There is so much to talk about….

…..and so little courage*.

Police brutality, Black Lives Matter, Me, too, Trumpism, sexism, racism, cancel culture…the list goes on and on and on…..so much so that I don’t wanna talk/write about any of it. Those topics are toxic, draining and depressing not only for the issues the topics attempt to address but also how the words are interpreted, the remedies that are expected and the price paid for the perceived infractions related. In short; there is very little in the way of constructive discussion on those topics these days. They are fightin’ words! Those are, basically, for-and-against topics. Those topics make all issues black and white and any shades of grey are simply dismissed.

I do not want to write about ’em but I feel I must………may God have mercy on me

Let me tackle one that is a holy shrine of a topic in today’s world: Sexism in the workplace. “He said and did things that made me feel uncomfortable.” Or, maybe a better example, “Well he did nothing, he said nothing but I saw a lewd photo on his computer. It was a scantily clad woman objectified on a motorcycle! I just felt uncomfortable to the extent that I filed this Human Rights complaint.”

Now, before the heads pop off your pimples, let me be very clear: it is very unfortunate that someone might feel uncomfortable in the workplace. It is also bad behaviour to have pics of scantily clad women in the workplace where women might be exposed to them (unless it is a strip club, maybe?). Bad as in naughty. Bad as in rude. Bad as in ‘someone should have a word with him’. But that is it. That is all there is to it. It is NOT ‘bad’ as in irreparable harm-has-been-done. If some adult woman felt a smidge put off because some guy had a biker chick on his screen saver, well, she should just ‘get past it’ or, at the very worst, tell the offender that she doesn’t like seeing it there. But then THAT is it. Move on.

Doesn’t empowered also mean ‘not thin skinned’?

“Dave, why go on about this?” Well, things are getting crazier and crazier and someone has to speak up on some of these topics. And that example of the biker-chick on a screen saver was a real example from when I took a job as an investigator with the Human Rights Tribunal back when I was in my late 20’s. Their (HRT) decision (against my recommendation) was to pursue the matter against the fellow which eventually resulted in a fine and an official reprimand on his file. That he had a private office with a door, that it was just a screen saver and depicted nothing really, really rude save for legs and bosom, that she infrequently went in to his office and dropped off mail as opposed to being forced to see it all day long- all that made no difference. They slapped that guy with a fine and a record-of-sorts.

I resigned. I had to. The tribunal had a huge agenda and it was, in my opinion, biased against men.

Why would I resign (thin-skin, of course)? Well, the attitude of the HRT appointees (all female) was that all men are pigs and worse than that, they are already guilty of promoting swine-ish behaviour all the time everywhere they go. I saw no future for the likes of me there. Oink. Furthermore, no woman should have to suffer that kind of humiliation at work and a stiff fine is the only recourse for correcting that quasi-criminal behaviour. An apology was simply not good enough!

I just felt the process was riddled with bias and lacked humanity, perspective, tolerance and balance. I was NOT defending the man’s actions but I could not extract more penance than an apology and removal of the screensaver. And that was simply not good enough!

Mind you, in case you don’t say it, I will, “Dave! You are male! Maybe you are biased?” And that comment would be fair. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe being male is synonymous with porcine. But, you see, it is impossible to be both male and female (well, for me, anyway. Others these days seem to be making a go of it) and so I openly confess to a bias (and try to make sure the bias does not influence my logic or my overall humanity).

That kind of disproportionate kangaroo justice (in my opinion) has prevailed and grown since then. I must (out of self preservation) restate with volume that I know that sexual harassment has been a curse for women for years. I understand that and I sympathize. Corrections were needed. I also understand that it was worse back in the bad old days and, tho still somewhat prevalent, it seems much less these days. HUGE improvements……

....mind you, studies also indicate that penises are shrinking and sperm count is down…..jus’ sayin’...

Put more bluntly: women used to only file charges against rapists. Now they are getting men fired for flirting. The severity of the crime has dropped but the deep-rooted anger and vengeance seems escalated.

Seems Andrew Cuomo used to allude to or suggest sexy things at his office now and again – even once attempting to massage some woman’s shoulders – and it made some women in that office feel uncomfortable. Again with the bottom line: he shouldn’t have done that.

