02 Dec Stupid, stupid
When everything is sexual harassment, nothing is
A tremendous explosion has erupted in the media and entertainment sphere, an explosion of revelations about bad behavior by high power individuals, both male and female (bust mostly male). None of it is surprise really, except the reactions. Since when did any of these folk care about sexual harassment? Bill Clinton had an entire movement dedicated towards getting people to ‘move on’ from the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Ted Kennedy literally drowned a female companion, and nobody cared. Now this stuff matters? What changed?
Well, I can’t speak for what changed inside of the industries that caused this shift, I can, however, speak about a much more serious shift. A shift in what is viewed as harassment.
According to a recent poll, everything is.
Smiling, complementing people, asking them out, all of these things count has harassment.
The survey posed the question: “Would you consider it sexual harassment if a man, who was not a romantic partner, did the following to a woman?”
Stunningly, over 1/3 of those polled ranging in age from 18-30 (male and female) said a man “commenting on attractiveness” would “always” or “usually” be a form of sexual harassment.
When it came to asking a woman out for a drink, about one in four young males and about 12.5% of young females said it would “always” or “usually” be a form of sexual harassment. For reference, those polled in Sweden, Germany, and the U.K., all polled around 0% for this particular hypothetical.
Additionally, about 50% of young men and woman considered a man looking at a woman’s breasts to be “always” or “usually” sexual harassment.
This is dangerous stuff: watering-down real sexual harassment (like the actions of Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer) and potentially driving a seriouswedge between the sexes.
Chemistry between the sexes are important. While all of us can point to someone that we would rather not have kids, the simple fact of the matter is that humanity needs to survive. For that, we need chemistry. People need to stop freaking out over ridiculous things. Indication of latent capabilities is not action. Learn the difference.