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Workplace and inappropriate behaviour

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1254898.  Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:55 am Reply with quote

Harvey Weinstein's musing “I came of age in the 60s and 70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture, then.” - definitely did ring a bell.

A work climate where sex-related pressure was rife, was not unusual (although I am talking regular offices where men didn't tend to take their bathrobes :-). There was regular disgusting -mostly verbally- behaviour and of course it was most uncomfortable, demeaning, and insulting for us women - but indeed it was what you had to put up with. I do not recall ever having been groped at work, but there were plenty of moments of very crude sexual innuendo, like when I had to go to the cellar with a male colleague to look for particular files. On our way out one male colleague shouted to the one accompanying me, "Make sure you sniff your fingers when you come back up - they may need cleaning". I remember that for a second I really thought he meant the dustiness of the files. Everybody laughed, and so did I. I was rather insecure and wanted to blend in, belong. But I also remember having to walk back into the office and absolutely dreading the inevitable comments - that of course were of the same level.

The problem also was that there were enough girls/women who didn't take offense, and indulged in that kind of banter themselves. It made them popular with the men. If there was any form of moral support, it would be whispered comments like "That was not on, that was disgusting". But reporting these men to a superior? No way. It was only later that I felt confident enough to stand up for myself and for others.

Concluding I can say that yes, there was a time when men could get away with that kind of behaviour, when it was considered par for the course. It was only a minority who behaved like that, but even a few could (and were allowed to) make life rather unpleasant indeed. If it was condoned, if nobody called them out on their behaviour, and when even some women encouraged it - then what was the problem?

Added: of course the era when Weinstein's transgressions took place was much later and times were rather more enlightened then, so the excuse he uses is not valid.

1255238.  Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:26 am Reply with quote

Absolutely - I was discussing this today with a young, male colleague, who simply cannot understand why women are speaking up about this today when they didn't at the time.

I started working in the 80s, and what is now considered sexual harassment was simply par for the course then. You simply couldn't complain - there was nobody to complain to, and nobody realised it was wrong. It was just the way things were and women had to deal with it or be despised as whiny idiots who couldn't take a joke.

Also, last week I was at dinner with my parents and my father told a story about going for a drink with friends in what turned out to be a gay bar - this would have been in the late 60s. A man approached one of his friends, chatted him up, made advances. The straight guy made an excuse, went to the loo, and disappeared out of the window.
Well, welcome to our world, I said. Unwanted advances when you're just out for a drink with friends - happens to women every day of the week. Poor Dad was incredulous and said 'nonsense, it certainly never happened to your mother'.
She instantly shot him down in flames. She had been the only woman working in an office in Scotland in the 50s and it happened every hour of every day. The reason dad never knew was that it was so commonplace, she never felt it was worth mentioning.

1255243.  Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:43 am Reply with quote

— Homophobia: The fear that another man will treat you like you treat women.

“We were discussing homosexuality because of an allusion to it in the book we were reading, and several boys made comments such as, “That’s disgusting.” We got into the debate and eventually a boy admitted that he was terrified/disgusted when he was once sharing a taxi and the other male passenger made a pass at him. The lightbulb went off. “Oh,” I said. “I get it. See, you are afraid, because for the first time in your life you have found yourself a victim of unwanted sexual advances by someone who has the physical ability to use force against you.” The boy nodded and shuddered visibly.“But,” I continued. “As a woman, you learn to live with that from the time you are fourteen, and it never stops. We live with that fear every day of our lives. Every man walking through the parking garage the same time you are is either just a harmless stranger or a potential rapist. Every time.” The girls in the room nodded, agreeing. The boys seemed genuinely shocked. “So think about that the next time you hit on a girl. Maybe, like you in the taxi, she doesn’t actually want you to.””

1255269.  Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:02 am Reply with quote

Baryonyx wrote:
"Every man walking through the parking garage the same time you are is either just a harmless stranger or a potential rapist. Every time".

Jeez - not again, please. My Perception of rape-thread has dealt with this topic ad nauseam already. :-)
Some very heated discussions there, and very interesting PoVs. Worth reading.

