wooing/courting them (i.e. treating them like a human being) is just one such display of power.

That being said, there are a 1000 shades of gray (pardon the allusion) in the various men who have been accused of sexual misconduct in the last few months, but they're all getting moshed together in a false moral equivalence. That serves no one-- the more this comes out, the more we see everything from a single juvenile joke years ago to child rape all bundled together under the single heading of "sexual misconduct", the more we normalize assault and undermine the efforts to take sexual assault seriously. And of course, we need to think about how do we talk about allegations in a way that doesn't undermine due process. These are more nuanced conversations than what we're currently seeing. If the "me too" movement is to succeed, we're going to need to go beyond just stories and finger pointing to have these much more serious and nuanced and thoughtful discussions. Otherwise the whole thing is apt to backfire with a "well clearly this is just what men do" sort of normalizing.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
Given that men in mainstream US culture (assuming we can posit such a thing) are generally socialized to get their emotional needs met almost exclusively through a spouse / significant other, are we (as a culture) setting these men up?

Yeah, I don't think this "given" can actually be taken as "given". This actually sounds like one of the major red flags for an abusive relationship (a spouse or partner trying to cut off their significant other from all outside contact) rather than mainstream American cultural socialization.

Plus I'm not sure transferring abusive behavior from the workplace to a spouse is anything that could be called a solution. Instead of raping co-workers, powerful men should instead be raping their wives? WTF?

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Brenda Clough
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I agree. There is a settling-down and an agreement on standards that is yet to come. This disturbance and ferment is good, lancing a festering boil that's long been overdue to be opened.
In future the men of today, the boys who will be men tomorrow, they'll know. They certainly can no longer plead ignorance, right? And the women of that future will be spared a lot of misery.
It is of course sad for these older men, so happily groping boobs and slapping bottoms all these years. But somehow my well of sympathy for them is rather dusty and dry. A little fear will do them good. Let them taste a little of the misery and dread they so carelessly dispensed. Let them wake up at night in a cold sweat, remembering. Let the terror of justice hang over them as a sword, glinting, and they never to know when it'll fall. Let them watch the fall of other, better, greater men, and recall how the mills of justice grind slow but very fine, oh so very painfully fine.

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mr cheesy
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I don't know quite what to think about the OP - although I think there is a general pornification of society which is unhealthy.

Even in my local library, a lot of the general fiction includes regular misogyny, violence against women and so on.

I think it is the volume of this stuff which is troubling. I don't think we should close libaries, turn off the internet or let men only read certain things. And it isn't about sexual ethics - all I'm saying is that the general message that men get about what is "normal" would likely be misconduct if they enacted it in their own lives.

Of course, powerful men don't read cheap fiction, probably don't bother watching porn and whatnot. So I don't think they even have that excuse, such that it is or isn't.

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arse

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Well, I'm not a man, much less a powerful "well-placed" man, but my immediate reaction is this is a load of rationalizing b***.

Bing, bing, bing: We have a winnah.

quote:

You feel isolated? Volunteer at a community center, mentor a younger colleague, join a church, form a professional association. Be a friend.

Not to mention most of these men have mates they associate with. They get validation and camaraderie.

quote:

No, I think this has nothing at all to do with the isolation of powerful men. Rather, I think it has to do with power.

Power and permission. Our cultures have validated laddish behaviour and this needs to end.


quote:
Alpha males like power, they like displays of power, and being able to control,

Alpha is something borrowed from the misunderstanding of how wolves interact. They do not have alphas, and neither do we. Some people will abuse power and our cultures have allowed this to be excused and/or ignored. This also needs to end.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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@OP: No!
There is only personal responsibility for misconduct. We all know the boundaries and rules.

This all said, we are living in sick societies. Which tell everyone to control themselves, while putting sexuality into everything, probably because it sells and improves profit. From photoshopped images to advertising campaigns designed to appeal to out basic sexual instincts. And then we get all upset when people respond to the overtly sexual appeals of this crap in ways other than being a consumer. Really sick societies.

