I wrote a blog post today because I got so irritated by hearing this. Too many men still think that if women like Dave in accounts and flirt with him and fancy him, that means revolting Ronnie and pervy Pete have the right to sexually harass them. No. Just no.
Well worth exposing this double standard of, well you wouldn’t care if he was an Adonis.
Trying to imply that consent to sexual contact relies on something other than women’s own agency. And even if they agree it relies on women’s own agency, that agency has to be analysed, for flaws or, God forbid, an element of preference that might exclude other man.
Very effective conversation stopper. Because women become confused. They know, full well, that attention from one person is preferable to that of another. But it sounds so superficial to have to explain it.
So yes, it’s about unwanted attention. And, because I fancy him, is absolutely a reason why that attention might be wanted.
And, I believe, the bit that often goes straight over men’s heads, is it’s often not about what someone looks like.
And imagine how men would respond if women en masse said "he's really flirty with that young pretty blond girl in accounts, but he's never like that with me. It's not fair." They'd point and laugh and think we were risible.
And you eloquently explained an issue that I have had argued (far less clearly than you put it) about quite a bit in my younger days; the idea that I want sexual liberation but consider pornography and prostitution misogynistic. I have been told that if I disagree with pornography etc than I must be sexually repressed/frigid/deeply religious and not really believe in sex before marriage either. Quite apart from the fact that it would be perfectly possible for a woman to make a decision not to have sex outside marriage without being any of these things, I have struggled to explain in simple terms why this is just not true. Thank you for making the point so clearly (and for letting me see that I am not alone in my views).
I know I've said this before, but I'm convinced a lot of this comes down to many, many men not seeing women as human beings. To many men, we are sex toys to be penetrated. And who cares what a toy thinks about the situation.
That is really good, thank you Basil. Will definitely be using it. Just replied to a 'will women not think of how they might damage men with their often unprovable allegations! Whatever next, will just speaking to someone be seen as sexual if done flirtatiously!' post on FB. Twat. This was in response to the recent suicide. Of course it's women wot made him do it
Agree with all of this. Another thing that is never mentioned in the 'it's harmless banter' shite is the power difference. I work with someone who often crosses the line in what they say, sometimes I do challenge them, sometimes I don't, sometimes I laugh or go along because I know full well they are in a position where they could have an impact on my future. I know it's seen as being 'just who they are', I know that properly kicking off would result in me being frozen out by them and although I wouldn't face any obvious direct consequences, it could change how I was perceived or leave me open to them being able to bad mouth me to those above me who I don't have access to. So I have to choose between compromising my morals or my career. It's possible none if those consequences would play out, but it something I have to consider.
Oh, and in relation to the recent suicide (it is local to me) I said to my boss it wouldn't be long before all the 'it's gone too far' stuff began, and lo and behold, the very next person I spoke to said that. I did challenge them, and we got to discussing above mentioned colleague, and I pointed out I was able to have many conversations, work and personal, with a variety of men in the office that did not degenerate into innuendo and sexism so it wasn't at all necessary.