Erik Hetzner <[log in to unmask]>
> MJ Ray wrote:
> > However, I'm saddened that I seem to be the first to object to the
> > hand-waving ("number of reports") and prejudice in the above
> > paragraph. The above problems seem more likely to arise from being
> > drunk or being idiots than from being men. […]
> Starting from this incorrect position will lead to the wrong
> harassment guidelines being drawn up. Obviously the goal is equal
> respect, but you don’t get there by pretending that the root problem
> is drunkenness, or that men and women treat one another with
> disrespect in equal amounts. It’s not hand-waving to say that sexual
> harassment happens, and that (with negligible exceptions) it is is men
> who are the perpetrators. To pretend otherwise will not produce an
> effective anti-harassment policy.
Equally, we won't get an effective anti-harassment policy by making
incorrect assumptions (like it's negligible if the perpetrators are
not men) and ignoring the exceptional cases that don't fit those
assumptions. I feel that no serious harassment should be neglected by
a true anti-harassment policy as suggested above.
It's difficult to say what the root problem is when talking in
abstract like the above, but if we believe equality is ever possible,
merely being men cannot be the root cause. I feel that those who
suggest it is are just a different type of sexist who we must guard
There are, of course, reasons why men perpetrate more in most
communities I interact with, many of which are to do with history and
where we're starting from, but things can and do change, both in
general and in small subcommunities, and we should be ready.
MJ Ray (slef), member of www.software.coop, a for-more-than-profit co-op.
http://koha-community.org supporter, web and library systems developer.
In My Opinion Only: see http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
Available for hire (including development) at http://www.software.coop/