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Sexual harassment

Audinut70Audinut70 Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
I need to know, if i approach a woman,say, in a bar to talk to her, she's either going to like me or not. If not, is that sexual harassment? I really dont know how i can meet a woman without potentially harassing her, as things are now. Maybe i could ask the bar tender, or would that still be harassment. 

Replies

  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,990

    Scope community team

    Hi @Audinut70

    This is an important subject to bring up as there's definitely a distinction between flirting and sexual harassment.  I'd say sexual harassment becomes just that when someone persists despite their intentions and advances being unwanted. 

    This Guardian article about Flirtation or sexual harrassment? also has this check-list which runs through some key things to consider when approaching a prospective partner:
     Is the way in which I'm making this advance likely to scare or alarm the person?
     Has the person already made it clear to me that they are uninterested in my advances?
     Does the speed at which my vehicle is moving rule out any likelihood of a response to this advance?
     Is this "advance" actually just a shouted and uninvited assessment on my part of this person's attractiveness/body/genitals?
     Does the context of this situation (a job interview, for example) make a direct sexual advance offensive or inappropriate?
    So as-long as the signals and verbal cues you are getting make it clear the woman wants your attention you shouldn't be concerned.  
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  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,437 Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 16
    If the lady tells you she's not interested and you continue thats harassment, as an adult it's down to us to know the difference and 99% of us do. but it has to be said that harassment can go both way. I have known many women over my long life but I have always known where the line should be drawn.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 3,648 Disability Gamechanger
    I met my partner at a party and that may have been an end to it but I knew the office she worked in and sent her flowers. If I hadn’t have done that we might never have got together properly. I only sent them once though, if sent flowers daily and she didn’t respond that would have been pestering and harassment. That’s scary for a woman obviously. It’d be scary for a male too!
  • Audinut70Audinut70 Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
    woodbine said:
    If the lady tells you she's not interested and you continue thats harassment, as an adult it's down to us to know the difference and 99% of us do. but it has to be said that harassment can go both way. I have known many women over my long life but I have always known where the line should be drawn.
    That goes without saying, watching the news today, the way things are going, well be expected to cross the street, because women get scared at the site of a man on the street, that is their words, not mine. The goal posts keep moving as to what they deem acceptable. 
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,437 Disability Gamechanger
    I think the goal post will remain exactly where they have always been, and what was unacceptable yesterday will still be that tomorrow.
    I will tell you this as a man I would think carefully before venturing out in the dark, thats not a comment on me or anybody it's just how it is and I doubt there is anything that can be done to change that.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • Audinut70Audinut70 Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
    edited March 17
    I'm not talking about acceptability, I'm talking about walking down the street! In daylight. So if i pull into a fuel station, do i wait in my car until the women are finished? I'm far from sexist, but the way men are being portrayed is totally unfair. This has gone way beyond harassment, this is saying they'll only feel safe if men are not visible. I would love to know the statistics on abuse to men. I'm one of them. And i mean the true numbers, i wouldn't embarrass myself reporting it, to be laughed at.
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,375 Disability Gamechanger
    @Audinut70

    I didn't hear the comment about during the day, as generally  it is more an issue either at night or in some more isolated areas. In part it is also about being aware of your own surroundings and behaviour and the potential affect on others.

    I have never had an issue with crossing a road at night if I am approaching a woman on her own, or even during the day if I think my being there is causing concern. Similarly if I am looking for directions I would not approach a woman on her own to ask.

    Similarly if I see a woman who I think is in distress, needs help or direction I will keep a respectful space when asking if they need help, if they say no I just move on. On the odd occasion where I have serious concerns I would call the local police and let them know, they can then check on the person.

    I do believe most men are decent, but the truth is the lived experience of many women is being harassed in some way by men. Most men are not rapists, sexual predators etc, but as a woman how would you know which are and which are not? It is not about being invisible, it is about being mindful of the potential affects we have on others.

