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What should happen to men fired for sexual harrassment?

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I'm trying to figure out how to type this without becoming an apologist for perverts, sleazes, and abusers. I don't want to be that.

 

There's been a spate of men fired for sexually harassing women, or abusing them.  Fine. They deserve something, and getting fired is scary and it hurts.

 

So lets say that there was a lot of evidence the guy was bad, but not the Beyond Reasonable Doubt level needed to jail him. There's enough to persuade an employer to fire him.

 

So, does he ever work again?  If he does, this feels like when the bad priests just got shuffled off to new churches. The whole point is to make a safe workplace.  But if they get pervert-blacklisted, what are they supposed to do? We don't want them going into petty crime. The darker parts of myself suggest it would be convenient if they all pulled a Mark Salling, but that is both macabre, cruel, and not likely.

 

And it isn't even just about "keeping a safe workplace". That white house guy didn't get fired for harming anyone at the office, but for beating his wife.  Same for Johnny Depp, who now has calls to never work again.  Unemployment is the new public stoning.

 

So what should be done? Again, this is for case of men who only have Preponderance of Evidence or Substantial Evidence. We can't jail them. (a good article about the problem with Carceral Feminism). What do we do with men condemned to not work?

 

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Let them find work elsewhere, if they can. Getting fired is a punishment - but there's really nothing else that can be done. Unless the behaviour violated the law and they get arrested, it's everything that's doable.

Blacklists are variable from harmful to useless, never doing any good at all. Sexual harrassment is a social issue - it can only be resolved socially.

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Well, the White House guy was likely fired not because he beat his wife but because of the impact beating his wife coming to light had on his employer. That sort of thing happens all the time, particularly in the public sector. 

 

I do agree there's a potential for abuse in this latest set of #metoo firings and investigations. I'm very uncomfortable with the level of burden of proof that's come up in several local cases I've witnessed in the last two months (one literally was just 3 quantifiably underperforming staff complaining they weren't comfortable with their boss's behavior, without any direct examples of policy violation or harassment - led to a full board investigation, nearly ruined the guy in question until the consulting attorney pointed out he could likely sue the board and complaintants for defamation based on what was presented).

 

To be clear, I definitively want individuals guilty of harassment or abuse to be punished. I'm having a hard time with the lack of evidentiary requirement in some of these cases. Should no two colleagues ever meet alone regardless of gender? That's ridiculous and impractical.

 

It's a bad scene. I am being uncomfortably cautious in my interactions lately, and wonder what the end game around all of this could possibly be. 

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10 minutes ago, Iuz the Evil said:

 

It's a bad scene. I am being uncomfortably cautious in my interactions lately, and wonder what the end game around all of this could possibly be. 

 

This.  There's a lot of witch hunt feel, of goal posts being moved, and a whiff of revenge rather than justice.  I have had the experience of being cold-called by a reporter looking for dirt to substantiate allegations.  It's a glorious environment for extortion, and I wonder how much of it is happening.

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8 minutes ago, Cancer said:

 

This.  There's a lot of witch hunt feel, of goal posts being moved, and a whiff of revenge rather than justice.  I have had the experience of being cold-called by a reporter looking for dirt to substantiate allegations.  It's a glorious environment for extortion, and I wonder how much of it is happening.

 

Pretty much, what I have been thinking.   I want to punish the damn perverts.  But, at the same time, I have serious negative feelings towards false allegations of sexual harassment.  And that seems much more common, than what we are lead to believe.  And it does feel like it has entered witch hunt territory.  It does feel like every man is one vengeful woman away from having their life needlessly ruined.  

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maybe there should be something akin to a cross between a training course a psyche regimen and community service - where if the organizers say a person has 'passed' they should be given a second chance.

 

the difficulty is trying to avoid such from being corrupted

 

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2 hours ago, dmjalund said:

maybe there should be something akin to a cross between a training course a psyche regimen and community service - where if the organizers say a person has 'passed' they should be given a second chance.