My general rules for interaction include these:
  • Sexuality and sexual attraction. lust and all that are potentially part of every human interaction.
  • You need to determine quite quickly your response to someone, whether their personal impact on you is parental, sibling-like, relationship like, sexually arousing, whatever.
  • Understand that others' social behaviour is potentially experienced as deliberate in terms of its impact upon you, but it is more likely not to be. If you find yourself attracted to someone, it's your deal, not their's.
  • Talk about adverse impacts you experience with others with people you trust and are open with.
  • If you don't have someone to talk about things with, you're in trouble and at fault for that: get someone who will call you out on it. And get some self knowledge.


It's not complete, but this is the sort of thing I live by. I own and am partner in several business ventures. I am an older male. I have family, I have relatives, I am required to behave properly always. And I don't accept anything more than handshakes from anyone (I try to avoid those too), who is not a family member. There's a basic respect for the dignity of other people that requires that I do not lust after anyone, and basic self knowledge that tells me that like all humans I can translate emotions into sexuality (or aggression, which also really sexual if it is competitive business crap).

[ 30. November 2017, 16:10: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

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\_(ツ)_/

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I don't know quite what to think about the OP - although I think there is a general pornification of society which is unhealthy.

Objectification and sexualisation, not pornification.
quote:

Of course, powerful men don't read cheap fiction, probably don't bother watching porn and whatnot.

Powerful men don't have the Internet?

[ 30. November 2017, 16:10: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Brenda Clough
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:


Even in my local library, a lot of the general fiction includes regular misogyny, violence against women and so on.

True. But the past is another country; a work of art is inescapably a part of its time. Our problem is that the offending men (born in a certain period) are not in the past. They're here. A work of art cannot change. Men can. They might not do the right thing out of Christian charity or chivalric decency, but now they can change from pure terror.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Powerful men don't have the Internet?

I was imagining that if you are a powerful man, you get your rocks off with real life people rather than images on the internet.

I've no idea, I'm not a powerful man.

And yes, pornification. Kindly stop editing my thoughts.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
True. But the past is another country; a work of art is inescapably a part of its time. Our problem is that the offending men (born in a certain period) are not in the past. They're here. A work of art cannot change. Men can. They might not do the right thing out of Christian charity or chivalric decency, but now they can change from pure terror.

This isn't "past" fiction. This is normal, everyday, written-and-published-this-year fiction.

This stuff is both informing and informed by our culture. Even if the events depicted are fictional, even if they're not supposed to be emulated, I think there is a drip-drip-drip effect on the general consciousness of how a modern "man" behaves - or should behave.

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arse

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Powerful men don't have the Internet?

I was imagining that if you are a powerful man, you get your rocks off with real life people rather than images on the internet.

I've no idea, I'm not a powerful man.

I am not a powerful man either, but I do know a number of them. And they watch porn.* Now, there may be some who employ people to enact their fantasies, but the ones I know watch porn.
quote:

And yes, pornification. Kindly stop editing my thoughts.

What a weird thing to say. I'm not editing your thoughts, but stating the problem is more basic. One doesn't need porn to objectify people.

*I cannot say definitively that they all do, but I've enough of a sample to say that this behaviour is not a rarity among that group.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
What a weird thing to say. I'm not editing your thoughts, but stating the problem is more basic. One doesn't need porn to objectify people.


Yes, but the point I was making was about pornification. You are entitled to make a wider point, but mine was about pornification.

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arse

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Brenda Clough
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I wonder if this very thoughtful (and free) article doesn't make Ohher's point in more detail.

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Caissa
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Was the opening post meant as satire?
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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I wonder if this very thoughtful (and free) article doesn't make Ohher's point in more detail.

