A matter of degrees

Harassment = non-violent, irritating; intimidating.IMG_5080

Eve teasing an evil act in business lifestyle!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assault = violent.  In cases of criminal charges, physical contact must have occurred.IMG_5083

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Sexual Harassment = irritating and inappropriate touching, usually of a sexual nature.  Verbally irritating and inappropriate remarks or behavior.  Sexually-related pressure used to deny objections between individuals due to a power imbalance based on gender or authority.  Inappropriate touching which goes beyond cultural norms (handshakes, hugs, shoulder pats) to a grey area where ANY type of physical contact can be inappropriate based on one person telling another, “do NOT touch me (specific reference to unwanted touch).

businesswoman suffering work sexual harassment and abuse of boss

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Sexual Assault = this one should be clear.  One person says, “No.  I do not want sex.  I do not want sex with you.”

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However, with two recent incidents in the media, I have to ask:  Where has our societal and gender perspective gone?  Must everything have an agenda?

I feel like we are dumbing down legal nuances which have value and situationally appropriate consequences to make everything equally outrageous, diluting the message’s value and building a level of solidarity that weakens perspective and impeding cultural progress in changing circumstances.

The picture above, “my body is not public space” is a perfect example of an agenda statement.

Ditto the comparison between the mentor / shoulder clap, and the boob grab photo.

No way are they the same thing, however, they are being treated as if they are equally heinous.

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Ashley Judd’s airport facebook live is a perfect instance of someone with too much time on their hands setting the stage for an “agenda” protest where she was unhappy with the too-familiar language of the TSA (male) officer calling her “sweetheart” vs. “miss” or “ma’am” when talking to her while going through security.  (You’ll have to google the actual videos, as I can only find them embedded in other stories vs. as a standalone video).

Taylor Swift’s situation, on the other hand, could be taken as appropriate (it’s in response to a lawsuit by someone who was fired in response to her complaint of inappropriate touching – sexual assault – in response to his lawsuit demanding $3m because he was fired due to her complaint).

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Not sure what’s going on in the world, but Taylor’s team is firing back with a sexual assault case (vs. sexual harassment) for the inappropriate touching which reportedly occurred during a meet and greet.

While I appreciate Taylor’s vigorous defense of her personal space autonomy, I’m disappointed that it’s not being filed as a “harassment” case vs. an “assault” case.

We are so agenda-driven in this country on the “rights” issues that we are losing perspective on small battles vs. important skirmishes.

Ashley was right, but didn’t need to publicise the video on her situation as it comes across as very self-serving, pandering, and an ego driven abuse of celebrity / power simply to make a point against a guy who is an anachronism.

Taylor was also right to complain about the butt grab, but the consequences become a he said / she said that is only partially resolved by a picture which appears to back up her complaint.  A complaint that shouldn’t require backup, but which is relevant because the DJ is suing her (the deep pocket) and not his former employer, for wrongful termination.

As a country, we appear to have lost our minds.

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3 thoughts on “A matter of degrees

  1. Since I’ve sworn off television (or at least any of it that carries “news’), I hadn’t heard of the Ashley Judd thingie; via FB I did hear of Taylor Swift’s case. They both highlight reasons why I no longer indulge in the ‘news’. Neither (IMHO) is media worthy on a national scale, both instances could be handled (again IMHO) privately and if Ms. Swift had clocked that guy in the mouth or slapped his face or screamed; to me that would have gotten the point across perfectly – although given your statement about the boundary-less man suing her for loss of his job, he would have probably had her up for assault if she hit him or slapped him. I don’t know what happened with ol’ Ashley, but I smell publicity pandering. Having said that..

    Your statement about the sexual harassment gave me pause. Because that area is grayer than gray and could even be called black, but probably some person of color would take offense at that. I personally think that inappropriate touching of any sort in the workplace is potentially sexual harassment, because I’ve had (before all this touchy-feely politically correct crap) it done to me. You probably did too. We’re the women of the 80s workforce and in some areas (Utah for one) it took them a lot of time to catch up to the fact that women were going to ‘invade’ the workforce and men could get rid of the ‘good ol’ boys club’ and the idea that women were to be condescended to and could be approached in any way that a man thought appropriate.

    To me the arm around the shoulder just a bit longer than necessary, the pats on the back and the sliding down of that pat to areas not usually reserved for patting, and the hand shake that gets a bit out of hand, the pinch, the wink, the sly whispers about what ‘a good girl you are and you’re doing so well…how about getting a drink later?” from a boss or supervisor and the leers and the innuendos are sexual harassment. If some idiot had the balls to have EVER touched my breasts or my ass at work, I’d have decked him. In fact I did that when I was 19 and my ‘boyfriend’ thought it was a good thing to get a bit familiar at the place we both worked. I whacked him hard across the face. I got fired for it too. Assault. Yeah.

    So short point LONG – it doesn’t have to be blatant to be sexual harassment. Many time it’s very subtle and hard to prove in my experience, but the parties involved know what’s going on.

    I’m embarrassed I’ve hijacked your blog again…I’m going to write out a whole post of mine own and will give you credit and direct folks to come read your piece as well… Sorry!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You can hijack any time you like, but especially because it’s only through discussion that any progress is made on my understanding of this topic.

    As for “harassment” vs. “assault”, you made my point perfectly for me.

    Both women where “harassed” in different ways, but not “assaulted” given your own words. No one was raped or stripped of clothing or otherwise had their space invaded as part of causing a physical altercation.

    While Taylor’s situation may lean toward that claim, since she didn’t end the meet and greet session and continued on with the photography, I take it as “harassment” in the moment, that became “assault” only when a lawsuit was filed against her.

    But, when we lose track of the niceties for legalities and labeling of crimes / charges, it’s the women who are truly assaulted who lose. We are politically-correctly-trivializing the serious crimes by mixing them in with what appears to be irritating and inappropriate “harassment”, by diluting the issue as there is no blood, visible injuries or torn clothing when we start to classify this borderline stuff as “assault”.

    If anyone went to a hospital to have an injury checked, I’d agree hands down that it was “assault”. Otherwise? Let’s help our sisters out by not diluting the seriousness of the assault / rape topic. Please.

    Like

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