 

the difficulty is trying to avoid such from being corrupted

 

 

Again, this would be for people who don't have enough of a case to get jailed, just fired, which means also people for whom there isn't enough evidence to compel them to take a class. But, it is possible for employers to compel a class.

 

Of course, compelling a class is easy. Much more difficult is persuading people they have a problem and a class might help.

https://www.vox.com/first-person/2017/10/20/16503804/harvey-weinstein-sex-addiction-therapy

Quote

Steve was in his 50s, married, and a partner at a successful firm. Two female subordinates claimed Steve had come on to them, and his CEO said he’d get fired if he didn’t “get help.”

“I made a few comments about cleavage, I think, and once a woman and I kissed in an elevator — but she was into it,” he said. “I don’t think I did anything wrong.”

I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes.

I’m a clinical social worker who specializes in interpersonal relationships. Among my clients are men who struggle with various sexual dysfunctions. I’m fine with hearing them talk vividly about their sex lives and fantasies (well, I can handle it), but what Steve had to say made me increasingly triggered.

As the 50 minutes ticked by, it became clear Steve had no desire to own his mistreatment of women. All braggadocio and defensiveness, he told me his charisma has proven so potent he habitually had to fend off women. He added that his mom always said women would have catfights over him because he was so irresistible.

Then things took a darker turn. “Pardon my French, but those c***s at work are just pissed I didn’t seriously pursue them.”

I attempted to get underneath the bravado. “It must be scary to feel your livelihood, your essence, be threatened,” I prodded.

His response: “What would you know about that? You’re a woman."

Enough was enough. At the end of our session, I told Steve it felt like he wanted an enabler, not a therapist. We weren’t a good fit. I ushered him out the door.

 

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I can't help but laugh at the concept of "sexual addiction therapy".  Come on.  Just keep it in your pants, it ain't something that requires weeks of in-patient counseling and workshops.  Just keep your effing pants zipped.

 

I concur with the prevailing sentiment on this thread, which is that:  sexual predators are bad, and the atmosphere in which accusations go unchallenged is a dangerous and scary one.

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Eh, obsessive and addictive behaviors of any sort can be difficult to overcome. Gambling provides zero thrill for me and it's no effort at all to take a pass on it (I put a grand total of 50¢ in slot machines during my entire vacation stay in Vegas), but that doesn't mean that people who are addicted to gambling don't need help with a legitimate problem.

 

When your problematic behavior ends up negatively impacting other people in the workplace, it's time for neutral third parties to get involved and set up some ground rules and consequences for breaking them.

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There was a really nasty/bad/tragic case in my field that broke publicly back in December 2015 at the Astronomy Department at U Cal Berkeley.  Not sure whether either of these is behind the subscription wall.

https://www.wired.com/2016/12/can-build-calendar-sexual-harassment-stories-science/

https://www.nature.com/news/berkeley-releases-report-on-astronomer-sexual-harassment-case-1.19068

 

I am not personally acquainted with the perp, and I've never been associated with UCB, but I certainly had heard his name, and back in the late 90's I reviewed a stack of grant proposals that included a couple with his name on them.  So yeah, this touches real close to home for me.  The "Can't happen here" syndrome is definitely not something I can hide under.  It's much closer to "There but for the grace of God go I."

 

The behavior is bad enough.  And since I'm male, I am not greatly concerned about being a victim of that sort of thing.  And after no small amount of soul-searching, reading what was done, thinking about my own feelings about them ... bluntly, until I have a stroke or some other form of brain damage that excises parts of who am I now, I am not worried about me actually doing any of those things.  That statement seems likely to attract eyerolls from the XX set who are in the "They're all guilty, we just can't prove it" mindset, but that's tough.

 

The thing that really bothers me is: how could the members of that department (let alone the institution's administration) choose to overlook these problems?  How did this go unchallenged for so long?  Might it be that there's something at my own department which is comparably bad and I'm blind to it?  That I can't rule out.  I really don't think there is, but for big chunks of my life I have tried to live in a clue-free zone while I was focussed on short-term goals (read: grad school) and intentionally holding lots of things out of my life; I know I'm capable of self-delusion, and the question is, whether I am doing so unconsciously now (as opposed to consciously back then).  I don't think so, but there should always be room for doubt.

