Oh good – this just in – another “bitchez need to stfu about all this sexual harassment shit” announcement, from a Dr Marty Klein.
He cleaned up the facts about the harassment to improve his case though. That’s naughty, Dr Marty Klein.
I recently attended the national conference of a large progressive organization. It was well-organized, stimulating, and fun. The people were mostly energetic, interesting, and friendly; it was a good mix of ages, sexual orientations, and divided almost 50/50 male-female.
I was eventually asked, as a sex therapist, what I thought about Sexual Harassment. Apparently a couple at last year’s conference had gotten friendly with a particular woman in her mid-30s. Eventually “Mary & John” handed the woman their card—suggesting quite clearly that they were “open” to “adult activities.”
The woman didn’t want to share this kind of fun, which is perfectly fine. But she was somehow “offended,” which is not.
See where he got the facts wrong? The couple did not “get friendly” with Elyse during the conference, at least not according to her account.
Then, at the very end, when everyone was preparing to leave, and I was packing up the Hug Me table, answering questions, and generally socializing with other speakers and attendees, thinking about how fat my check is going to be from Big Pharma when one man and his wife, whom I’ve become vaguely acquainted with on Facebook in the last week, approached my table. He said, “Here’s a little something to remember us by” and handed me an upside-down card. I turned it halfway over, glanced at it peripherally, then thanked them.
A minute or so later, I had a “wait… what?” moment, then flipped the card over and looked at it not peripherally to discover I had not been handed a business card, but a card with a naked photo of the two of them, with their information on how to contact them should I want to fuck.
See? That’s different, isn’t it. They didn’t get friendly with her and then “eventually” hand her their card. They came up to her at the very end of the conference, handed her the card face down, and split.
Is it fine for her to be “somehow ‘offended'” at that? What a fucking stupid question. How fucking stupid and unpleasant of this Dr Marty Klein to change Elyse’s account of the incident and then announce that it’s not fine for her to be “offended” in scare quotes – it’s not fine for her to be offended by two total strangers – apart from vague acquaintance on Facebook – sneaking her a card of them naked inviting her to contact them if she wanted to fuck, and then running off.
The name of his blog is Sexual Intelligence. That’s sexual intelligence?
The woman didn’t want to share this kind of fun, which is perfectly fine. But she was somehow “offended,” which is not. In fact, the woman felt that this invitation constituted Sexual Harassment, and she complained. Even worse, this previously loyal movement member then blogged and blogged and blogged about it, urging her female readers to stay away from the organization. Now the word is out to younger progressive women—don’t go to this group’s conferences.
Unless you want strangers slipping you an invitation to fuck and then running away. If you do, by all means go to this group’s conferences! But no, that’s not good enough for Dr Marty Klein – it has to be forbidden for people to blog about such jolly incidents, because to blog about it is disloyal. (And as for blogging and blogging and blogging – there are no words to describe such treason.)
So what did that young woman experience? Not Sexual Harassment, but Unwanted Sexual Attention. And when the woman made it clear it was unwanted, the attention went away. That should have been the end of the story. But if the recipient of a friendly, non-pressuring, non-institutional sexual invitation isn’t grown up enough, she (or he) will feel assaulted. And with today’s heightened consciousness—and internet access—she will have the option of describing herself as victimized to a large number of people.
No, the attention went away before she registered what it was. One could see that as considerate tact, or one could see it as creepy. I think it’s creepy. But in any case – some people (at least, some women) really don’t want to be the recipient even of a friendly, non-pressuring, non-institutional sexual invitation from complete strangers in a work situation. Not as a card with naked people having sex on it, not as a 4 a.m. invitation for coffee in a hotel room. Some crazy women just really want to be able to go places without being asked for sex. Dr Marty Klein apparently thinks that’s nuts. What a creep.