Women just don't get it, either?
By Rod Van Mechelen
Until the day we cough up the politically correct fur balls our culture is gagging on, women will have to learn that they have as much to "get" as men.
2003 Olympia, Wash. - Nearly 12 years after the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill circus, everybody ought to know that women, thanks to the gender roles culture imposes on us, feel sexually harassed by a standard which most men "don't get":
We hold that a female plaintiff states a prima facie case of hostile environment sexual harassment when she alleges conduct which a reasonable woman would consider sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of employment and create an abusive working environment. - Ellison v. Brady, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 924 Federal Reporter 2d Series, quoted in Sexual Harassment, by Rod Van Mechelen, 1991-1992
Because men are generally expected, if not required - for reasons that have been beaten to a pulp, squeezed through psycho-political sieves, hashed, thrashed and bludgeoned about by all kinds of grumpy people, including yours truly - to be the sexual chaser, and women the sexually chased (now there's a double entendre), being chased begins to feel, to many women, like a nuisance or, worse, harassment.
Flip-sidedly, to us guys, for whom a lot of attention paying of the sexually assertive variety by an attractive gal or two dozen would seem like paradise (and hopefully not of the Muslim kind - what's a guy supposed to do with a bunch of virgins, stare at them wistfully and wish he were where ever he could make them not-virgins?), it's usually not what we would consider sexual harassment.
Or, as former US Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder famously put it, guys "just don't get it."
Maybe we don't, although most guys will tell you that the guys who behave themselves are the ones who don't get "It." Saving grumbly snideness about gal culpability in sexual sadness for another day, what we can say with certainty is that women don't get it, either, as amply demonstrated by the following comments written by a 16-year-old high school sophomore regarding his experiences at school:
[T]he majority of high school girls are wearing extremely low-cut shirts, or next to no shirt at all, and skirts so short that if they were to bend over to pick up a pencil dropped on the floor, they might reveal more than the class was intended to see....what girls wear to school today is a distraction to the male students." - Now, dig this: Midriffs, 'sagging' defy dress code, Andrew Culwell, The Columbian, June 23, 2003
Conduct of a sexual nature
What most women seem to not get, and what feminists don't want to get, is that these girls are guilty of hostile environment sexual harassment.
Here we pause to give feminists time to retort that there ain't no such critter as a heterosexual guy who doesn't want gals to behave like this. (I have no handy quotes, but back in the headachy days when I did talk shows, I got that a lot.) Thus, they prove that they "don't get it," either, for two reasons. First, after nearly 12 years, they still don't seem to really believe that Ellison v Brady applies as much to men as it does to women. But, the great ignored truth in this case is that it does:
Of course, where male employees allege that co-workers engage in conduct which creates a hostile environment, the appropriate victim's perspective would be that of a reasonable man. - Ellison v. Brady, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 924 Federal Reporter 2d Series, quoted in Sexual Harassment, by Rod Van Mechelen, 1991-1992
So it applies to guys, too. How does that turn all those provocatively-clad high school lasses into heinous crime committers? Because of how the uniquely (and heterosexually) male experience fits into the legal criteria for determining hostile environment sexual harassment:
[A] hostile environment exists when an employee can show (1) that he or she was subjected to sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, (2) that this conduct was unwelcome, and (3) that the conduct was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim's employment and create an abusive working environment. - Ellison v. Brady, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 924 Federal Reporter 2d Series, quoted in Sexual Harassment, by Rod Van Mechelen, 1991-1992
Is a babe flashing flesh engaging in "physical conduct of a sexual nature"? According to millions of guys, yes! Is her conduct "unwelcome"? When a guy can get hauled into detention and sensitivity trained, if not worse, for noticing all those bare midriffs or frilly things that reveal next to everything under micro-mini skirts, what reasonable guy would not unwelcome it? Is her conduct "sufficiently severe or pervasive to...create an abusive (working or education-getting) environment"? Given the potential penalties for responding to her conduct, just a little!
Like most guys, I think this is all pretty stupid. Raging-hormone triggering, whether in school or at work (unless you go to a stripper school and/or work at a strip club), is inappropriate. But betwixt that and hyper-prissiness, where the least act of flirtation or playfulness invites straits of the direst sort, there is a reasonable place where all us "reasonable women" and "reasonable men" can learn, work, and live.
Until the day we cough up the politically correct fur balls our culture is gagging on, and find this reasonable median, however, women will have to learn that they have as much to "get" as men.
Rod Van Mechelen
Rod Van Mechelen is the author of What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues: The Male-Positive Perspective (the page now includes several articles by other authors), and the publisher of The Backlash! @ Backlash.com. He is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and served for 9-1/2 years on the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Council.