November 21, 2008

TRAINING DAY

In which a lunatic has an aneurism over apparently nothing.

Next April, I’m going to turn fifty. I’ll be fifty years old. Good lord.

Somehow, I’ve managed to get this far without working in a large corporate office. So today I got my first taste of a world that most of you are already much more familiar with than I am: the world of modern American big business. So what lit me up like a Fourth of July skyrocket was something that seemed to mean nothing at all to the other 23 people in the room, because today, for the first time, I had to attend a mandatory sexual harassment training course.

Now, before I get up a really good head of steam and a decent running start, let me say a few things.

First of all, I work for a great company, full of creative and terrific people, and, by some miracle of chance, not a one of them are stupid, boorish, authoritarian or in any way less than smart, well-meaning people. I understand, also, that the reason for these sessions is to provide legal protection to the company, so that if a harassment claim is made, they can say, “look, we did everything we could to combat this sort of thing.” I get all that.

I also understand that other companies are not this fortunate, and that racial, sexual and other forms of harassment go on daily and cause great harm, both in terms of productivity, and more importantly, spiritual well-being. No one should have to endure attack or intimidation. So if you think this is going to an appeal to “lighten up,” you’re going to be disappointed. For me, this is not about actual harassment, which needs to be ruthlessly exterminated from the workplace. This is about something else again.

Where do I begin?

Well, first of all, I find it deeply offensive to my personal sense of honor and integrity to be punished or otherwise lectured on something I did not do. Period. And to be subjected to two hours of second-grade style, “who can tell me what Johnny did wrong by telling Sarah she has a hot body” lecturing infuriates me on many levels.

To begin with, I do not need to be told this is inappropriate behavior. I already know that is inappropriate behavior. I learned that was inappropriate behavior not from the State of California or a battalion of corporate lawyers, but from my parents, who raised me to be polite, well-mannered, and who spent much of their own youth trying to form me into a civilized gentleman. I know, I can see the smiles on many faces already. It’s like I’m speaking in Aramaic.

I was treated to a video that had precisely the same emotional pitch and condescension as the old ABC After-School Specials, which is appropriate when aimed at 10-year-olds but in a room full of adults was unimaginably cloying and infantile. In this helpful lecture on the evils of hateful stereotypes, a clueless, insensitive white male managed to offend everyone without the dimmest awareness of his own boorishness until confronted and re-educated (with a rising string section!) by emotionally advanced, sensitive (yet strong!) women and his solemn, understanding (but firm!), black male superior.

I’m getting a little tired of this movie. I see this movie everyday.

But what really set me off was learning that there are “protected categories” of people who apparently have special claims on being harassed, and that these groups include, but are not limited to:

“Race, color…” [in case you happen to be green or of some color not associated with your race] ”…religious creed, sex, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, pregnancy, childbirth…” [this being different from pregnancy presumably only if you are actually giving birth right there in your cubicle] “…physical disability, mental disability, age, military status or status as a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran, marital status, registered domestic partner or civil union status, gender (including sex stereotyping and gender identity or expression), medical condition (including, but not limited to, cancer-related or HIV-related), or sexual orientation.”

These – including but not limited to -- “protected categories” are areas in which “harassment” is especially hurtful, as far as I can understand it… which is not very far at all. Can you – offhand – think of any kind of harassment that does not fit into these categories? I suppose saying hateful things about the Florida State football team is okay as long as I don’t use the word “Seminoles” (which would then become offensive on the grounds of race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry and military status; to which, I will add as a Gator fan regarding FSU grads, mental disability and – what the hell – sexual orientation.)

All of this is mere sophistry and cover of course, for the essence of the 22 page workbook I received (and for which I was not given a crayon with which to write nor a gold star when it was completed) was boiled down to a single sentence, in bold italics at the bottom of page 15:


It is not the intent of the alleged harasser, but the impact on the recipient.

It doesn’t matter if you meant to hurt someone. As long as someone was hurt, then harassment took place.

Now at the end of all this, the facilitator – who is clearly a lovely person, for this is not aimed at her – smilingly told us not to be paranoid but just to be careful not to offend anyone. And the other 23 people nodded happily and made jokes and goofed around to show how lighthearted and un-paranoid we suddenly all were. And yet, this harassment and sensitivity training did not succeed fully, because there was one person who was offended, and who in point of fact felt extremely harassed. And that person was me.

Perhaps, in future editions of the handbook, we can add another victim group to the protected category: rational adults. Perhaps I might contribute a chapter to this sensitivity training. Something like:

“The rational adult is a small and shrinking minority in the workplace. His cultural heritage – which is just as valuable as anyone else's! – has taught him that “personal responsibility” means he has a right to feel insulted, offended and harassed when being lectured on things that he did not do, nor would ever contemplate doing. In this ancient and primitive culture, a person’s “honor” and “integrity” are relied upon to govern behavior. If such a person unknowingly gives insult, they will “apologize.” According to their tribal ethics, people who intentionally harm, insult or harass others deserve to be fired on the spot.”

I am told this course was “preventative” – to stop harassment before it happens. Fair enough. Tomorrow, perhaps, we can have a course on how to prevent office electrocutions by sticking screwdrivers into the sockets, or a poison-prevention class involving two role-players and a gallon of copier toner, or perhaps we can facilitate a upper-level meeting to try and determine what warning placards may be missing from every object and sharp corner in the building, or a support group for those people rendered incapable of speaking or smiling for fear of giving some kind of unintentional offense to someone. These are all areas ripe for new legislation and demanding of state funding. Because when you really get down to how much unintentional offense there remains left to give, you can see we have a genuine crisis on our hands.

Look, there are two ways to prevent young children from drowning:

1.Place barricades, gates, locks, and other restraining devices around any body of water large enough to immerse the child’s head in; in addition, provide education, audio-visual instruction, role-playing and other methods to inform young children on the dangers of inhaling large amounts of water – whether it be fresh water or sea water – and to provide the funding, continuing outreach and community activism necessary to make sure that ALL Americans are prevented from encountering these deadly dangers wherever they may be found.

Or:

2.Teach your kid how to swim.


My parents – remember them? – taught me at an early age that what people said or thought or wrote about me did not have the power to hurt me – only I can allow them to do that. My self-worth, self-respect and self-esteem are earned, and not given, and are therefore mine – impervious to anything in the outside world, which is why I am willing to sit at this desk, as the only one of 24 happy, smart, creative people, and look like some reactionary nut case for being enraged about the fact that we willingly submit ourselves to insults to our personal honor and integrity that our forefathers would never, ever have countenanced. And I am ashamed on behalf of them. But just me. No one else thinks anything of it at all.

And so, with smiles and good will all around, behind a plate of donuts and cartons of morning orange juice, we again fall another step from the adult world of action and consequence, to the warm, friendly, everlasting childhood of kindergarten, where no one’s feelings can ever be hurt and teacher is always there to make sure – in her gentle but firm way – that there will never be harmful consequences to your actions because your actions will be so curtailed in advance that offending someone – like feeding and housing yourself – are things that we simply no longer have to worry about any more.

And the endless sleep, in the warm, clean, fluffy bed, continues unabated.

Forever.

Posted by Proteus at November 21, 2008 11:12 AM







Welcome to the Eject! Eject! Eject! commenter community. Please read and understand the following:


1. This is not a public square. This is a dinner party on personal property. Good conversation is not only tolerated but celebrated here. But the host understands the difference between dissent and disrespect, even if you do not. Louts will be ignored until the bouncers can show them the door.

2. This is a voluntary online community. Your posting of any material, whether in comments or otherwise, grants to William A. Whittle, Aurora Aerospace, Inc. and their affiliates, a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide license to use, sublicense, reproduce or incorporate into other material all or any portion of the material posted, for commercial or other use.

3. If a comment does find its way into a main page essay, print, or other media, every effort will be made to credit the individual making the comment. So chose your screen name accordingly, SLNTFRT33@yahoo.com!

Now let's see some distributed intelligence and basic human decency! Don't make me come down there every five minutes!




Comments



I'm pleased to know it's not just me. Sometimes I think it's just me. Now I know....it's not. I still have a deep and permanent crease in the back of my neck from staining against the hard plastic chair I sat in for 3 hours 4 years ago enduring a corporate diversity sensitivity course. One has to either be a useful idiot of the corporate variety or be able to suspend all forms of reality and clear thinking to avoid an attack of claustrophobia in these sessions. The room closed in on me as I realized that the assumption of the 'course leaders' was not, as suspected, that this was a preventative path, but that surely someone, perhaps everyone in the room, had committed the crime of insensitivity and were too stupid to realize it. Such 'reason' springs from the same thought process that birthed the ideas that 'all men are rapists' or 'all corporations are evil'.

So kudos for surviving the experience that many of us will never be able to forget. No matter how hard we try. Do, however, remember the real lesson here – you don’t respond well to indoctrination, so you’ll be among the first to go.



"I find it deeply offensive to my personal sense of honor and integrity to be punished or otherwise lectured on something I did not do."

I felt the exact same way my freshman year of college, when an entire "Freshman Seminar" lecture one Wednesday morning was taken up by a Special Guest Speaker, who spent the hour telling us all about how to be careful to regulate the amount of alcohol we consume.

I was aghast. No - for a few moments I was genuinely confused, thinking I'd misunderstood. I actually stopped the class, put up my hand, and asked, "Wait - isn't the legal drinking age still 21 in this state?" She assured me that it was. I looked around, and replied, "This is a Freshman Seminar class. We're all eighteen years old. If we drank it would be against the law."

The reaction I got was a blank face, before the Special Guest Speaker launched back into her lecture.

The underlying assumption was, "We assume you're going to break the law - since we know you are without honor or integrity - and so here's how to do it without injuring yourselves - since we know you are without intelligence or rational capacity."

Lady, the way to get us to act like adults isn't to treat us like children.



I'm sorry you had to endure that, Bill. In a just world it would not be needed because in a just world grown men and women would aspire to be gentlemen and ladies and boorish behavior would never be tolerated.

Unfortunately, somewhere in our past was a generation of cowards who could not call forth the strength to publicly call out the boors in the workplace.



So, Madrocket, you just will accept the punishment for the behaviour of an incredibly small minority of your fellow workers? Perhaps you wouldn't mind a body search on your way out of the office each evening because one of your fellow employees was one caught stealing pens.
Does anyone know of someone who successfully challenged a company on this required training, it would be interesting to know if they still have a job.
This is one of many reasons why I am self employed.



I find it absolutely OUTSTANDING that you've never experienced one of these before - SOOOO much for you to learn....


"If such a person unknowingly gives insult, they will “apologize.”"

Ah, No.

The breakdown here is in that, should a "Rational Adult" unknowingly give insult, he will not KNOW he has done so, as most HR departments have stripped away the need for "Personal Responsibility" from the Perpetually Offended, that might otherwise motivate such a one from informing you of their offendedness...

Your first warning sign of having unintentionally given offense is when you find yourself in a small room, sitting across the table from a asthetically-challenged womyn stuffed most unfortunately into a Clintonesque polyester pant-suit emblazoned with a Rosie O'Donnell fan-club button - who is angrily pushing a piece of paper toward you while grunting "Sign This".


"...or a support group for those people rendered incapable of speaking or smiling for fear of giving some kind of unintentional offense to someone."


No such support group is necessary (said with a dismissive hand-wave)
- what you describe is commonly referred to as a "Model Corporate Employee"


"...until confronted and re-educated (with a rising string section!) by emotionally advanced, sensitive (yet strong!) women and his solemn, understanding (but firm!), black male superior."

Yyy-eah.

During those grind-fests there are usually Q&A sessions.

When the "instructor" (read: "Smartly Dressed Womyn running the TV") for one of these asked for questions/comments, I raised my hand and, with a carefully-composed look of bland concern (try THAT sometime) said:


"I have to say, I find the repeated depictions of White Males as aggressive, stupid harrassers to be personally quite offensive."


You could see the impact of her collision with a personal-paradox (but..but..you can't be offended!)- her hair actually jerked

I guess she was new.

Oh, THAT was a black-mark on my permanent record ("black"??? Oh Crap - there's another one!!)

Enjoy man - it only gets worse from here.

- MuscleDaddy



It's not just that you might be an insensitive jerk. Companies assume that you literally cannot sense things.
Our safety manager chastised me for sitting wrong, lest my foot fall asleep and I trip.
It's a bloody miracle I survive through the night without killing myself without a safety director to watch out for me.



Thank goodness you had to endure that. It's the only way you could write this!



I feel for ya! I have to go through this every year.

A couple of years ago, our department manager combined this training as an afternoon extension to a departmental all-hands meeting. One of my close friends is a very articulate, knowledgeable lady who is deaf. Or perhaps I should say, was deaf. She has cochlear implants that now allow her to hear.

So, we were into the second hour of the training when I noticed that she had turn her implants off and was playing solitaire on her Palm Pilot.

The instructor liked to use her as an example of someone with a "special condition". Whenever he spoke her name, I'd give her a nudge and she'd look up, smile at the instructor and then go back to playing solitaire.

I had to suffer through the training---I'd left my Palm Pilot in my cube.



Bill,

Welcome to corporate cubesville. It won't get better. Unfortunately, you'll find that while you have been cautioned not to harass women and minorities, women and minorities are free to harass you. If you complain, they can simply claim you've been stalking them or something and you become the culprit. There is no fairness in corporations.