But, he did. Men tend to do that kind of thing as a logical extrapolation of the old saying, “Faint heart n’er won fair maid”. That will change over time, I suppose. Some. But no one got hurt if we do not count ‘discomfort’. No one was forced or coerced in any way. Now the governor of New York is being pressured to resign?! That’s just a stupid over reaction to me. Politics.

He is getting threatened with a de facto life sentence for a misdemeanor. Maybe he offers a sincere apology, instead? Maybe he just promises never to do that again? Maybe the people vote him out of office next election? Does he have to be dragged through the media mud and forced to resign? Does he have to hide in shame? Do all men have to ‘behave’ as dictated by some women?

Bear in mind a lot of couples (happily married for decades) met at work. Some couples in the same workplace even made attempts at lasting relationships that did not work out – heart break resulted and feelings might have been hurt. Some may have even heard naughty stuff and/or danced naked with a lampshade on their head at the staff Xmas party. There is a huge area of all-too-human inter-staff relationships that is going to happen at work no matter what. Tolerance and understanding is needed.

The biggest irony in all of this is if a guy hits on a girl and she is pleased with that attention, it is quietly deemed OK, no one lights their hair on fire and jobs are safe. But, if a guy hits on a girl and she doesn’t find him worthy or is not in the least amused, he then has to resign? If the man is supposed to have all that incredible power, how could that possibly happen? Answer: most men do NOT have all that incredible power – NOT anymore. And most NEVER did.

“Flirting should not happen at the workplace!” Yeah. I know. And I almost agree…kinda…but what about mutual attraction and one of the basic reasons for living – i.e finding a mate? Are we to assume that the primal man or woman has to be expunged from society because some women or men are so thin-skinned about another’s initial advances? And how is anyone to know where the desire-of-their-heart stands on the possible relationship unless they express their own desire out loud? Doesn’t someone have to take the first ego-threatening chance?

And this blog is just about romance and sexualized behaviour at work. What a topic that has become! There is so much more. I do not really want to go there. Honest. NOT REALLY. But, for evil to be done…..

*I may be a fool but I am NOT stupid! Of course the content of this blog was vetted and pre-approved by Sally, she-of-a-thicker-skin, larger brain and warm heart.

35 thoughts on “There is so much to talk about….

  1. Isn’t the term “stiff” fine sexist?
    🙂

    My favorite monologue from the deceased comedian George Carlin on anti pornography

    “Our thrust is to prick holes in the stiff front erected by the smut dealers. We must keep mounting an offensive so we can penetrate any crack in his defenses – to lay to rest his dominant position. We want him hung, and we want fast action. Let’s ram through a stiff bill or a law, so it’ll hard for him to get it up. We’ve got to come together so we can whip this thing into submission. It’ll be hard on us, but we can’t lick it by being soft!”

    It must be tough being a comedian these days in our cancel culture, non sexist, non racist, anti bullying, equality , safe space world….

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    • I dunno, NonCon…I kinda KNEW you’d be OK with this blog….and, to be fair, most of my readers will NOT light their hair on fire or phone 911 on me. And it is not like I am an ignorant pig, just basically a normal pig who can read and listen and empathize. And I have. I have heard them. I have felt their pain (without touching, of course) and I even support a lot of the feminist agenda – anything that makes us equal to put a pat phrase to it. But I oppose bullies and ignorance and discrimination regardless of the gender of the bully. And I am seeing some thugs–in-skirts these days and I do not like it.

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      • David, I am also one who agrees. It all started with the me too movement and that piggish movie producer! The next thing we know, the hounds are after Joe Biden for hugging little girls (or even touching them)! I also understand if a woman gets offended by words and/or actions, BUT the most important thing is to call the person out immediately! This BS about waiting 10,15 years only serves to show that it couldn’t have been that big a deal! (even if it was!)

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      • Thanks, PR. Pretty funny….if I had to pick two guys who would support me, it would be you and NonCon!!! Hahahahahaha. I suspect that many others would, too, but perhaps not as boldly and perhaps with some caveats added for ‘life’ insurance. Which, by the way, I respect – the caveats are fair and needed. Some piggy behaviours went too far and some are illegal and should be. We always knew that and many men stood up for better manners and behaviour at the time. But a claim made 15 years later when the allegation can neither be proved nor disproved and the accuser gets to lay waste to some guy’s entire reputation, career and life without any accountability? Real crimes are exempted from this rant, of course. Real crimes should not have a statute of limitations but piggy, boorish, behaviour that results in only embarrassment and/or hurt feelings needs to be relegated to the past at some point. It has to be or else we will be mired in such nonsense…..which it seems we are!

