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[4/30/13] I'm Perfectly Safe
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 10433
Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leohan wrote:
Does the harassed define the harasser?

Of course. Let's say someone is doing something that you feel is harassment. They call you at all hours and then hang up, leaving threatening letters on your car, whatever. Imagine a situation in which you feel harassed. Your friend goes, "That's not harassment, they're just playing a joke." Are you no longer feeling harassed because someone disagrees? Of course not.

You may not be easily harassed. You might not find professions of love harassing. But others might, and if they can't tell you when to feel harassed, why would you get to tell them when they're being harassed?

Quote:
Is there a visible difference between normally approaching someone and harassing them? Is a declaration of love harassment if the other doesn't reciprocate? Does the harasser exist before or after the harassed declare their disgust for the approach? Also, generally, can a harasser approach a group of people and only harass one of them?

The answer to all of these refers back to the first question: if you do it in a way that bothers that person, yes. In cases like those, though, I wouldn't feel too bad about it... I'd just stop interacting with that person (which is probably what they want anyway).
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Leohan



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting... Can I ask a question now?

Personally, walking is my way of transport, I think that I already commented elsewhere that I don't mind walking at night, either, and I tend to use hoodies to top that because my city's very windy and I like my head to be protected.

If someone that happens to walk my same path feels threatened by me and I don't realize that, am I a harasser? Since, as we said, the harassed defines the harasser and harassment can happen before an actual interaction.

EDIT: Also I really like this topic. Learning lots of things about the nature of harassment.
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Rune



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 1025

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leohan wrote:
Interesting... Can I ask a question now?

Personally, walking is my way of transport, I think that I already commented elsewhere that I don't mind walking at night, either, and I tend to use hoodies to top that because my city's very windy and I like my head to be protected.

If someone that happens to walk my same path feels threatened by me and I don't realize that, am I a harasser? Since, as we said, the harassed defines the harasser and harassment can happen before an actual interaction.

EDIT: Also I really like this topic. Learning lots of things about the nature of harassment.


This is where the distinction I laid out comes in. The person can feel harassed, and have that be perfectly valid, without you necessarily needing to be labeled a harasser. Your own defining moment comes when you realize what the other person is or might be experiencing, and how much you care about other people feeling comfortable and safe vs. how much you take it personally and disregard or escalate the situation.
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Ronald



Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Posts: 2882

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jody wrote:
And the fact that Tat was depicting women reacting to obviously creepish behavior with gentle amusement


Well, come on, it's Slick. I mean, look at the guy.

Plus, this is (or was, anyway) a strictly humor-centered comic strip. We weren't supposed to take the women any more seriously than we took Slick. We weren't supposed to take anybody seriously, not even God. In the fictional Sinfestiverse, "serious" issues weren't supposed to exist back then. The real world only intruded when Tat wanted it to for humorous purposes.

Obviously he's getting all deep and meaningful now, but that's just not how things were back then. Ezekiel and Ariel made a total stooge of The Devil every few months or so, that's not consistent with how things are now, either.

It's like the Sinfest strip where Charlie Brown is hit with a restraining order. He's eight years old, for heaven's sake. He's not supposed to be taken seriously, either.

(oddly enough, that's how old Bruce Wayne was when his parents were murdered; I never thought of that before)

If we treated Charlie Brown as real, the first thing we'd need to do is get the poor kid some medication, he makes Holden Caulfield look well-adjusted.

But I'll shut up now.
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Valerie



Joined: 02 Apr 2013
Posts: 263

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rune wrote:
Leohan wrote:
Interesting... Can I ask a question now?

Personally, walking is my way of transport, I think that I already commented elsewhere that I don't mind walking at night, either, and I tend to use hoodies to top that because my city's very windy and I like my head to be protected.

If someone that happens to walk my same path feels threatened by me and I don't realize that, am I a harasser? Since, as we said, the harassed defines the harasser and harassment can happen before an actual interaction.

EDIT: Also I really like this topic. Learning lots of things about the nature of harassment.


This is where the distinction I laid out comes in. The person can feel harassed, and have that be perfectly valid, without you necessarily needing to be labeled a harasser. Your own defining moment comes when you realize what the other person is or might be experiencing, and how much you care about other people feeling comfortable and safe vs. how much you take it personally and disregard or escalate the situation.


