Monday, 6 November 2017

SAID THE ACTRESS TO THE BISHOP...?



I've been following some of the recent stushie about 'sexual harassment' with mixed feelings.  While no one can excuse rape, or inappropriate touching, I can't help but feel that some feminists have been exploiting it for their own ends - namely, putting the boot into men just because they're men.  The impression has been created that all men are latent rapists, perverts, potty-mouthed louts, and downright nasty individuals.  (And, to be fair, a lot of them are.)  If you're male, you've been told for many a long year now that if you ever find yourself walking behind a woman on a street, you should cross the road so that she won't feel threatened.  But why would she feel threatened?  Because you're a man of course.  As a man, I find this quite insulting.  Actually, the people most likely to be attacked on the street are young males, but they don't expect people behind them to cross to the opposite pavement to allay their fears.

Let me tell you something.  I've worked in mostly all-women environments a few times throughout my working life, and I can categorically state that they can be just as vulgar, sexually suggestive, and 'touchy-feely' as some men can be.  (And I know whereof I speak, as I was once 'touched up' by a woman at work.)  The deciding factor in whether a man is being inappropriately verbally vulgar seems to depend on whether he's considered attractive or not.  If you look like Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp, you can tell a 'naughty' joke and women will laugh;  if you don't, then there are always some women (and men) who are determined to be offended.  If that isn't your experience, then you've been lucky.  Some of the dirtiest jokes I know were told to me by women.  Every weekend, I see women out on the street being loud, sweary, vulgar, and offensive.  Men don't have a monopoly on those vices.

Almost every night on TV, you see comedians indulging in vulgar innuendo, or even being sexually explicit in the jokes they tell.  As the camera pans across the audience, you see women laughing just as much as men (sometimes moreso), and it's a safe bet it's the same with viewers at home.  I find it hypocritical that someone can view and laugh at such material on a regular basis (and thus bestow their approval on it) and then take offense when some poor guy at work makes a comment or tells a joke in a similar vein.  Remember when some woman a while back complained about a guy complimenting her on her Facebook (I think) photo, saying that his comments were offensive?  (All he'd done, if I remember correctly, was to say that it was a nice photo.)  Well, the sh*t hit the fan, but it was later revealed that she'd done the very same thing on various occasions herself.  So what is it that seemingly makes it okay for women to assume the exclusive right to be offended?

Let's be clear though.  It's wrong to use one's position of power or authority to make sexual passes at employees, whether they be men or women.  On the other hand, there are those who view such passes as a sign of approval, who even, in fact, go out of their way to ingratiate themselves with the boss by flirting and using their womanly wiles to encourage such attention.  That's part of the problem.  There seems to be no consensus among women (or men) as to what is acceptable and what isn't.  Johnny Depp could approach a woman in a bar and say "Grab your coat, luv, you've pulled" and the object of his attention would probably swoon with delight (or at least be flattered).  Whereas, if it was Johnny Vegas (before he was famous), the comment would likely be far less appreciated.  We need to have the same standard of what's considered acceptable behaviour for everyone, not vary it depending on looks, wealth, or status.

So is that what it boils down to?  If the person making the pass is physically attractive, no harm done, but if it's someone much less aesthetically-pleasing to the eye, then he's a grotty pervert who deserves to be lynched?  Surely there has to be another, better way to distinguish between what is acceptable and what isn't.  At the moment, the measure of what is regarded as unwelcome or offensive seems to be completely subjective, even arbitrary, depending on who's making the remark and who it's directed at.  It's the culture which is at fault and something needs to be done, but let's not fool ourselves that men are the only villains in this drama, or that women are the only victims.

Another thing.  I can quite understand why some people are afraid to complain about sexual harassment because of a fear of not being believed, but in the case of Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, their chief concerns seem to have been to protect their financially lucrative careers, at the expense of potentially allowing other women to become victims of their alleged 'molester'.  (I say 'alleged' merely to legally protect myself, and because the guy has yet to be found guilty.)  Now the pair are being lauded for their bravery in coming forward, when their former silence facilitated other women allegedly falling prey to the individual they're now complaining about.  They hadn't been threatened with violence or murder if they'd spoken out earlier - the only thing they had to worry about were smaller bank accounts.  That's something we should perhaps remember when they're making their self-serving, self-righteous pronouncements.

Anyway, having said that, nothing is ever that simple and I'm sort of feeling my way along (behave) and trying to work out what I think about all this, so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts and observations.  For the record, I think we should have capital punishment for all convicted rapists and paedos, but when it comes to making a clumsy, non-physical pass at someone, or making a comment which can evoke opposite responses depending on who the listener is, then it's probably better if we try and keep a sense of perspective about things.  It does genuine victims no service to equate their experience with far lesser 'transgressions'.

What sayest thou?            

20 comments:

-3- said...

