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RoseRed135

How do you define "sexual harassment?"

71 posts in this topic

3 hours ago, SueSTx said:

The issue to me though is why wait 20 or so years to voice an outcry when harassment takes place?  Back in the late 90's after the Thomas/Hill spectacle was televised, I experienced something that made even me uncomfortable.  

I had been exposed to 'off colored' jokes occasionally in my 50 years of life, mostly by hubby that would share an amusing story occasionally, but also through an office full of women in the late 60's who thought nothing of sharing a dirty joke.

We had a new delivery man at work.  The first day, he shared a comical joke that was really funny.  We did laugh.  The next week, he shared an off colored joke and we walked off.  The third week he told a nasty Xrated joke and I said, "That is not acceptable here."  Right after he left, I called into the office he delivered out of and reported him to the dispatcher on duty.  The next time the salesman came calling, I was told that the truck driver had been "fired" that day because that was not acceptable around any of the ladies he delivered to.  I was the only one to call in but the warehouse workers "knew" how he was with them.

My question is...why did these women in the entertainment industry and the government feel that they could not complain when little ole me out in the boondocks knew this behavior wasn't acceptable and put a stop to it?  I never even reported it to my boss at my job.  I handled it myself.  I was the one with a working relationship with the company he worked for.

Important question to raise, Sue, IMO! Isn't it possible, though, that the difference is that the women in the current cases have been afraid to speak up b/c they are in a male-dominated field (government) or in a situation where the man has a lot of power and influence (government and entertainment), as Komo suggests?

You were very brave to do what you did, IMO, Sue. Kudos! But perhaps reporting a delivery man from another company is a little different than some of these situations. In some cases, the man-in-question may be/have been the woman's "boss." Or they may have worked together for the same boss. Maybe a little scarier for some women to deal with. Then again, perhaps you're just more courageous than a lot of women (hmmm... somehow, that sounds snarky, but it's not intended that way - said it seriously)..

2 hours ago, Komorebi said:

What we aren't seeing (or are we?), people in high positions vs people in high positions- Y/N?

Or, to build on what BSW says, maybe some of these women did complain to higher-ups, only to find themselves brushed off or their concerns minimized/swept under the rug. Perhaps these charges are only getting attention now b/c of the cureent anti-sex harassment climate. Who knows? Maybe not. But this is an issue that might come up and have to be investigated in some instances, as time goes on.

21 hours ago, BSW said:

 Also, an employer is liable if they knew about the harassment and did nothing.  For instance, with Matt Lauer, who appears to be a serial weirdo perverted harasser, really, NBC didn't know what he was up to?  Give me a break!  They were trying to protect their Golden Boy anchor.  If I am a victim of Matt, "the Creep" Lauer, I of course go after him, but go after NBC too.  This needs to be stopped at the top! 

 

Edited by RoseRed135

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28 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

Important question to raise, Sue, IMO! Isn't it possible, though, that the difference is that the women in the current cases have been afraid to speak up b/c they are in a male-dominated field (government) or in a situation where the man has a lot of power and influence (government and entertainment), as Komo suggests?

You were very brave to do what you did, IMO, Sue. Kudos! But perhaps reporting a delivery man from another company is a little different than some of these situations. In some cases, the man-in-question may be/have been the woman's "boss." Or they may have worked together for the same boss. Maybe a little scarier for some women to deal with. Then again, perhaps you're just more courageous than a lot of women (hmmm... somehow, that sounds snarky, but it's not intended that way - said it seriously)..

Or, to build on what BSW says, maybe some of these women did complain to higher-ups, only to find themselves brushed off or their concerns minimized/swept under the rug. Perhaps these charges are only getting attention now b/c of the cureent anti-sex harassment climate. Who knows? Maybe not. But this is an issue that might come up and have to be investigated in some instances, as time goes on.

I think you hit the nail on the head. Sue is perhaps braver than most, just is. Delivery man is not her boss. It was easy for me to hiss at the man in HomeDepot to leave me alone or I'd scream and kick his parts.

Not so easy when I was alone with a client, who owed us $100K for a project. We have no higher-ups, nowhere to express our concerns. I rose to the occasion, but it was much harder. I couldn't make idle threats as we needed the contract to get signed to be paid for work completed. We did learn something valuable, a silver lining of sorts. My husband never leaves me alone with clients anymore, even to use the restroom, we leave the room together.

However, not everyone has protection from advances, unwanted touch, etc. The aggressor is stronger positionally in so many ways, holds all the power - the harassed-one need the money/job.

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Or these women have gained the benefits from their 20 years of silence and carry enough clout themselves to be taken serious now.

