Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why Some Men Refuse to Interact With Women in the Workplace

In some places in America, sexual harassment laws and polices have gotten so absurd we may look back someday and laugh at our own stupidity. But it isn't funny for people who have to deal with the problems now. It isn't funny for grade school boys who get labeled harassers for hugging grade school girls.

As with so many other things that involve the government, the cure is worse than the problems.

Imagine three workplaces:

1) A workplace where interaction between coworkers is dull and strained, with little socialization; everyone is fearful of acting naturally.

2) A predominantly male workplace where men talk and bond freely about things like the latest leading lady in the movies and how hot she is, and where women get asked out for dates, and everyone jokes.

3) A predominantly female workplace where women talk and bond freely about things like the latest leading male in the movies, a star male athlete and his physique, PMS, a jerk of an ex, and everyone jokes.

Now, I know those are just three examples and do not exhaust the spectrum, but who really prefers the first option?

Here's where we are in the workplace in some states:

A regular customer comes in, chats with a favorite employee, and hugs that employee before leaving. A different employee, who was on the other side of the room, files a complaint for a "hostile work environment". The customer and the first employee are barred from hugging again.

That is the world that has been created. Normal, harmless (even beneficial) human behavior that has gone on forever in the workplace is now banned. It isn’t by employer choice, really. Since I believe in property rights and freedom of association, I think business owners should generally be able to hire, fire, promote, or demote anyone or any or no reason, and set the tone of the workplace to their liking. Under that policy, if they create a workplace someone finds hostile, that person can take their services or business elsewhere. Guess who loses? The business owner, if that was a good customer or employee. But employers have lost or are losing the freedom to set the terms and conditions and tone in their own workplace, due to laws and court decisions about sexual harassment.

It’s another way trial lawyers and stupid juries are doing some harm. It is another way the Left takes the fun and joy out of life. Yes, this is a Leftist issue. Sexual harassment is something that has been the drumbeat of Leftist feminists. Leftist feminism was, to borrow from El Rushbo, largely about getting less attractive women greater access to the mainstream, and “hostile environment” sexual harassment is their way of punishing men they find unattractive. That is evidenced by the fact that two people can say the exact same thing ("that's a nice blouse") to the same woman in the same tone, and the male who says it is punished while the lesbian who said it isn't. It is also about forcing all workplaces to cater to female sensitivities, even if there are 100 men there and 1 woman. The people who investigate allegations are usually, guess what, women. Leftist women. And men are more prone to violate restrictions because we're visual creatures, we want sex more than women, and we're expected to do the pursuing.

Policy and law about quid quo pro isn't as ridiculous, but even with that, I tend to prefer property rights and freedom of association. If your boss asks for sexual favors, it is time to find a new place to work, if you don’t want to do your boss.

The Left loves to convince people they are victims, and this is just one more way they can be victims.

I know that discrimination and a bad work environment do hurt some people. None of this is to say I think assault, exposure, stalking, or slander/libel should be legal, nor that I think quid pro quo or creating a hostile work environmental is morally acceptable. I have a mother, a daughter, sisters, and a wife. I don't want them treated crudely and rudely. However, I'd like to think they all know how to hold their own against rude jerks. But I'm also a man and I have a father, a brother, and a son, and I don't want any of them screwed over with ridiculous laws and polices stacked against men.

Creating a workplace in which nobody will ever be offended in regards to their sex, body, love life, sexual orientation, or delusions about "gender identity" is not possible. I can only conclude that stringent laws and standards regarding "hostile work environment" in regards to sexual harassment are those that everyone knows will not be followed or met most of the time, and are meant to give women an edge over men and to punish employers and reward trial lawyers and government bureaucrats. Employers subject employees to laughable prevention training for the sake of liability issues, though sometimes it doesn’t matter if everyone's been through training – the employer will still get nailed and have to pay out large sums of money.

Why does sexual harassment get special status? If an employee eats bacon in a lunchroom, is that dietary harassment to someone trying to avoid pork products for weight loss, health, or religions reasons? What about if I eat a big, beefy hamburger in front of a devout Hindu? Or if a vegan tells me how wrong I am for eating meat?

Why has the workplace had to conform to female sensitivities, rather than how things used to be when a woman entered a male-dominated workplace or profession: the thickening of her skin, and often sharp wit on her part that disarmed rude men and charmed others? I've personally known women who broke glass ceilings with no help of quotas or sexual harassment polices – they succeeded because they were outstanding employees who knew how to deal with people as adults.

If I invite someone to my home and I want to be a good host, I’ll strive not to offend them. But since when has there been a right to never be offended anywhere, especially if you are a member of a group favored by the Left? (Nobody cares about offending heterosexual white Christian males.)

Why couldn't I run a workplace the way I’d like? As it happens, I would choose to have a policy against quid pro quo harassment and I would have a fairly high standard for decorum. But that should be my choice, not something determined eternally and imposed upon me.

What say you?

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