Now that you have completed harassment training, you have ethics training to which to look forward. A couple years ago, I couldn't help but notice that in all the scenarios in the ethics training, the villian was a white male and the ethical saints were minorities or women or both.

Most of us make a rational calculation that it's just not worth challenging these racist and sexist indoctrination flicks, but my mind is start to change on that. The environment at work has degenerated to the point where the white male is the designated perpetrator. If you send a recipe for apple pie to a female colleague and she calls it harassment, then that's what it is. And there are real consequences.

What managers have done is give the craziest, most dysfunctional workers license to wreak havoc to their team on a whim. I think it's time to steadily push back with sharp and persistent criticism of the rotten status quo.



Sure, Bill, you say this now...but I still bear the scars and the midget twins seldom sleep through the night without waking in tremors of chilled sweat all while crying out, "No, Bill. No, Bill, please stop. Tomato! Tomato! For the love of God, TOMATO!"
Safe word? I think not.
And for the record, the good folks at Habit for Humanity won't return my calls to this day.



Thank you! I thought it was just me who felt that way. I had to sit through an indocrination from a "true believer". It was hideous.

My visceral reaction was much like yours.



Welcome to the world of PC brain washing. Neat how they stand on its head the definition of offending someone. I endured this brain washing while a employee of the U.S. Government. Been retired now for over 10 years and don't have to put up with it anymore.



Bill --

That you escaped this adventure, (deferred? Side-stepped? Maneuvered Around?) to the "ripe old age of fifty," (I just turned sixty...), consider yourself fortunate. It has only just begun for you, Sir.

I stepped out of the Corporate inner circles, and became an "external consultant," fairly early on, in the '80's, before it got anywhere near this point. (It is now a large and profitable industry, this extortion/re-education thing)! And though I have worked within the realm, being an "outsider" to the specific corporation left me "un-re-educated."

I never had a problem, or even came close.

Now, how the H_LL did that happen?

(Can you fax or email that workbook, so I can see what I need to be aware of, in my ignorance?)

Just. Askin'. (quietly chortling...)



Good piece Bill. It's funny, cause I feel the same way about sex education. I've heard people talk about teaching children as young as kindergarten about their "private parts" to protect them from being molested or to teach them that they are being molested if someone touches them.

My line of thinking is that it is the parent's job to teach their child about "private parts" and whether or not they are being molested. This has nothing to do with my child's academic education. My child should not have to sit through a lecture on this because some other parent is too ignorant, lazy or unmotivated to raise their own child.



Just wait till you get the OSHA training and discover that you can't so much as climb a ladder without attending ladder certification training, or wash your hands with any soap that doesn't have a Material Safety Data Sheet on file in the custodian's office. The one that opened my eyes was when our church's facilities manager came to speak to our Sunday School class, and explained to us that we can't change burnt out lightbulbs at the church because of OSHA requirements; only the trained facilities-management people are allowed to do this. And we have to use only a particular brand of dish soap to wash dishes in the kitchen after a church supper.



Bill: loved the training day piece. All I could add to it is "Amen."



I'm 48. My training day is next Tuesday. I can't say I've completely missed out, I had to sit through a session when I was in the Marine Corps. Ain't that pitiful?

Last year it was an online test. Multiple choice. We all passed. This year I thought I had dodged re-education by clever vacation scheduling, but the make-up list came out today and my name was on it.

There is no escape.





As a fifty year survivor of academia I am survivor of innumerable training sessions such as you describe.
It is serious business however and the inclusion of a statement such as the one allowing the agrived party complete discretion as to what establishes harassment should be resisted . One of my few sucesses was the prevention of such a statement in my universities harassment policy.
One must remember that for most establishments the reason for this farce is to prevent government harassment.



It is not the intent of the alleged harasser, but the impact on the recipient.
This is the core of the problem. You don't mean what you mean when you say what you say; you mean what someone else says you mean. You meanie.

Behavior is no longer objectively wrong; so long as a member of a protected victim class (which itself isn't even clearly defined) claims to have been harmed by words or actions, the person saying those words or performing those actions is to be punished.

Thus we have such spectacles as a black county judge demanding an apology from a county commissioner who called the collections department "a black hole". The judge has been conditioned that his sense of outrage is the source of his power over others, so he doesn't hesitate to play The Card.



Bill? Bill?....you haven't finished your cool aide Bill.

Bill?

Will you stop fiddling with the innernet and finish your cool aide now Bill?

....

.......Bill?



It is not the intent of the alleged harasser, but the impact on the recipient.

Bill, I think that your justified outrage certainly qualifies as having a harassing impact on you. You should file a complaint, not just blog about it.

Kind of the Anconia side of going John Galt...turn their systems against them.



Bill, I understand how you feel - yeah, I'm a woman, but I used worked in a "youthful" corporate culture. When we took training classes, they used an older Catholic White Man as an example of a conservative old fuddy duddy - but the video went on to demonstrate that even a Conservative Catholic could change and be more liberal in outlook by switching to a less conservative church - and this was supposed to teach us that even conservatives can change and be nice people.

I kid you not.

I don't work there anymore. I didn't fit the culture of youth they are known for.



Well, Bill, this was your first experience in front of a Bolshevik commissar, so I will forgive you for the tepid response. The proper response to any form of indoctrination is resistance. You need to understand that "facilitators" expect conformity and cooperation. Throwing a spanner into the works upsets the group dynamic. The next time you see an applecart full of rotten fruit, tip it over. Most people go along to get along. A single leader in opposition inspires others of like mind to mount a counter-offensive. They're just waiting for a leader.

I suppose a few words on tactics are in order. Sedition is generally more effective than confrontation. A carefully delivered barb delivered with sincerity and a polite demeanor can deflate your opponent like a punctured whoopie-cushion. You listen. You wait. You plan. Then you raise your hand and thrust toward the gut of your opponent's argument. Remember to smile (politely) as you kill. Pick up a bottle of good bourbon on the way home. You will learn in time the joy that can be found in sedition.

Here's the best part. Since most people would rather endure stupidity than engage in confrontation, you'll quickly get a reputation as a (sorry for the unfortunate noun) maverick. The only time I was ever called on the carpet was for swinging a cavalry sword during a faculty meeting. Maybe it was a bit over the top, but it most certainly my Little Roundtop.

The bottom line is that now I'm excused from such meetings. I get assigned to parking lot duty or something. Yes, I know, everyone needs a job. The bills must be paid. But it gets better still when you take a stand. You might experience that magical moment when you can say that I will give up everything I have to stand on principle. You will know at that moment the true meaning of liberation. The opposition can have everything I own, but not my compliance. You will suddenly morph into the worst enemy of herd people everywhere; you will stand as the naked warrior with nothing to lose. It'll put a gleam in your eye and a swagger in your step, laddie. And fear into the hearts of your enemies.

So, Bill, spare me the indignation. Next time I want to hear how you counter-attacked and destroyed the meeting. Buck it up a notch. That goes for anyone else reading this comment. I don't give a rat's ass how violated you "feel." For Crissakes, that's what the other side does. I want next time to hear a song of victory. But that's just me. I truly hope it's not just me.



Back when I was forced to attend an Equal Opportunity workshop...I asked politely of the well meaning instructor,

"Do you realize that in the currently climate, that only the accusation of sexual harassment will effectively end the career of the accused?"

The instructor, baffled, responded,

"No, that's not the case, unfounded accusations have no lasting effect."

I gave him my best withering stare and said, "Your mistaken."

Several other men in the classroom nodded a couple times before catching themselves and looking around sheepishly. The one woman in the class glared at me for a full 5 seconds and when I didn't break eye contact looked down and turned bright red. I can only imagine what she was thinking.

I am now subjected to mandatory annual training in:

Sexual Harassment
Rape Prevention and Reporting
Combating Human Trafficking
Domestic Violence Prevention

The rape counselor was dumbfounded when a male in the audience asked if the Sexual Assault Counseling Staff was prepared to handle male rape victims as well as female. A 5 minute discussion ensued in which the general consensus was that while men could be raped, resources were not sufficient to provide this service, as it is a "minor" percentage of crime.



I think Paules is on to something here. Sedition -- it could be the way many of us will survive the next four years. Or eight, if you're a pessimist.



Mr. Whittle,
(I haven't commented nearly enough to call you Bill.) Your screed brought back some not so friendly memories of the Navy force feedings ... err indoctrinations, we had to sit through over the past 30 some odd years. Although there was some need in informing some Sailors about what was correct behavior, most of the rest of us thought there were already rules and regulations in place which could have and should have been used to correct the errant ways of some of our slower learners with out causing an even greater schism between the two genders ... who, way back when, used to consider themselves Sailors before gender came into play. Btw I have linked to your post but cannot trackback...just so you know.



Just wait til we start importing Swedish mores on sex. You may be forced to squat like a squaw just to relieve yourself!



Sometimes I wonder if sexual harassment lawsuits are reduced, or increase after training....

I gt the feeling they increase, as women learn that the pleasant exchange they've had with their boss every morning is now actionable.



Dear Bill,

I just heard about your loss from GHS. Real sorry about that. I would not have brought the verbal lash had I properly understood the circumstances. Morn proper and right for the dead. I beg your pardon. Attend to what the necessary. We can talk later.



I too have had to go to these trainings. They are indeed breathtakingly outlandish.

AND YET, in my last job at a washington DC military-base research lab, I was asked why I didn't have children, why I wasn't a housewife, and was told that I couldn't possibly know anything about the particular research topic because this area of study is not of interest to females. At my civilian home-base office, my cube was surrounded by men who had large glossy "swimsuit" calendars on their cube walls. A male colleague who had graduated college just 2 months prior was selected for a project team despite the fact that HR had tried for a week to massage his resume (and failed) to make it look like he had enough experience, while my resume was classed as one job-title higher than what they were looking for (yet, no promotion was forth coming for me). His dangling flesh got him the assignment where my on-topic bachelors AND master's degree and years of experience were outweighed by my gender. So it appears that faaaaaar too many men have been playing with their blackberries rather than understanding that they ARE the problem.



BIll--

You do have some options re: future classes (and there will be future classes):

1 - Bite your tongue, attend the class, be done with it, and go back to work exhibiting the honor those of us who read your blog know you have.
2 - The sedition/Galt/d'Anconia route (I like this one)
3 - Stop working for large organizations that which have these mandatory classes and seek employment in a small company not subject to the EEOC's whims, and devoid of an HR department.
4 - Become an entrepreneur and work for yourself. This, of course, is the route to financial freedom, and the ability to ignore much of the PC world most folks are subject to.

I am the President of the Home Owners Association for my neighborhood. One resident made a Fair Housing claim against the Board, and under a threat of a lawsuit by the State, one board member had to attend a Fair Housing class. As president, I bit the proverbial bullet and attended the class. What an absolute crock. Our attorney noted that the State violated numerous provisions of existing law in forcing my attendance, but the only way to fight it was to countersue, and also be subject to a Federal charge. Given our fiduciary responsibility to the other residents, it was deemed not a viable alternative.

Welcome to America. Wait until the really competent PC folks take office on 1/20/09.



Dear Bill and friends,
If it's any comfort to you, I am 1)a woman and 2)gay and 3)worked for the city of San Francisco some years back. And it was item #3 that set me on the merciful path to my current conservative state of mind!! Yep. I, too, was sent to the indoctrination gulag for minority sensitivity training when I lightly reprimanded a 10th grade summer camp employee for coming to work in a see-through blouse and smoking at her non-smoking reception desk post!! After that experience, I pretty much stopped trying to help these kids prepare for the job market which, ironically, was the point of the student work program. Pretty sad, eh? The good news, though, was that I began to see the light, quit the job, became self-employed, moved out of the double-standard, fascist city (eject! eject! eject!)and... found out that there are alot of good folks in this great country...and I think we're starting to wake up.



I'm glad some of you younger guys are finally starting to get it. Where the hell have you been since 1990? It's not like any of this has been subtle, y'know.

The perfect example of the depth of this brain washing is displayed in comments like this one: "Unfortunately, somewhere in our past was a generation of cowards who could not call forth the strength to publicly call out the boors in the workplace."

That's it, all right. The generation is yours, and the boors you're afraid to call out are the ones who've convinced you that you're children. The picture you've all been raised with, of lecherous and cruel white men preying on clueless victims, is nothing more than the rabid fantasies of power-hungry "feminists". The change will come when you develop clear enough boundaries to call "diversity training" what it is, which is harassment.



those people rendered incapable of speaking or smiling for fear of giving some kind of unintentional offense to someone

This is the true cost of "sensitivity training"--increased Balkanization of social groups and friendships.

Children raised together are usually comfortable around each other regardless of race or religion, and only have issues with gender in an opposite-sex-has-cooties sort of way. As they grow up, though, these same children are told over and over--especially if they are white, and even more so if they are male--that they are creepy and culturally insensitive to others. As a result, people who had lots of friends without considering their minor external differences when they were young tend to gravitate toward and make friends with people who look and act more like them as they grow up.

It's not racism--it's self-defense. We're friendly and well-meaning, and there are people we'd probably get along with just fine if we hadn't been told over and over again that we were constitutionally incapable of being their friends because we are insensitive boors. We get to the point that we're afraid to reach out, as though our very skin might contain a contact poison that will hurt people of a different color than us.

And we have to use only a particular brand of dish soap to wash dishes in the kitchen after a church supper.