In the early 90's Clarence Thomas was cleared for service on the Supreme Court by a panel of all males anyway...Would it be all men now?

Many of the anti-harassment laws enforced now do come from that case.  Would I have had the 'nerve' to call in and talk to another man if none of that had been televised?

I wasn't asking for his dismissal, simply for him to never cross the doorway of my establishment again.  I was honestly surprised with the news, but I think the powers that be had to know there was an issue also.  

I think that this also proves that a customer often has more power than they think.

Edited by SueSTx
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Women trying to break in to the entertainment industry are often dealing with men who are skilled at intimidation. Personally, I don't intimidate or frighten easily. For me a job is a job...there is another down the road. Others, I know, don't have my level of confidence. 

Actress Maureen O'Hara fought against the 'casting couch' early in her career and survived. She stated it cost her some very good movie roles, but she wasn't about to compromise her dignity and self respect. 

If an harassment case gets to court there should be a standard set. Taylor Swift recently won her case against a DJ who groped her butt during a photo op...he lost his job, can't find another, too bad, so sad. She stood up for herself, which should set an example that women don't have to take that...

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5 hours ago, SueSTx said:

In the early 90's Clarence Thomas was cleared for service on the Supreme Court by a panel of all males anyway...Would it be all men now?

Many of the anti-harassment laws enforced now do come from that case.

I'd like to believe that Anita Hill would've been heard (today) and he wouldn't be on SCOTUS. I read an interesting article in the Washington Post. A small part follows:

"The committee consisted solely of white men in a higher position of power, many of them significantly older than Hill.

Race and age are often missing from the current conversation about sexual harassment and assault, despite black women speaking out about sexual predators for years, said Tarana Burke, the creator of the #MeToo movement.

What history has shown us time and again is that if marginalized voices — those of people of color, queer people, disabled people, poor people — aren’t centered in our movements then they tend to become no more than a footnote. I often say that sexual violence knows no race, class or gender, but the response to it does. . . . We can’t afford a racialized, gendered or classist response.

More than a quarter of a century later, the allegations against Thomas are a reminder that despite how much we like to believe society has changed, much has remained the same. But if the country wants to move forward, for some that will require revisiting how Biden, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, and his peers handled a woman’s allegations against a man who sits on our most powerful court."

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4 hours ago, Mame925 said:

Taylor Swift recently won her case against a DJ who groped her butt during a photo op...he lost his job, can't find another, too bad, so sad. She stood up for herself, which should set an example that women don't have to take that...

Hopefully, women just won't be abused any longer.

Standing up for oneself is draining and difficult - it's nothing that anyone should have to go through. I can hold my own but at a cost of distress to myself. It's not right that selfish, abusive, harassing actions should cause an innocent person pain.

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And yet, it's amazing to me to see how many women are ready to doubt the "plaintiffs" and defend the men. At my hairdresser's today, this topic came up - and, suddenly, all the separate hairdresser-customer conversations stopped and just about everybody got involved in the discussion about sexual harassment (except a few. including me - I just listened and, I admit, thought about this thread). All I heard were comments such as:

"How come they're only going after wealthy men?"

"These women are just looking for money!"

"Don't these women realize they're ruining a man's career? How can they do that just b/c he touched them wrong or something?"

"How about the families? Don't they care what they're doing to the men's families?"

"Growing up, we were taught, men are going to try things and it's a woman's job to stop them. It's just a normal part of life."

Was it just this group of women or are any of you hearing these kinds of comments? Or hey, have some of these ideas/questions crossed your own mind?

Thoughts?

Edited by RoseRed135

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23 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

"Growing up, we were taught, men are going to try things and it's a woman's job to stop them. It's just a normal part of life

Yet we're getting grief for trying to stop them....

 

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I was raised in the 60's before the "sexual revolution" began in my area.  I had two brothers and two male cousins living two blocks away.  We were taught to never allow the boys to get away with anything that didn't feel right and they were taught to never do anything to a girl they didn't want done to one of their seven sisters, so yes we were taught that it's a woman's job to stop them, but they were taught not to try things either.

As to roses question, I never gave a thought to how my actions would affect the mans position or family...nor how it would affect my future/career.  We were also taught silence is consent...did these men think the women were consenting because they stayed silent?  Were these women more worried about their career than they were what was done to them?  I sure hope not.

I am thankful every day for the values I was raised with.  These offenders seem to have no values as far as harassment goes.

 

 

Edited by SueSTx
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On 11/29/2017 at 6:27 PM, SueSTx said:

BUT...are people accused of sexual harassment automatically pronounced guilty unless proven innocent?  Have all those accused and this month admitted to their guilt?

