Ny Times Article Regarding Male On Male Sexual Harassment
Q: The reason we know about any of these antics is that 10 of the salesmen at Burt
Chevrolet ultimately decided to register their objections. And to do so they
chose what might seem to be an unusual means. With the help of the E.E.O.C.,
they filed a sexual-harassment lawsuit charging the car dealership with creating
a hostile environment that discriminated against them as men. It was, in their
case, an effective weapon: two years ago, the E.E.O.C.
You know something? When I asked you to stop top-posting,
posting in HTML, and failing to trim your posts (IOW, To follow
the normal soc.men practice), you replied with an article about
From that time until now, I decided to ignore your posts. Don't
you think it's time for you to fall in line with what everyone
else is doing?
A: Chevrolet, which had already fired the two managers in question. The idea that by being raunchy, men might be discriminating against other men is not an intuitive one. Indeed, not all of the guys involved in the Burt Chevrolet suit realized ''that this was discrimination at first,'' says Mia Bitterman, one of the E.E.O.C. lawyers who handled the case. ''But they certainly did not enjoy being afraid to bend over at the water fountain because they didn't know what was coming. And they were certainly embarrassed that anything like this could have happened to them.'' Most people asked to envision a sexual-harassment complaint from a man would probably think of ''Disclosure''-like scenarios starring rapacious female bosses in pinstriped Armani. Maybe, when reminded that men can file sexual-harassment suits against other men, they might think of a gay boss coming on to a subordinate. Both kinds of cases do occur (the latter more often than the former), but judging from law journals and court documents, they do not represent the typical harassment claim brought by men. A more common case involves heterosexual men, often in blue-collar and service-industry jobs, who object to the ''hostile environment'' created by the behavior of other heterosexual men. Since 1992 the percentage of sexual-harassment charges filed by men with the E.E.O.C. and state agencies has been increasing steadily, to 13.7 percent in 2001, from 9.1 percent in 1992. A total of 2,120 such cases were filed last year. (The most common kind of harassment case by far still involves a woman accusing a male co-worker or supervisor.) Men's claims of harassment often center on what is considered ''horseplay,'' or what Bruce McMoran, an employment lawyer in Tinton Falls, N.J., describes as ''bullying, hazing, adolescent kinds of behavior.'' Sexual-harassment lawsuits are not obvious or straightforward or even particularly sensible solutions to the problem of men treating one another badly at work (or expecting other men to like their crude jokes), but they seem to be the solution we have hit upon.
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