We can't really use the kitchen in our church any more. It was once used to teach people how to can and to cook for various church auxiliary dinners; no more. A new law came down that if you actually used your kitchen to cook, you were considered a restaurant and would be subject to business taxation. The ovens and microwaves may now only be used to keep food warm and as a staging area for serving food prepared at home. It's a colossal waste of resources, and it makes me quietly steamed every time we have a church dinner.



dana said:
My line of thinking is that it is the parent's job to teach their child about "private parts" and whether or not they are being molested. This has nothing to do with my child's academic education. My child should not have to sit through a lecture on this because some other parent is too ignorant, lazy or unmotivated to raise their own child.

dana: by your leave, a bit too much information on my past.

By the time I was in kindergarten, I had been routinely sexually molested by my grandfather for at least two years, possibly longer (I can't remember any memories earlier than three years old). My parents were intelligent, loving, and highly motivated to raise their children right; my grandfather was just very, very good at not getting caught. He continued to molest me until I was twelve years old and another relative actually caught him in the act. Receiving useful information about what I could do to make it stop, since my parents were unaware of what was going on and my grandfather kept telling me never to tell anyone because it would be in all the newspapers and everyone would know what I had been doing (classic pedophile ploy: make the victim feel guilty), would have been extremely helpful in my case, and might have salvaged some of my childhood innocence.

Your mileage, of course, may vary.



I am retired military, so I have had to sit through a lot of sexual harrassment and race relations classes. What absolutely infuriates me is that there are no standards. If the putative harrassee "feels" harrassed, you are guilty.



Mr Whittle, please allow me to join your dinner party. I have not commented before, but I have been reading your blog, including the archives, for a while now. I find your writing, and many of your commenters', thoughtful, literate and even inspiring. I like the values you espouse (even if I spell 'honour' differently!).

However (and you knew that was coming, didn't you?), I am sometimes left a bit unsatisfied by what seemed to me a 'disconnect' from reality. It seems that you have had a rather sheltered life up to now. I don't mean that you have had it easy. But, by and large, you have associated with people of your own choosing. As a result, you have not encountered the depths of stupidity, and downright evil, that people, the ones you normally don't associate with, are capable of. Well, welcome to reality.

Before I continue, in the interests of full disclosure, I should confess that I am a white man on the wrong side of 60, and I am both a racist and a sexist. This is not to say that I 'hate' women or what you would call 'minorities' (where I live, I am the minority). Women, in particular, I have the deepest respect for, and precisely because I am a sexist; that is, I don't believe they are the same as men. Not inferior, not superior, but different, and complementary. Neither is complete without the other.

Neither do I believe that all races are equal; that black people are 'just like white people, only richer in melanin'. I know that you have no sympathy with racism, and I fully expect to be disinvited from this party for that sin, However, will you first grant me the courtesy of a hearing? I am not here to convince you of my views. Suffice to say that they were formed over a lifetime lived in Africa, which, I think, entitles me to hold them.

Monster, in his comment above, says that the protected 'victim' groups are not clearly defined. This is literally true, but it's easy to define them by exception. It's everybody except white heterosexual males. Maybe I should add 'Christian', although that's not a requirement for exclusion. Yes, the very people who built your country, and Western civilization. You know; the Oppressors. You.

~Paules makes a stirring appeal to the spirit of those men, such of it as survives in our present generation. Yes! Make a stand! Die for your principles; don't yield! Well, yes, but for the really important principles. Maybe not over sensitivity training. And so we yield, one inch at a time.

Dammit, this IS a really important principle. Lawrence Auster may be the only conservative blogger who sees that clearly. The thing that is killing America (with respect to Mr whittle, who I know doesn't like to be told that America is in danger), and those others of us who depend on America to keep Western civilization alive, is the pernicious doctrine of egalitarianism. That all people are equal, so if they don't achieve equal 'success' (academic, financial, civilizational, what you like), it must be because they were 'discriminated against'. Oppressed. By the Oppressor. You. Therefore it's government's job to ensure equal outcomes for all (equal) people. By affirmative action, 'protected' groups, welfare payments, and sensitivity training. And if they can't pull up the losers to make them equal, well, then, pull down the winners.

So, thank you ~Paules, for your comment. You have to make a stand. It starts with sensitivity training. That is, if you can even get a job in competition with the less-qualified 'victims', who got their inferior qualifications as an affirmative action freebie from a university that enrolled them on the basis of inferior scholastic achievement as part of a 'diversity' program... No, it starts earlier than that. It starts when the brightest children in school, instead of being encouraged to excel, are largely ignored while the school struggles to close the 'achievement gap'. Children who excel do nothing for that goal. Anyway, enough said.

Sometimes I wonder how we got to this state. Was it those darned hippies? Who would have thought, when they were behaving so badly in the 60's, that they could be so influential? Is it something in the water? I've heard that fishes in some US rivers are changing sex due to female hormones fed to cattle to make them grow faster. Are we all being feminized by steaks? Where are the real men?



You could join the Air Force and enjoy Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) training yearly, where you learn how to react and where to upchannel information if you know or suspect a sexual assault has taken place. This is in addition to annual Sexual Assault Prevention (SAPR) training where the Air Force member learns that it is, indeed, wrong to sexually assault or harass someone. Which is in addition to yearly Human Trafficking training, where the member learns that it is not OK to buy or sell human beings, or to support establishments that do.

As a bonus, you get all of this training AGAIN every time to deploy to the desert or come back, so most years I get to take these courses 3-4 times per year, as I lose bits and pieces of my soul each time.



OK, I'll prolly get a raft of crap, but here goes.

I fully agree that the complete subjectivity of the alleged recipient of the alleged insult is a hideous policy, and pray that there is some adult supervision of the process after alleged recipient whines.

Having said that:

1) Your employer doesn't want to be sued.

2) Your employer wants it bad enough that he paid you (assuming you don't do piece work) to spend your time in this training rather than doing something productive (like blogging?).

3) You apparently had good parents to whom you had the sense to listen.

4) Some people have lousy parents.

5) Some people have good parents, but turn out to be jerks anyhow. That would have been (and probably still is, sometimes) me.

7) Some people are just stupid.

8) Your boss has no quick easy way to know who is and is not a jerk and/or stupid.

So everybody gets the stupid lecture. Suck it up and get back to work. Or blogging - whatever.

Protesting the stereotypes in the videos is appropriate (and probably fun, it it doesn't get you canned). Sauce, goose, gander.

BTW, love the blog and have linked to it glowingly.



Posted by: Spear | November 22, 2008 4:40 AM --

First off, may I speak for myself, (of course), and welcome you to the "party"?!?

I would like to respectfully point out the following, however... (and, please keep in mind I am speaking only for myself, as I cannot claim the insight and education of so many here).

I understand your reticence to speak, given your claim to the labels "racist" and "sexist."

Surprise. Were I to accept your definition, I, too, should claim those labels.

I do not. And I resist any such claims most passionately.

Simply put, I believe that it is not the role of government, or any other agency, to force or legislate equality of outcome.

Equality of opportunity, however, is a different matter. Perhaps that is saying something quite compatible with your views, and if so, I think you will find many of like mind here.

So, once again, welcome! And rest assured that, as long as civility, respect, logic, and critical thinking are displayed, opinions of all stripes are welcome. After all, mere echo chambers get pretty boring!



Why can't we all get along?
Who is John Galt?



O Proteus,
trudat

"I am now subjected to mandatory annual training in:

Sexual Harassment
Rape Prevention and Reporting
Combating Human Trafficking
Domestic Violence Prevention"

He left out my personal favorite

Diversity Training



Also, Proteus, I was charmed by your PJM appearance.
Your resemblance to Army of Darkness star Bruce Campbell is quite remarkable.
I half expected you to flip open a copy of the Necronomicron (madatory reading for all conservatives as per Roves orders, of course). And the devilish twinkle in your eye!
haha, that was teh awesome.
;)



Thank you for a nicely written piece. I agree with the more serious comments above (except some of those made by Spear, and the comments of RPRichard, which I cannot read).

I am an attorney, and I practiced discrimination law for a Federal agency in Washington, DC for 11 years. Among my responsibilities was defending management officials from discrimination claims, which I did nationwide, with a small staff of two other attorneys and a paralegal.

You may know that Federal workers file discrimination claims at a rate 10 times that of the private sector. I became convinced that the reason for the difference was that training encouraged it! It did not just educate; in fact, it often misled, and I often went head-to-head with the Director of our Civil Rights program over grossly inaccurate course content. The course instructors dreaded seeing me, because they knew I would pin their ears back on the inaccuracies.

The "value" of what was then called "race relations" training was fully shown to me in 1967, when at an Air Force Base I was instructed that, as a commissioned officer, if a minority enlisted person refused to salute, or spoke to me disrespectfully, or worse, refused an order or called me a name, I was to "consider his background" and disregard it - not to do so was "racist."

Not on your life. I would never allow such a denigration of either myself or military standards. Such idiocy was generally disregarded, but I don't know how many enlisted people got themselves into deep trouble listening to it.

The training today has shifted; it is somewhat more subtle, but it seems directed toward encouraging the "minority member"or woman to file a complaint against a superior on the slimmest pretext, and browbeating superiors into walking on eggshells. The part that is so often disregarded is that the offense must be targeted, frequent, and must rise to a level that it interferes with work, or must be of such serious nature that a first offense requires action (e.g, a striking or a sexually offensive touching). And, it is not simply a matter that the employee was offended, but whether a reasonable person in the employee's circumstances would have been offended. Ohhh, how the "facilitators" love to soft-pedal those little requirements of the law.

No matter how they try, there is still no law that in fact makes simply "offending" a member of a "protected class" illegal. It takes much more than simple offense. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has been highly successful in having university speech codes ruled illegal, when they set the threshold for violations simply at "giving offense."

And don't you believe for one second that having an unsubstantiated complaint filed has no effect. It certainly does! As recently as five years ago, the EEOC tried to start a program of convening investigations of Federal executives who had as many as five complaints filed against them, even if all of the complaints had been found groundless. I (among many) helped to shoot that down, as did the Senior Executives Association. My name for it was "conviction on accusation."

On occasion I had to make trips to Capitol Hill to explain to Senate staffers why complete records were not available for 20-year old discrimination complaints filed against nominees for promotion to Admiral (because the government records keeping standards require destruction of such records after five years). We would have to do considerable re-investigation, if at all possible, re-interviewing any available witnesses, to satisfy the staffers. These old, and usually frivolous cases, had impact years later.

Yes, on occasion there was discrimination; those cases we settled after thorough investigation, and offending managers were disciplined (including two being fired). I am happy there was a process by which complaints could be investigated, and valid complaints acted upon.

However, the training employees received caused a false sense of what actually constitutes discrimination, and caused far more complaints than were justified. I would like to say that my superb lawyering skills were responsible for winning over 99% of my cases that went to trial - but the truth is, the ridiculousness of the claims were responsible for much of that record. I lay the blame on the training (much like yours) that resulted in little but hypersensitivity, and often, cynical efforts by employees to manipulate and threaten their leadership.

And, despite the materials used in your training, whites (including males) do have recourse under the law when they are discriminated against. One of the best decisions I am aware of awarded a white male EEOC Administrative Law Judge the maximum damages for discrimination by his minority supervisor. Yes, you read it right. The very agency charged with investigating and preventing discrimination, discriminated, and against a very senior member of its ranks, and had to pay the maximum penalty under the law. Don't you love it?

But I'll bet it wasn't covered in your training materials, was it?



Welcome to my nightmare..

http://kirbside.blogspot.com/2005/10/harrassment.html

I am just happy I havent had to take a course since then!!!!



You can be comforted by the knowledge that investing so many resources and so much treasure in this nonsense is leading U.S. businesses toward bankruptcy or outsourcing.

As a multimedia developer, I've actually produced online versions of the courses described here.

I'm just making a living. No apologies. It's a fact of life.

Political resistance won't stop this nonsense. It will be exponentially worse under Obama. Bankruptcy will end this farce. Or else, your job will be outsourced to an Asian society that has more sense than to waste money in this idiot fashion.



I remember my days at McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft (now Boeing) being subjected to "ethics" training. The tone was a little more adult. It turns out that the training was aimed at the wrong people since the bosses are the ones with subpoenas in hand, spending time in court and serving time in Federal prison for unethical dealings with ex-government employees (my former boss).



I've had this same argument before, although I never argue it in the corporate environment. One of the first things to know about corporate is that it's best to smile, nod and agree like a good little boy. The penalty for arguing anything dealing with common sense or personal honor is just going to be more 2 hour classes to waste everyone's time. Smile-nod-take paycheck-repeat.

But I've lost friends with the argument that, "the intention of the speaker is the most important thing to consider, and when in doubt, err on the side of generosity."

The counter argument is that we have the right, nay, the OBLIGATION to be offended at everything that can possibly offend us. When in doubt, err on the side of being offended. As ridiculous as this sounds, it's what some people truly believe. It's people like this who cause these 2 hour courses to be generated.



Did it never occur to those putting on this little "seminar" that the mere discussion of the subject matter and your mandatory attendence might constitute harassment upon you?
I'm not kidding. Listening to 2 hours of do-gooder tripe about how to behave and the discussion of sexual harassment is, in and of itself harassment if you are required to listen.

What say you?



The quote in bold "It is not the intent of the alleged harasser, but the impact on the recipient." is intriguing because that seems to be the opposite to the way police do their investigations.

I suppose the difference is people in public are their voluntarily whereas in a work situation there is more a force to be there and one is not be able to come and go as they please.