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  2. Much of what you discussed here has a context in workplaces. Persons in positions of authority must know that others are watching them to see how positional authority is exercised in the workplace. The worker who has an inappropriate image as a screensaver appears to have a poor understanding of the culture of his organization. Antennas are up for signs of playing favourites, giving perks, giving preferential work assignments, or taking actions that promote jealousy or powerlessness. Many suspect a quid pro quo when perks are thought to have been given. Workplaces are often very competitive and a scorned employees or one who perceives to have been slighted might seek revenge. Andrew Cuomo works with many young women and the potential for misunderstandings are amplified. Harvey Weinstein created many of his present difficulties. Mr Weinstein needed better boundaries. Workplaces that have adopted “Codes of Ethical Workplace Conduct” and mission statements can damp down many sources of dissatisfaction. Workplaces can be very competitive and political. The potential environment for sexual misconduct real, imagined or invented. ‘’He looked at me as just a skirt” “ He was ogling me.”

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    • No denying the dynamics and chemistry, the politics and ambitions, the slights and the grudges. They are there. They are very, very common if for no other reason than the ‘workplace’ is a common venue for most people. But much of the imbalances have been addressed if not fixed. Much of the unfairness has lip-service at the very least and policies and statements to be enacted. We know all that. What we should ALSO know is that those aspects of character are inherent in the nature of the species. We gotta get some perspective on this.

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  3. No disagreement with what you have written. I think part of the issue might involve frontal lobe development and the executive functioning of the brain. Poor impulse control is often blamed on drugs and alcohol, or misinformed ideas or ‘no means yes’ and a whole litany of excuses. Confirmation bias might muddy the waters as in ‘men are ‘’…pigs, …promoting swine-ish behaviour…” Some are very inappropriate true but the thought that most men are pigs does not fly with me. And I do not suppose that is what you are saying to be clear. Men with good brain development and impulse control need fear little.

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    • They need fear little if the women are all sane but not all are. Some are mean, vindictive and just plain whacked. In such circumstances, men, pigs, saints and heroes are vulnerable in this new era. In the old days, virtually all men were considered innocent or ‘boys just being boys’. That was wrong. That was male privilege. That needed addressing. But today any man is vulnerable at any time and with way, way less recourse or even innocent-until-proven-guilty status because we are all being exhorted to ‘believe the accusations’ simply because a woman levied them. That is wrong. That is some form of female privilege. We cannot abandon all tenets of justice and just believe them because they said so. Put bluntly: all men are now vulnerable to all accusations. Some are actually guilty. Some are just naughty. Some are just being naturally assertive to the point of annoyance and some are simply completely innocent guys in love. How can we separate the rutting boar from the normal pig, the wolf from the clumsy puppy and the goats from the lambs if we are willfully blind to the truth of it all and ignore the rules of justice?

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  4. All you say is true! Agreed! The ‘man child’ with poor impulse control is an object of pity. Biological impulses offer no mitigation or explanation for impulsive irrational actions that hurt others.

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  5. Still no reaction of a female on this blog. It would be interesting to have their opinions. Well, if Sal approved this blog, her opinion is incorporated in your blog I guess. I am quite high up in the organisation where I work, and I fully understand what you are saying. I really have to walk on eggs the last years. We do not have a lot of females working in our organisation, but still, I am watched from every angle, can’t spend too much time having a friendly chat with someone (male or female) or people think I am giving favors….There is no fun anymore in the workplace because of what has happened in the last 20 years or so. And yes, it’s a good thing to have code of conducts, but also those are becoming difficult to follow. Only thing I can do these days in the workplace it seems is close my door, NOT speak too much to any person in my organisation (except in meetings), not too much smalltalk, for sure do NOT give any compliments if people (male or female) are wearing something nice or had a haircut,….20 years ago, I was also working as a manager, with lots of females in my department, we used to laugh a lot, make jokes, did NOT massage shoulders or necks, but I remember even females telling dirty jokes about men….those were the days!!

