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Looking for anonymous stories of sexual harassment

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by metooedu, Sep 18, 2019.

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  1. metooedu

    metooedu New commenter

    Hi Rosiegirl, thanks for your reply. I want the website to be simplistic. But, I hear your concerns regarding anyone posting anything. The questionnaire asks for darkest moments and ways people failed them and how they got help (if any). It's hard for me to feel your fear that this could be abused when no one is allowed to enter names, specific details, etc. If that was allowed then I definitely could see it being abused and it would be a legal nightmare for me as well!

    Why bother entering a false story with details when it won't be posted anyway? Yes, it could be possible for someone to make up a dark moment, but I just don't see what they would get out of it. Interestingly, for all the concerns here about fake stories, not a single person has submitted a story since I posted on this TES forum.

    I will consider only posting stories from people I know and will try other avenues to try and reach more people. Thanks!
  2. Bobbbs

    Bobbbs Occasional commenter

  3. metooedu

    metooedu New commenter

  4. TeachingBabylon

    TeachingBabylon New commenter

    I agree that serious cases of sexual harrassment and worse likely start off with something more casual, fun and jokey, before escalating. But I do think there is an feeling that, as a society, we have somehow lost the ability to distinguish between boundaries and to apply common sense to situations - or are being told to lose the ability through various outlets. I would be horrified if I thought a colleague was the victim of something serious, as I am sure all of my other colleagues would be. I would totally want the right course of action to be taken. Any right-minded human being would be. So have we really lost the ability to see and think only in black and white and be blind to social nuance?
  5. metooedu

    metooedu New commenter

    This is a very good comment!

    I agree strongly with your first sentence.

    Most accusations of sexual harassment clearly indicate situations that crossed boundaries. Saying that people accuse others of harassment for just making a joke is not something that is supported by research. There is a difference between making a generalized sexual joke and one that is directed at a person and that makes requests or demands for a sexual favor from them. All sexual harassment accusations I'm aware of deal with the second situation and not the first.

    Plus, we all set our boundaries differently and there are delicate nuances here. Let's imagine your colleague tells you they think you look hot. It doesn't bother you. This colleague has no say over your employment. That same colleague tells a subordinate that they look hot. The subordinate tells you (now a witness) and you laugh and say, oh that person always says that. Don't worry about it.

    This has now created a troublesome situation. The colleague may start to act unfairly towards the subordinate, say more sexual things, and the subordinate begins to wonder if their job is based on how hot this person thinks they are. And, they no longer feel comfortable going to you because of your earlier acceptance of this behavior as being okay. Boundaries change as the element of power differentials comes into play. This makes reporting sexual harassment so difficult, especially when schools investigate the claims themselves, as everyone within the culture thinks it's okay for sexual jokes to be made and they don't want to believe the victim when they say the person became more vulgar towards them as time went on.
  6. metooedu

    metooedu New commenter

    You say you would be horrified to find out a colleague was a victim of something serious. But, how likely are you to believe them? Your ability to believe must pass through your own biases, fears, prejudices, judgments, etc. At some point, the belief goes out of the window because it's easier and more convenient not to believe. It's too threatening to imagine the person that sits next to you at work is evil, and it's easier to imagine your colleague was just misguided in her (because it's usually a her) interpretation of the events.
  7. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    I have examined my own biases and have come to the firm conclusion that I am strongly biased towards factual accuracy and truth.
  8. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

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