[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Tuesday, 2018-01-16

The sexual harassment witch-hunt

Filed under: Society — bblackmoor @ 14:23

I believe that the crusade against “sexually inappropriate behaviour” has gone off the rails. No one should have their career ruined for going on a bad date. No one should be fired for patting an upset colleague on the back to console them.

Just as supporting “Black Lives Matter” and respect for honest and competent police officers are not mutually exclusive, it is not a contradiction to treat sexual assault as a real and under-reported problem, while also pointing out that Aziz Ansari and Garrison Keillor have been treated unjustly.

Intent matters. Context matters. And human relationships are messy: misunderstandings happen, even between people who genuinely care about each other, and sometimes things go badly without anyone being at fault for it.

P.S. A bit more on the Aziz Ansari incident. I rather like this part:

All of this put me in mind of another article published this weekend, this one by the novelist and feminist icon Margaret Atwood. “My fundamental position is that women are human beings,” she writes. “Nor do I believe that women are children, incapable of agency or of making moral decisions. If they were, we’re back to the 19th century, and women should not own property, have credit cards, have access to higher education, control their own reproduction or vote. There are powerful groups in North America pushing this agenda, but they are not usually considered feminists.”

Except, increasingly, they are.

(from New York Times, “Aziz Ansari is guilty. Of not being a mind reader.”)

P.P.S. Personally, I am hoping that this current loud trend of demonizing flirtation and treating “bad date” and “clumsy advances (when the advances are from a man)” as akin to sexual assault will go the way of “bra burning” and not shaving one’s underarms. I hope that ordinary common sense and the human desire to form couples will assert itself, and this will be seen as a quaint but temporary cultural oddity that happened around the same time that actual sexual harassment became far less of a problem, and actual sexual assault ceased to be an underreported crime. (Note: Yes, I know that feminists did not literally burn bras.)

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