Excellent. Thanks for this very much.
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Twilight

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# 2832

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:

That being said, there are a 1000 shades of gray (pardon the allusion) in the various men who have been accused of sexual misconduct in the last few months, but they're all getting moshed together in a false moral equivalence. That serves no one-- the more this comes out, the more we see everything from a single juvenile joke years ago to child rape all bundled together under the single heading of "sexual misconduct", the more we normalize assault and undermine the efforts to take sexual assault seriously. And of course, we need to think about how do we talk about allegations in a way that doesn't undermine due process. These are more nuanced conversations than what we're currently seeing. If the "me too" movement is to succeed, we're going to need to go beyond just stories and finger pointing to have these much more serious and nuanced and thoughtful discussions. Otherwise the whole thing is apt to backfire with a "well clearly this is just what men do" sort of normalizing.

Yes, the OP missed me, but I would love to talk about Cliffdweller's points above.

Where exactly does a much needed day of reckoning end and a witch hunt begin?

For me the witch hunt started with Garrison Keillor losing everything over putting his hand comfortingly on the back of a woman who was telling him a sad story. Her back happened to be bare because her shirt was short and open and Keillor pulled his hand away and said "Excuse me," when he realized he was on bare skin. Now NPR has fired him. No warning, nothing, just career over, reputation ruined.

Of course, the way things are going, we have a dozen more collaborating allegations against him before the day ends, but right now that's all anyone is sure of and it certainly seems to me that there's something wrong with serving him the same punishment as Kevin Spacey who assaulted minors or any of the men who threatened to ruin careers if the women were not compliant.

It's wonderful that a message is being sent to men that what they do in their offices or hotel suites may come to light some day, but I don't think we have the right to sacrifice innocent men in the name of the cause.

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Brenda Clough
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
True. But the past is another country; a work of art is inescapably a part of its time. Our problem is that the offending men (born in a certain period) are not in the past. They're here. A work of art cannot change. Men can. They might not do the right thing out of Christian charity or chivalric decency, but now they can change from pure terror.

This isn't "past" fiction. This is normal, everyday, written-and-published-this-year fiction.

This stuff is both informing and informed by our culture. Even if the events depicted are fictional, even if they're not supposed to be emulated, I think there is a drip-drip-drip effect on the general consciousness of how a modern "man" behaves - or should behave.

Oh, modern works? Then it's tons easier. You have the power!
Pop onto Amazon or Goodreads and review that book, pointing out its troglodytic attitudes towards women. Go onto the review sites and comment on the uckiness of that movie's attitudes towards girls. Write to that TV advertiser and point out that the horridness of that newscaster or show they're advertising on is filling you with an ineradicable nausea when you contemplate their soap or spaghetti or whatever it is, and they had better reconsider their advertising decisions.
Why do they have sexist ads, abusive material, page three topless girls? Because they sell. When they don't sell, it'll stop. Vote with your dollar, and make your vote known.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
For me the witch hunt started with Garrison Keillor losing everything over putting his hand comfortingly on the back of a woman who was telling him a sad story. Her back happened to be bare because her shirt was short and open and Keillor pulled his hand away and said "Excuse me," when he realized he was on bare skin. Now NPR has fired him. No warning, nothing, just career over, reputation ruined.

Of course, the way things are going, we have a dozen more collaborating allegations against him before the day ends, but right now that's all anyone is sure of

We were very sad to hear that Keillor had been fired, and I am glad to read that he appears to have not behaved badly - though, as you say, further allegations might emerge, and he might deserve all he gets.

I am currently thinking about the women at church and elsewhere whom I routinely kiss.

They are all around my age, we have known each other for a long time, and they always volunteer their cheek to be kissed (as does my wife to their husbands) when we meet.

How long that will be wise or appropriate in the current climate remains to be seen.

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Brenda Clough
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If they volunteer, then you're solid. It's when they DON'T volunteer there's a problem.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
We were very sad to hear that Keillor had been fired, and I am glad to read that he [claims] to have not behaved badly - though, as you say, further allegations might emerge, and he might deserve all he gets.

