Originally Posted by Pelagic
Since this crazy thread has been all about an "honest look", can we take a look at all the sexual harrasment publicity in the media lately and ask....
...... 'should we temper all this righteous indignation with a bit of practical common sense, an understanding of the underlying sexual tensions between men and women?
..... And In the case of an isolated abuse of power used for sexual advantage.....years ago.....a little bit of forgiveness?
I'm not talking about forgiving the pedophile, rapist or chronic harraser like Cosby or Weinstein, but the person, (man or woman), who years ago, used their power or attraction, even subconsciously, to cause the other party to feel "forced" to play sexual games with them.
I think its great that the media has brought this to the forefront and empowered anyone presently compromised to speak out, but do we risk a kind of Sexual McCarthyism, by dredging up every sexual stupidity a young and horny person did 20-30 years ago ?
It also pertains to the close quarters in yachting and some of the crew stories we've heard.
Wrong messages, innocent flirting turned to unwanted touches after a few drinks that created anger and resentment many years ago.....now the revelation of the day.
What is the Statute of Limitations on a stupid horny power player?
Wifey B: I think we've been blindly turning our backs so long, ignoring the Hollywood and Washington
power players, ignoring the NY Real Estate Moguls who abused their power, ignoring the small town politician in the South who was known by everyone to be an abuser of his power.
That said, I do believe you're right that we need to be careful how far we go. The reason we may go too far is that the abused hasn't felt they could report the abuser and has felt powerless.
In a normal environment
, and I'm speaking after reviewing our corporate policies, it's made clear sexual harassment will not be tolerated and made clear that someone harassed can go to HR or a level up without fear of reprisal. With that system in place and functioning then your chances of harassment and abuse are dramatically reduced. That's not the environment
of much of the country and world, however.
The casting couch has long been a Hollywood tradition. It's time to rip Hollywood apart and to shreds. However, there are more than enough prime targets and to lump in someone who may have crossed the line one time, but nothing happened defeats the entire effort.
A lot of women who call themselves feminists have done a lousy job of showing it by failing to stand up for their rights. They are still the victims and this doesn't excuse the abuse, but we need women to stand up and we need men to do something when they become aware of abuse.
The line I've seen blurred to is the actual action. Harassment includes anything that makes the workplace uncomfortable. However, you can't give the same punishment for telling a dirty joke that you do for rape through power, coercing someone to have sex in fear of their career.
We risk falling victim to the Ray Rice syndrome. Ray Rice beat a woman. He denied it. Videos proved he did so. The NFL was embarrassed. But how does that give the NFL the right to suspend Ezekial Elliott who the prosecutors refused to prosecute, whose accuser was proven to be a liar, who has witnesses on his side and for whom there is absolutely no evidence other than her statements. I personally think Zeke has been a cad and a jerk but he openly admitted to a lot of that including drug use and his gf's abortion. He didn't admit ever to physical abuse but the NFL made a point. What kind of point you make by convicting a man who may be innocent, I don't know.
So we can't fall victim to the Weinstein syndrome. Not sure why no one reacted to the Cosby situation with similar outrage. Perhaps because many thought Cosby was better than he was and everyone thought Weinstein was a jerk. Perhaps also that Cosby's wasn't well known and Weinstein was known by dozens if not hundreds of people.
Every situation is different and we must look carefully at the facts. If someone put their hand on the leg of a female sitting beside them that is not the same as forcing many women to have sex with you. If a 30 year old man dated an 18 year old that is not the same as a 30 year old man having sex with a 16 year old.
Groping is wrong but it's not rape. If we start treating it all the same, then we diminish the seriousness of the severe. Also, groping is not legally sexual harassment unless there was some position of power or authority or it was in the workplace. If we're sitting in a bar and you grope me, you'll find yourself being picked up off the floor and perhaps guilty of a misdemeanor, but that's the appropriate punishment.
The abuse of power of men over women for sex is horrendous and it's about time it's being publicized and condemned. Those who knew and did nothing should also be. Companies like Weinstein should be sued into liquidation and shut down. For a board to authorize payments for sexual harassment or condone them in any way makes them all unfit. For other actors to know and do nothing makes them into thoughtless trash.
There are other problems. We've seen the teacher student relationships. That's hideous in every way. We know there are males and females who have sex with minors who are much younger than them and that's something that should always be prosecuted. However, we've also turned a blind eye there. Look at how many underage kids have been married. Every state has established minimum age for marriage as 18. Yet, there are tons of exceptions, so hundreds, even thousands, of teens 13-16 years old get married allowing their spouse to avoid statutory rape charges. We need to reexamine age of consent laws. Why is age of consent 18 in Florida
, 17 in Illinois, 16 in Alabama
, and lower ages where ages are closer. Why is it 18 in the US, 16 in the UK, 14 in Brazil
, 13 in Japan
and 11 in Nigeria? And if it's illegal to have sex if you're under 18, why is it legal
to pose for a sexy advertisement at any age?
I read an article today saying "There's a Massive Moral Vacuum in the Country Right Now." Duh, what's new. Now, do we want to fix that at least in the workplace? I sure hope so. We elect known sexual harassers and abusers. Then we're shocked? Did you read how much congress persons have paid in suits while in office? How many millions? Oh, but it's manly. BS. It's childish and pathetic. But don't stop with sex, include the hatred and bigotry being expressed daily by those in power and others. We're not a pretty people right now and humanity as seen in this country is disgusting way too often.
We each must take our responsibilities very personally. If you are aware of sexual harassment in the workplace and don't report it, then you're just as morally bankrupt as the offender. Maybe even more so because he may think it's ok while you know it's not. If you're in a group and someone is spouting hatred and bigotry and you say nothing then you're condoning it, whether you want to admit it or not. If someone makes fun of a fat person and you stand idly by or of someone with a handicap and you do nothing, how are you any better than the person doing it?
Time to fight. However, time to pick the right battles. Let's start with the clearly morally bankrupt first. Let's make sure those widely known as offenders become widely castigated. Then let's proceed to deal with the borderline offenses and make the statements clear that the line is clear. Forcing anyone to do anything against their will is wrong. It's that simple. Unfortunately, there are many who think that's one of the spoils of power. Unfortunately, these are the most powerful. Athletes, Elected Officials. Wealthy. Hollywood Tycoons. Next time you cheer the athlete with 11 kids by 9 women, think about it. Next time you watch a powerful old man in a movie
take advantage of a poor young girl, think about it. And if you're aware of abuse and do nothing, think about how you feel about yourself.