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From what I've heard, read, and such.

Sexual Harassment leading to firing is a relatively new experience in employment circles. It takes high profile public outcry, Harvey Weinturd had sexual harrassment suit payouts written into his contract - how much he'd be responsible for and how mcuh his company would pay.

 

Most Workplace Harassment (Sexual or otherwise) (in the United States)  is dealt with via "Forced Arbitration," in which a retired judge hired by the company in question hears the case and if it is proven to their standards a payout and non-disclosure agreement is set up. Accuser is payed and then can't discuss the issue or be sued. 

 

Traditionally, this also leads to the accuser losing their job and the harasser remaining (see Roger Ayles, Harve Weinstein, Bill O'Riely, Senator Soul-Mate, More service industry grabby guys than you can count because they don't harass or aren't visible media figures)

 

All this "I'm afraid I can't even talk to women at work anymore," hand wringing seems to be coming from people who don't know the difference between professional discourse and flirting at a bar.

 

From Personal Experience:

My dad's school district brought in a guy from another state who in his second year there allegedly threw a kid down a flight of stairs. He'd had a complaint file a mile long (that only materialized long after dad's school district had hired him) and apparently just moved to avoid losing his teaching license. 

 

The kicker here is, he never got arrested for any of these complaints because it was generally no witnesses to corroborate the kid's story so it was adult v kid but eventually you get enough parents angry and you send the teacher away. This was in the late 80's.

 

A teacher at my high school had a habit of marrying former students (like shortly after graduation) (At least twice) He was later made dean of students. And retired when he felt like it.

 

The institutions in my anecdotal and researched experiences act to protect themselves, they set rules to protect the institution and those in power. An individual fired for harassment generally has committed the sin of being:

1) A Financial Liability (Too much bad press, too much spent paying off their accusers) or

2) Not in a position of power (You're a lot less likely to fire Upper Management over this but a guy in the warehouse is gone)

 

And finally in conclusion a long-winded and rambling answer: I couldn't care less what happens to them. I assume, given the lengths most have to go to to get fired for harassment (again sexual or otherwise) they're not interested in changing their outlooks and behaviors and thus the punishment of social pariah is a pretty good one until they do something that clearly breaks the law and are proven not wealthy enough to get preferential treatment.

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Encounter another man who doesn't know the difference? 

 

I'm assuming you mean a woman who screams sexual harassment when a gentleman says hello? 

Given the way harassment is handled, the chances of anything happening to a man for speaking to a woman in the office in a professional manner are exceedingly slim.

 

 

 

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I used to work in the Civil Service. We had an open plan office. Apart from times you had to do one to one meetings you could see and hear anything so harassment was never an issue. I saw one violent altercation but that was it. Looking back I believe it was a positive place for women as I could see them progress and knew a couple at the senior levels.

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3 hours ago, Enforcer84 said:

 

23 hours ago, Enforcer84 said:

From what I've heard, read, and such.

Sexual Harassment leading to firing is a relatively new experience in employment circles. It takes high profile public outcry, Harvey Weinturd had sexual harrassment suit payouts written into his contract - how much he'd be responsible for and how mcuh his company would pay.

 

Most Workplace Harassment (Sexual or otherwise) (in the United States)  is dealt with via "Forced Arbitration," in which a retired judge hired by the company in question hears the case and if it is proven to their standards a payout and non-disclosure agreement is set up. Accuser is payed and then can't discuss the issue or be sued. 

 

Traditionally, this also leads to the accuser losing their job and the harasser remaining (see Roger Ayles, Harve Weinstein, Bill O'Riely, Senator Soul-Mate, More service industry grabby guys than you can count because they don't harass or aren't visible media figures)

 

All this "I'm afraid I can't even talk to women at work anymore," hand wringing seems to be coming from people who don't know the difference between professional discourse and flirting at a bar.

 

From Personal Experience:

My dad's school district brought in a guy from another state who in his second year there allegedly threw a kid down a flight of stairs. He'd had a complaint file a mile long (that only materialized long after dad's school district had hired him) and apparently just moved to avoid losing his teaching license. 