That would explain the overbearing rules. I don't agree about the concept of "forced apologies". I think somebody should be allowed to choose being forced to apologize and being tasered. Tasering should be offered as a way to protest being forced to apologize. Then let the alleged victim decide if they feel strongly enough about what happened to let the other person be tasered instead.

http://www.DailyPUMA.com



The quote in bold "It is not the intent of the alleged harasser, but the impact on the recipient." is intriguing because that seems to be the opposite to the way police do their investigations.

I suppose the difference is people in public are their voluntarily whereas in a work situation there is more a force to be there and one is not be able to come and go as they please.

That would explain the overbearing rules. I don't agree about the concept of "forced apologies". I think somebody should be allowed to choose being forced to apologize and being tasered. Tasering should be offered as a way to protest being forced to apologize. Then let the alleged victim decide if they feel strongly enough about what happened to let the other person be tasered instead of not apologizing.

http://www.DailyPUMA.com



The quote in bold "It is not the intent of the alleged harasser, but the impact on the recipient." is intriguing because that seems to be the opposite to the way police do their investigations.

I suppose one difference is people in public are their voluntarily whereas in a work situation there is more of a force to be there and one is not be able to come and go as they please.

That would explain the overbearing rules. I don't agree about the concept of "forced apologies". I think somebody should be allowed to choose being forced to apologize and being tasered. Tasering should be offered as a way to protest being forced to apologize. Then let the alleged victim decide if they feel strongly enough about what happened to let the other person be tasered instead of not apologizing.

http://www.DailyPUMA.com



I enjoyed reading of your experience and reaction. Several readers commented on their actual harassment experiences which have occurred despite all these pathetic prevention classes. My 18 & 21 y.o. children, who never heard me bash homosexuals, women, or racial groups while growing up, have paradoxically reacted to these indoctrination classes by doing exactly what they are instructed they must not do. Is anyone surprised that young men would want to risk being daring and break rules and use language that is vulgar and offensive and get a huge charge out of it?
I heard Bill Cosby tell the story of Adam and Eve several years ago while driving. When God tells them they must not eat from the tree of knowledge, the first question they ask is, "Where is that tree?" I laughed so hard I almost crashed!
Seriously, these "instructors" must be asked what is the protocol for handling false charges, how charges are handled when their are no witnesses and the accused denies the reported behavior, and finally when the charges are inappropriate - such as being charged with sexual harassment for saying good morning. Most will respond by saying that these situations don't occur and your response is to say, "I just read the other day of some guy getting a $5 million settlement after suing for false charges." While this may seem to accomplish little, it plants the seed of fear into those who might file false charges as well as establishing that the company is willfully failing to protect employees from false or bizarre charges - something one can remind them of if faced with such a situation. The truth is that our society is faced with an appalling crisis of lack of leadership, honor, and critical thinking (analysis). This leads to widespread fear, bizarre beliefs, and the failure to care for one another. Historically, this signals the decline and self destruction of nations.



Here's the thing. The embedded root cause of this sort of training is the Lawsuit Lottery. Millions of people roam the country just begging you to offend them so they can sue your for everything you own.

Even better for them is if the offensive behavior takes place at an office or workplace, because then they can go for the deep pockets of every shareholder in the company.

Corporations would not waste their resources on this nonsense if there wasn't a very real chance of substantial financial loss. Until the courts stop handing out multi-million dollar judgments in these cases, we're all screwed.



You've never worked for DuPont.



I haven't read through the above comments closely, and I thus I may be repeating a point already made but from my experience in working in large corporations, while the 'training' is at times an insult to one's intelligence, a company must be on record as giving notice (training) to all employees (and with periodic refresher course) in order to protect itself from liability should a sexual harassment issue arise.

To me a sexual harassment course should last only a minute or two: you just tell your employees that if you wouldn't do it, say it, show it, pass it along to your mother, then you have a sexual harassment issue.



I had similar training when I worked for a major bookseller, and what totally killed me was that the company was totally hypocritical.

We were told it would be wrong and offensive if we were to have porn magazines laying around our workspace or display swimsuit calendars. (Not that I've bought any or done that), and yet we still willingly sold Playboy, Hustler, and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar. Gotta love selling the stuff we're told is wrong to have.



I heard this tripe several years ago (2001) at my "final" corporate job....and I think I got fired for my reaction.

About 12 of us had been dragged into a mandatory "sensitivity training" meeting. We had to endure a 15-minute video about sexual harassment. After the video the facilitator made sure that we knew that the newest law is that "intent is no longer a factor". It didn't matter if we *intended* to harass someone, what mattered was that the alleged victim felt harassed.

I put my hand up and asked: "So if the alleged victim feels harassed, then the Human Resourcs department must do something about it?". To which the facilitator (from HR) said "yes".

My response: "Then get rid of that video because I feel harassed. There were at least ten examples of sexual harassment in the video and the majority of them showed men harassing women. As a man, I'm offended. That's unfair treatment and sexism".

To make a long story short, a "discussion" ensued in which I demanded that the personnel rep immediately remove the movie because, I reminded him, that intent wasn't a factor...I felt harassed and that was what was important and that I would take it to his manager if he didn't do something about it immediately.

Believe it or not...they actually stopped using the video in those classes.


Ha! I just LOVE using these libs' dopey ideas against them!



I have had several of these types of meetings, for which I had the foresight to bring a handful of whiteboard markers and some white-out. During the more unbearable bits, I removed the cap from a marker or the top from the bottle of white-out and inhaled the fumes deeply several times.



These lovely little educational sessions have only one purpose.
They are designed to reduce the risk of successful litigation against the employer. They have also created a cottage industry of "sensitivity trainers" and the ca$h that follows them and fills their pockets.
Like teachers and trial lawyers, these "sensitivity trainers" are ALWAYS liberal.
They are 21st century Jesse Jackson's. They shake down corporations, one seminar at a time.



The rational adult is a small and shrinking minority in the workplace.

Because most of the trial lawyers and diversity hustlers would be out of jobs if people were rational. So decent folk get chased out of such public places where diversity training is considered a reasonable idea.

I work for a big corporation at the moment. I work from home a lot. It's much more peaceful and productive.



This nonsense will stop only when the people it is aimed at, white males, refuse to put up with it any longer. Nobody involved in this Maoist project is any any illusion that these rules apply to "minorities". (Who actually make up the majority of most workplaces, but that's another matter.)



These lovely little educational sessions have only one purpose.
They are designed to reduce the risk of successful litigation against the employer.

They don't. Their purpose is to be left-wing indoctrination sessions. If an employer wants to pay me to make widgets or write code, fine. But if any employer made employment contingent on their employees participating in right-wing indoctrination, they'd wind up in court inside the first week.



Along the same lines, I no longer volunteer at my church because everyone who comes into contact with children in any way must be fingerprinted and have a background check, including grandmothers and great-grandmothers who only want to help out. I refuse to submit to this. Not only is it an intrusion upon my privacy, it is an assumption that there is evil lurking in my background. How insulting to the majority of people who would never harm a child. It doesn't stop child molesters from finding their way into situations to harm children and it certainly doesn't stop them. If people would be more observant and speak up when they see something that's not quite right, we would have fewer of these problems lurking around our churches and schools.



Well we white males are open season. We can and will be penalized monetarily and otherwise at the point of convenience of the state.

We, who built this country. You know have had a taste of what it is like to run under the MultiCultural banner. Like the results? Markets and indeed the economy entire is collapsing.

Sorry to say it but we all need to act white when it comes to business. That is the culture that made business go like none other has before it.

Its that or prepare to be slaves. Because the nonwhite tradition is authoritarianism, tribalism and worse. All backwards and all much much less than optimum.



Proteus;

Very accurate and thoughtful commentary.

Reality is that the source of all of this is the disgraceful course our legal system has taken. Politicians depending on those specific core money contributions cause the writing and amending of laws and statutes to expand and facilitate monetary benefit to payback those business interests.

Like for instance do you really think there would be a national debate right now regarding the American AUTO industry if the UAW was not demanding immediate payback for their catapulting the least qualified presidential candidate in Modern history to the office of the presidency?

CHAPTER 11 (reorganization) which has been ruled out by the Democrat Party and the big Media is not necessarily the end of a a business but certainly can cause a renegotiation of those ill-thought out contracts.

Americans are going to be subjected to far more of these insults NOT LESS in the very near future.



We have similar sessions in my corporate work environment, but for "safety". Every three months, we have required training to teach all these grown people with children how to be safe in our cublicles. We must be observant of spills on the floor in the kitchen, how to pull the emergency fire alarm switch, and not to stick your hand in between the closing elevator doors. We are required to report "near misses" (which sounds like an oxymoron to me, a near miss would be a hit...a near hit means you miss...right?) in which we almost incur an injury but because of our trained observance, were able to catch the danger and correct the situation, to avoid injury. These can be something as nearly hitting a car in the parking lot, to bumping into someone as you round a corner.

We even have a game that we "play" involving scratch cards, like the scratch lottery cards, where we collect points and pick prizes for being safe. We get so many cards for the amount of time that passes without an injury report. It is one of the most juvenile things I have ever participated in as an adult. We get extra cards for near misses we report- and these near misses are featured in our mandatory safety meetings.

I work in a corporate environment where my worst injury was a paper cut from a manila file folder. It hurt alot- but for crying out loud, it was a paper cut! And I was required to report it, and it was discussed in the following safety meeting, the importance of washing our hands after paper cuts, because paper is dirty! Antibacterial or antimicrobial soap is best. (as if any other soap won't clean the dirt off our hands.)

Whether its sexual harrassment training, sensitivity training, safety seminars, or any other, it is insulting to thinking adults who practice common sense on a regular basis. We know to look both ways before we cross the street. We know enough not to call our coworker an idiot if they make an honest mistake. We know not to tell someone their ass looks good in those slacks.

I feel like the more we do this, the more it promotes a victim mentality in which people are victims merely because they chose to be offended by any little thing, or hurt by any little object to the point of litigation. We are increasingly being surrounded by people who sue McDonalds over hot coffee- because of this type of "training" that promotes everyone as a victim of sorts with cause for "justice". It's embarrassing.



I was glad to see that MuscleDaddy, at least, pointed out that he was the one being offended by the assumption that white males are not only the primary offenders, but also, by implication, incabable of being offended. Perhaps, if enough of us stand up and point this out at the end of these types of presentations, the re-educators will get the point....on the other hand, probably not. Stand up anyway!
Semper Fi



>>It is not the intent of the alleged harasser, but the impact on the recipient.

This is, frankly, the essence of the swindle: to enable people to define crimes and offenses not on the objective behavior of the accused, but on their subjective, interior state.


I can honestly say that this evil singlehandedly undermines a central axiom of western civ.


See also this, via instapundit:

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-mcpherson21-2008nov21,0,4090949.story

"The Sham of sex harassment training"



I had to attend a mandatory sexual harassment class at my workplace. The insult to my intelligence offends me. Think I'll file a harassment complaint.



You said:
"My parents – remember them? – taught me at an early age that what people said or thought or wrote about me did not have the power to hurt me – only I can allow them to do that. My self-worth, self-respect and self-esteem are earned, and not given, and are therefore mine – impervious to anything in the outside world, which is why I am willing to sit at this desk, as the only one of 24 happy, smart, creative people, and look like some reactionary nut case for being enraged about the fact that we willingly submit ourselves to insults to our personal honor and integrity that our forefathers would never, ever have countenanced. And I am ashamed on behalf of them. But just me. No one else thinks anything of it at all."

Let me "bottomline" this for you dude...

This all came about because somebody found out they could get money for calling themselves a victim.

That's it. Nothing else. Greed.

Have a nice day.



Mr. Whittle, I think it is only fair to warn you that it is not a good idea at all to apologize to someone you have unintentionally offended. Your apology could be interpreted as an admission of liability and used against you and your employer in any ensuing litigation. In fact, I would strongly suggest that your employer develop a policy prohibiting apologies and simply terminate any employee caught apologizing to someone they may have offended.



Yes, the government is far worse: BTDTGTTS. I could reliably find out, in about 5 minutes, who of the higher-ups in an area had been promoted due to threatening EEOC charges. I have met up with a few of those when I was working on the civil side of DoD, and those doing the ladder climbing were only competent enough to file the charges, not competent enough to do their jobs. What was even worse is that the absolutely, truly incompetent were nearly impossible to fire. To get the information to do that, a boss had to document each and every problem, counsel the person each time, send them to some refresher course, then document performance after that.... for 3 years. Beyond just handing out UNSAT performance appraisals. Then you had panels to go through, counseling to go through for the individual involved, the usual EEOC appeals... mind you this was in a place that had top secret SCIFs in multiple buildings. Getting their clearances pulled was a multi-month chore... mere destruction of material multiple times wasn't enough if any handicap could be claimed.

Every year it was the security training (usually two or three of those), harassment training, ethics training, contract officer representative refresher course, safety training, how to treat contract personnel, financial reporting training... and people wonder *why* the US government is, at best, 65% effecient in doing any job, with most of it running at 35-45%? Those are the numbers for productive hours per person, as compared to 80% efficiency in the private sector.

Apparently we no longer believe in a civil society, and only believe that adults must go to 'those in power' instead of addressing wrongs themselves and acting like adults. When you take the civil society out of civilization, you no longer have civilization. And mere competence is no longer enough for promotion by merit, male or female.

I am a Citizen of the Republic of the United States.

All other labels are secondary and destructive of the first. That is the only one that should matter, and your character then determine your course in life to protect that most vital thing of all which we have in common as Citizens.



