Abolishing primate behavior

The American Spectator has an article on sexual misbehavior in the workplace.

The results of the mania surrounding sexual harassment and abuse is likely change both the workplace and dating culture, for good and ill. Instead of underlings fearing to offend lascivious bigshots, the bigshots now fear offending underlings. The people working the best jobs must operate on their best behavior – or else. Is that such a bad thing? And what of a dude making a spontaneous pass at a [gal]? Whether he looks like Harvey Weinstein* or Brad Pitt may determine whether the response involves the police or fireworks. Must Gloria Allred chaperone our dates and Antioch College-style consent forms preface each escalation of physical intimacy? Every abolition of the Bad Old World ushers in a [bad] Brave New World.

*Whose face, in the immortal words of Weekend Update, looks like chewed bubblegum rolled in cat hair.

NPR interviewed a black female reporter who was one of the few in any mainstream outlet to report on the misbehavior of R. Kelly.  She acknowledged that the black community are not willing to discuss the problematic ones in their community.  This seems to be true of women and gays also.

The Spectator article, fairly nuanced, discusses what may safely be called "primate behavior."  To that extent, it will perhaps never be extirpated from the workplace.  Even NPR almost admits that gorilla males can be sexist and that orangutans rape.  (The NPR article is amusing, using the same argument as those who explain that blacks can't be racist because they don't have power to oppress.  As if that were part of the definition.)

What can be done is to discriminate between Weinstein's predatory coercion and Monica's admission that when she went to D.C., she took her presidential knee pads.  The classical Greeks acknowledged that young men needed a mentor and profited by the relationship (e.g., Socrates and Alcibiades, though their relationship was nonphysical and therefore not typical).  The British Museum says classical Latin had no word for homosexuality, and indeed, the word "homosexualitatis" is said to have originated in the 19th century.

Relationships that include a power differential, like Monica's, and perhaps Eliza Doolittle's, can be problematic.  Even when clearly voluntary, they are suspect.  Medical ethics, for example, forbids physical intimacy between doctors and patients even for a time after the professional relationship is ended.  There doesn't seem to be any penalty, though, unless the patient objects.

As Flynn points out, the mob's fury is indiscriminate, which makes any behavior modification in society unpredictable.  Or perhaps predictably oscillatory, swinging from one extreme to another.  How to make the necessary discrimination?  Who shall draw the line, and where?

How many workplace romances will be inhibited by the new culture of zero tolerance?  Will that be a good thing?

Will this usher in a new civility?

Will banter be tolerated?  Flirtation?

Will we wind up missing the '60s?

Why are there no males objecting to female predation on schoolboys – only the mothers?

The American Spectator has an article on sexual misbehavior in the workplace.

The results of the mania surrounding sexual harassment and abuse is likely change both the workplace and dating culture, for good and ill. Instead of underlings fearing to offend lascivious bigshots, the bigshots now fear offending underlings. The people working the best jobs must operate on their best behavior – or else. Is that such a bad thing? And what of a dude making a spontaneous pass at a [gal]? Whether he looks like Harvey Weinstein* or Brad Pitt may determine whether the response involves the police or fireworks. Must Gloria Allred chaperone our dates and Antioch College-style consent forms preface each escalation of physical intimacy? Every abolition of the Bad Old World ushers in a [bad] Brave New World.

*Whose face, in the immortal words of Weekend Update, looks like chewed bubblegum rolled in cat hair.

NPR interviewed a black female reporter who was one of the few in any mainstream outlet to report on the misbehavior of R. Kelly.  She acknowledged that the black community are not willing to discuss the problematic ones in their community.  This seems to be true of women and gays also.

The Spectator article, fairly nuanced, discusses what may safely be called "primate behavior."  To that extent, it will perhaps never be extirpated from the workplace.  Even NPR almost admits that gorilla males can be sexist and that orangutans rape.  (The NPR article is amusing, using the same argument as those who explain that blacks can't be racist because they don't have power to oppress.  As if that were part of the definition.)

What can be done is to discriminate between Weinstein's predatory coercion and Monica's admission that when she went to D.C., she took her presidential knee pads.  The classical Greeks acknowledged that young men needed a mentor and profited by the relationship (e.g., Socrates and Alcibiades, though their relationship was nonphysical and therefore not typical).  The British Museum says classical Latin had no word for homosexuality, and indeed, the word "homosexualitatis" is said to have originated in the 19th century.

Relationships that include a power differential, like Monica's, and perhaps Eliza Doolittle's, can be problematic.  Even when clearly voluntary, they are suspect.  Medical ethics, for example, forbids physical intimacy between doctors and patients even for a time after the professional relationship is ended.  There doesn't seem to be any penalty, though, unless the patient objects.

As Flynn points out, the mob's fury is indiscriminate, which makes any behavior modification in society unpredictable.  Or perhaps predictably oscillatory, swinging from one extreme to another.  How to make the necessary discrimination?  Who shall draw the line, and where?

How many workplace romances will be inhibited by the new culture of zero tolerance?  Will that be a good thing?

Will this usher in a new civility?

Will banter be tolerated?  Flirtation?

Will we wind up missing the '60s?

Why are there no males objecting to female predation on schoolboys – only the mothers?

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