Fixed that for you. At the moment all the details we know are that Minnesota Public Radio fired Keillor because of "inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him" (MPR's statement lacked any details), Keillor's own minimization of the accusation, and a second Keillor statement that boils down to "it's complicated". Keillor's explanation is what we'd expect if he was guilty of much worse. It's also the kind of explanation we'd expect if he wasn't, so it's only dispositive insofar as you're willing to believe Keillor (or not).

[ 30. November 2017, 19:48: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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LutheranChik
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I laughed my way through the OP.

Oh, those poor, isolated, pressured men!

I think I'll save my tears for someone who deserves them.

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I wonder if this very thoughtful (and free) article doesn't make Ohher's point in more detail.

No, it doesn't. It is the same rubbish in a taller bin.

This bit here illustrates the flaws in her logic.
quote:
It may not win me any popularity contests to ask this next question, but what stopped Carlson from just telling the cameraman to shut up? True, she was a young woman in her early twenties, and recently hired.
She answers her own question, if she had the experience to understand it.

quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:

For me the witch hunt started with Garrison Keillor losing everything over putting his hand comfortingly on the back of a woman who was telling him a sad story. Her back happened to be bare because her shirt was short and open and Keillor pulled his hand away and said "Excuse me," when he realized he was on bare skin. Now NPR has fired him. No warning, nothing, just career over, reputation ruined.

So far, there is only his version. We do not know what MPR was told by the accuser. It is too early to call this a witch hunt.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Hedgehog

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# 14125

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Of course, nothing eases the pressures for those in power like a good shoulder rub...

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"We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it."--Pope Francis, Laudato Si'

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L'organist
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Well! Boo-hoo: some men may think they'll find their "emotional needs" met if they assault someone? Are you kidding?

If - IF - there was to be any mileage in the "its-lonely-at-the-top" scenario, how would you explain men who behave inappropriately in packs? What about gang-rape? Or is that just a load of lonely men bonding over the violated body of a woman they honestly thought would meet their "emotional needs".

There is absolutely no mileage in the OP. Forcing one's attentions on someone else is just boorish and wrong - that is as true of the maudlin drunk as of the rapist. Bullying yob-culture is just that, whether it wears the label of Phi-Beta-Kappa, The Bullingdon Club, or the Millwall Supporters Club.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Hedgehog

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# 14125

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
There is absolutely no mileage in the OP. Forcing one's attentions on someone else is just boorish and wrong - that is as true of the maudlin drunk as of the rapist. Bullying yob-culture is just that, whether it wears the label of Phi-Beta-Kappa, The Bullingdon Club, or the Millwall Supporters Club.

Absolutely agree. What the OP overlooks is that lack of consent. We are not talking about a man in power who cheats on his wife. That may cause scandal, it may be embarrassing (especially if the cheater is a hypocritical politician who has been arguing against SSM because of the "sanctity of marriage"), but such consensual conduct between adults does not merit the outrage of what is being reported these days: unpermitted sexual contact.

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"We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it."--Pope Francis, Laudato Si'

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Nicolemr
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# 28

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Chiming in here to agree the OP is rubbish. It's not just men at the top who sexually harass and molest, it's men at all levels of society.

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Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
I am currently thinking about the women at church and elsewhere whom I routinely kiss.

They are all around my age, we have known each other for a long time, and they always volunteer their cheek to be kissed (as does my wife to their husbands) when we meet.

How long that will be wise or appropriate in the current climate remains to be seen.

I think Brenda about nails it. The mere act of kissing an acquaintance isn't the issue at all. We men need to reflect on matters of consent, especially in light of subtle and not so subtle power imbalances, in all of our interactions with women- and not just the physical ones either.

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Forcing one's attentions on someone else is just boorish and wrong

Yes it's wrong. Decent people don't do that. And in fact it's so wrong that I'm uneasy about lumping other behaviours into the same category.