Background on this diversity push for those interested. . .

Corporate Diversity Training
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1865856/posts
[How diversity training was started in an elementary classroom (which it why it's so demeaning and condescending for adults) and then peer reviewed on the Johnny Carson show (akin to being on Jay Leno for approval).]

Following are all comments from other people at the message forum unless in [ ].
The teacher was using behavior mod which is a totalitarian reeducation technique. They use it in college orientation, and it produces people who think any controversial topic is taboo.

Townhall article excerpts:
Anyone doubting that intimidation is the name of the game should read "The Authoritarian Roots of Corporate Diversity Training," a new Special Report published by the National Legal and Policy Center. http://www.nlpc.org/pdfs/DiversityTraining.pdf

Diversity training is a brief, intensive orientation program of lectures, audiovisual materials and role-playing exercises. In tone and substance, sadism rules the day. The training operates on an assumption that employees must be punished for sins not yet committed.

A disillusioned government diversity specialist recently described the consequences: You cannot overestimate the damage to race relations that "diversity awareness" training is causing in this country. It's having the opposite effect to that intended, causing divisions, resentment, and an increase in judgments based on race, where previously such things were actually quite rare. How do I know this? I was involved in putting together a diversity "toolkit" for a government department, and saw first-hand the effect it had as it was rammed down the throats of staff.

COMMENTS worth noting on the Townhall article relating to business problems with diversity:

As a former Ford Motor Co. middle manager from the late seventies through the early nineties I was subjected to several diversity courses, as well as the racial and sexual preferences. I predicted that it would one of the main things that would bring the company down.

I read that when that Egyptian guy became ceo of Ford.. he looked at the vice presidents and 15 of 16 were white men. He said Ford is too white and too male, fired 8 of the white men vps, replacing them with minorities and women. Pretty sad to work your way up near the top in your career then get forced out of the company because you are the wrong skin color.

He did more than that. He made a blanket statement that no white males would be getting raises or promotions. He made the comment behind closed doors where he didn't think it would get out. Wrong. I was working at a Wingcast in San Diego (Ford/Qualcomm) when he made the statement. We heard about it within 15 minutes of the utterance. The immediate reaction was "Screw him". There was an immediate revolt and work slow down. The white males stopped putting in extra effort. They just worked the standard hours and made no extra effort to correct the errors being made by those with the preferred skin color.

Jack Nasser was handed his walking papers shortly after his stupid utterance. Wingcast folded the shop in June 2002, so I wasn't around to see what Bill Ford did to try to fix the damage done by Nasser. Wingcast was the ultimate exercise in "diversity". It was populated with H1B labor from around the world. It was also an abject failure. Too many highly compensated H1Bs with a terrible work ethic. Too many who were creative resume writers who couldn't deliver on the bottom line.

Had ‘diversity’ explained to me at one of these sessions as “...getting rid of all them 50 yr. old white guys.”

I work for one of the “diverse” companies mentioned in the article. I go to great lengths to avoid having contact with the “protected classes” because one misunderstood comment would cost me my job. One would have to be mentally twisted to think this is anyway to treat a workforce.


[Quotes from the excellent The Authoritarian Roots of Corporate Diversity Training paper at http://www.nlpc.org/pdfs/DiversityTraining.pdf ]

whether their main motivator is the carrot or the stick, either way corporate executives have no problem with inflicting emotional degradation upon their own employees in the name of promoting diversity. Shouldn’t shareholders and the rest of the public be made aware of this?
University of Pennsylvania historian Alan Charles Kors argues that for sheer sadism, campus diversity training resembles Maoist Chinese re-education sessions.
Higher education officials furiously promote diversity in hiring and training.
Why don’t more employees challenge this new regime? For one thing, such action might label the dissenter as a troublemaker and open him up to being fired. Second, and related, diversity training from the start has been about manipulating the emotions, not engaging the mind. [more abandonment of reason and science]
[CONTRAST this with Spring 2007 Cato article on "Infidel: My Journey from Somalia to the West" and comments by 31-yr old black female and former Muslim on value of the Western culture, white males and the science and reason they brought to the world http://www.cato.org/pubs/catosletter/catosletterv5n2.pdf

[WHAT TO DO]

Challenging the New Regime: CEOs Must Take the Lead

Corporations are in business to provide goods and services to customers willing to pay for them, not to force attitude therapy on employees who don’t need it—and at the threat of being fired or denied a promotion.

If just a few leaders openly repudiated the now-dominant regime, it would spark long-needed debate in every major company in America.

One CEO who has spoken out is T.J. Rodgers, head of the successful San Jose-based computer chip manufacturer, Cypress Semiconductor.
Rodgers fired back at Jackson. “He declares racism based on dubious statistics,” he remarked. “Then he gives you a chance to repent—and the basic way to [repent] is to give Jesse money. The threat is you’ll be labeled a racist if you don’t.” If any employee of a modern corporation spoke out this way, he most likely either would be reprimanded, with an order to attend diversity training, or fired outright. Yet Rodgers is not an employee; he’s an employer. That is what gives him the freedom to speak without fear. He openly challenges the Diversity brigands because he knows the buck stops with him. In exercising his freedom to speak, he effectively gives his employees that same right.

Not many other CEOs, unfortunately, have this kind of spine. Consequently, neither do their employees.

Do CEOs really believe the diversity claptrap or do they put on a happy face to avoid legal and other problems? Either way, they are acting in a manner contrary to the best interests of their companies, shareholders and the public at large. For not only do their actions remove funds from company coffers and into those of their tormentors, but worse, they render employees cynical and fearful, knowing that going along with the diversity hustle is necessary to keeping a job.

Thus far companies have treated their commitment to diversity as though it were an unalloyed good, with no negative consequences. But experience has shown that there are negative consequences, most of all a dreadful silence. We live in an America where the tiniest perceived insult by one employee against another can result in the destruction of a career. This is tyranny—prosperous tyranny, perhaps, but tyranny all the same.
****************



Although I'm an FSU grad, I'll try to piece together an intelligible thought... ;)

It gets better. And by that I mean, the irony gets better. What you'll sit through soon will be "classes" in; anger management, sensitivity training, conflict of interest, and the code of conduct/ethics. The irony comes in the form of the realization that the *only* ones that could possibly need this "training" are upper management.

The CEO of my 15K+ employee firm has a well known reputation for screaming and having fits of rage. He's had to take several anger management courses himself it seems (not that its done any good, my wife works in upper management, so I get the bloody details of his rants), so he decided that all of his employees were similarly out of control in the workplace. Its also no surprise that a code of conduct class is not necessary for the majority of engineers/people at firms, since they have no real decision making power, they are never approached with tempting offers which might test their personal ethics. All of the people I know do their very best on the product because we want to be able to sleep at night (peoples' lives are on the line) and be able to look at ourselves in the mirror in the morning. I have first hand knowledge of persons as low on the totem pole as Program Managers instructing our team to shave time off of the testing of our project in order to save money, regardless of the dangers. You think they give a crap? Hell no, they are soulless bastards. Conflict of interest? Since when do we poor schlubs have enough "interest" to have a conflict with? Finally, harassment is usually committed by persons in power who are immune to coworkers that might otherwise inform them of their boorish behavior or are in a position to enforce threats (sleep with me or hit the road). The majority of workers in a company could never get away with something like that.

Every year, when we go through our little training sessions, I have a little snicker to myself, knowing that some big wig in the upper management caused the need for such "training". It warms me at night to think about the millions that these unscrupulous buffoons have looted our company for and as repayment we peons must suffer through our honor being affronted...



Bill,
Please see my op-ed piece in Nov.21 LA Times and my response to Ms. Franke at the Chronicle of Higher Education on the Orange County Register web site ocregister,com.
Thank you,

Aex McPherson




So it appears that faaaaaar too many men have been playing with their blackberries rather than understanding that they ARE the problem.

Posted by: Lynellen | November 21, 2008 7:19 PM

Dear Lynellen:

Is it possible, just the teeniest little bit, that 'attitude' may have played at least a supporting role in your company's reluctance to add you to the team in question? I mean, I work on a team of four men and one woman, and the woman in question is a solid performer who 'gives as good as she gets;' she is also, surprise, surprise, universally admired by everyone on our team.

Just my two-cents...



Bill, as usual, I feel like printing your column and posting it in every executive office in my company; but the fact of the matter is that the leftists have managed to create just enough "useless idiots", place them in law offices, judicial robes, and university positions that it would be a futile and career-ending move.

We no longer have freedom of religion, freedom of association, nor freedom of speech.

"Lobbyists," those who "petition the government for redress of grievances," have been made to look like criminals... unless they work for leftist causes.

And, despite a couple of small setbacks, they have not given up their attacks on the Second Amendment, either.

May it please God to give us wise Christian leaders who are not afraid to let every man and woman express themselves freely. There cannot be a freedom from being offended unless we are all condemned to silence.



Welcome to the real world Bill. I left corporate Amerika in 1993....if this was your first experience with the "thought police", just wait, there's more coming.

J-O-B-S now require that you leave your personality and spine at the door when you come in the door and do what you're told.

God forbid you've had the moral upbringing to do what's right.

That's why you always hear the interview term, "Fit", as in if YOU "fit" in with the corporate "mindset".

Drink the Kool-Aid, take the paycheck (if you can), I found another way....



Ah, yes I remember our "family violence" training when I was in the service at the height of the Clinton days - all teh woman were excused and all the men were put in a room where we were told that there is a proto wife beater just itching to jump out of us, and only our successful training by the woman whose "expertise" was cemented by her FOUR failed violent relationships could save us and our spouses from ourselves.

This was only made worse by the "questionnaires" we had to fill out at the end. After that I was certain I loved big brother.

The corporate ones were actually less bad, but my old company did these little "skits" to illustrate the points in case we were too thick to understand - it was bad enough that the "sexual politicking" skit with the scantily clad secretary played bad 70's porno music, but I did garner a lecture for my inappropriate outbursts when I started laughing uncontrollably at the "stalker" skit which played tubular bells (theme from the Exorcist).



Training Day

Or What Every Happened to "Good Manners"

I have taken the same "course" Proteus took. As a middle-aged, white male I am now used to being the butt of all office jokes and the "bad apple" that appears in all such training films. They can't use anyone but a middle-aged, white male or that would in itself constitute "harassment" against some "more protected class."

Read on and weep at the "wussification" of America. And remember "It is not the intent of the alleged harasser, but the impact on the recipient" that determines whether "harassment" has taken place. It is not what you did but what offense the other person wants to receive. Never mind that this turns thousands of years of jurisprudence on its head.

This is essentially the criminalization of "bad manners" by people who told us that we didn't need God or religion to tell us how to behave toward one another. So they took God and religion out of public life and found out people were too often real scoundrels when separated from Christian teaching like "The Golden Rule." Go figure.

I think this is called "hope" and "change" in most circles these days.

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=271758941&blogID=451040214&Mytoken=692FA69F-C046-4272-A54BAE57A29D490393913185



Shouting Thomas, outsourcing isn't going to save you. I work for a major software developer with a major Indian presence. Last year, an Indian employee sued her supervisor and us on the grounds that it was an American company and thus American law that governed. She won.

In an environment where illegal aliens have the same rights as citizens, why would you expect any different?



I agree with Proteus. I was in the Air Force for 26 years and I have endured these countless Sexual Harassment, diversity "training" and all that other liberal garbage "classes". These classes ALWAYS showed that the chief perpetrator was the white male. I resented this very much. I work for a private company now and I Thank God we are not subjected to these political indoctrination courses. Also, many people have asked me why I don't want to work as a civil servant at the local military base and the reason is....read what Proteus went through.



I did the mandatory training about 7 years ago, just before I became self-employed. Actually, I did learn something in the class: that the person who invariably gets named in a lawsuit is NOT the office boor, but rather a more-or-less decent person who inadvertently and innocently makes a wrong comment to the wrong person. And even supposing you stay the course and prevail in count, terrific - so now you can add "Successfully defended against sexual harassment accusations" to your resume?

Be afraid. Be very afraid.



In the mid to late '70's as a teenager I was the only female one a 500 man consturction crew at Lake Tahoe. My father owned the company, my uncles were the foremen. I was 5'2" and 100 lbs 36x22x34.Most of the crew were guys in thier 20s, I was 15 to 18 years.The men that were old enough to be my grandfathers told some of the crudest and best jokes I've ever heard, they were funny because they were true. If I was "hit on" I could usually handle it myself, long fingernails or a knee to the groin works very well.
We had one young guy that worked in the cold season in "blue" movies in LA, he came back in the spring and insinuated that I would only work there if I was looking to "have my bones jumped" Three guys jumped his bones and knocked two teeth out. My uncles then picked him up and literaly threw him off the site. I am insulted by these touchy/feely classes. I can take care of myself in most cases, if not I don't put myself into situations where a strong person will not be there to assist me. At 50 I can throw a 6ft 150lb 20year old over my head if he messes with me.Women need to learn to look out for themselves.

iIn the early 90's I worked in Customer Service for a company that had a mixed race work force.The rules at work were: no personal phone calls,No friends were to hang out, if you were working,you were working.There was one black woman that spent all her time on the phone or holding up the counter just hanging out. When I complained I was writen-up for being difficult to work with and she was promoted.

It's time we stop being so worried about our feelings getting hurt and took some responability.In my first example, I got along and knew that it was not a girl frienly enviroment. I worked with the guys that used to be able to whistle at you as you walked down the street, and lets be honest, as women, we liked it. They were just conferming what we already knew, we looked good.In the second she knew that the corperation would never fire her and if I continued to complain they would fire me.