    Also the true figures for abuse on men and women are not known as most of the time neither are reported. Neither is acceptable. While being laughed at would  not be appropriate, for many years women have not been believed, have been made to feel that in some way they were responsible either because of the way they dress, why were they in that area, what did they do to cause what happened. Too often the biggest critics were other women.  Fortunately this is changing but I still hear these things too often.

    From my experience most women are not interested in making men go away, ostracizing or even criminalising them, rather it is just a better understanding of how our actions, intentional or not affect them based on their lived experiences and respecting those. 


    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,990

    Scope community team

    @Audinut70 You mentioned that you have experienced abuse and I wondered what happened and if it's ongoing?  If you would prefer to discuss this privately, please email the team at [email protected]  There's no shame or embarrassment attached to reporting abuse and the appropriate authorities are there to support you without judgement.  Please don't let any suggestion that this is otherwise stop you if you want to take things further.  
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  • Audinut70Audinut70 Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
    How do i pm you? I can't find any facility for that. 
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,990

    Scope community team

    Audinut70 said:
    How do i pm you? I can't find any facility for that. 
    If you click on this link and type Cher_Scope in the recipients box and your message in the larger white box below that should work.  Let me know if you have any issues :)
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  • Audinut70Audinut70 Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
    edited March 17
    I wrote my message and got page 'cant be found' after sending. Ive just tried again, as soon as i open the message box, the recipient's name disappeared. I've lived with this for 28 years, it doesn't matter now anyway. 
     
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,990

    Scope community team

    edited March 17
    @Audinut70 Oh no, thanks for informing me of that.  I'll chase it up and see what might be the problem.  If you email me at [email protected] all communications will be kept private, with only myself and the other team members privy to what you share.  We'd really like to offer you support if we can.

    Edited to add - I've just sent you a PM, if you can check that you've received it okay and get back to me if you have?
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  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,990

    Scope community team

    @Audinut70 Would you be able to email over screenshots of the message that appears when you try to send a message?  We'll pass them onto our techy team to see what's afoot :)   
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  • Audinut70Audinut70 Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
    The recipients name just keeps disappearing when i send,says i need at least one recipient. Cher_Scope, 
  • Kit_Kit_ Member Posts: 31 Connected
    Many people are very emotional about recent events and may say things they don't necessarily mean, for example making comments about how all men are to blame etc, I'm sorry that people have been making you feel ignored or invalidating your experience.
    Many groups who talk about these issues do acknowledge that not all men cause these issues and that anyone can be harassed or abused, regardless of gender. I think we all need to learn how to respect people and their boundaries and act in a way that makes people feel safe, online as well as in real life, and regardless of gender. 
    Unfortunately the research that says that 95% of women have experienced sexual harassment shows that this is something that all women have to think about, and it seems that most women feel unsafe in their day to day lives. If any of us can do something that would make a stranger feel safer, should we not do it?

    I hope you and everyone reading this stays safe
  • Audinut70Audinut70 Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
    I have a question, if the man of a woman's dreams approaches her, for say,a drink, is she going to consider that as unwanted attention, where if it was, her worst nightmare doing the same? As a man, the potential for me being labelled as showing unwanted attention, sexual harassment, depends on whether im good looking enough for her, or not.
  • Kit_Kit_ Member Posts: 31 Connected
    “Attractive” men are definitely capable of harassment, I’m sure you can easily find stories of Hollywood actors who have made women feel uncomfortable and unsafe even though they are on magazine covers. Plus what counts as attractive is different for everyone. 
    If you are genuinely worried about accidentally harassing someone, remember to take queues from them, make sure they have a way to leave if they want to and are in a safe environment with other people present. If you enter into a situation with a respectful attitude and are mindful of how your actions could come across from the other person’s perspective, you are probably not going to be harassing them. 
    I don’t think that most women would consider being asked out by a man they aren’t attracted to as harassment as long as he takes the first no for an answer and doesn’t hold a grudge or continue to ask. Having said that, it is generally best to look for a sign that someone is attracted to you before you approach them. 