Any other crime, you are presumed innocent until a court of your peers finds you guilty.

I'm not saying I believe anyone is innocent, but what if an accuser is proved to be a false witness....what then?  We do hear of mothers being caught lying about the father in divorce cases when accusing him of molesting their children.  Can in happen in a harassment case also?

Even with Bill Cosby with so much smoke, there must be at least a spark.

 

SuSTx.

It was just made abundantly clear that sexual harassment/abuse is present everywhere, and has been for a very long time. Mostly against women but men should not be excluded. 

People accused of sexual harassment/assault are not automatically pronounced guilty whether they admit to it or not. Same for people accused of other offences. The system really does work 99.9% of the time. 

If an accuser is proved to be a false witness he/she will have to face the consequences. Although having nothing to do with this topic, we do hear of mothers being caught lying about the father in divorce cases when accusing him of molesting their children. "Can in happen in a harassment case also?" maybe. 

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I think that the men getting the most attention now for their actions are famous but I hope that women across all income and social lines will be able to step up and demand to be treated with respect. But I understand why women didn't make public complaints. Not only did the woman get harassed but usually this happens when the man has authority over the woman and who is going to support an intern, admin assistant over the boss? Or as in Janelle's case, you need the sale or business but don't have a husband to protect you, what do you do? There are too many times the woman gets blamed for what the man did. "Don't wear sexy clothes" "Don't be a prude, it's just a joke" "Boys will be boys" . Employers do not have to have court case levels of "proof" to discipline  an employee but  will have that level before they take an action like firing a famous personality on TV. Other instances are judgement calls like the Roy Moore stuff. I think the women who have accused him are believable. They vote republican, they didn't have anything to gain personally and in fact have suffered from speaking out (and knew it was likely before they finally spoke up), they did not know each other and there are many similar stories from many sources. Worst of all is how many men in positions of power abused their authority and how often it was a well known "secret". .

On 12/2/2017 at 11:25 PM, RoseRed135 said:

And yet, it's amazing to me to see how many women are ready to doubt the "plaintiffs" and defend the men. At my hairdresser's today, this topic came up - and, suddenly, all the separate hairdresser-customer conversations stopped and just about everybody got involved in the discussion about sexual harassment (except a few. including me - I just listened and, I admit, thought about this thread). All I heard were comments such as:

"How come they're only going after wealthy men?"   Well that's who is in the news

"These women are just looking for money!"   If the woman lost her job, career opportunities, doesn't she deserve compensation?

"Don't these women realize they're ruining a man's career? How can they do that just b/c he touched them wrong or something?"  What about her career? If a man wants to protect his career he has the option of not exposing himself, not forcing himself on a woman, not making sexual demands.

"How about the families? Don't they care what they're doing to the men's families?"  What about the woman's family?  Don't her DH and children count?

"Growing up, we were taught, men are going to try things and it's a woman's job to stop them. It's just a normal part of life."  This is just a cop out, I didn't teach my sons to take advantage of others or abuse women.

Was it just this group of women or are any of you hearing these kinds of comments? Or hey, have some of these ideas/questions crossed your own mind?

Thoughts?

 

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11 hours ago, Chrissy3 said:

SuSTx.

It was just made abundantly clear that sexual harassment/abuse is present everywhere, and has been for a very long time. Mostly against women but men should not be excluded. 

People accused of sexual harassment/assault are not automatically pronounced guilty whether they admit to it or not. Same for people accused of other offences. The system really does work 99.9% of the time. 

If an accuser is proved to be a false witness he/she will have to face the consequences. Although having nothing to do with this topic, we do hear of mothers being caught lying about the father in divorce cases when accusing him of molesting their children. "Can in happen in a harassment case also?" maybe. 

I'm not sure if Sue meant legally "pronounced guilty," or by their employers (hence being fired) or just by the public. Sue?

No doubt, even if an accusation is proven false, and the accuser faces the consequences, the reputation of the accused may always be tainted. That may be true for other offenses, but probably not as much, IMO.

Am I saying that women shouldn't come forward? No, not at all. I think it's great that more women are coming forward and that this "secret" problem is being brought out into the open. Like my DH, I hope this episode will cut down sexual harassment dramatically. (I would say, eradicate it entirely, but that's probably too optimistic. :( )

But I also get Sue's suggestion that we need to be careful about jumping to conclusions and hear both sides, etc. And I'm just speaking of judges and juries, but the overall public, as well.

