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Friday, September 13, 2019

Women in the Workplace

For John, BLUFThe history of the relations of the sexes has been fraught and has includes solutions that have included separations and restrictions.  We need better ways forward or we will end up with very rigid rules for interactions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Ms Katie Johnston, 3 September 2019,.

Here is the lede plus one:

In the two years since the #MeToo movement took off, igniting a firestorm over sexual harassment in the workplace, another form of less incendiary but more insidious gender-based harassment has been building quietly.

Women say they are being subjected to sexism far more than they used to be, according to a new study out of the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business — even as they report less overt harassment, such as sexual coercion (“sleep with me and you’ll get a promotion”) and unwanted sexual attention (ogling or fondling).

Women are facing a “massive increase in hostility,” said Stefanie K. Johnson, the business professor who coauthored the study.&nsp; Research shows that people in power feel threatened when other groups rise up, as women have during the #MeToo era, and that men believe their status declines when women’s rises, which could cause some men to lash out.

“It’s not that the need to subjugate women goes away, I just think it takes a different form,” Johnson said.  “Rather than make sexual comments about women, men who are prone to sexually harass will just accuse women of being incompetent.”

The key is understanding what is happening.  Are men, on average, just hostile to women in the workplace, do they perceive that women are inferior or are mores just different, misunderstood or incompatible?  For sure, our current laws and culture call for men to give women an even break, and visa-versa.  At the same time, concern about women using the tools for fighting sexual harassment to achieve other ends causes men to act defensively.  We know, from history and our own experience, that change engenders hostility.  Mutual respect and trust should mitigate the hostility.

We need a truce, but that requires good faith on all sides.

Should we all be frank about our concerns or should we just muddle through, showing our distrust in other ways?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

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