This.

I always feel safer when a man who's walking in my direction crosses the street. I don't know if any of them have done it on purpose because they don't want me to feel threatened, but if it is on purpose, they are considerate guys and they get 100 points from me.

I read about a man once who purposely waits for the next elevator car if there's a woman alone in the one that stops for him (because a small space where the two of them are alone might make her feel afraid). People who think about that sort of thing and try to avoid it are great.
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Dro



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rune wrote:
I would say that the harassed always gets to define when they are experiencing harassment. This is different than being able to define another person as a harasser, though where that actually makes a practical difference requires more parsing.

There may be a visible difference when it comes to the situation the approacher is walking into. Someone who actively wants to not be approached may be reading a book, have headphones on, have their arms folded, or otherwise be sending f-off signals with their body language. If you've never experienced it, you might be amazed at how many men feel entitled to encroach on a woman's space and time even when these signals are clear as day. Deliberately disregarding someone's f-off signals, either because you're an entitled douchecanoe or because -you- know you're a nice and charming guy who will be the exception to all the crap if she'd just give you a chance, starts crossing the line from the get-go.

You've got to define, "normally approaching someone." Is there even a "normal?" Every situation is different, and you need to learn how to read the situation itself. Is it dark? Is it an enclosed space? Are you between her and the exit and/or her destination? Is she alone? Are you alone? Does the situation involve a workplace or social group that she feels pressured to "get along" by? Generally, check the power balance in the situation. Check it from her perspective. Are you either consciously or unconsciously playing it to your advantage, or are you truly approaching her as an equal?

An outright harasser absolutely exists before any such declaration is made. Someone whose actions are deliberately obnoxious, entitled, threatening, generally disregard the personhood of their target and instead treat them like a sexual object, or act like they are owed anything at all from their target, is a harasser, plain and simple. They may or may not be called on it, some women will be affected by it more than others, but their behavior is still harassment and downright lousy. In other cases, it may take more signals from the target of attention, and if those are disregarded, -then- it becomes a situation of harassment. Your group scenario might go different ways depending on the signals each person sends both before and after approach.

Either way, it boils down to paying attention to the other person(s), and respecting their wishes, perspective, and personal space, as well as their right to public spaces without other people feeling entitled to something from them. The moment you stop doing that, you do run the risk of stepping foul.


I agree with this. Like I said, every interaction has the potential to be unwelcome. But not every interaction involves a harasser and harassed. I think of a time when I was a student and a married professor would come visit me in lab. She would make comments about me going out to exercise, or that I looked "sweaty" and other awkward things about my body. I felt harassed. I think she was a harasser. But as the alternative I can think of when a friend of mine sort of pinned me against a wall and kind of tried to kiss me. I just wasn't interested. I felt like it came out of nowhere, and the whole thing made me uncomfortable. But I decided I could hardly blame some one for trying. Whereas an woman (a friend of my parents, younger than them but older than me) rubbing her foot against my leg under the dinner table seriously creeped me out. Me harassed, she harasser.
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Reader1



Joined: 04 Feb 2012
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jody wrote:
Ronald wrote:
aboutwhistles wrote:
Oh, he was a dudebro all right. Not in the most egregious sense, but all those strips of women laughing and treating Slick's sexual harrassment like it was cute were pretty dudebro-y.


At what point does a inept yet sincere pick-up line devolve into sexual harassment?


The second the person being hit on decides as much.




well... actually....

so really, according to the EEOC? there needs to be a professional relationship and it doesn't count if it's an isolated incident that is relatively benign in nature. so long as it only happens once, a comment like "nice A**" or one of Slick's lines ("ooh, masturbation material") doesn't fit the definition and *most likely* isn't illegal. you're being a jerk, it may get you fired, but it *most likely* isn't illegal(*most likely*-a good lawyer can build a case off of almost anything). if you have no professional relation to the person it’s not considered "sexual harassment" any more and the law becomes even less restrictive. if you're not worried about legality and just want to know when you're considered a jerk/dudebro/etc., for me its when the person you're hitting on show's noticeable signs of being either annoyed or uncomfortable and you continue to approach them. noticeable in this case doesn't necessarily mean noticeable to you, but noticeable to someone who understands what to look for and is observant of other people's feelings. You can generally get away with being “ok” at recognizing people’s feelings, you don’t have to be perfect or even good, it come’s easier for some than others(I find some people are just plain awkward and can’t help it). all in all intention play’s a major role, if you honestly try to be kind to others and they still don’t react well it’s not your fault. If you try to understand other’s feelings, IMO you’re not considered to be “in the wrong” until you’ve recognized that what you’re doing is making the other person uncomfortable and decided to continue anyways.
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Valerie