 

The kicker here is, he never got arrested for any of these complaints because it was generally no witnesses to corroborate the kid's story so it was adult v kid but eventually you get enough parents angry and you send the teacher away. This was in the late 80's.

 

A teacher at my high school had a habit of marrying former students (like shortly after graduation) (At least twice) He was later made dean of students. And retired when he felt like it.

 

The institutions in my anecdotal and researched experiences act to protect themselves, they set rules to protect the institution and those in power. An individual fired for harassment generally has committed the sin of being:

1) A Financial Liability (Too much bad press, too much spent paying off their accusers) or

2) Not in a position of power (You're a lot less likely to fire Upper Management over this but a guy in the warehouse is gone)

 

And finally in conclusion a long-winded and rambling answer: I couldn't care less what happens to them. I assume, given the lengths most have to go to to get fired for harassment (again sexual or otherwise) they're not interested in changing their outlooks and behaviors and thus the punishment of social pariah is a pretty good one until they do something that clearly breaks the law and are proven not wealthy enough to get preferential treatment.

I'm going to respectfully indicate that the interactions you describe may be historic, but we are talking about a very different workplace environment these past few months. I've personally encountered at least two clearly malicious false claims pretty obviously intended as retaliation towards colleagues. And one was nearly successful in destroying him professionally, despite no violation of policy or proof of wrongdoing. 

 

I've never seen that before. It's a new risk factor to consider. 

 

Evaluating personal liability and risk seems a reasonable course of action. Moreso than in past years. 

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I'd like to inquire with equal respect as to what the retaliation was over? 

 

What is the industry with such a zealously swung new work environment? 

 

A new risk factor? To what? Talking to co-workers? There's always been some. Heightened now or not I don't know. 

 

There's always been people who take advantage of rules to their benefit at the cost of others, no one said that wasn't the case, considering the whole problem arose from men using their power to harass women at the work place, the idea that some women would use the heightened awareness to do similar only makes sense. I'll wager that there's less of it though, considering the power structure has traditionally not favored them. 

 

 

 

 

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On 11.2.2018 at 11:59 PM, Sociotard said:

So lets say that there was a lot of evidence the guy was bad, but not the Beyond Reasonable Doubt level needed to jail him. There's enough to persuade an employer to fire him.

 

So, does he ever work again?  If he does, this feels like when the bad priests just got shuffled off to new churches. The whole point is to make a safe workplace.  But if they get pervert-blacklisted, what are they supposed to do? We don't want them going into petty crime. The darker parts of myself suggest it would be convenient if they all pulled a Mark Salling, but that is both macabre, cruel, and not likely.

This is a decision each Employer has to make for themself. And they are only fallible humans after all.

 

Even if they do find new work, they are at least "the new guy". So at least they are one step down on the ladder. Possibly multiple ones. So it is more like the Priest being demoted to a Acolyte in a different Church.

 

On 11.2.2018 at 11:59 PM, Sociotard said:

So what should be done? Again, this is for case of men who only have Preponderance of Evidence or Substantial Evidence. We can't jail them. (a good article about the problem with Carceral Feminism). What do we do with men condemned to not work?

If you want to fix Prision Rape, go and fix Prision rape. 

Even mentioning that in the "#metoo" debate seems like a bit of Whataboutism/Distraction.

 

Carcereal Feminism:

If you think that sending people to prision for actuall, proovable missdeeds is wrong, then we have nothing really to talk about. Your freedom stops the moment another persons Freedom is infringed upon. And since there are too many "grey area" cases, we are using Judges rather then machines to do the decisions.

And because Judges are fallible humans, there are concepts like appeal, misstrial and all the other rules to get another go at it.

 

There is a shitton of checks and balances to avoid mistakes.

If people can not use them, it is a fault with your countries implementation of a Justice System. It has nothing to do with "#metoo"

Really, it is just again Whataboutism/Distraction from the actuall issue.