One of the big reasons i'm a hermit is that i cannot seem to maintain the proper level of schizophrenic hypocrisy for standard social interactions. As you point out, there seem to be leveled rules determining when the same thing is acceptable or offensive. And frequently, one is expected to be viciously offended about something which would required blinding myself to the very same thing in "the good guys".
And we won't go into how often we're supposed to forget last week's view in order to embrace the latest "proper" viewpoint.
Just can't manage it.

Meanwhile - worst joke told to me by a female:
Why did God give women legs?

Kid said...

I know why He gave them small feet - so they can stand closer to the sink when they're washing the dishes.

-3- said...

So they don't leave snail trails.

Have fun with that image.

BTW - NOBODY over here seems to understand what i mean if i follow a remark with "Said the Actress to the Bishop..."

Kid said...

Maybe it's just a British thing, but given the amount of UK comedies that Americans seem to love, it's surprising that they're unaware of the actress/bishop line.

-3- said...

I would have thought so. They might not be familiar with the characters of the Actress & the Bishop, or the roots of the expression, but they ought to understand the double entendre reference, no?
But, in my experience, it's only ever met with blank confusion. Maybe if The Doctor used the expression. Or companion. Who knows? We've yet to see her new persona.
(Which actually might tangentially loop around to your original discussion)

Kid said...

If you haven't already seen them, you might find my posts on the new Doctor quite interesting, as they already touch on aspects of this post. Just type Doctor Who into the search box and stand well back.

TC said...

Obviously, people (both male and female) have a right not to be assaulted or harassed. But we need to have specific definitions of those terms. A person does not have a right to claim to be the victim of a crime just because he or she heard something and arbitrarily decided that it was offensive or inappropriate.

A woman has a right to draw the line, and her male acquaintances (employers, co-workers) do not have a right to cross it. They do have a right to know where the line is. She does not have a right to move the goal post.

And a woman obviously has a right to say "no." But if she says voluntarily says "yes," then she has no right to change her mind months or years later, and to claim to be a victim.

That goes for Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, and for the college student dragging her mattress around the campus as a political statement.

It also goes for Elizabeth Warren, who now claims to have been the victim of "borderline rape" by the professor who was her mentor in college. He is now conveniently dead and unable to contradict her. BTW, he had polio and was unable to even walk normally.

So, which is more likely? A paralyzed man sexually assaulted a young woman, or a politician is trying to jump on the cutrently fashionable "I was a victim of sexual assault" band wagon?

(Also, Warren falsely claimed to be Native American to get hired or promoted under a diversity quota.)

There was also the actress who claimed that George H. W. Bush groped her. He later apologized for it, but then, most Republicans will apologize for breathing. So, did a handicapped geezer in a wheelchair grope a young woman, or is a D-list actress trying to get publicity?

No wonder VP Pence refuses to be alone in a room with a woman other than his wife.

Professional activists want to make the definitions of assault, harassment, and even rape, so broad and vague that it can mean whatever they want. So they can then accuse anyone they want.

But it could have an opposite effect. It could get to the point where people will say, "Well, if telling a woman her hair style looks nice is sexual harassment, then sexual harassment is no big deal."

And, as you say, it is an insult to real victims. There may even be legitimate cases (a secretary suing her former boss because he fired her for refusing to have sex with him, or a woman trying to press criminal charges against a guy who forcibly raped her at gunpoint) that will be dismissed out of hand because of SJWs who have falsely cried "wolf" for so long.

Kid said...

I can always rely on you, TC, to proffer an interesting comment with real meat on the bones, and you haven't let me down on this occasion. Another thing we have to consider is that there are also older (relatively-speaking) women in positions of authority who abuse their position to take advantage of young men. There was a case in Britain recently where a teacher in her 30s slept with a 15 year-old male pupil. Thing is, our culture isn't geared to perceive such occasions as 'abuse', and there'll be many people thinking that he was one lucky lad because the teacher was quite attractive. In short, we tend to automatically view females as victims and males as villains and have difficulty accepting that the situation can ever be reversed. In such a culture, it makes it easier for women to view themselves as being 'put upon' when that's not always the actual case.

Years ago, a woman who 'had a thing' for me bought two cinema tickets without first consulting me and then suggested we go catch a movie together. Her attention was unwanted so I had to let her down gently. If the situation had been reversed, she could now be claiming (if she was so inclined) that I had harassed her with unwanted attention and that I was a sex pest. Now, in my case, I didn't feel harassed, I simply declined her invitation, but it appears to be the case that some women more readily categorise such attention as 'harassment' and see themselves as some kind of 'victim' in these circumstances. It's just not an even playing field, but it isn't always the women who are negotiating the potholes.

It's a crazy world, eh?

Lionel Hancock said...

