Thursday, March 21, 2013

Subjective Sexual Harassment -

Let's think of a reverse situation to the forking dongle episode experienced by Adria Richards.

There was an office party thrown by the executive in charge of my group. A few of us decided to share a cab, just because we were all working on a project together and working late. I sat in the front seat and three ladies sat in the back.

These ladies were a little older than me. I think of them with a twinge of sadness because they are the type of women who sacrificed their chance at raising families for their careers.

One of them once awkwardly mentioned how she wanted to have kids, when we were talking about mine. This was before I found the Red Pill, but I still realized that, pushing forty, she had little chance of meeting a man and having kids with him. I felt sorry for her because she seemed not to realize that her strategy for getting married and having kids was just not working out for her and the time was nearly up. I knew women her age that were hitting menopause. It was very awkward.

So conversation turned to our houses and gardening and one asked me if I enjoyed gardening. I do, in fact, since it was one of the first activities I enjoyed with my father who taught me a lot about growing vegetables and flowers.

"I like to watch things grow." I said, innocently.

"I like to watch things grow!" One of the women said.

I have to be honest, the joke went right over my head, partly, because I was facing front and couldn't see the facial expression and partly, because I was thinking about the state of the plants in my garden at that time. The snickers made me wake up to the connotation that had been made to the male member, but I was too slow and it was too late to make a come-back.

Now, it was a little uncomfortable to be in that situation because I was the only guy in the car (besides the driver) and I hadn't caught the joke. I realize that this is different than the situation in the conference, but, I bring it up to show that women are just as capable of making rude comments. I've been in many a public situation where similar things happened with women making lewd comments. Why are women making lewd comments empowered, while men doing so are harassing?

The problem with the word harassment in this situation is that focuses on the listener. It's subjective on the situation. If you make a joke to one person, everyone has a laugh. Another person becomes deeply offended by the exact same joke. Richards brings her traumatic past into it, her misinterpretation and the trigger of a little girl brought up in the speech to register action-worthy offense. I'm sorry, that's just too subjective to condemn a man or woman as a bad person who doesn't deserve to be included in society. People deserve leeway when it comes to their interactions. You can't designate one segment of society as the arbiter  of offensive comments and give them the power to ruin others. Feminists like to talk about language being a form of violence, but, the real form of violence is the action taken to silence and punish, especially when it's done on behalf of authority.

If I had been trained to see every awkward inducing comment as harassment and punishable, and men were seen as victims by society and society even considered harassment of men a problem, perhaps I would have felt obligated, empowered to report the comment in the cab. What would it have accomplished? Nothing but misery on all sides. I might have lost a coworker and created distrust at my workplace.

It's interesting, because I have done something similar to Richards. The artist who created those posters directed them toward the public, not a private conversation. They were blatantly hateful toward men in general, not a puerile joke. For holding feminist to the same standards to which they hold men, I was laughably accused of appropriating the language of the oppressed and using it against them. But, in Feminist Land, two wrongs make one wrong and a right (when the oppressed group performs one of the wrongs). Richards has received much praise and support as well as backlash and the loss of her job. No doubt, feminists will rally around her to support her chastising of behaviour that everyone does.

Richards doesn't know it is an unwitting victim in the feminist play. Now that she has been fired, she becomes a martyr for the cause, a casualty of the war on men. Trained to sacrifice her happiness for the feminist agenda like a foot soldier in the army.

I hope, at least, that she demonstrates to all, the pitfalls of the victim mentality. You can't rely on authority to protect your delicate sensibilities. This will only lead to a world with animosity and suspicion.

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