idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Telling someone you find them attractive isn't sexual harassment when the information is paid as a compliment and in an environment where it's appropriate. Telling them you think they're sexy when you're their boss? Harassment. In the middle of a meeting? Harassment. Abusing some other relationship to create an opening to interject that information? Harassment. Saying it graphically, when you don't even know if they're receptive (or, god forbid, you know they don't)? Harassment.
The last two seem awfully open to interpretation, though.
I mean, as a man, how do I know when the recipient will interpret it as a sexual provocation and not, as intended, a harmless compliment?
Edit: This is why I dislike homemade definitions, because if we can make up the definitions to words or situations as we go, there's nothing we can agree on. If someone tells me "mentioning sex outside the bed is offensive to women", that's something I can work with. Sort of. This whole "well, it might be offensive, but it might also not be; it depends on the mood of the recipient" thing is just impossible to work with. Edited, Jan 30th 2014 9:36pm by Mazra
There are occasionally grey moments, which is why we have things like courts that handle sexual harassment claims.
Protip: I don't know a single woman who thinks asking consent isn't sexy. It's awkward and embarrassing, because most guys want to come off so suave
. That's mostly because it's a male ideal.
If you're going from "I THINK she likes me" to sending dick pics, it's harassment
. Insert Anthony Weiner joke here
Plus, the line between flirting and harassment is broad enough you shouldn't be accidentally wandering into one from the other (specifically in the last two places, which is what your referenced). I mean, it's pretty much the difference between "Hey Diane, I love your acting bits!" and "Hey Diane, reenact the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction!"
If you think it might be harassment, according to your male sensibilities, then there's a VERY good chance it is harassment, according to female ones.
The power part should NOT be considered grey. If you're her boss or superior, don't flirt with her. It's fully possible she's receptive to it and you two would have no problems. Don't care, don't flirt with her. This isn't a shade of grey area, this is the rare case there MIGHT be an exception. And because you're the one with power in the relationship, the only appropriate response is to wait until she told you (clearly) that she was interested. That's it, that's the ONLY acceptable response. If you don't know, don't flirt.
By all means, if she gets a haircut, tell her you think it looks good. DON'T tell her that she looks sexy.
Really, shades of grey situations are BY FAR the exception. To be clear, I'm saying this as a guy who has to watch you hormonal beasts make the same mistakes over and over again.
This is really, really simple. This isn't feminist!Alex talking, this is gay guy!Alex talking. I have a male perspective.
What I don't have is a perspective of a guy pursuing women. I have the perspective of being the one that has to defend my entire sex when one of you jackasses makes a stupidly obvious bad decision.
OH LOOK, MY PHONE IS VIBRATING, BECAUSE MY FRIEND'S HUSBAND DID SOMETHING OBVIOUSLY STUPID AND DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT HE DID WRONG.
I only have so much patience, straight men. STOP DOING THIS TO ME.
And I'm telling you, if you step back and stop thinking with your dick, the chances of you ending up in an actual shades of grey situation is SUPER UNLIKELY. And if you're thinking with your dick, you really can't blame "unclear definitions."
As for definitions... That's why you don't make them up as you go. You set a definition, and you use it, and that is its own beast. You don't backtrack on that definition, that's not how it works. If you alter the definition part way through, then that definition is only valid from the point of change backwards.
Which means that you are now required to make the groundwork arguments all over again. You don't get to just ride the tide if you're playing fast and loose with your definitions (what gbaji does).
But if the situation changes, if there's some kind of cultural shift, and some part of the definition seems like it no longer applies, and we want to omit it, we can do that. But then you still need to go back and build the entire argument again; you don't get to just pick up where you left off. That's conflating words that don't mean the same thing, and it's bad reasoning.
Did this post make sense? I wrote this out of order...