At the other end of the scale, there are misunderstandings and miscommunications where no blame should be applied.

People - relatives, friends, colleagues - negotiate the intimacy or distance of their relationships by body language and stance and tone of voice more than by the words they say. Normally the signals that one person is uncomfortable with how close and "touchy" another person is behaving are read and respected, and a distance restored that is comfortable for both. But signals can be misread.

And what's difficult is the grey area in between.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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And (as is mentioned somewhere else on SoF) some people have more difficulty processing and understanding those social signals. So yes, allowances must be made, and there is a wide gap between outright rape and a tentative overture that is unwelcome.
However. I do believe that we may, at long last, be putting paid to the notion that men -deserve- and -are owed- the attentions of women. All women are asking for is to be treated like human beings. That this is so shocking and revolutionary a demand does say something about our culture. But when black people made the same demand it did not at all go well, so clearly there are difficulties for all of us who are not white men.

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Soror Magna
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# 9881

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quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
... Highly-placed men may also experience high degrees of isolation coupled with increased job demands on their time. ... Even the small, ordinary-guy business owner can often fall prey to such pressures; ... Should we be rethinking the demands and expectations our societies place on men?

Well, I'm a lowly-placed woman in my organization, I'm working three jobs rolled into one, and I'm under a huge amount of stress. It never occurred to me that groping my colleagues could be a stress reliever. Or is that excuse only valid for assholes with dicks and subordinates?

Sexual harassment is just another form of bullying, and we all know bullying is about POWER; not stress, or demands, or expectations, or any other self-serving mansplainy crap.

Anybody, male or female or anything else, who cannot deal with the stresses of their job without assaulting their colleagues should be, oh, let's say, "encouraged" to explore other employment opportunities.

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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LutheranChik
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# 9826

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Re kissing in church: Bussing long- time acquaintances when that is the custom is one thing; but I still shiver when I recall visiting -- visiting, mind you -- a church where, during the Peace, I found myself being open- mouthed kissed on the lips, massaged and ass- grabbed by the Christian brethren.

None of these things is ever okay in a work or worship setting. Ever. And I don't, frankly, give a tiny That's ass about the perpetrator's loneliness, social awkwardness or other psychological issues. Why are men's psychological states my management problem? **** that. Find a therapist.

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Simul iustus et peccator
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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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I think the OP is misconceived, and I also think it remains the time for focusing on turning the workplace into a comfortable place for all genders. Adjusting from workplaces where women were only supposed to be there until they found a husband to places where everyone can feel safe will also deal with how men exist there. Its a long process though, and short of an abrupt and massive disruption of western society we are a few generations short of reaching the goal that we, in the early 21st century now have in view.

I think what I mean is that we will have to talk about issues that used to be solely bloke issues, like how much time we have to spend away from home to have a successful career as a member of the white middle class(Aussie definition - I'm unsure what the Yanks mean when they use the term) or liberal elite, but now is not the time. Now we just have to stop men like me behaving badly in the workplace.

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Human

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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When I hung around churches in the reformist tradition, they used to talk about continual reform. I think that's a mindset that might work in our workplaces. Incidentally, the legal framework around workplace safety (and that's what it is about, sexual harassment in the workplace) has been in place in Victoria since - I'm going to say - the early 1980's.

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MaryLouise
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# 18697

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What Brenda has said in this thread makes so much sense to me. That festering boil needs to be lanced and abusive men made accountable for serious but also less serious behaviours. I suspect Keillor's behaviour was much more complicated and troubling. I'd like to hear his colleague's account of what happened and how many times.

Special pleading by men reminds me so painfully of working with women in battered women shelters who would have low self-esteem, trouble distinguishing truth from reality after years of being gaslighted, extreme trauma around violence, hypervigilance, hopelessness, self-loathing, self-blame etc etc. What happens when you're a punching bag for years and years and the abuse escalates.