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  6. I know your views on some of these things, Dave, but I don’t agree with you on this. Women get hit on rather a lot in the workplace and they are thoroughly sick of it. Personally, I think the guy with the buxom screensaver is being disrespectful to the women in his workplace, not to mention being totally unprofessional. Did he work for the HRT too or was this a complaint the tribunal took on? A report should definitely go on his file. If the guy turned out to be a sexist jerk, a repeat offender, then there is a record of the first report to support a case for his dismissal. Would you have put a screensaver like that on your work computer? If not, that was probably because you aren’t a sexist jerk.

    I don’t know about the Cuomo case, but as you can see, I am feeling feisty at the moment given the current outrage in Australia and our PM absolving himself from responsibility for listening to women and addressing their serious concerns. If men and women were actually equal, then we might not need to have this conversation, and of course, some men do try it on, and keep trying it on until someone goes public with their allegations. Powerful men don’t rise to those positions by being a SNAG, and they will take every opportunity to discredit women who reject them, so often a woman’s best defense is speaking publicly. I have worked with my fair share of women bullies too. As far as I know, they don’t normally proposition their staff, although there could be the odd occasion when they do. I don’t think it is acceptable for powerful men or women to deliberately make their staff feel uncomfortable. It is about time they stopped getting away with that behaviour.

    As for not coming forward straight away to report harassment and crimes, it is not always that simple. Sometimes women don’t because they are afraid, including being afraid of losing their job or afraid of not being believed, or because they don’t want to re-live that trauma. There was quite an extensive discussion on these issues on the ABC’s Q&A program this week. You should watch that, Dave, if it is accessible to international audiences. Also see The Guardian article, “Viral petition reveals more than 500 allegations of sexual assault in Australian private schools”. Change seems unlikely without good role models.

    Just as not all men are pigs, not all women who object to sexist and misogynistic behaviour are femocrats or misandrists.

    I did meet my husband at work. I needed a partner for a ballroom dancing class so another work colleague introduced us. We only did one term of classes because we were too preoccupied after that. No complaints from me because the feelings were mutual.

    Stay away from all those phytoestrogens in the environment, Dave, and your manhood will be okay. Just sayin’.

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    • Good on ya, mate! And, if we use the examples you used, then there would be no disagreement. Purposefully making someone uncomfortable is bullying. But accidentally doing so is human. So we are not too far apart on that. But read Wims contribution. CEO feels limited, careful, no fun in the workplace. People used to crack jokes and flirt a little…..it was all fun and fun for both sides. Still, we DO have a few minor differences, I am sure. I do not recall ever hitting on anyone but there were more than a few compromising situations – probably the least compromising was a secretary I had who wore the same dress to work for almost a month. The other women talked behind her back. I finally asked, “You must really love purple because I think you wear purple every day.” She cried. Told me it was the only dress she had that was ‘professional’ enough for work and since she just got hired, she was waiting for her first paycheque to add to her wardrobe. I gave her two hundred dollars and suggested she go get one sooner. Might be a good incentive. She took the money and did that. Next day she came in, spun around to show off the new dress and would have pecked me on the cheek if it had not been a bank we were at. There is NOT a hope in hell that anyone would do that today. Just as Biden can’t hug little girls. Just as one guy in the states followed a little kid in his pick up truck for hours – to protect him – but was too afraid to get out of the truck, pick the kid up, find out where he lived and take him home. When we punish all men for the actions of a few, them most men won’t make any actions – good or bad.

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    • Ooops, no, I meant to add that I would NOT put a sexist screensaver on my computer. Just wouldn’t occur to me. I have an aesthetic taste and all that but I have never ‘personalized’ my offices. Not even family pics or autographed baseballs. Seems silly to me. And I would think it in bad taste if there was a something like that if it was being a major presence in an all-female workplace. I likely would not object at all if it was at a mechanic’s garage or an army barracks that was all male. OK, I confess: I would actually LOOK at it if it was there. But, don’t forget – my recommendation was that he remove it and apologize and simply learn from the experience. Also remember the offending screensaver was in a private one-person office with a door on it (she kinda had to work at looking at it).
      Still, it WAS inappropriate and I said so. But I would not fine him. I would not officially reprimand him. I just wouldn’t. Maybe you would (all the HRT women would have). I’d call that natural gender bias. But you and I can disagree and there are no repercussions from that….we just get to know one another a little better, maybe have a little thought reflection on the issue and we can carry on…..just as I would have advised for him to do.
      One more thing: the opening line of this blog was, “……and so little courage.” Was our disagreement so ugly that we regret having it? If I did not convince you and you did not convince me, does that mean we are no longer friends? Of course not…we just are a smidge different in this regard. That’s all. And that is why I am saying this stuff should be talked about.

