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One thing we often forget, both in business and in the electronic community,
is that we are dealing with human beings. People who have feelings, no
matter how much they like to claim they stick to the facts. I am not sure
why Vince got so mad; I can certainly understand Karen's viewpoint! Sexual
or not, harassment is very painful to face.
I had the unfortunate experience of watching three writers (2 male and 1
female) go through a sexual harassment debacle. The final blow was very
clearly sexually denigrating, but what led up to it was a very confusing
combination of power struggle (the woman was new and challenging the status
quo), challenges to competence (on all three sides), thinly veiled advances
from both men (one married), and stinging jokes about clothing and lifestyle
In my opinion, with the benefit of hindsight, the whole thing should have
gone to a lawyer. I feel that justice was not served, no one learned
anything, and the woman's career was dramatically hurt by the experience.
Karen is right. This is a very predictable prelude to a lot of nastiness.
Vince, if you had a point, did you serve its advancement with this?
Those who suggest this should go off-line? Well, I disagree. It's never just
between two people. If I'd felt that way, I would have left a junior
colleague on her own against two more experienced people with an agenda,
who'd been involved in the same sort of situation before. As a community of
writers, I think we should aim to keep our humanity alive, and try to work
through some of these issues.
I think Vince should take a deep breath and try to explain what made him
blow up like that. Karen doesn't need to explain anything.