And again, my heart sank when I read this: https://scobleizer.blog/2017/10/25/no-of-that-im-innocent-sexual-harassment-assault-accusations/
The «other side» of these stories does not surprise me (that something could be seen as flirtation from one side, harassment from the other – this is how these things work, often, right?).
I’m not surprised, either, but particularly saddened and angered, by Robert’s opening paragraph and attempt to frame this as «it couldn’t be sexual harassment because I wasn’t their boss». I’m sure this is how he honestly sees things. As many have pointed out, if one wants to be literal about expressions, it would be sexual assault, right? FWIW I don’t like this «umbrella term» which covers (and therefore puts in the same package) everything from violent rape with penetration and a hand on a but.
This makes me wonder where Robert was during all the discussions these past years about street harassment, everyday sexism, the problems around gender diversity in the workplace, and yes, of course, sexual harassment in various contexts. When I read this justification, I think: here is another man (I know more than one) who is largely a good guy, whose heart is mostly in the right place, and views himself as such, but who missed out on sexism 101 and is therefore naively misogynistic (albeit full of good intentions), because he is blind to the power dynamics and the larger context (re my post) he is part of.
Robert – and other bloggers of our generation, me included – has always been a proponent of «more transparency». Of speaking rather than shutting up. Of exposing oneself, «warts and all», to have a more authentic relationship with others (clients, the public, you name them). And an important key to that approach is listening to what others are telling you, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Here’s to listening. And hearing.