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  7. The recent revelation that the Governor General of Canada had on her watch a workplace which was characterized as toxic. The Governor General resigned! An administrator showed his administration team inappropriate PowerPoint images during a team building retreat. He was fired. The Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, is in a political storm as more and more allegations of his creating a toxic workplace emerge. How is the average male to process these events? Will organizational managers find these ironic events as instructive and cautionary? Time will tell. It may be that some assumed privileges of the past: “the casting couch,” the overly attentive “simp,”
    the constant invaders of “personal space,” the political undermining might cease. Maybe not. Frivolous and fun workplaces might seem to be non-toxic just because no one complains. Some persons experience workplaces perceived as non-toxic as very toxic much to the dismay of some who think otherwise. The General who as a “joke” haha sends a subordinate an invitation to attend a clothing optional beach. HaHa! But it is not received as a joke. Organizations with a hierarchy sometimes have folks feeling powerlessness and abused. What one might say or think in one’s private life may not be appropriate if said at work. Your staff may go public if a line is crossed.

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    • All too true…another litany of no-argument fact-statements. The observations, tho, do not answer the questions….what to do? My suggestion/response is quite at odds with most people – I do not think you can legislate human behaviour nor should you try beyond a certain point. Of course, we HAVE legislated the most egregious of human behaviours (which still continue nonetheless) but we should stop trying to make everyone conform to some weirded-out formula for ‘soft social infractions’. Ain’t gonna change ‘uncomfortable’ behaviours by firing or incarcerating people. The best way to change behaviours is and always has been to model them and speak out when community standards are violated. But suing, incarcerating, fining, firing and all the other MAJOR penalties should stop except for really bad things….yeah, I know…who gets to decide really bad? Well…..I guess that would be me, then, wouldn’t it?.

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  8. My main points are made about organizations and inappropriate behaviours. Where an organization has a collective agreement, a human relations department, mission statement and a due process for conflict resolution then a sense of powerlessness has potential satisfactory remedies. I assume that your issue is with dissatisfaction around rumours, innuendo and social media smears and allegations. Legal remedies exist and sometimes work. Social pressures are often enough to reduce inappropriate behaviours but not always. But often no remedy exists or no satisfactory remedy is evident. These are some of the complexities of being aggrieved. But some remedies might seem worse than the transgression. One might think of a continuum of being unaware, to being made aware and now stop, to stronger measures needed for repeat offences.

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  9. I worked at a company that was bought out by SNC Lavalin.
    The majority of managers were female.
    No biggie.
    About 6 months into the new employment one of the senior VP’s came to town for the obligatory “meet and greet” to make all the troops feel “special”.
    As the VP started off the power point presentation to an audience of 75% he cracked a joke about just getting back from Saudi Arabia where “They really have things together! They dont let women drive cars!”

    Crickets……

    That was about 10 years ago and I was shocked that
    a) He thought that was funny.
    b) He thought it was ok to crack that joke in a room full of female managers.
    c) He didnt get called out on it by anyone.

    Apparently Dinosaurs still roam the earth.
    He’d never get away with that today.

    But I would also agree that men and women at work are totally different animals than when they are at home.
    I’ve seen a dept full of female friends/coworkers that will backstab each other worse than a dept full of guys that cant stand each other.
    Weird but there it is.

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  10. Yeah, there is plenty of scope for misunderstanding but surely some fun and camaraderie can still be had.
    It is a pretty weird world if men can’t help children in distress in a public space, but on a lonely road i will concede that the situation becomes far more complicated.

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    • I suppose it does…but it should not. If there was a child on a remote and lonely road, assistance might be MORE required than in a city. Yes, there are some bad people and some of them are sickos but what kind of sick society have we grown if an adult is afraid to stop and help a child? I would, of course, stop, but would I stop if it was a curvy, teen with torn clothes and looking intoxicated? I suppose I still would but man, oh man, that would be very risky. And there is no doubt in my mind that I would be interrogated all to hell. Would I do it if I was a black man and she was white and it was in the US? No. I would not.