    Nobody wants to stop men from speaking to women under any circumstance, but context is important. 

  • Audinut70Audinut70 Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
    edited March 18
    So will someone make a clear definition of harassment? Unwanted attention. Unwanted by one woman, might be wanted to another. I'm a man, and basically, i wont go up to a woman anymore. We cant walk down the street, or behind, or just be around women without causing some degree of harassment, or fear, anxiety. Pubs and clubs will be separated soon.
    I have to add, i know 3 couples, now married, where the woman told him to go away at first. 
  • Kit_Kit_ Member Posts: 31 Connected
    There is no standard, cover-all definition of harassment because everyone is different and has different boundaries or experiences. Women have men crossing streets to avoid men and changing  their behaviour to feel safe for decades, men are only now realising this and attempting to play their part and having conversations about it.  You do not “have” to do anything different at all but you should care about wanting women to feel safe on the streets and you should want to play your part. 
    Conversations like this one should always be centred around respect and empathy for women, almost all of whom have experienced the traumatic event that is sexual harassment. I don’t feel that you are doing that or engaging with anything that has been said by others so I will not continue to reply. 
  • Audinut70Audinut70 Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
    edited March 18
    I have to respect! Why is that exactly. Respect is earned, not a right. 2 women almost got me killed through false allegations, ruined my life for life. its ok to slander all men as potential predators, but its being insensitive defending ourselves. Defence, retaliation, is a right. Especially when im being labelled as scum, thats what i think of men that do abuse women.  My attitude to women, i still talk to ex girlfriends from my teens. Ive always tret women right, its a shame i cant say the same about women. 
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,437 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry @Audinut70 but reading some of what you say appears to be you adding 2 and 2 together and making 7, everyman should respect every woman it's what we do, just as we would automatically respect our parents, they don't have to earn that respect they get it by right.
    My OH worked in a position in the early 80's where today you might say she was "sexually harassed" back then she dealt with it, put them in their place and laughed it off.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,990

    Scope community team

    @Audinut70 I understand you've had a difficult time in previous relationships and get how experiencing false allegations would impact your perspective on this (as mentioned before, please do email the team at [email protected] so we can offer support). However, I believe what @Kit_ was trying to convey is that, regardless of sex, we all share a common humanity and respect for others boundaries and wishes should be a shared goal.
    Online Community Co-ordinator

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  • QueenofdisabilitiesQueenofdisabilities Member Posts: 91 Connected
    @Audinut70.
    I understand totally about your past experiences with 2 women & I empathise.
    Don't tar all us women with the same brush.
    Why not ring your dr for counselling.
    It will teach you new coping skills then you won't be so bitter.
    May really help you hence me suggesting it.
    Or on here there must be someone who you can talk to?
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 713 Pioneering
    Consider if what you are doing or saying would be o.k.,  if you were gay, and  if the object of your attention happened to be a man who looks like a nightclub bouncer.  You are gay, but you don't know if he is,  You think  he might be, but you don't know if he had a partner, or if he only 'goes out'  with men who don't resemble you at all. 
     
    You would take care to devise a way to talk about something you hoped might be of mutual interest.  If he seems willing to talk further, you might casually suggest a drink, but without making it seem like a statement of intention, just in case you found yourself punched in the face(!)   If, to your delight, he accepted the invitation, you would still not be confident, because he might only want to discuss with you in a friendly way the topics you have in common, he certainly has not declared, by having a drink, that he is gay, nor that he is interested in you 'in that way'  nor or that he ever will be.  

    In that imagined scene, you would be extra careful, because he is at least twice as strong as you,  and you quite like your teeth to be  left in your face!

