mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I didn't think something with the word "sex" in it could be this boring...

I've written about poorly described sexual harassment instructions before. I also found Jeff Goldstein's take on Sexual Harassment - that it is either the obvious (you can't make your secretary blow you for a promotion) or people claiming that poorly-chosen words were in fact horrific violations of their rights.

Well, yesterday MadAnthony had to go to mandatory sexual harassment training at the college that he works at. Despite having the word "sex" in it, sexual harassment training was possibly the most boring hour of my life.

In it's defense, it didn't claim that every interaction was sexual harassment. But it went through every legal definition of harassment. If you've ever taken a legal environment of business class, it was pretty basic - quid pro quo, hostile work environment, same-sex, ect. (Think Sundowner and Boca Raton and Jenson v Eveleth Mines).

There was also the pointlessly obvious, like saying that certain cases of sexual harassement, such as sexual assault, would result in firing. Well, if you raped your coworker, I think losing your job is the least of your concerns.

I don't think anyone gained anything out of this. Sessions like this one exist for one reason - so that the employer can meet the legal definition of having a sexual harassment policy and making people aware of it (Boca Raton again). It's CYA.

The fact is that most sexual harassment training and policies could be boiled down to 3 basic things:

1)don't do things that coworkers or customers might find offensive
2)if someone is doing something that you find offensive, tell them to stop doing that
3)if they don't, tell someone else in authority

There. It's sexual harassment training in one minute.

And I think this is pretty obvious to most people. I'm a guy, and I work in IT, so most of my coworkers are also male. We can be pretty crude sometimes, but we are pretty good about staying within the lines when we are around members of the opposite sex or people who might be offended - and the handful of women we work with are open and comfortable about telling us when we've gone too far.


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