Ah yes, my condolences. I last week sat through an 8-hour seminar of health professionals so we could learn the following:
1) Treat people with respect
2) maintain their privacy
3) Offer to help them
Is this what we have come to...



While at one of these courses at Microsoft a few years ago, the class started off by everyone going outside and lining up on an imaginary line. And then the instructor asked everyone that had grow up with two parents to take a step forward, then everyone who had a father figure to step forward, followed by more family questions, followed by public/private university, who paid for school, how quickly you feel you've been promoted, etc. About half way through, those that were taking a lot of steps realized they had had a pretty decent life, and that the intent of the exercise was to show just how differently everyone had been treated, so they started taking smaller and smaller steps. Never mind the fact that all were senior managers making over $200K/year. The class leader then asked Andy (the guy in the lead) "let me ax you, do you realize how much privilege you've been blessed with?"

The class was an absolute joke and waste of time.

One time, a manager put a picture of Isaac from the Love Boat series in the middle of a slide deck. At a team meeting, he gets to slide 12, there's Isaac smiling and pointing, he pauses 10 seconds, and moves to the next slide. The room erupted in laughter. Someone complained. I heard an hour later that HR wanted to see the presentation and wanted know what was said. He sent the presentation, and said that he said nothing and just showed the slide. They went away for a few days, and then responded to not do that again. I can only imagine the meetings that were happening in the background as they tried to figure out what he'd done wrong.

One word of advice: NEVER pretend these courses are not interesting. It can seriously screw your career.

Try to find Penn and Teller's "Bullsh**" episode on diversity trainers. They actually hire diversity trainers, and under the guise of filming a diversity/harassment training video, they make these guys do the most emasculating things, like dress as women with big breasts and then talk to the other guys in the class without glancing away from the face. At one point, one guy has on a bra and is down on his hands and knees, when another guy (who is a diversity trainer) finally can't take it anymore and tells them he will not put in a bra.

Too funny



I had to attend a training session for church volunteers and staff members on recognizing child abuse and what to do about it.

I was outraged at the content.

The "class" was given by the school nurse. She talked about how vague the signs of child abuse are (and here we are talking parents abusing their children!).

She gave some examples of how a mother would speak sharply to her child when in the carpool lane. And that if you felt in your gut that there might be some possibility of the child abuse that you should CALL THE STATE!!!

I was appalled. Essentially they were asking to have problems. And the reason we all had to attend the stupid thing in the first place was because priests had molested children and the church had covered it up.

So, now, we are to put our discerning eye to our fellow parents, any one of which is most likely a child abuser.

And far from just taking our suspicions to the pastor of the church, or the principal of the school, we are to call Child Protective Services on them!

How long did we fight the Soviets?

Did we really win?



I was asked to attend an 'Equal Opportunity' class while filling out many forms as a new hire. Of course, the person informing me of this P C crapola was a minority woman. Having served in the military I informed this person, 'Miss, I've worked in more 'diverse' or 'adverse' conditions with my fellow service men and women than you can possibly imagine. It's for these reasons I'm not going to participate in your seminar'. She raised a big stink and proceeded to hand me a form to sign in which I 'Participated and passed the required training' Ahhh, it's the small battles which we win from time-to-time that are truly memorable.



Thank you, thank you, thank you, for saying something I have felt for the nearly 20 years since I sat through the first of many of these sorts of pre-emptive wrist slappings. My first was in the Marines, immediately following the "Tailhook scandal" where a group of Navy and Marine Pilots actually physically assaulted several young women who were foolish enough to accept an invitation to a "party room" from a couple of drunken sailors. Since then, I have been through numerous condescending lectures on sexual harrassment, diversity, "cultural diversity" and worse yet, cultural sensitivity. Congratulations on surviving your first, I'm sorry to say you'll probably see many more in your corporate career. Try and look at the bright side: If you're sitting through those classes, it means that you have a job. That, like common sense, is becoming more of a rarity these days.
I hope you don't mind, but I will link to this post as well as add you to my roll. Excellent post.
FMD



Liberals and lawyers will. . . er, check that. ARE ruining this country!!!



Holy crap.
My wife is right.
I'd never last a single day in the corporate world.
I don't think I could put up with that nonsense for more than a few minutes.
I'd snap and loudly commit all sorts of offenses on the way out the door.



This sensitivity stuff is mind boggling. At a BBQ I attended, a friend of a friend brought a 'sensitivity trainer' as his date. Eventually she and I met with beer cans in hand and exchanged pleasantries. Learning what she does with her life, I asked a question that had been bothering me since I first learned of politically correct speech ... if I verbally degrade a woman in a language she doesn't understand is it harassment?

"What do you mean?" she asks.

"Let's assume I can speak multiple languages (which I can). Let's say she's built like a brick (etc etc) and I comment upon her desirability, but in a language she does not comprehend (like the mumble mouthed ghetto slang of rap), and I do so with an utterly bland face. Is that sexual harassment?"

Her face went through a series of contortions and she started several replies and then walked away.

And this, my friends, is why I learned to swear in several remote languages. It ain't harassment if the other party doesn't understand you. It takes two to dance, and that's where PC comes off the rails. Sticks and stones may break my bones, etc. This PC nonsense is for the mentally under developed, children and lawyers.

But I only resort to speaking that way in extremis ... my Mother's rearing, my Boy Scout upbringing, my faith and my sense of honor far outweigh 'sensitivity training'.

And yet another compelling reason to punch cows for a living way the hell out here instead of punching PC nannies. And we slaughter the occasional turkey, too. Out here. On The Ranch. In blessed solitude.



...i had the 'privilege' of sitting in on a "train the trainer" course for adult education.

3 Powerpoint slides for 1.5 hours worth, and we had to colour our personalities and how a red doesn't work well with a blue.

Then we did the myers briggs thing where we had to stand in corners of the room to indicate what we ended up being with that test. Every other instructor fit in the 'caring sensitive' section and me, by myself over in the feeling leader square. Did I feel weird.



I worked for a company that changed sick days and vacation days into PTO or paid time off days. (Of course the total time was less) The insulting part was that "Now you don't have to pretend you're sick if you want a day off." I've never done that in my life because it's unethical. The general consensus was that everyone does it was really insulting.



I love, I love, I love working for myself.

I would not be able to sit through something like that without spouting off and getting fired.



I am going to take an unpopular position here.

I sit through these soviet-style lectures too, and have the same reaction.

The lecturers are emasculated, pansified males, women with a distorted sense of feminism and perenially touchy minorities. None could contribute a useful work in a coffee shop.

But I defend sexual harassment suits. I used to bring them.

The classes are intended to reach new 27+ yr old workers and MBA's who haven't read the stories from the 80's and 90's. The ones that think their new position of power over a group of short-skirted 23 year old single women is a passport to nirvana.

They are aslo supposed to stop the boorish behavior by newly arrived iranian, russian, etc. managers who think free spirited US women really like being groped or bullied at work.

The classes allow the company to say--in the event of such a suit--that "we did all we could."

I have defended coutless such suits, and sorry, but there are men out there that act differently than you. Even if they were raised well, their lust for that trim blonde in a cubicle-- the single one that smiles and seems receptive--overcomes their breeding.

Companies are also tired of paying for men who think attractive women 25 years their junior really think their jokes are funny, their protruding nosehair is attractive and follow up on perceived acceptance by more aggressive behavior.

Its not her job to ruin her career by saying "no" to you.

Yes, the original intent has gone crazy--like the french revolution the thing has reached into areas no one thought was out of bounds. Photos on your desk. Remarks about your own wife or girlfriend.

The reason? Companies don't want to be sued. Legal fees are not cheap. Jury verdicts aren't either.

Managers don't want to have a "ding" in their file. There are few companies where management is really "the owwner" so we all go along.

There is no way to isolate the ones in need of training, so we all have to go.

But all you sensible men and women have let this happen. First, your/my predecessors allowed a few boors to generate these laws. Second, you've let legislatures and the judges be given one-sided views by professional feminists that have nothing else to do.

Just how many of you have written to your legislator to complain about this? None I bet.

Large companies now assualt their workers with lectures that sternly warn against drinking together after work, commenting on a new outfit etc. People who have never worked in a real office intone: "It could be misinterpreted. It has nothing to do with the workplace."

Well sorry, but it is necessary. Its not the company's job to risk a million because you didn't do anything before.

But I hate it too.



If you're not going to last in corporate, it won't be about some required HR session on harassment; it will be the numbing routine, the pointless meetings, the knowing you coud do your boss' boss' job... that sort of thing. In the end, an HR training session is at least a way to kill an hour, without much fuss.

Second, William Jordan kind of nails it - this is pure CYA stuff, and the course is not meant for most, just for some, who probably don't get it... but it has to be said. People who think sexual harassment is dead, or decent people know better... don't see what HR, or legal, sees. As someone who worked in corporate HR, the stuff you'd know was astonishing, and it taught me true confidentiality... because I felt dirty enough knowing some of it, and didn't want to ever have to tell anyone, and know I had.

Finally, I know it's fashionable to blame the "lefty PC" but don't assume: I'm lefty, occasionally PC, and I've seen that video you describe. It's atrocious. The class was, indeed, a joke (I think the wittier among us spent days after dreaming up new, interesting lines to throw out just because of it). I am a raunchy, double entendre humor kind of guy, to the point of shocking co-workers. But I also know boundaries, and limits, and that some people cross them. And they need to be told not to - and the rest of us, I think, can put up with an occasional reminder.

PS - I did leave corporate; it wasn't for me. And I don't generally recommend it.



I once attended a MANDATORY FOR ALL PERSONNEL 'cultural sensitivity training' session at my place of employment.

After 4+ hours of kiddie-speak ( the usual c**p) the 'faciliator' asked if there were any questions.

One lady raised her hand and asked "Can we go noe? It's Christmas today, and I'd like to be home with my children."

To which the so-sensitive 'expert' replied "What do you mean. This isn't Christmas!!!"

Oh - but it WAS. At least a quarter of the staff is Armenian Orthodox. For them - it was Christmas. And they had been forced to give up their long-scheduled vacation or loose their jobs.

I'd put a moral here - but it's just too obvious.



Fifty? Pfft! Son, I turned 56 in September.



I went through this a decade ago. After our session, a Mormon friend asked, "Doesn't anybody go to Sunday School anymore?" Once upon a time, parents had help.



I don't disagree with the prevailing sentiment, but a little more patience and understanding might not go amiss.

Kindergarten can seem awfully appealing to people who have been very badly hurt by its lack.

If putting up with one course in diversity training helps protect you from the backlash when somebody else without your manners commits a criminal faux pas, well, something can be annoying as f**k and still be worth the effort.



I did not mention in the article that I heard about the training from a phone call at about five minutes to nine on the morning of the class. It had been going on since 8:30 and the office wanted to know where I was. I missed the memo, obviously.

On the drive in, and from the moment I got into the class, I gave serious thought to saying what I really thought about it, as per Mr Paules' instructions. On balance I thought that unfair to the class, the company and the facilitator. The time to protest this was before it happened. I had no "before it happened" timeline, otherwise, had I simply gone along with it, Mark would have been correct.

But I was ABSOLUTELY prepared to not participate if called upon. That seemed the only rational and justifiable place to draw a line.

"We need two people for a role-playing scenario. How about the late guy in the back?" would have gotten a "I categorically refuse to participate in this activity."

If I had been asked to explain THAT, then they would have gotten this essay for free, on the spot -- pretty much verbatim.

I WILL be prepared for it in the future. It's just that I had the drive time in to think about this -- that was the first I knew of it. And making a scene about something at the last minute seemed childish to me.

Anyway, that's what happened.



Yeah, I had to go through one of those things.

But at least the facilitator had nice tits.

Hey! It's a JOKE! Remember when women had the poise, strength, and confidence to take a line like that and put the guy in his place with a witty comment and a killer smile?

Seems like the only one with that ability these days is the Governor of Alaska.

Genuine sexual harrassment is vicious and vile. But the attitude

"It is not the intent of the alleged harasser, but the impact on the recipient".

means that sexual harrassment is determined by the lowest common denominator...the most easily insulted, chip-on-her-shoulder man-hater in the workplace.

Which only dilutes and diminishes the cases where the harrassment is genuine.

I'm with you. Those of us properly raised treat people--and especially women--with respect. The amount of respect is earned by attitude and behavior.

That being said, a real man will still feel confident having private jokes within personal conversations in appropriate environments. A real woman will understand that, since she has her own private conversations with her own friends.



The old standard used to be the 'perception of the victim' - not the recipient of any comment.

This is a crucial distinction - the former actually requires someone be 'harmed' before there is anything actionable. Unfortunately under the 'new' terms one can actually do harm to another based on a groundless, boundary line psychotic, perception.

There's another term for this sort of thing - it's reinventing the cycle of abuse with the former victims.

Harrasment law has become an enabler of abusers - especially as it applies to the term 'protected class'.

Sensitivity to folks who HAVE been victimized is definitely a crucial aspect of workplace authority - granting authority to previous victims is criminal.



Skylaw: The training today has shifted; it is somewhat more subtle, but it seems directed toward encouraging the "minority member"or woman to file a complaint against a superior on the slimmest pretext, and browbeating superiors into walking on eggshells.

Me: THAT is its short term purpose.