    Try reversing it.  This time, he is gay and interested in you.  Either you are not gay at all, in which case although you talk to him, and might have a drink and be friendly, you absolutely never will be going into a personal relationship with him.   Or, maybe you are gay, but half his strength, or less. Maybe you are  pretty scared most of the time, because you have often been attacked by strangers, and being so short and weak has made you a target of bullying since childhood.  Maybe your last relationship involved you constantly getting beaten up, and afraid to leave, or too emotionally involved to run away, until you saw the light, and vowed never to get involved with an abuser again.   

    This man is not frightening you; not yet.  Not yet, despite his size and despite your natural fearfulness.  He is not standing too close; he is talking light-heartedly.   He hasn't 'come on' to you.   He talks about things of mutual interest.  He is very casual, pleasant,  not insistent. He  does manage to find a way to ask if you want a drink some time, without making it seem as if you are actually committing to a 'date' .     
    Maybe you would be happy to meet for a chat, over a drink, but not for a date.  Maybe you never would do that, because you already have a partner.   Or maybe he is not 'your type', even though you quite like chatting to him.

       Or, maybe he might, gradually, get to know you and become friends, and eventually become a couple.  But the least sign of him being aggressive, or inconsiderate of what you want, would be an alarm bell for you.   If he starts to be forceful in any way, or insistent, or persistent, ignoring the signs you want him to back off, that will be the end of it, as far as you are concerned.    And if he chases you, tries to force you, seems to think he is entitled to insist on having his own way and scaring you, then he will be a bully and you will be right to be scared. 
  • Audinut70Audinut70 Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
    edited March 19
    @Audinut70.
    I understand totally about your past experiences with 2 women & I empathise.
    Don't tar all us women with the same brush.
    Why not ring your dr for counselling.
    It will teach you new coping skills then you won't be so bitter.
    May really help you hence me suggesting it.
    Or on here there must be someone who you can talk to?
    This is why men dont talk about the abuse they are/have suffered. We just get chastised,patronized for calling it out. Like it's different. I'm not bitter, im not calling for women to be locked away, and if respect is being bandied about, do i not deserve some for treating women well, considering?I like, love women.
     I'm a dad, respect is not a given, i don't 'expect' my children to respect me, that's assuming that i deserve it. Which would be arrogant. Just being something doesn't earn automatic respect. If people feel they have to respect ,that's their prerogative. 
     I dont tar all women, like men, the abusive, vicious ones are a minority, yet all men a generalised as abusive, a threat. 
    The sad fact is, the world is what it is. Ive been hospitalized several times by men, my life threatened several times, been assaulted, abused by women, bitten by dogs, ran over twice. I am truly sorry that women feel scared of men, I'm scared of what women can do to me, it doesn't stop me wanting to be with one.
  • Audinut70Audinut70 Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
    newborn said:
    Consider if what you are doing or saying would be o.k.,  if you were gay, and  if the object of your attention happened to be a man who looks like a nightclub bouncer.  You are gay, but you don't know if he is,  You think  he might be, but you don't know if he had a partner, or if he only 'goes out'  with men who don't resemble you at all. 
     
    You would take care to devise a way to talk about something you hoped might be of mutual interest.  If he seems willing to talk further, you might casually suggest a drink, but without making it seem like a statement of intention, just in case you found yourself punched in the face(!)   If, to your delight, he accepted the invitation, you would still not be confident, because he might only want to discuss with you in a friendly way the topics you have in common, he certainly has not declared, by having a drink, that he is gay, nor that he is interested in you 'in that way'  nor or that he ever will be.  

    In that imagined scene, you would be extra careful, because he is at least twice as strong as you,  and you quite like your teeth to be  left in your face!