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      • A few years ago I was driving home from work on a brutally hot day.
        30 cel, no wind, blistering hot.
        I came upon two girls, kid about 14 .
        Stopped with their bicycles halfway up a long long hill. One kid seemed fine, the other looked like she was heat stroked.
        I offered them a ride with their bikes in the back of my truck to the top of the hill.
        A 1 minute ride.
        They looked at me like I was the pig farmer Willie Pickton.
        So I gave them some bottled water and left them to roast.
        Such is the demise of valor in the 21st century.
        I wouldnt bother stopping now.
        Why bother? My help could be labeled sexist “Toxic Masculinity”, “Man “splaining”, #meetoo, yada yada yada.
        Its not worth the hassle and BCAA is a phone call away for a dead car battery or a flat tire.

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  11. No doubt in some quarters a type of profiling exists and some of the reasons for it seem irrational. But profiling is not a new thing. Being aware of one’s surroundings and being conscious of the moment and the situation one is in seems prudent. Not sure the “Me Too Movement” has made most men feel more cautious or more vulnerable. Men with a developed sense of self consciousness, and self awareness with a situational awareness might still face false accusations but such accusations are unlikely to be proven. Now cases like Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and others seem to appear to involve hubris, narcissism and entitlement. Being a “Good Samaritan” is generally praised and characterized as altruistic.

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    • If the cultural mood was, in fact, what you state then I would not have written the blog. But ME-TOO requires acceptance-of-allegation-as-fact-without-proof. That is a tenet of the movement. I think that is just plain wrong.
      You stated, “…….might still face false accusations but such accusations are unlikely to be proven”. Problem is: no proof is required anymore. Lives and reputations are destroyed simply by the allegations. Allegations now have equal weight in the court of public opinion and now the court of employment. Has anything been PROVEN by facts for Cuomo? No. There are way too many allegations replacing evidence and trial to count these days. THAT is the whole point. Having that kind of ‘believe her, not him’ based on nothing but her 15 year mental stew recollection is NOT evidence. It is NOT fact. It is not equal in the least. And I may as well throw this in and die right here on this hill………… pinching a girl’s bum, touching her inappropriately, more than suggestive humour, cat-calling, whistling and leering were all-too common in the 50’s and 60’s. It was NOT right, especially by the standards of today but it was accepted as normal back then. Today, we are more aware of the negative effects of what men must have thought was just having fun or showing interest. That needed to be corrected and it has (for the most part) but, but, but…is it right to go back fifteen or twenty years to when some doofus was 20 in college and felt up a girl after too many beers at a frat house party? I am a biased male…so sue me…but I do not think youthful indiscretions way, way back in the day should be employed especially AFTER the guy has made a name and a wallet for himself. I am now ducking behind a stone wall……………..

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  12. Some years ago, a lawyers life and reputation was destroyed because a 14 year old girl accused him of having raped her in his office. His “trial” was already made on social media. 6 months later, the girl confessed that she made it all up to get attention…but in the meantime, his life and reputation was lost. So far for social media and people playing the role of judge AND jury

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    • Many men can recite such unfair practice and, to some extent, we might even think ‘where there’s smoke, there is fire’ (adding to the unfairness). Well, I have thought that way sometimes, anyway. But not always. Sometimes I think the allegation is just too ’empty’ of substance. Too long ago. Intoxication. Single, one-off incident. Social blunders. And I really feel that way about the latest fad to claim ‘workplace discomfort’. Enduring and daily toxicity is, to my mind, many degrees worse than feeling discomfort once. And, if you are an equal, empowered, adult claiming back the night then, damn it, speak up and elaborate on your discomfort. We had a professor at a University get royally screwed up. Then ten years later the accuser did it to another. All public. All smear. All over-the-top. She did it a third time and got publicly humiliated for it and has not garnered attention since.
      But, if we are talking about this now and being honest, I have to add that men actually DO push the envelope sometimes. We, as a society, are now 100% intolerant of that and so the anti-male pogrom has been underway for some time. Lots of damage. Nothing constructive.
      But, in virtually all other cultures, women are encouraged to sit back and choose from the courageous admirers thus acknowledging that men are expected to make the first move. I agree that not every man is very good at that – some are just plain oafish – but doesn’t society still expect the male to make the first approach and the woman to choose? If so, then no male can be reproached for making even the clumsiest of moves so long as no one was physically frightened, harmed and that NO was eventually accepted.
      How many approaches and ‘NO’s’? I dunno. But being deterred by one NO seems to be an insult to males, too. They are supposed to show their interest with some persistence.
      I know, I know…that was then, Dave. This is now. For the record: I can’t think of a single date I ever had save for the first one (M) and the last one (S) that said YES to my first attempt at a polite invitation for a date. Every other woman I pursued said NO at first. NOT a slap-the-face-kinda NO but a ‘Well, I can’t accept this Saturday night-kinda NO. The implication was…..”why not ask again for another time?” One ignored NO’s was the bare minimum.

