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Tag Archive: sexual harassment

Feb 15 2014

Shifting The Blame For Sexual Harassment (Or, Damn Those Mysterious Women And Their Weird Mystery Feelings)

I’ve written before about how it’s actually not very difficult to tell the difference between flirting and sexual harassment. I’d like to get at this issue from a slightly different perspective by talking about the purposeful obfuscation of women’s* desires and boundaries that I often hear as a defense of those accused of sexual harassment. …

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Oct 06 2013

Stop Telling Harassment and Assault Survivors To Go To the Police

Note: Yes, this is prompted by something that happened to me this weekend. But I’ve been thinking about it for a while and it applies to many events and situations, so I’d rather the comments section didn’t dissolve into a discussion of me and my specific (frankly rather mild) situation. I’m doing fine. However, the …

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Aug 30 2013

Making the Normal Abnormal

Much of progressive activism focuses on making things that seem weird, abnormal, and wrong to many people seem more ordinary, normal, and acceptable. For instance, activists have tried to show that being attracted to someone of the same gender is no different from being attracted to someone of the opposite gender, that eating vegetarian or …

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Aug 29 2013

The Law is Not on Our Side

[Content note: sexual harassment and assault] Many brave writers have described what happened to them when they reported gender-based threats and violence to the police. Occasionally the outcome is positive, but often nothing at all happens and often something terrible happens. Here are two recent examples I’ve read. The first is by Heina of Skepchick: …

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Aug 21 2013

Flirting and Sexual Harassment: Not Actually the Same Thing

I could do a whole series on harmful and irrational responses to sexual harassment claims. First we had the “but it’s a learning opportunity!” defense, and now there’s this sort of thing: ”But people are going to flirt. We’re all sexual beings*. We’re all adults here and should be able to deal with some harmless flirting. …

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Aug 08 2013

On Sexual Harassment and “Learning Opportunities”

[Content note: sexual harassment] The skeptic/secular community is blowing up with the sadly-unsurprising news that at least one Big-Name Skeptic has been sexually harassing women. More accusations keep pouring out, though some of them have been stifled with legal threats. I expect (and hope) that this is something we’re going to keep talking about for …

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Jun 11 2013

Harassment Is Not An Isolated Incident

The reason it’s so hard to get people to take harassment seriously is because it looks so different from the outside than from the inside. Here’s an example many of us are probably viscerally familiar with. There’s a group of kids at school who don’t like you. They try to trip you every time you …

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May 03 2013

[guest post] Also Known as the Argument from “Gotta Get Laid, Amirite?”

Mitchell of Research to be Done has a fantastic response to my recent post! Let’s talk about street harassment. Actually, since Miri has covered the bases very well in her last post on street harassment, let’s talk about something that came up in the comments, and that tends to come up now and then in …

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Sep 09 2012

Consent Does Not "Ruin the Moment"

People who oppose sensible things like anti-harassment policies at conferences keep bringing up the same tired myths about dating, sex, and romance: that it’s very important to have “mystery” and that making things clear and explicit “takes away the fun” and, worst of all, that asking for consent “would ruin the moment.” I encounter this …

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Sep 09 2012

Consent Does Not “Ruin the Moment”

People who oppose sensible things like anti-harassment policies at conferences keep bringing up the same tired myths about dating, sex, and romance: that it’s very important to have “mystery” and that making things clear and explicit “takes away the fun” and, worst of all, that asking for consent “would ruin the moment.” I encounter this …

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