Joined: 02 Apr 2013
Posts: 263

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reader1 wrote:
Jody wrote:
Ronald wrote:
aboutwhistles wrote:
Oh, he was a dudebro all right. Not in the most egregious sense, but all those strips of women laughing and treating Slick's sexual harrassment like it was cute were pretty dudebro-y.


At what point does a inept yet sincere pick-up line devolve into sexual harassment?


The second the person being hit on decides as much.




well... actually....

so really, according to the EEOC? there needs to be a professional relationship and it doesn't count if it's an isolated incident that is relatively benign in nature. so long as it only happens once, a comment like "nice A**" or one of Slick's lines ("ooh, masturbation material") doesn't fit the definition and *most likely* isn't illegal. you're being a jerk, it may get you fired, but it *most likely* isn't illegal(*most likely*-a good lawyer can build a case off of almost anything). if you have no professional relation to the person it’s not considered "sexual harassment" any more and the law becomes even less restrictive. if you're not worried about legality and just want to know when you're considered a jerk/dudebro/etc., for me its when the person you're hitting on show's noticeable signs of being either annoyed or uncomfortable and you continue to approach them. noticeable in this case doesn't necessarily mean noticeable to you, but noticeable to someone who understands what to look for and is observant of other people's feelings. You can generally get away with being “ok” at recognizing people’s feelings, you don’t have to be perfect or even good, it come’s easier for some than others(I find some people are just plain awkward and can’t help it). all in all intention play’s a major role, if you honestly try to be kind to others and they still don’t react well it’s not your fault. If you try to understand other’s feelings, IMO you’re not considered to be “in the wrong” until you’ve recognized that what you’re doing is making the other person uncomfortable and decided to continue anyways.


Harrassment is a real thing that is an actual problem outside of the workplace. That is why restraining orders exist.
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Rune



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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who said we were only talking legal definition?

Most "is it harassment?" issues could probably be avoided completely if the individual approached the interaction -actually- caring about the feelings and perspective of the other person, rather than with the self-focused perspective that asks, "Is this going to get me in trouble? (More than it lets me get/do what I want?)"
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Reader1



Joined: 04 Feb 2012
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valerie wrote:
Rune wrote:
Leohan wrote:
Interesting... Can I ask a question now?

Personally, walking is my way of transport, I think that I already commented elsewhere that I don't mind walking at night, either, and I tend to use hoodies to top that because my city's very windy and I like my head to be protected.

If someone that happens to walk my same path feels threatened by me and I don't realize that, am I a harasser? Since, as we said, the harassed defines the harasser and harassment can happen before an actual interaction.

EDIT: Also I really like this topic. Learning lots of things about the nature of harassment.


This is where the distinction I laid out comes in. The person can feel harassed, and have that be perfectly valid, without you necessarily needing to be labeled a harasser. Your own defining moment comes when you realize what the other person is or might be experiencing, and how much you care about other people feeling comfortable and safe vs. how much you take it personally and disregard or escalate the situation.


This.

I always feel safer when a man who's walking in my direction crosses the street. I don't know if any of them have done it on purpose because they don't want me to feel threatened, but if it is on purpose, they are considerate guys and they get 100 points from me.

I read about a man once who purposely waits for the next elevator car if there's a woman alone in the one that stops for him (because a small space where the two of them are alone might make her feel afraid). People who think about that sort of thing and try to avoid it are great.


I agree with this. it never hurts to go a little out of your way to help someone out or make them feel comfortable, but I’d also like to clarify something/play devil’s advocate if people wind up disagreeing with me. In situations like Leohan’s, just because someone realizes they might be perceived as threatening doesn’t mean they are then obliged to go out of their way to make others around them comfortable. A person isn’t actually doing anything wrong in the ethical sense until they intentionally act to upset another.