 

20 minutes ago, Enforcer84 said:

There's always been people who take advantage of rules to their benefit at the cost of others, no one said that wasn't the case, considering the whole problem arose from men using their power to harass women at the work place, the idea that some women would use the heightened awareness to do similar only makes sense. I'll wager that there's less of it though, considering the power structure has traditionally not favored them. 

Oh, not taht old argument again. "But it can be absued".

 

The thing is: This is not the first time I hear that argument!

My country made Rape in Marriage fully punishable in 97/98 (it fell under normal Coersion before).

Of course as this change was being debated, Conservatives argued: "But women will abuse that during Divorce Courts!". You know, the usual Conservative stuff that anyone actually knowing how the justice system can only answer with a annoyed sigh.

 

This argument? It is literally 2 decades old for me. And I am just 2 months from turning 34.

 

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18 minutes ago, Christopher said:

 

Oh, not taht old argument again. "But it can be absued".

 

The thing is: This is not the first time I hear that argument!

My country made Rape in Marriage fully punishable in 97/98 (it fell under normal Coersion before).

Of course as this change was being debated, Conservatives argued: "But women will abuse that during Divorce Courts!". You know, the usual Conservative stuff that anyone actually knowing how the justice system can only answer with a annoyed sigh.

 

 

You're correct of course, and I say that in my argument out of habit of not wanting to seem immune to the reality that bad behavior doesn't only come in penis shape. I should stop hedging my bets.

It's also a great excuse never to change anything. 

 

Basically, if some men feel nervous about working around women for fear that what they say will be misconstrued as an advance, well congratulations you now know how many women feel. Only they have the additional concern of being nice enough that they don't wound a heretofore unseen fragility that leads do violence. 

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35 minutes ago, Enforcer84 said:

Basically, if some men feel nervous about working around women for fear that what they say will be misconstrued as an advance,[...]

I honestly do not understand those guys:

How have they avoided a sexual harrassment suit this far?

How did they ever manage to have consentual sex?

 

If you think new legislation will affect you: Congrats. You are propably the person this is aimed at.

If you do not think new legilsation will affect you: Congrats. Your are not a complete failure in cross gender social interaction.

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2 hours ago, Enforcer84 said:

I'd like to inquire with equal respect as to what the retaliation was over? 

 

What is the industry with such a zealously swung new work environment? 

 

A new risk factor? To what? Talking to co-workers? There's always been some. Heightened now or not I don't know.

 

 

The industry is health care. 

 

The specifics aren't something I could provide full details on, but resulted from three female staff en route to termination for failing to meet performance expectations submitting complaints that their supervisor made them uncomfortable through discussion of the implications of their performance, work related activities they didn't like, and "lack of commitment to the agency". Specifics were demonstrably false. No policy violations. Onus on manager to prove he was not guilty of the alleged infractions. 

 

It was chilling. If he had not had such strong (ironclad) documentation it would've resulted in his termination for cause. He had receipts, witnesses, email, supervisory notes and other staff in the office that countered everything they were saying. 

 

And also their personal Facebook and social media.

 

And none of it would've mattered if he hadn't brought in legal counsel. 

 

The other one wasn't that bad, but between them I'm going to be looking for a standard of proof better than "some men have done bad things on occasion in history". Really ugly stuff. Maybe it's because California is so litigious. 

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That sounds horrible. I'm glad he was exonerated.

 

But he wasn't fired so the "What does the fired guy do" questions doesn't fit here, he got due process. His accusers made their case, he was able to respond. That's the system working, that's not an attack on dudes being nice. 

 

I just don't think industry reforms should be abandoned because "some bad women did stuff once." to borrow a phrase. 

 

 

 

 

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One friend of mine worked with a guy who kissed his wife in the parking lot, before his work had started. She was dropping him off. He kissed her good bye. He got written up for sexual harassment because some lady in the office had seen it. He was not fired (This was many years ago, would he have been today? not sure), but it was on his record, hurt his chances for promotion in that company, and pretty much had him on double secret probation for quite awhile.

 

Of course, the fact he was black and his wife was white and the lady who complained might have been a bigot from hell surely had nothing to do with that.

 

 

 

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