Skylaw: The part that is so often disregarded is that the offense must be targeted, frequent, and must rise to a level that it interferes with work, or must be of such serious nature that a first offense requires action (e.g, a striking or a sexually offensive touching). And, it is not simply a matter that the employee was offended, but whether a reasonable person in the employee's circumstances would have been offended.

Me: To recognize these facts would dilute the multiple purposes for such things.

The whole scene is absurd but that is not the point. The point is what it accomplishes.

First, it "empowers" the deficient, inadequate, incomplete, and parasitical among us to demand what is not theirs to demand.

Secondly, it intimidates the morally timid among us into silence, inaction, and submission.

Thirdly, and this is the payoff, it IDENTIFIES the morally confident, the able, the productive, the competent among us for future action. Come the revolution, we who resist are scheduled for "retraining" or elimination if we cannot be "retrained".

If we value our lives and our liberty, we must resist with every fiber of our being.

See: http://arationalhuman.blogspot.com/
for my part of the resistance.

PS: Survival in this day and age requires one to be a bit paranoid. They really are out to get you and yours.



Welcome to the Tyranny of the Crybabies and Idiots. The degredations will not cease you will just eventually cease to care or perhaps even to notice them. I remember when I used to get upset about the various HR initiatives that would come down the pike. All seemingly springing from the assumption that you are retarded, clueless or mentally deranged. Much like the ridiculous warnings on many products the Tyranny of the Crybabies and Idiots forces a lowest common denominator of stupidity threshold. One moron spends all day sending dirty e-mails to a coworker and the next thing you know everyone has to spend a morning getting treated like a dimwit. Cheer up though Bill it's nothing personal, you get free donuts and juice and, just so you know, I've had the (dis)pleasure of working with multiple people who actually required the kind of training you recieved (of course for the people who actually need the training it never works)so they do exist and the entire thing isn't just a sick plot to torment you.

I also worked in an office at one time where we were given a "diversity" seminar. This was a job where we basically pulled records from microfilm and made copies to send to clients (mindless grunt work, no degree required). The workforce was extremely diverse by any stretch of the imagination. I had worked their about a year and a half and hadn't had any problems. In the month after the diversity seminar management got something like 30 or 40 harassment complaints. They eventually had to have another seminar telling people that just because (true story) someone took the last Ho-Ho out of the vending machine, or didn't say hi in the hallway etc doesn't mean you were harassed.

Just look for the humor in these things, it'll keep you from going crazy.



Ah, yes. I received my most recent training on how to sexually harass people just a couple of weeks ago. I am very thankful that a) OUR training was only 30 minutes long, and b) I live in an area, and work with people, who consider this as much a crock as I do.

That said, I think that another result of these sessions is to make it easier for the "offended" to make the accusation, because then they can say, "Hey, he's been to harassment training, he should know better!".



I'm not sure what irritates me more; people who see the evil hand of white male oppression everywhere they go, or people who see the evil hand of multicultural liberal feminist socialist communist oppression everywhere they go. Both are cut from the same whiny, bitchy, paranoid cloth of self-proclaimed victims, however much they hate the other for exactly that reason.

Bill, as Bobn wrote, sexual harassment classes are sadly the best way your employer has of not getting sued. It's as simple as that. No, we can't abolish frivolous lawsuits. Free country, remember? I suggest you take it in as one of the many little indignities we have to suffer as human beings. It's called life. Suck it up and stop acting exactly like those you criticize.



I was lucky enough to live through a programmed themed along the lines of "In the event you isjudge and have a situation where harassment is aposibility...."

While basically the same, it leaves you your dignity. I found it mildly amusing that the white male (who was the same age as me) became the epitome of racist/homo/sexist pig.

Though, they should have picked a better audience for the video.....the six of us fit his demographic. Hilarity ensued.



"No, we can't abolish frivolous lawsuits. Free country, remember? "

Freedom shouldn't extend to stealing someone's time, money, and, most importantly, reputation with a baseless lawsuit.

We need tort reform and a loser-pays system.



Proteus, my personal choice in this regard is I refuse to participate. Workplaces that have this type of thing are dangerous to one's professional reputation and toxic to one's personal honor.

Once upon a time I spent the worst six months of my life working for a company where these types of PC anti-harassment issues were taken very seriously.

I'd sooner paint houses than work for these morons, and many times that's exactly what I've done.



No, we can't abolish frivolous lawsuits. Free country, remember?

Uhh .... umm...

Something seems wrong there, but for the life of me I can't put my finger on it ....




Easily resolved. If you are a libertarian and you value whatever it is, then don't work at a place that requires you to take such training. The training is to protect the employer from lawsuits, and they must do this, upon legal counsel from in-house people.

Now you may think this stuff silly, but in the good old days, all kinds of insufferable stuff took place and the victims--minorities, women, etc had no recourse whatsoever. I have seen too many examples of obnoxious behavior of various kinds to relish going back to what was once standard practise.

Carp all you will about silly, objectionable, un-American: fact is, you have never been on the receiving end of the sort of crap that a boss or a person can dish out to one with no recourse but to quit a job.
Or would you prefer that duels became the way to settle such matters?



The classes allow the company to say--in the event of such a suit--that "we did all we could."

The thing is that the companies should not be on the hook for what their employees say or do in their personal capacity.

I don't doubt that there are a lot of obnoxious people out there. I've met some of them. I just don't see that it is any of the states damn business.



If you are a libertarian and you value whatever it is, then don't work at a place that requires you to take such training.

What sort of libertarianism is that? The state essentially REQUIRES this stuff from employers.

fact is, you have never been on the receiving end of the sort of crap that a boss or a person can dish out to one with no recourse but to quit a job

Really? What do you base that claim on? I have been on that end and I have quit jobs over it. But this is different crap. This is state required crap.

in the good old days, all kinds of insufferable stuff took place and the victims--minorities, women, etc


Yeah, I know you lefties can always fall back on this nonsense to justify your statist schemes.

FYI, the victims were not and are not always minorities and women.




Just had a look at your site, Fred. It's highly amusing that have a hang-up over misogyny. You'd be booted out of corporate America for having such a site.



"The thing is that the companies should not be on the hook for what their employees say or do in their personal capacity."

Yeah, really. What bugs me about the "They need to protect themselves from lawsuits" arguement, while valid from the business' standpoint, presumes that the state should hold the company accountable as it's employees nursemaid.

I can, I guess, see requiring managers who represent the company to the employees to attend such classes, if the company has so little faith in its hiring proccedures, but why would a company be liable for what one employee says to another? And if real harrassment was going on, would they really need an "I told you not to" in order to legally fire them? (Probably yes, of course.)



Before anyone else clicks on it, fred's site is very much NOT safe for work.

But if you're at home and want to look at some naked women, go for it.



Just teach kids to swim? According to this report, 60% of black kids can't swim. Maybe your assumption that all children have equal opportunities to learn how to swim underscores your need to attend such sensitivity classes...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24411271/



Just teach kids to swim?

Are you trying to parody a liberal troll? That's a tough thing to do if so.

It was "teach your own kid how to swim". Get it?

underscores your need to attend such blah blah

Yes, commissar, it is your duty to stamp out such Thought Crime.



"gender (including sex stereotyping and gender identity or expression)" ... must be California, eh?

If not, then the national condition is worse than I thought, and other states are "catching up" to us...

"Gender ID and expression" is our way of teaching rational adults that *gender*, unlike sexual orientation, is a *malleable choice* we all make. Want to be a man today, a woman tomorrow, and 40% female by Friday? In California, that's A-OK and not at all neurotic or irrational.

My folks taught me, on the other hand, to be nice: "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." I am not saying I stick to this rule very well (see above, for example), but I understand my mom's approach far better than I do the approaches in the so-called "harassment prevention" classes.

In such classes, I always feel like the kid who finally cried out that The Emperor Had No Clothes on.

Glad to be among like-minded people.



I'm fortunate to work at a really great company, where we took this lemon of a law and made lemonade. I'm part of a troupe of in-house improv actors who help put on the training. When I was recruited I warned them that I thought the law was BS. The man in charge considered that a feature, not a bug.

We just finished a show - I mean session - which included upper management actually using the words "welcome wedgie as opposed to unwelcome wedgie" and concluded with an improvised opera called "Nice Jeans".

My heart goes out to anybody who has to watch one of those crappy videos. Although I hear there's one with Wesley Snipes that's pretty, uh, interesting.



My company's Diversity Department is composed solely of black females.



I'm with william jordan on this one.

And I recommend that those guys who feel demeaned by this crap take legal action under the same provisions as the harassment laws. Because it really is harrassment.

I have a not-quite-unique-but-incredibly-rare viewpoint. I'm Intersexed, which means biologically speaking, I'm neither 100% male nor 100% female. That's pretty common - over 1% of people are, and for about 0.1% it's fairly obvious. But I have one of the really rare conditions like 5ARD or 17BHDD where the appearance changes over time. Psychologically I always was female, but when you have the body of a rugby forward... pretending to be male was easier. Until my body changed.

Anyway, I've seen things from both sides now. I've seen the crap that men have to put up with that many feminists don't recognise - like the fear they feel when they see a child crying, and can't comfort it for fear of having their lives destroyed. I've seen this brain-dead, demeaning rubbish that is "sexual harassment training" that they all have to go through in corporate America, which I can only compare to having mandatory potty training at 6 month intervals.

I've also seen genuine harassment, some of it minor and inadvertent (and which a quiet word would fix), and some of which went over the border into sexual assault, usually by those who come from cultural backgrounds where women are truly second-class citizens. And sometimes by the kind of psychopathic personalities that sometimes end up as senior management.

There is a need for some kind of training, to avoid lawsuits. There's also a need for it, as there are some genuinely good guys who come from a background where a friendly breast grope is quite acceptable. All they need is a 1 hour session once in basic manners.

But mainly it's because in the past, far too many guys who were "brought up right" did nothing when the office boor harassed the secretary. It was ... normal background. Had a gay guy groped their crotch though, they would have exploded. This is an over-reaction to that situation, and just as that situation needed fixing, so does this one. It's harrassment.

Oh and Wry Mouth? Maybe you should read TS-101. And BiGender and the Brain if you're interested in the background, but that's heavy going, full of medical and scientific references.

But really, you're an adult. The only "diversity training" you need (and from your comments, some wouldn't go astray) is some URLs, facts and figures to look over. Not people telling you what to think in a re-hash of kindergarten.



The purpose of sexual harrassment training isn't to inform the would-be harrassers, it's to establish the pecking order.



Before I retired last year, at the staff meetings of my company, the managers and higher-ups would crack jokes about Bush and Cheney. In order to protect myself, I, as a conservative Republican, would keep my political views to myself. They all had the impression that I had no interest in politics.

I had this dark secret that I had voted for Bush. Maybe we need to add a new category to the protected minority classes: Republicans.



Depending on your employer, you may get the opportunity to fill out feedback about the person teaching the class. Chances are, you will only get that opportunity once :-)



In Soviet Union you go to re-education camp, in Sovietized America re-education camp comes to you! :-)
Congrats on coming up to the half-century, it's a weird year when 50 is the new 30-something.



Bill, you have made me feel small and stupid for putting up with 2 years of this in our annual hospital in-service, and never once suggesting that I felt harassed for being presumed to be a "sexist" Neanderthal male. Waah.

True story from the world of nursing:
23 years ago I was taken to task for looking at a female co-worker who strolled through my ER wearing a transparent lace blouse she was purchasing from another nurse. Apparently it was expected that I would avert my eyes or maybe even blind myself. No suggestion at all that perhaps this nurse should have stayed in workplace-appropriate attire.



As a California trial court research attorney, who used to be a litigator, it is my opinion that the following is an incorrect statement of the law meriting a class action lawsuit for federal civil rights violation:

"It is not the intent of the alleged harasser [missing words], but the impact on the recipient."

I assume the words, "which determines whether a given act is harassment" were mistakenly omitted.

The impact on the recipient is always determined by an objective "reasonable person" standard i.e., NOT a subjective standard, and, while the perpetrator's intent can be irrelevant for purposes of determining whether a given act is harassment, intent is highly relevant for purposes of discipline of the perpetrator, or civil liability.

Any California entity which requires training of employees in any subjective standard of harassment deserves to pay 42 U.S.C. 1988 attorney fees.



I always try to push back at the women in the group who cross the line into harassing comments about males that seem so acceptable to them.
The first time I encountered women who had been trained to be offended by men I found it very disconcerting that I could not converse with her like I would with any male coworker. I decided to limit all conversations with her and other women at that company. I couldn't trust them. They were different and apparently touchy.
Their misuse of common language presented a barrier to communication.

I don't think harassment training accomplishes what they claim it does.



RE: Barbara and not volunteering at church anymore.

