The other side of "sexual harassment" needs discussion too

Started by mens_issues, Oct 26, 2014, 12:51 PM

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Oct 26, 2014, 12:51 PM Last Edit: Oct 27, 2014, 04:58 AM by mens_issues
One thing about the endless discussion of "sexual harassment" as portrayed in the mainstream media is that it's almost always portraying men as undesirable lechers making unwanted sexual advances/comments to women who don't want them.

There is another side to this issue though. That is, men are also given a "societal expectation" to form relationships with women (it's part of "manning up and being mature etc.") AND that they are expected to take the initiative. The fact that it's often difficult to gauge women's level of interest as to whether a man's attention is wanted or unwanted adds to the difficulty for men

Can you see the conflict here?

Young men - indeed men in general - are caught between a rock and a hard place in that if they don't show an interest in women and take any initiative with them (beyond the business at hand), then they're unable to form relationships with such women, and are ridiculed as "lacking maturity", "being gay", and so on.

But if they do decide to pursue women and misinterpret their level of interest (which is quite easy to do), then they're committing "sexual harassment" or "stalking" and so on. Then they can lose their job, be sued or arrested, and generally alienate themselves from their peers.

Yet I've seen little to no discussion of the "reasonable man's" perspective in the mainstream media regarding this. But I think it's quite relevant to men.

Note: I'm not talking about more serious forms of sexual harassment, or denying/condoning it's occurrence between men and women. For example, the boss who says to his secretary "Sleep with me if you want to keep your job" or the employee that continues to show a romantic/sexual interest in a woman long after she made it clear she isn't interested. Such examples would indeed be sexual harassment (without quotes), which I'm not condoning. And yes, as we've discussed on SYG numerous times, in can be done by women to men in a workplace/educational setting (though the mainstream media tends to overlook of excuse that, as we've also discussed).
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I imagine a cartoon regarding the dilemma men face regarding dating. It would show a young man and woman in the middle. The young man is trying to figure out if he should ask the young woman out. On the "conservative right" side would be a bunch of voices saying "be a man", "take the initiative", "be mature" and so on. On the "liberal left" side would be a bunch of voices saying "don't harass or stalk her" and "she doesn't owe you her attention" and so on. And hanging over the young man's head would be "The Sword of Damocles".

Because whatever he does, it's "wrong" from either the traditional conservative or liberal point of view. Indeed, the young man risks the disapproval of both sides if he misjudges the situation.

I'd make up such a cartoon, but I'm lousy at drawing.
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