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On 12/3/2017 at 2:34 PM, missmm said:

I think that the men getting the most attention now for their actions are famous but I hope that women across all income and social lines will be able to step up and demand to be treated with respect. But I understand why women didn't make public complaints. Not only did the woman get harassed but usually this happens when the man has authority over the woman and who is going to support an intern, admin assistant over the boss? Precisely

 
Or as in Janelle's case, you need the sale or business but don't have a husband to protect you, what do you do? Yep, many people can't give up all their earnings for ever how many months they have invested. That person has to find a way to wiggle away from lecherous groping/butt patting without insulting their abuser/employer.
 
There are too many times the woman gets blamed for what the man did. "Don't wear sexy clothes" I wear exceedingly conservative clothing (NOT sexy) outside our bedroom. Clothing made NO difference the 3 times I've been patted/groped, and I'm old, no protection from harassment there. 
 
"Don't be a prude, it's just a joke" "Boys will be boys" Hogwash. I agree, none of those statements hold water. Employers do not have to have court case levels of "proof" to discipline  an employee but  will have that level before they take an action like firing a famous personality on TV. Other instances are judgement calls like the Roy Moore stuff. I think the women who have accused him are believable. They vote republican, they didn't have anything to gain personally and in fact have suffered from speaking out (and knew it was likely before they finally spoke up), they did not know each other and there are many similar stories from many sources. Worst of all is how many men in positions of power abused their authority and how often it was a well known "secret". Exactly.
On 12/2/2017 at 5:25 AM, RoseRed135 said:
NOTE:  Missmm is bold black  Janellek is bold red
 
And yet, it's amazing to me to see how many women are ready to doubt the "plaintiffs" and defend the men. At my hairdresser's today, this topic came up - and, suddenly, all the separate hairdresser-customer conversations stopped and just about everybody got involved in the discussion about sexual harassment (except a few. including me - I just listened and, I admit, thought about this thread). All I heard were comments such as:
"How come they're only going after wealthy men?"   Well that's who is in the news. My butt grabbers and the breast groper were decidedly NOT newsworthy. Really, guys in HomeDepot, a restaurant, an office - aren't guys on TV news. That and each man backed off when I threw determined but quiet hissing fusses.
 
"These women are just looking for money!"   If the woman lost her job, career opportunities, doesn't she deserve compensation? Indeed.
 
"Don't these women realize they're ruining a man's career? How can they do that just b/c he touched them wrong or something?" Well, it's not "just because" - that attitude is awful. What about her career? If a man wants to protect his career he has the option of not exposing himself, not forcing himself on a woman, not making sexual demands. If each harasser acts decently and doesn't harass or abuse they won't impact their own career, will they?
 
"How about the families? Don't they care what they're doing to the men's families?"  What about the woman's family?  Don't her DH and children count? My entire family is impacted, only my husband is aware of the reasons. Not remotely fair to my family.
 
"Growing up, we were taught, men are going to try things and it's a woman's job to stop them. It's just a normal part of life."  That's ridiculous, like saying women aren't interested in our men/their bodies (we are sexual beings also). The truth is - it's on each of us (female and male) to NOT abuse/harass others. This is just a cop out, I didn't teach my sons to take advantage of others or abuse women. I agree. Decent parents teach their children to cherish others, not abuse/harass them.
 
As Sue points out: I know how my husband, sisters, brother, daughters, and sons were raised and that they act appropriately (my much adored used-to-be-very-wild brother NEVER harassed/s or abused/s women, he adores women).
 
NO --- harassing women (or men) is NOT a "normal part of life".
 
Was it just this group of women or are any of you hearing these kinds of comments? No, I have NOT heard such ridiculousness - that's a very good thing. The comments you heard were disgusting and deplorable.

 

 

Edited by JanelleK
*** is filtered butt is not? and clarity re: women harassing

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I'm pushing 70 pretty hard and I can still remember reading magazines about "the casting couch" as an older teen.  Apparently all that touchy feely stuff is still going on.  In an interview on the Today show, Jane Seymour (who is nearly my age) tells of an incident about a produced who tried some funny stuff.  She went back to England and gave up acting for over a year before she came back to the states and had a meeting with the same producer.

After some time had passed, Seymour made her way back to Los Angeles and back to a meeting with that same producer, who didn't even remember her from before.

Of course these events mark the victim for years and the harasser doesn't remember it the next week.

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20 hours ago, JanelleK said:

 

"Don't these women realize they're ruining a man's career? How can they do that just b/c he touched them wrong or something?" Well, it's not "just because" - that attitude is awful. What about her career? If a man wants to protect his career he has the option of not exposing himself, not forcing himself on a woman, not making sexual demands. If each harasser acts decently and doesn't harass or abuse they won't impact their own career, will they?
 