I also sort of feel like throwing my idea of harassment out there as well. If a person makes you uncomfortable either verbally or with their presence it’s not harassment. Examples: cat calls, ogling, starring like a creep, dressing oddly, being unhygienic, making insults, etc. to be harassment, a single encounter needs to be drawn out or multiple encounters need to take place. Examples: someone sees you at a park and follows you around wherever you go, continuous unwanted emails, a person knows your schedule and repeatedly “bumps into you” and makes you feel uncomfortable after you’ve asked them to stop, someone asks for your number and they just won’t take no for an answer… that kind of thing


Last edited by Reader1 on Fri May 03, 2013 5:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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Tekii



Joined: 27 May 2012
Posts: 184

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reader1 wrote:
I also sort of feel like throwing my idea of harassment out there as well. If a person makes you uncomfortable either verbally or with their presence it’s not harassment. Examples: cat calls, ogling, starring like a creep, dressing oddly, being unhygienic, making insults, etc. to be harassment, a single encounter needs to be drawn out or multiple encounters need to take place. Examples: someone sees you at a park and follows you around wherever you go, continuous unwanted emails, a person knows your schedule and repeatedly “bumps into you” and makes you feel uncomfortable after you’ve asked them to stop, someone asks for your number and they just won’t take no for an answer… that kind of thing


Well I suppose if you're trying to discredit people and their experiences with harassment that they have faced in their lives that's a good definition to go by. But what would you call "cat calls, ogling, staring like a creep, making insults" if not harassment then? Please note I don't agree with you at all and think you're being quite ignorant but since you put that position out there, explain how you came to it and why you think its in any way a valid one.
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Rune



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are ethical sins of omission as well as those of commission. I do not agree that it's -only- immoral if you actively do something to harm someone. It's plenty immoral to not care that your behavior hurts another person, even if that was not your goal. If you want to be a decent person, you make a change if you discover that you are harming someone, even if you do not intend to, especially if a relatively small effort on your part would make a big difference for them.

I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be impressed with my moral character if I continued to stand on your foot after you pointed out that I was doing so, and it was hurting you and tripping you up, especially if you pointed out that a lot of other people have been stamping on your feet and they rather hurt.

"Just a presence" can be threatening, and you -have- to consider the context, and the context involves rape culture, and the fact that threatening presences turn into overt harassment and threats for women every damn day. Just go read a handful of street harassment and stalking narratives and see if you can still be so blase about mere presence.
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Reader1



Joined: 04 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tekii wrote:
Reader1 wrote:
I also sort of feel like throwing my idea of harassment out there as well. If a person makes you uncomfortable either verbally or with their presence it’s not harassment. Examples: cat calls, ogling, starring like a creep, dressing oddly, being unhygienic, making insults, etc. to be harassment, a single encounter needs to be drawn out or multiple encounters need to take place. Examples: someone sees you at a park and follows you around wherever you go, continuous unwanted emails, a person knows your schedule and repeatedly “bumps into you” and makes you feel uncomfortable after you’ve asked them to stop, someone asks for your number and they just won’t take no for an answer… that kind of thing


Well I suppose if you're trying to discredit people and their experiences with harassment that they have faced in their lives that's a good definition to go by. But what would you call "cat calls, ogling, staring like a creep, making insults" if not harassment then? Please note I don't agree with you at all and think you're being quite ignorant but since you put that position out there, explain how you came to it and why you think its in any way a valid one.


just because those things don't fall into the category of harassment doesn't mean they're good things to do either. personally, most of those fall somewhere between ill-mannered and insensitive jerk. not sure i can come up with one for ogling/staring, but if you want a technical term for the other two "verbal abuse" might work. harassment is something that, depending on the circumstance, may actually be against the law. an isolated incident like a cat call isn't likely to lead to anything, you walk by, the construction worker makes his comment, and it's over. if someone's harassing you, you should be actively worried because they're much more likely to physically act than the people who did the things you mentioned above.
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Rune



