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What is harassment and why do we always justify it

Film producer Harvey Weinstein became the sole hero of the news tape last week, raising the topic of harassment and sexual harassment in the main topic of every day - on sites about stars, on television, in office canteens. Weinstein's fame as an ardent hunter for women turned out to be international: one of the last stories about harassment Harvey was told by Russian TV presenter Ekaterina Mtsituridze. The film producer tried to leave her phone to her, tricked her into a hotel room for an interview and went out to her in her dressing gown.

Any real reader of "Komsomolskaya Pravda" will immediately flash: and this is the whole story? She certainly read worse about the brutal rape and molestation of fathers to young daughters, and here is just a Hollywood cinematic boss in a bath-robes and the decorous atmosphere of a five-star hotel. So, it is this boudoir scene that they are there in the West and are called the hard-spoken word "harassment"?

Judging by the comments about Mr. Weinstein’s sensational pranks, our audience doesn’t really understand the meaning of the word “harassment”, but rather simply does not share his interpretation. Sexual harassment in our head is something cruel, with ropes, with bruises. Even from school, “to solicit” meant some shameful action, located somewhere one step before the rape. Well, for example, wait for the toilet and start pawing and pressing against the wall. And in the story above this does not even smell, because somewhere nearby there were assistants, and the surveillance cameras in the hotel worked properly. And most importantly, the girl herself rose to the man in the room, having decided that due to illness he really could not be interviewed in any other place. Where is this very harassment about which all the media are talking? Everything seems decorous and even somehow cinematic.

What is harassment and why do we always justify it

It turns out that the whole thing is simply the difficulty of translating the word "harassment"? Partly yes, this is a borrowed word and the closest analogy is the term “sexual harassment”, but in English this concept is much broader. It includes not only actions, but also offensive remarks, obscene sentences and psychological persecution.That is, everything that made you feel embarrassed in front of a man and be offended, including embarrassing questions (“Did you not seize your husband on a business trip?”), Falls under the definition of harassment, vulgar comments (“You should have eaten ") And unwanted sexualized attention, which - ok - did not kill anyone yet, but, you see, very many of us were spoiled by our mood and corny made us feel uncomfortable.

The key word in the interpretation of harassment is “undesirable”. This is where the dilemma is debunked about whether to consider as a harassment the polite opening of the door by a man in front of your nose: no, because this action did not seem to be unpleasant.

Would you like the boss to open the door in front of you? Yes, as well as a nephew, and a neighbor on the porch, and even the best friend, because this is a damn pleasant sign of caring for your neighbor! And would you like the same boss to guess the color of your panties by their print on the skirt? Or so that the same neighbor clarified how long have you had a sexual partner? Or that the construction worker would notice that you have a beautiful chest?

The above is already somehow easier to attribute to unwelcome sexual assault and unwanted invasions of privacy, but here too there is one slippery moment.

What is harassment and why do we always justify it

We ask: where does our audience have so many positive reactions to the actions of the Hollywood boss? The perception of harassment depends not only on the linguistic interpretation, but also on the cultural boundaries that have developed in society.

If our young girls are explained that the comments of unfamiliar men on their figure are a compliment, and rich, influential and adult men are taught to respect and tolerate, no matter what kind of sexual cockroaches they have run through, then naturally the reaction to what happened will be different.

After all, this "only" invited, "only" in the room, "just" in a dressing gown and "just" an obscene comment. This notorious "only" is the determinant of personal boundaries. If you think that a vulgar assessment of your appearance from passers-by on the street is the norm or even a pleasant start to the day, then you, in fact, allow these people to encroach on your territory. Let not physically, but morally. Respond to the construction worker with a smile on the synonym that he picked up to your priest, and do not be surprised that he will also begin to stalk afterwards with the assault.Unfortunately, in our society, women are still taught to allow men too much instead of, on the contrary, teaching them to clearly set their personal boundaries (not to be confused with the veil!) And not to let all sorts of derogatory comments and suggestions go to the peasants only because those are rich, strong, forever excited, and the poor woman is confused.


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