For Sex or Money?
It is tragic that such a country exists in today's world. The citizens live in constant fear. The children are force fed the "New Philosophy". The adults have an invariable fear that they will be the next to be arraigned on trumped up charges. Amazingly the cause of all the terror is not the government, but private individuals seeking to take advantage of a weak government. What country is this? The Middle East? Perhaps war torn Eastern-Europe? No, it is the United States that fosters such anarchy, in the form of sexual harassment suits. People from both sexes find themselves editing their conversations. They are trying to take out anything that might be misread as an innuendo. It is getting so absurd that a simple date is turning into a well-documented legal affair. Sexual harassment is not normal human behavior, but explicit sexual influence from a superior.
Take the case of the six-year-old boy from Wisconsin. He kissed another six-year-old on the cheek. She asked him to do it, and the act was totally innocent. The first grader was suspended for a day for sexual harassment. I am really glad that I did not go to that school when I was six. I would have been expelled. To tell a little boy that it is amoral to kiss anyone on the cheek is wrong. To punish him for it shows a situation that has gone completely out of control. The boy did not even know what sex was, much less how to harass someone with it! If it takes these extreme measures to keep harassment out of the workplace then maybe we should abolish the workplace too.
A case that clearly does show sexual harassment is Bob Packwood. Packwood used his position and power to take sexual favors from women. He forced his attention on women in his staff who had no choice but to accept him or quit their jobs. Packwood's actions show that he does not care much about other's opinions, least of all women's. Packwood has chauvinistic and unfair ideas about society and he casts a dark shadow on all males. Cases like Packwood's are to be minimized, but not at the cost of everyone else's rights.
A case that does not come close to Packwood's in significance or precedent, but that does equal it in outrage, is the story of a twelve-year-old boy in Oregon. This boy stuck out his tongue at another girl his age. He was suspended for three days for sexual harassment. The administrators said he was "mimicking oral sex". The girl was shocked. She had no idea the boy would be in such hot water. The parents were outraged that their boy was accused of mimicking something that he could not even define. At twelve I thought oral sex was phone sex! The boy just needed to be reprimanded not kicked out of school for three days. If we are so strict when we are watching our kids they will do their exploring completely outside of out supervision.
A strong example of what sexual harassment is, is the Ed Fadely case coming up. Ed is much like Packwood in that he used his position to force sexual favors out of his staff. The way in which Ed differs is that he is a judge. He is supposed to interpret the law. Instead Ed broke it, and he misinterpreted it for others coming in and out of the court-room. Ed not only hurt himself and the women he abused. He also hurt every member of society coming through his doors seeking restitution and justice. Ed needs to go down big time, but not if it means locking up six-year-old cheek-kissers.
At the University of Oregon now, students must receive explicit permission to hug, to kiss, to ... You get the idea. If the baby boomers were required to jump through all of these hoops none of us would have been born. The point is that you cannot regulate manners. Even the victims agree that these type of strategies will not work. Sexual harassment problems are power problems, not manner problems. If the administrators want to curb problems then they should set up harsher penalties, not harsher preventive measures. Sexual harassment is not a pickup line.
Sexual harassment is not your boss trying to get a date with you. It's your boss telling you to choose between a date and your job. Sexual harassment is your boss coming on to you more than once. It is not little kids on a playground exchanging pecks. Nor is it a kiss good-night after a first date. Sexual harassment is anyone with power over you seeking to use that power to a sexual end. Sexual harassment is not any other human behavior.
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