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  13. My premise is that opinion is often given the same weight as fact. Opinions should not trump facts but often do with a rush to judgement. Jian Ghomeshi of CBC Television programme Q, faced allegations of assault and sexual harassment and was charged with six offences. On five of the six charges he was acquitted. On the sixth charge he made a public apology and was placed under a peace bond and the sixth charge was dismissed. Ultimately all six charges were dismissed. It was a painful and costly process for Jian but Justice was rendered in the Canadian criminal system. The legal system rendered a verdict. Allegations were made and charges were laid. Was Jian treated fairly through this legal trial? Let me hazard a guess…some say in the court of public option say he was treated fairly but others says he deserved to be found guilty. A percentage of Canadians seem to distrust our legal system. It might tend to raise the question, “What must happen so that it appears that Justice has been done? In the case of Jian, he must meet his conditions and “sin no more.” But that is where the “Cancel Culture” goes to work. One might be acquitted but the Cancel Culture says, “No!”
    A brief digression here. What the accusers seem to want by way of punishment does not fit the sentencing guidelines of the law of the land in many situations. The cancel culture being fairly extreme on the continuum of punishments. Some want death. Some want Jihad! But the solution to this low trust in institutions might be to…? Your suggestion here please. Are we headed for a societal impasse? An ungovernable Canada? I respect our flawed and imperfect institutions because without them…the consequences are evident.

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    • Jian is a great example. From all accounts in the media and from the ‘gossip’ of those in the industry, he was an entitled puke who engaged in that sort of thing. Didn’t his accusers collude with one another…or was that another…? Still, the facts were not there for the conviction and he ‘walked’. Plenty of guilty parties have walked. But many innocent people have been convicted. Our system is NOT perfect. NOT in oh-so too many ways. Still, it is a system that is better than hang-em’-high Kangaroo courts. So, I would (and did for what it was worth) accept the verdict. The problem is that now Jian can’t get a job anymore. He has been condemned by society. Social media and all it’s attendant emotions, biases and ignorance now trumps law! Some young people know that better than do we oldy-goldies. More than a few have committed suicide for having made a regretted post or selfie or sex pic. It is all wrong – whether it is a rich CEO, a crushed teen or an allegation smearing someone. It really has to stop.
      How would I put a stop to it? I have no idea but, to be sure, if the victim can remain anonymous then the accused should, too. Let the public know who did what to whom AFTER a real evidence-based trial.

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  14. Earlier I wrote about poor impulse control. My focus has been to comment on circumstances within we’ll run organizations. Policies and procedures are needed for orderly organizations. I have not focused on the “Wild West” of social media. You write …if the cultural mood…was what you stated…”. I’m writing a about well organized organizations. Policies, processes and procedures are vital and indispensable. I’m not writing about the world of cancel culture. Social media drama is just that…drama.

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  15. I know I’ve covered this but this is what I’m concerned about how men greet reports of sexual harassment and verbal abuse. So we’ve got a state government political staffer who picked up a job in the federal party after he allegedly called an member of state parliament a methhead c…. He has recently resigned when this was made public. Today we have news that a couple of political staffers recorded themselves performing lewd sex acts (unspecified) on a female MP’s desk. One has been sacked. This comes on top of allegations by a female that she was raped by another staffer in their minister’s office. It has been reported in the media that some in that party have been backgrounding against the woman and her current partner. The PM was never told apparently of the alleged incident in one of his Minister’s offices.. There’s another allegation but that is now subject to a defamation action by the attorney general against the media organisation that broke the story. These incidents can happen anywhere, right? On top of this, what infuriates me is the ducking and weaving from the people in charge when the publicity hits the fan. I don’t think women in these offices make these complaints lightly because their credibility will be attacked.