Its not a crazy world . Its a controversial world. Say an innocent thing and it may be taken as sexism or racism.. A good old slap on the face one time was used to put a guy in his place ..Not now just a hefty fine instead and your face all over the media. Wait for the day you come out the Mens bathroom the same time as a child comes from the womens. mummy mummy a man was in the Toilets...What Did he do. He looked at me...10 years later Free at last..Im waiting for the Dr Who feminists to get stuck in after Shes let loose on the screen.

Kid said...

I could never quite see why it was once considered okay for a women to slap a guy on the face if she didn't like something he'd said, when there would've been a hell of a stushie if it had happened in reverse. Now, if he'd touched her inappropriately (and not just a pat on the knee), then that's a different story...

Colin Jones said...

I've been "come on to" by both women and men - a man once kissed me full on the lips which came as quite a shock! But he apologized profusely and that was the end of the matter. None of it ever bothered me.

I've always been annoyed by the attitude of some feminists that "all men are bastards, all women are saints" when it plainly isn't true. How do they explain somebody like Margaret Thatcher - the first female PM who made virtues of greed and selfishness - and far more women than men voted for her!

By the way, happy birthday for tomorrow, Kid :)

Kid said...

The only gay guy I ever knew was married - to a woman. I knew his wife from a shop, and she introduced me to him one night when I ran into her in a pub (I was in for a soft drink). I never suspected he was gay until he told me months later in the same pub (his wife knew when she married him). Not being quite sure as to why he was telling me (his wife wasn't there), I said I was fine with that, as long as he understood I didn't share his 'interests'. He said he already knew that, but I don't think that was down to the mythological 'gaydar' they claim to possess, he probably just didn't fancy me. I'm afraid if a guy tried to kiss me on the lips, I'd punch him on his.

As regards Margaret Thatcher, I don't think her political leanings were attributable to her gender, CJ. That's probably not the best comparison you could have gone for. Myra Hindley would've been a better bet.

Thanks for the birthday wishes, CJ (ah, but IS it my birthday tomorrow?) - now where's my present?

Colin Jones said...

Kid, I wasn't trying to say that Thatcher's political beliefs were due to her gender - I just meant that a woman can be as horrible as any man but if you believe the feminists, women are always kinder and more worthy than men which isn't true and Thatcher is a perfect example. But I do recall a feminist trying to make excuses for Thatcher - because she was a woman in a man's world she had to prove she was tougher and meaner than men. Ah, so it wasn't because she was a nasty, cold-hearted right-wing bitch.

Kid said...

The problem with your example though, CJ, is that it suggests that all Tories are horrible people. I think we need to draw a distinction between people and their politics. You might not agree with her political policies, but if she genuinely believed that what she was doing was for the overall good of the country, then just because her beliefs were at odds with yours (or anyone else's), that doesn't automatically mean she was a horrible person per se.

The late Cyril Smith's political beliefs are doubtless regarded by many as laudable, but it appears that he was a disgusting paedo. You see the distinction that has to be made?

Colin Jones said...

OK, we'll have to agree to disagree on the Tories and Thatcher :)

Kid said...

I happen to think that ALL politicians, irrespective of their allegiances, are a waste of space, CJ, so I don't necessarily disagree with you. It's just that I don't know if she was a horrible person or not, and I'm not convinced that a person's political beliefs are a reliable measure of whether they're 'good' people or not. The fact that Cyril Smith probably opposed everything Maggie stood for didn't make him a nice person, did it? That's all I'm saying.

Kenn said...

There was an old skit on Saturday Night Live, mysteriously no longer available on YouTube, though I have it on my computer, where Tom Brady was the guest and they did a spoof on sexual harassment guidelines in the workplace. Filmed in black & white to make it look official, a nebbishy guy would ask a female co-worker out for lunch, and she would immediately call human resources. Brady would ask the same female out for drinks without his pants on, and she would giggle and say "sure". The narrator spelled out the rules: "BE attractive. Don't be unattractive". Personally I always worked in sexually charged industries, and both genders are equally manipulative, corrupt, and victimized. As an aside, Gwyneth Paltrow's PARENTS were/are in the entertainment field. They should have better equipped her, or at least destroyed anyone who preyed on their daughter. Oddly quiet.

Kid said...

Thanks for the comment, Kenn. As you say, both genders are equally liable to indulge in such behaviour when the circumstances 'allow' them to. According to the media at the moment though, all guys (and only guys) are lecherous pervs. Given the movie mogul's reputation, of which everyone seems to have been aware, I can't help but wonder why the hell so many women ever went back to his room.

Shame that clip is no longer on YouTube.

Phil S said...

One wonders why this seems to be the moment the public cannot stomach this behavior. As for our previous commenters, how many of the people who physically hit on you were your boss or someone so powerful they could break your career? That’s the main problem .

Kid said...

I suspect that many people could never stomach this behaviour, PS, but they're now feeling emboldened to voice their disgust and disapproval by high-profile people being brought to book (not before time).

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