1255379.  Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:26 pm Reply with quote

Whatever the rights and wrongs of this case - why is it garnering so much attention in the UK media? He's hardly a household name - so even celebrity doesn't explain it. And as 'yorz says - the main subject is well discussed elsewhere (both on these forums and in other media).

Of much more immediate interest (imo) is this matter - which is surely more similar to the daily experience of the majority of us?
(Brief summary - man gets accused of theft, is cleared(?), is tarnished with brush of thief, mounts one-man protest against injustice, is ignored by corporation, takes drastic action, finally gets somebody to sit up and take some bloody notice).

Alfred E Neuman
1255410.  Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:57 am Reply with quote

I can't recall ever being accused of theft, even informally, and certainly never to the extent that it tarnished my reputation. And I don't believe I know anyone who has been (except for one who admitted to the theft, so I'm assuming that doesn't count).

Bob, I don't know what you've been up to since you were last here, but if your daily experience has been more similar to that report, then perhaps you should chose your circle a little more carefully.

1255426.  Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:43 am Reply with quote

Alice Evans' account of what happened when she didn't respond to Weinstein's advances.

Alice Evans claims rejecting Harvey Weinstein may have cost her career

Tippi Hedren recalls harassment by Alfred Hitchcock

“I'm watching all the coverage on Weinstein,” the 87-year-old said. “This is nothing new, nor is it limited to the entertainment industry.

“I dealt with sexual harassment all the time, during my modeling and film career. Hitchcock wasn't the first.”

1255431.  Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:06 am Reply with quote

Well, yes - many repercussions of resisting Weinstein's unwanted advances are now coming to the surface.
I tried to leave Hollywood for what it is and get an idea of what us mere female mortals have to deal with nowadays on the 'normal' work floor, on what is still accepted (mis)behaviour, not just at the top but normal daily interactions between colleagues. Of course, compared to the 60s-80s much has changed for the good; but I was hoping to learn about the more stealthy sexist/powerplay behaviour that I am convinced is still happening. Do we now dare to speak up and out and shame?

1255495.  Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:38 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
Whatever the rights and wrongs of this case - why is it garnering so much attention in the UK media?

Because the great unwashed love a sex scandal. As a general rule: British human beings are against porn, but love porn. The nearest they can get to porn without actually looking at porn is to read about sex scandals lasciviously, then tut angrily, saying how disgusting his behavior has been, while secretly wishing they had done the same thing themselves (but not got caught).

This is one more example of my favourite quote (get used to it, if I hang around here long, you will read me quoting it often):

The more I learn about human beings, the more I like dogs.

1255497.  Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:47 am Reply with quote

I would not call this 'a sex scandal'. It's alpha-male macho behaviour that happens all over the place. It's abuse of power. Entirely different subject.

PS: never had a dog shag your leg(s)?

1255498.  Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:47 am Reply with quote

I am puzzled.
It looks like Harvey Weinstein 's career is shot because os current allegations. But Trump's did not suffer over such allegations, and his bragging of 'pussy-grabbing'.
Is there a large section of the American electorate who think such treatment of women is OK?

1255507.  Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:07 am Reply with quote

No, there is a large section of the American electorate who think that anything Trump does is OK.

1255523.  Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:08 am Reply with quote

Surely there's a large group that's too embarrassed to admit that they've been proper eejits and are now partly complicit to the status quo?

1255532.  Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:30 am Reply with quote

Could any of this be because, as a culture, we expect people to spend the greater part of their waking lives in an environment that's fundamentally unnatural?

1255542.  Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:24 pm Reply with quote

— Homophobia: The fear that another man will treat you like you treat women.

First time I read this thread I thought "good point", but thinking about it just now I realized it is not a "good point", it is probably the most "wrong" point I have read on the Internet in years (and that takes some doing).

This either says the the women who are complaining about Weinstein's behaviour are as wrong as those arseholes who protest against gay pride, try to stop gay marriages, beat up homosexuals, etc., or it says that the gay bashers have the same rights as women, and all decent people should help them in their crusade to stamp out homosexuality!

Not in my reality, soldier.


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