    Try reversing it.  This time, he is gay and interested in you.  Either you are not gay at all, in which case although you talk to him, and might have a drink and be friendly, you absolutely never will be going into a personal relationship with him.   Or, maybe you are gay, but half his strength, or less. Maybe you are  pretty scared most of the time, because you have often been attacked by strangers, and being so short and weak has made you a target of bullying since childhood.  Maybe your last relationship involved you constantly getting beaten up, and afraid to leave, or too emotionally involved to run away, until you saw the light, and vowed never to get involved with an abuser again.   

    This man is not frightening you; not yet.  Not yet, despite his size and despite your natural fearfulness.  He is not standing too close; he is talking light-heartedly.   He hasn't 'come on' to you.   He talks about things of mutual interest.  He is very casual, pleasant,  not insistent. He  does manage to find a way to ask if you want a drink some time, without making it seem as if you are actually committing to a 'date' .     
    Maybe you would be happy to meet for a chat, over a drink, but not for a date.  Maybe you never would do that, because you already have a partner.   Or maybe he is not 'your type', even though you quite like chatting to him.

       Or, maybe he might, gradually, get to know you and become friends, and eventually become a couple.  But the least sign of him being aggressive, or inconsiderate of what you want, would be an alarm bell for you.   If he starts to be forceful in any way, or insistent, or persistent, ignoring the signs you want him to back off, that will be the end of it, as far as you are concerned.    And if he chases you, tries to force you, seems to think he is entitled to insist on having his own way and scaring you, then he will be a bully and you will be right to be scared. 
    newborn said:
    Consider if what you are doing or saying would be o.k.,  if you were gay, and  if the object of your attention happened to be a man who looks like a nightclub bouncer.  You are gay, but you don't know if he is,  You think  he might be, but you don't know if he had a partner, or if he only 'goes out'  with men who don't resemble you at all. 
     
    You would take care to devise a way to talk about something you hoped might be of mutual interest.  If he seems willing to talk further, you might casually suggest a drink, but without making it seem like a statement of intention, just in case you found yourself punched in the face(!)   If, to your delight, he accepted the invitation, you would still not be confident, because he might only want to discuss with you in a friendly way the topics you have in common, he certainly has not declared, by having a drink, that he is gay, nor that he is interested in you 'in that way'  nor or that he ever will be.  

    In that imagined scene, you would be extra careful, because he is at least twice as strong as you,  and you quite like your teeth to be  left in your face!

    Try reversing it.  This time, he is gay and interested in you.  Either you are not gay at all, in which case although you talk to him, and might have a drink and be friendly, you absolutely never will be going into a personal relationship with him.   Or, maybe you are gay, but half his strength, or less. Maybe you are  pretty scared most of the time, because you have often been attacked by strangers, and being so short and weak has made you a target of bullying since childhood.  Maybe your last relationship involved you constantly getting beaten up, and afraid to leave, or too emotionally involved to run away, until you saw the light, and vowed never to get involved with an abuser again.   

    This man is not frightening you; not yet.  Not yet, despite his size and despite your natural fearfulness.  He is not standing too close; he is talking light-heartedly.   He hasn't 'come on' to you.   He talks about things of mutual interest.  He is very casual, pleasant,  not insistent. He  does manage to find a way to ask if you want a drink some time, without making it seem as if you are actually committing to a 'date' .     
    Maybe you would be happy to meet for a chat, over a drink, but not for a date.  Maybe you never would do that, because you already have a partner.   Or maybe he is not 'your type', even though you quite like chatting to him.

       Or, maybe he might, gradually, get to know you and become friends, and eventually become a couple.  But the least sign of him being aggressive, or inconsiderate of what you want, would be an alarm bell for you.   If he starts to be forceful in any way, or insistent, or persistent, ignoring the signs you want him to back off, that will be the end of it, as far as you are concerned.    And if he chases you, tries to force you, seems to think he is entitled to insist on having his own way and scaring you, then he will be a bully and you will be right to be scared. 
    Yes,i agree there are some scary situations out there, ive been in one, but if you live worrying about every possible scenario in life, you will go mad.
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