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    • Well, first off, all that sounds very bad and heads should roll. Maybe charges laid.
      No argument if it is any or all is proven true. Even if it is NOT proven all-true some heads should roll for simply bad management and willful blindness. Bad is bad and it sounds bad. No argument.
      BUT (you knew there would be a but, right?)….”the incidents can happen anywhere”, I guess they CAN, but they generally do not. They happen rarely and usually never. Most workplaces are not so outrageous as the one you describe and, in this era, there is no ‘old-boys network’ obfuscating anything. Not anymore, anyway. What you describe is toxic and evil and wrong and no one is defending anything like that. Anyway, rape is a written-in-law crime and should be treated as such. I never suggested otherwise. No man* (except the perp) would defend that
      crap.
      To be frank, I can’t imagine men (plural?) performing lewd sex acts on someone’s desk unless it was a one-in-a-bazillion office of total whackos. Sex in an office? Yeah, consenting adults, one-on-one…that could happen, I guess…..shouldn’t but could. Maybe. But no one is defending anything proven. I am merely speaking up for the crime of life-destroying allegations that are never proved. HUGE difference. Bigger than apples and oranges. You are talking crimes, perversions and lies. I am talking out-of-the-blue allegations sometimes decades old with no proof and no real crime except maybe ‘discomfort’. I KNOW you know the difference so why lump ‘all men’ in with the ducking and weaving?
      For the record, in 73 years I have not found a more beautiful and attractive woman than Sally. Absolutely off-the-charts gorgeous in every way. And she said, “Well, I know it is a problem. I have friends who suffered some or a bit of gender bias. Some men are piggy, to be sure. But I have never encountered anything. No one has ever tried any of that stuff with me.” (I know that is not true – she once had to struggle free from a weirded out driver when she hitched across Europe). But her general experience in the workplace (40 years) has been trouble free. I contend that that proves nothing except maybe that the norm may be better than that which is being promoted.

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      • You are not the first to ask that…..and I respond the same way every time….’waddya got?’
        The first time it was ever said, a Mexican vaquero asked about trading his herd for the ‘bonita hermosa’…he and I got to talking in Spanish. Sal asked, “What are you talking about?” I said, “He wants to trade his cattle for you.”
        “What are you saying?”
        “I asked him how many he had?”
        That story is 48 years old and makes me laugh every time. Even Sal smiles. Now. Not so much at the time.

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    • …but…? But what? I would be happier with the term some criminals. Women cause trouble, too. Some women teachers even have been convicted of coupling with their students (seems all the rage in the US) making them, technically, pedophiles. And most men have been seduced or targets-of-seduction at one time or another – they just don’t complain about it.
      But now my main point is being bifurcated. I am just saying that there is too much power in allegations. That rule-of-law (evidence and fact) is the only way to proceed – NOT by way of social media. I am saying that Kangaroo courts are as bad as the allegations.
      NOW I am being forced to alter that into defending bad males. And that is NOT what I said at all. If you commit a crime (male or female) then the punishment should fit the crime – that is the point. And, until the crime is proven, no one should be held up as guilty. No one should have to suffer the indignities and harm that comes from unproven accusations. That should be easy to get behind…no?

      Liked by 1 person

  16. You are correct that perhaps a better term might be some of humanity. Not all of humanity. If your objection was to statements that are an over generalization…I agree. Today in the House of Commons a MP said, “Canada has done nothing to fight COVID-19.’’ On the face of it inaccurate. Nine percent of Canadians have been vaccinated. But to be very clear no one is asking you to defend ‘male culture’, if it exists, nor have you been a defender of a hypothetical ‘male culture’. Some males seem to have a sense of entitlement regarding hegemony over a few females. Is this sense of hegemony a ‘male culture’…for all males? No! As for unfounded allegations everyday life has them. Invective has allegations. Profanity contains allegations. Figurative language contains allegations. ‘’No one should have to suffer the indignities and harm that come from unproven allegations”! Agreed!

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