"How about the families? Don't they care what they're doing to the men's families?"  What about the woman's family?  Don't her DH and children count? My entire family is impacted, only my husband is aware of the reasons. Not remotely fair to my family.
 

I'm also thinking that, just as in the case of the harasser's career, it they thought about their families b/c they committed the offensive acts, perhaps there wouldn't be a problem. The owness is on them to shield their families (by not behaving badly), IMO, not on their victims

 

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1 hour ago, SueSTx said:

I'm pushing 70 pretty hard and I can still remember reading magazines about "the casting couch" as an older teen.  Apparently all that touchy feely stuff is still going on.  In an interview on the Today show, Jane Seymour (who is nearly my age) tells of an incident about a produced who tried some funny stuff.  She went back to England and gave up acting for over a year before she came back to the states and had a meeting with the same producer.

After some time had passed, Seymour made her way back to Los Angeles and back to a meeting with that same producer, who didn't even remember her from before.

Interesting story!

Of course these events mark the victim for years and the harasser doesn't remember it the next week. Ugh!

 

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The Bill Cosby case(s) intrigue me...I have no doubt he is a serial cheater/womanizer. Not entirely sure he is as guilty as his "victims" claim. He probably did coerce and made promises he may not have followed through to keep them...who knows.

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I just hope from this point on, no one ever feels that they can't come out with their current abuser ever again.  If we've learned nothing from these "breakers" we have learned trying to forget and forgiving are two different things.

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On 02/12/2017 at 0:35 AM, SueSTx said:

I was raised in the 60's before the "sexual revolution" began in my area.  I had two brothers and two male cousins living two blocks away.  We were taught to never allow the boys to get away with anything that didn't feel right and they were taught to never do anything to a girl they didn't want done to one of their seven sisters, so yes we were taught that it's a woman's job to stop them, but they were taught not to try things either.

As to roses question, I never gave a thought to how my actions would affect the mans position or family...nor how it would affect my future/career.  We were also taught silence is consent...did these men think the women were consenting because they stayed silent?  Were these women more worried about their career than they were what was done to them?  I sure hope not.

I am thankful every day for the values I was raised with.  These offenders seem to have no values as far as harassment goes.

 

 

Sue it is not uncommon for people to take many years to get up the courage to confront an abuser. Many of the women Harvey abused said they did tell people about it and were threatened into silence. It can be very difficult to stand up to someone when you realise everyone knows what he does but allows it anyway. It makes the victim feel powerless and causes a lot of emotional damage that can take years to heal. Even now when these women speak out I can hear the upset and disgust in their voices. They we’re effectively silenced all those years ago, but now that they have found their voices they will,speak out, even if they are scared. I say kudos to them! 

As for those comments about these people being wealthy. That’s not why their victims are going after them, but it is why they got away with it for so long. 

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Funny thing, you can always look at things from at least two points...We were talking about this very thing in Sunday School this week.  In a group of ten women all 50 plus with only one in her twenties and we all agreed while these women might be afraid to report what had happened, many other women were possibly harassed during the time it took them to come forward.

One lady a delivery room nurse said she remembered back in her early days she saw a couple of professionals grope a couple of nurses who never reported because they were afraid also.  She says than now, years later she realizes that the simple fact that she witnessed the men's actions and did nor said nothing she made it possible for them to keep on groping women in the work place.

She said she now realizes that she should have reported what she saw.

While many men then and now see it as men being men...it's time for the women to step up and say enough, We won't take it anymore.

 

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12 minutes ago, SueSTx said:

Funny thing, you can always look at things from at least two points...We were talking about this very thing in Sunday School this week.  In a group of ten women all 50 plus with only one in her twenties and we all agreed while these women might be afraid to report what had happened, many other women were possibly harassed during the time it took them to come forward.

One lady a delivery room nurse said she remembered back in her early days she saw a couple of professionals grope a couple of nurses who never reported because they were afraid also.  She says than now, years later she realizes that the simple fact that she witnessed the men's actions and did nor said nothing she made it possible for them to keep on groping women in the work place.

She said she now realizes that she should have reported what she saw.

While many men then and now see it as men being men...it's time for the women to step up and say enough, We won't take it anymore.

 

Unfortunately, I think there are also women "then and now" who "see it as men being men." Certainly, some of the women that were at my hairdresser's do. But perhaps now all that will change.

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I swear, the one thing that makes my temper redline is seeing men whine, "So, now I can get in trouble for hugging someone!" and similar comments.

Dude, you NEVER had the right to hug whomever you choose. That you consider a woman's right to bodily autonomy an infringement on YOUR freedom says you are a HUGE part of the freaking problem!

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I see both- I see a woman being violated and an iconic photograph -- also see it as art / photojournalism- 

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