And then the batterers would arrive at the court or counselling offices tearfully penitent and assuring everyone the latest beating was an isolated incident 1/due to pressures at work 2/ loneliness and being misunderstood 3/ a mid-life crisis 4/ unresolved trauma from being bullied at school 5/their father's violence 6/their own abuse in childhood. They would promise the battering would never happen again. They believed their own stories and very often so did their wives and partners. And the vicious cycle would just resume and carry on.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:

Anybody, male or female or anything else, who cannot deal with the stresses of their job without assaulting their colleagues should be, oh, let's say, "encouraged" to explore other employment opportunities.

Yes, this.

Although I'll note that the OP's language and the phrase "sexual misconduct" can cover a lot of ground. I can easily buy long hours, stress, and the rest of it as reasons that someone embarks on a completely consensual affair with a colleague (or even a completely consensual shag against the water cooler). But there's a lot of clear water between consensual sex that you shouldn't be having (because you're married or whatever) and assaulting someone or pressuring them into sexual activity.

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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I think the/an other side of this is this. "Top" jobs in many different fields attract a certain sort of person, and directly-or-indirectly push away others.

I certainly don't think this creates abusive men. But it certainly creates the environment where those kinds of people are often given free rein.

It's like a perfect storm of factors which encourages and nurtures macho-ness and where these people can exist in plain sight doing things to others that usually go unchallenged.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:


Although I'll note that the OP's language and the phrase "sexual misconduct" can cover a lot of ground. I can easily buy long hours, stress, and the rest of it as reasons that someone embarks on a completely consensual affair with a colleague (or even a completely consensual shag against the water cooler). But there's a lot of clear water between consensual sex that you shouldn't be having (because you're married or whatever) and assaulting someone or pressuring them into sexual activity.

Mmm. Well, yes. But I'm not sure it is quite as simple as this.

It is possible that office affairs don't lead anywhere else, but I suspect a lot of the time it is a pattern of behaviour for abusive men. I suspect that for many they begin with something that is consensus, then move on to something less consensual, then move on to something clearly abusive.

The problem is that in many work scenarios, the idea of consent is quite problematic. A woman might agree to sex, but if she's doing it because she thinks it it is the only way to get a promotion.. well, that's arguably not a consent freely given.

I'd have thought that someone who is known for having affairs in a work environment is quite likely to be exhibiting, or to be moving towards, the kinds of abusive behaviours we are hearing about.

Not all of them. I'm not saying it is inevitable.

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arse

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Soror Magna
Shipmate
# 9881

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
..... At the other end of the scale, there are misunderstandings and miscommunications where no blame should be applied. ...
And what's difficult is the grey area in between.

A few months ago, I bumped into another car while leaving my parking spot. I didn't mean to do it. Both cars are running just fine. And yet a few weeks later, I was informed by my insurance company that the accident - their word, not mine - was entirely my fault!!!! And I had to cough up $700 to repair a few scratches.

But but but but but but I didn't mean to do it! I didn't mean any harm! I have no malice towards the other driver! It was just a few scratches! Why am I being blamed when I didn't intend any harm? It was an accident!

In case my analogy isn't clear enough, Russ, we all have to accept responsibility for our actions, regardless of our motives.

The proper response when one hurts another person inadvertently is not, "I didn't mean any harm! You're too sensitive! I didn't know any better! It's not my fault! Don't blame me!"

The proper response is "I'm sorry. I won't do it again." Unless, of course, one really does want to keep on doing it .... and one isn't really sorry ....

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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One of the other complicating factors is how businesses abet horrifying abusers. Matt Lauer had (I am not making this up!) a button under his desk, so that he could lock the door of his office without getting up. Lure the victim in, lock the door remotely behind her, and then chase her around the office at your leisure. And you do not get this kind of device at the corner store; the building management has to install it, the corporation has to (in theory) approve the expenditure. It's like something in a horror movie.