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reader1 wrote:
Tekii wrote:
Reader1 wrote:
I also sort of feel like throwing my idea of harassment out there as well. If a person makes you uncomfortable either verbally or with their presence it’s not harassment. Examples: cat calls, ogling, starring like a creep, dressing oddly, being unhygienic, making insults, etc. to be harassment, a single encounter needs to be drawn out or multiple encounters need to take place. Examples: someone sees you at a park and follows you around wherever you go, continuous unwanted emails, a person knows your schedule and repeatedly “bumps into you” and makes you feel uncomfortable after you’ve asked them to stop, someone asks for your number and they just won’t take no for an answer… that kind of thing


Well I suppose if you're trying to discredit people and their experiences with harassment that they have faced in their lives that's a good definition to go by. But what would you call "cat calls, ogling, staring like a creep, making insults" if not harassment then? Please note I don't agree with you at all and think you're being quite ignorant but since you put that position out there, explain how you came to it and why you think its in any way a valid one.


just because those things don't fall into the category of harassment doesn't mean they're good things to do either. personally, most of those fall somewhere between ill-mannered and insensitive jerk. not sure i can come up with one for ogling/staring, but if you want a technical term for the other two "verbal abuse" might work. harassment is something that, depending on the circumstance, may actually be against the law. an isolated incident like a cat call isn't likely to lead to anything, you walk by, the construction worker makes his comment, and it's over. if someone's harassing you, you should be actively worried because they're much more likely to physically act than the people who did the things you mentioned above.


What you just did there, telling women what they should and shouldn't really be worried about when it comes to harassment? That's Mansplaining, right there. Your whole comment was 'splainy.

http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/about/what-is-street-harassment/#comment-9576

/\ Read this. Get a clue about what harassment actually looks like and feels like from those who's lives are shaped by it in ways that you clearly cannot imagine.
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Reader1



Joined: 04 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rune wrote:
There are ethical sins of omission as well as those of commission. I do not agree that it's -only- immoral if you actively do something to harm someone. It's plenty immoral to not care that your behavior hurts another person, even if that was not your goal. If you want to be a decent person, you make a change if you discover that you are harming someone, even if you do not intend to, especially if a relatively small effort on your part would make a big difference for them.

I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be impressed with my moral character if I continued to stand on your foot after you pointed out that I was doing so, and it was hurting you and tripping you up, especially if you pointed out that a lot of other people have been stamping on your feet and they rather hurt.

"Just a presence" can be threatening, and you -have- to consider the context, and the context involves rape culture, and the fact that threatening presences turn into overt harassment and threats for women every damn day. Just go read a handful of street harassment and stalking narratives and see if you can still be so blase about mere presence.


Ethical sins of omission, that’s an interesting way of putting it(non-sarcastic). I get(I think) that your example of standing on someone’s foot is meant to be held up to what I said about ignoring someone else when they feel threatened. I’m not sure exactly what you believe so please help me understand where you draw the line of absurdity. Do you expect every man to cross the street after a certain time when he sees a woman approach? Isn’t the real problem the ideology of what you call “rape culture” (I’m not familiar with it sorry) not that men are inherently intimidating? If that’s the case and you expect them to go out of their way in order for women to feel comfortable it looks to me like you’re imposing on them and that’s not fair either. The other thing I’d like to know is at what level catering to someone’s discomfort becomes unreasonable to you.

My qualifications for an action to be ethically wrong
-the action negatively impacts another person
-the action must be done willingly
-the person performing the action must know that it is negatively effecting someone
-the person is directly at fault for the negative effect
-if all other cases are true the action must have no reasonable justification


Sore foot example- action: choosing to remain standing on someone’s foot
-Action negatively effects someone- yes, pain in foot
-Action is done willingly- yes, no one’s controlling them
-the person performing the action must know that it is negatively effecting someone- yes, has been made aware of the situation and understands standing on someone else’s foot causes pain
-the person is directly at fault for the negative effect- yes, he’s standing on their foot
-the action has no reasonable justification – yes

walking down the street example- action: male walks past a female at night without concern
-Action negatively effects someone- yes, female is scared
-Action is done willingly- yes, no one’s controlling him
-the person performing the action must know that it is negatively effecting someone- yes, he understands he may be intimidating her
-the person is directly at fault for the negative effect- no, he’s not at fault for intimidating her
-if all other cases are true the action must have no reasonable justification – not all other cases are true


Last edited by Reader1 on Fri May 03, 2013 11:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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