And why is this tolerated? Because these men are hugely profitable, big stars, the directors of Oscar-winning movies, and so on.

Here is a Post article arguing that abuse should be much, much more costly. It has to hit these corporations in the bottom line, the only place where they feel pain. Only then will the business culture change.

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Another fine opinion piece from the Post, written by a woman rabbi contemplating the web page of the man who assaulted her when she was 18. Oh, I do hope that guy reads the article, I do.

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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This article, I think, might shed light on the OP.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Twilight--

quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Where exactly does a much needed day of reckoning end and a witch hunt begin?

For me the witch hunt started with Garrison Keillor losing everything over putting his hand comfortingly on the back of a woman who was telling him a sad story. Her back happened to be bare because her shirt was short and open and Keillor pulled his hand away and said "Excuse me," when he realized he was on bare skin. Now NPR has fired him. No warning, nothing, just career over, reputation ruined.

Of course, the way things are going, we have a dozen more collaborating allegations against him before the day ends, but right now that's all anyone is sure of and it certainly seems to me that there's something wrong with serving him the same punishment as Kevin Spacey who assaulted minors or any of the men who threatened to ruin careers if the women were not compliant.

It's wonderful that a message is being sent to men that what they do in their offices or hotel suites may come to light some day, but I don't think we have the right to sacrifice innocent men in the name of the cause.

Not quite.

Check out the info in this post of mine on the "What are we going to do..." thread.

Keillor said the woman "recoiled". *Then* he apologized. And I've seen nothing that says she had a short shirt--just that it was "open".

And, as I mentioned in the first paragraph there, the Washington Post put a note on his column that he knew he was under investigation--yet still wrote an article defending Franken, and didn't warn the Post.

He also referred to *two* accusers (CBS News).

I don't want to believe anything bad about Keillor, believe me. But the situation is gradually sounding more complicated than "he's innocent".

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--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
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sharkshooter

Not your average shark
# 1589

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Gregg Zaun

So, a well-known (in Canada) retired baseball player who has been a sportscaster for several years, has been fired.

Note that the article indicates there are no allegations of physical or sexual assult.

Not sure what this adds to the discussion, but the lack of physical or sexual assult with similar repercussions seems to take it a step further.

[ 02. December 2017, 13:32: Message edited by: sharkshooter ]

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

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Soror Magna
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# 9881

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quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:
... Not sure what this adds to the discussion, but the lack of physical or sexual assult with similar repercussions seems to take it a step further.

I'm not sure either what this adds either. It is a truth universally acknowledged that employees can be disciplined or fired for actions are not criminal in nature. "I didn't rape anybody" is not something to brag about at your annual review either.

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
"I didn't rape anybody" is not something to brag about at your annual review either.

True. But if men were falling like pins around one, one might be tempted to mention it.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
Sexual harassment is just another form of bullying, and we all know bullying is about POWER; not stress, or demands, or expectations, or any other self-serving mansplainy crap.

This.

And a belief that they can get away with it.

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:

Not sure what this adds to the discussion, but the lack of physical or sexual assult with similar repercussions seems to take it a step further.

Not commenting on what Zaun actually did because there are no particulars as yet, but ‘inappropriate behaviour’ is a blanket phrase with no specific indication of degree of behaviour.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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Yes, for all you know he's been helping himself to the petty cash box, or abstracting checks from the mail.

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Yes, for all you know he's been helping himself to the petty cash box, or abstracting checks from the mail.

Well, no.
quote:
Rogers Media president Rick Brace announced the firing in a statement Thursday.
"This week, we received complaints from multiple female employees at Sportsnet regarding inappropriate behaviour and comments by Gregg Zaun in the workplace," Brace said in the statement. "After investigating the matter, we decided to terminate his contract, effective immediately.

So we know women felt harassed, but we don't know exactly what he said and did.
sharkshooter's 'a step further' comment is a step too far at this point.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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