I had the same experience. After years of volunteer work, taking vacation days to teach a "genius" class of bright kids from our church school (itself clearly a social crime in the brave, new and disgusting "Beneath the Wheel" world of leveling education), I was told I had to undergo vetting for criminal behavior. I told them to go to hell, a place they profess a deep knowlege of. Others, more compliant, will take my place, and argue that it is not so bad, and well intended. Like helping the Jews by resettling them in the East, perhaps?
The mark of the socialist is to classify, since that is simplier than having to think. Thus to the nazi, Jews were a class of subhumans, and to Pol Pot's murder squads, those who wore glasses were intellectuals, thus a threat to the perfect agararian society, and should be shot. To the racketeers of the Left, white men, who largely were the inventive and operational core (for whatever reason) during most of the development of Western Society have to be the class of oppressors (although very few ever were). But why? Because that is where the money is! Western Culture brought us the toilet, the telephone, antibiotics, photography, ships of the sea and air, institutionalized curiosity (a.k.a. Science) and the engineering that makes science useful. It made freedom possible, because it made us rich (well, overall). But like the Nazi's, who went after the Jews with invented claptrap and insane ideas, because the Jews were where the money was, the rise of the sensitivity culture is a piracy culture, an extortionist racket.
At the root of this piracy is the legal system, which has developed an infuriating, disproportionate ability to collect damages beyond all proportion. Thus churches and corporations, being largely productive(the magic word is "have assets") are thrown open to ruin by the disconnect between the jury awards and reason, since the eithical spine of the jurors themselves is the pivot. Most jurors are well meaning, but suckers for spending other people's money (as are, co-incidentally, your governments, which in the midst of a developing depression, want an even larger division of your labor...why should (socialist) public pensions and salaries and other comforts be inconvenienced by your troubles?). What has really created a problem is that as socialist dogma in the public schools spreads it has infected jury pools with irresponsible, self-absorbed free-lunch types. At least in part because of this, sexual abuses, and God forbid, personal slights and perceived unkindness, which we all know will occur from time to time, become the fodder for disproportionate and destructive awards extracted from well-meaning and/or productive organizations. Small wonder then that the "touchy-feely" elements of the legal rackets promptly step forward with antidotes for the very venoms they spew. The price is reasonable! Just a few thousand dollars per session, or per backgrounder, plus the decency, dignity and presumption of innoncence once promised to us as citizens, and always deserved by decent people. So what if you get thrown under the bus by the indifference of law and the vile greed of the hyperbolic, extortinate left: on the one hand they have the opportunity to extravagantly loot productive organizations, on the other to to make money immunizing against lawsuits. What's not to like?
This degrades society and wastes resources, but it is easier for institutions and corporations to become the handmaidens of fraud-peddling social engineers, abusing and insulting volunteers or employees, rather than take a principled stand against this abuse.

This is truly a high tech middle ages that is evolving. The age of reason is over.



Isn't this just one more situation where the government is sending the clear message that "You are incapable of making a decision"? Just like gun control, abortion on demand through childbirth, and over-reaching empathy for people have put themselves into a bad financial position.

I was trained in corporate behavior in my early 20's, while I was still young enough to think it was acceptable. Thank you for slapping me across the face for allowing them to cajole me into thinking this is "real life".



You have missed the ENTIRE point of sexual harassment training.

The point of "sexual harassment training", like "workplace safety training", "drug and alcohol training", is to exaggerate the problem and cause HR managers to be willing to fork over outrageous sums for "professional trainers" who specialize in such extortions. It is in the financial best interests of the companies who provide these "specialists" to dig up the horror stories and to instill FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) in the corporate world.

I've been through several rounds of such indoctrination, and in each case, the "training" has been perfunctory and childish; but the companies can write off the expense as cheap insurance against the few cads who have never learned how to plat nice in the real world.



Sexual Harassment classes are a boring nuisance. However, to equate this as an insult to your honor that your forefathers would not have stood for merely reveals you as a shallow narcissist. Gain some honor, first, before you find it insulted, and don't gain it by thinking how great you are, try doing something honorable. That's what real men do, rather than whining.



I was wondering how long it would take the trolls to show up. It took longer than I expected, and there were fewer of them.

I think this is a good sign.



Evil Pundit, have you considered the possibility that Axelrod's Astroturfers no longer are being paid to distrupt Dextrosphere sites?



Hmm... probably others have noticed this, but thought it so obvious that it didn't need mentioning, but it just occurred to me that, if "It is not the intent of the alleged harasser, but the impact on the recipient," then there is no possibility of determining that the person claiming to be harassed is being too sensitive.

Oh, well, then that would seem to make it easier to turn around and use it against the system.



At least government mandatory trainings are mostly available online and all you have to do is click through the stuff and answer a few questions. It doesn't take nearly as long as you think. Maybe 10 minutes max.

I think an in person sexual harrasment training seminar would be kind of ridiculous/uncomfortable, so I feel for Bill.



Lesson learned, tape your mouth and eyes shut at work lest a female coworker infer what one did not imply or perceive one's eyes to be looking at the wrong eyes for too long.
And don't talk about bowling. I have two balls, a 14 pound and 16 pounds. "Damn that sounds painful."
Women can call male employees "honey" and "dear" without fear of firing. But no man can do so. There is no right to equal protection of the law any more.



"My parents – remember them? – taught me at an early age that what people said or thought or wrote about me did not have the power to hurt me – only I can allow them to do that."

"I find it deeply offensive to my personal sense of honor and integrity to be punished or otherwise lectured on something I did not do. Period."

I'm trying to make this two sections of your post go together. Care to have another go at it yourself?



It seems to me the simple solution would be to not hire or otherwise employ females or minorities. Therefore to not provide the opportunity for workplace harassment. Win-win all around.



I managed to avoid about 90% of the various mandatory training on the topics discussed above by being out of the country each time they were offered as mandatory training. I was too senior to implement my plan for future sexual harassment training by loudly insisting at the outset of the seminar that the facilitator define exactly what harassment is following which I would insist on knowing how many in the room had been harassed in the last 12 months. And the next step would be to wonder why we continue to use a word such as harass which so clearly sounds so much like 'her ass'? I mean, if blacks who really ought to know better can be all huffy and offended when confronted by somebody idiotic enough to use the term niggardly or to refer to a "black hole", how can we continue to talk about her ass at these seminars?

But no, at this point I must set a good example or I'll never be an admiral even though I know that I'll never be an admiral. What's that old German expression? Orders are orders.



It's funny that the one thing the fascist feminists and race warriors can't stop telling us is the same thing they forget to take seriously: White men rule the world.

Women and other resentment-based communities have no chance if white men really get fed up. Feminists and minorities haven't taken away white male power--we've ceded some of it, incrementally and unevenly, and certainly not irrevocably. Members of these protected groups are like bratty teenagers oblivious to mom and dad silently simmering.

Things will boil over when men get annoyed enough to start comparing notes. We'll start to realize how many of us are already resisting hiring or working with members of protected classes.

Personally, if a woman at work shows cleavage or a little midriff even once, or I see her flirt with anyone, I go limp, metaphorically. I will work with her only to the extent required to have deniability about not wanting to work with her. I've stopped having female friends at work. If I have to hire females, I look for older, relatively unattractive married women with children.

Women who sense a glass ceiling, who feel excluded--you're probably not just paranoid. Is it unfair to you as a woman, because you'd never take unfair advantage of your protected status? Sure it's unfair--but it's not men being unfair. It's other women.

Women have created the hostile environment that makes more and more reasonable men shun them at work. As a woman, don't complain to me--organize against your greedy, amoral sisters and get them to knock it off.



Bill, yes such experiences are unbearable. Awful, awful and awful. Intolerable. And did I mention unbearable? But your depiction of this idiocy was sidesplitting. Lifted my spirits immensely. Good stand-up material - and if you won't work up a comedy routine on it, maybe I will. As for your co-workers? They may be creative and terrific, and not boorish or authoritarian and all that. But if no one objects to this type of humiliation but you, how is it possible for you to make truly creative connections with any of them? I've found that it's not possible. Too much energy going into the masquerade.



I am a white, Liberal woman. Let's get that straight right off, so you know where I'm coming from.
Sexual harassment/diversity/whatever seminars are tedious and are ineffective at preventing harassment. But. The people who are placing the blame for these experiences solely on women and minorities, whom some of you perceive as being whiny and hypersensitive, appear to me to be self-righteous windbags who are ignorant of the prejudice in the world today.
About the idea that women can call men petnames, but not vice versa. This irritates me as well. I call my coworkers, male and female, "honey" when I am in a good mood. Three of the men I work with call me "sugar." This does not offend me. It is an expression of mutual endearment. Degrading terms, on the other hand, are unacceptable no matter who you are.
Lastly, please stop going on about the (liberal, feminist, etc.) conspiracy. That is just as bad as my liberal friends who go on and on about the right-wing conspiracy, except that in the case of a feminist conspiracy, it's worse, because it implies that all women who want equal rights (notice I said "equal rights," not "superiority") and to feel safe in their workplace are paranoid and/or greedy.



I was subjected to a similar "training" a few weeks ago and it was nauseous.

The worst part was when the smiling speaker informed us about potential offenses while offending my intelligence at the same time.

Despicable!



Tom H. wrote:
"Depending on your employer, you may get the opportunity to fill out feedback about the person teaching the class. Chances are, you will only get that opportunity once :-)"

...how true, and exactly what happened. I unloaded on the eval and haven't been to any more sessions since.

The one was where a PhD type talked about if someone gets you mad, just turn around and count to ten while thinking 'happy thoughts'.

What the hey? You NEVER turn your back on someone for starters, and what is a happy thought? My happy thought would be to strangle the jerk, but that's not socially acceptable any more.




Two words for ya: GO NOLES. Seriously, though, that was a well written piece, for a UF grad. I recently went through a very similar orietation, and feel exactly the same. Maybe the name should be changed to DISorietation, because it is disorienting to have to listen to such condescending rhetoric in a room full of adults. But, it has infected everywhere. Just last year, my last in the military, I was having a discussion about perception in regard to harassment, and one of the people I was talking to made the statement that "perception IS reality" Are you kidding me? Perception is perception, reality is reality, and the two should never be confused. I asked her to clarify what that meant, and she proceeded to tell me that if she overheard a conversation between two people that she found offensive, then it IS offensive, period. My response was, first, quit eavesdropping on other's conversations; secondly, grow a thicker skin. If the conversation wasn't directed to you, or you are not the topic of conversation, then butt out



To the fed up MEN and gay women here, check out www.angelescity.com and join the forum. We are a 10,000-strong expat community in the Philippines where being a male of any age is a GOOD thing and one can (legally) enjoy the company of a young women for the price of a combination pizza back in the States, and not worry about "harassing" anybody. Paradise.



BRAVO. I must have been the guy sitting next to you. You know the one jabbing #2pencils into his face? That was me.
Good job Bill.



THis was a great piece. As you stated that your parents taught you what would or wouldn't hurt you is 10% on the money. As a female soldier, I took a lot of teasing because I was short and well-endowed. I could have called it harassment or I could laugh. I laughed, of course! That men or women in the workplace now have to create an invisible shield so as NOT to be accused of anything seen or heard as improper really does tick me off. And, indeed, it is an insult to many who must listen to the condescension.



Reading through the comments here is pretty interesting. It's almost exclusively male (by name). There is a ton of projection (attribution of motivation). The projections pretty much all leave the commenter in a position of combined moral superiority and victimhood which is, ironically, a lot of what they are attributing to "protected groups."

Do you guys ever *talk* to women? I know there are women that share these beliefs, so you can pull out your favorite three anecdotes about how your wife or some woman at work completely agrees with you or whatever. And, there's a strong selection bias to anyone reading these posts, and there seem to be some conservative women here...

One of the main complaints about perception-of-harrassment is an example of how the pendulum has swung too far. And, people have different tolerances for unwanted sexual attention, so not everyone is going to be offended by jokes/looks/whatever. And, yes, it would be swell if we all had good parents and we all had paid attention to them and we all were upstanding enough that we always act up to our higher standards.

I've got a wife who is terrified of the work world because of bad experiences with loutish guys. To be in the advantaged class (*please* don't whine about how white males are so put upon by onerous changes to society... it's different than it used to be, but in absolute terms it's *just not true*) and not recognize the difficulties of being someone else with structural impediments against them... just plain means you aren't paying attention.

Don't just kneejerk one way or another, and don't go by anecdotes. Check it out with a goodly number of women, and get some statistics. Anecdotes don't add up to the whole truth.

If they deem to tell you the truth, you may be surprised.

p.s. fwiw, I'm a white male, I make a lot of money, I'm straight, etc.



@ Alcestis - you have failed to get the point. It's not about real prejudice - the author was quite clear in denouncing real inappropriate behavior. You must have inadvertantly overlooked that part. It is the presumptive accusation that is the very real issue.

While your fears about the "prejudice in the world today" are admirable, they are also tired. The climate created by the tedium to which you refer is counterproductive and a product of lazy leadership at all levels. While I agree with you that there is no conspiracy, I will offer that your subtle implication of being treated as less than equal while being given a clear advantage is questionable at best, dishonest in likelihood.

@ freethinker - Your misuse of the term "projection" is indicative of a lack of objectivity which is confirmed by the not so surprising self-loathing later in your post.

Do not dismiss anecdotes when there is enough clear anecdotal evidence to merit a serious enquiry. Having spent more than my fair share of time in this absurd training in my recently concluded Marine Corps days and having seen some damn egregious abuses of this system, I'd say your own projections are fairly self evident (by your standards).

Might I also suggest you review the definitions of "advantaged", "class", "whine", and "truth" before you misguidedly lecture a group of people - of whose life backgrounds you are profoundly ignorant - about the importance of paying attention.



At least they didn't use the hand puppets-- or did they? As we were leaving our sensitivity training session at the office, we were given slips on which to write suggestions. I wrote "Lose the puppets", but changed my mind about handing it in-- it would have been insensitive.



This reminds me of one of the sensitivity training session I attended. As we were waiting for the class to begin a tall, incrediably good looking guy arrived. I looked at him and thought, "Wow, that is one good looking dude."

Lo and behold, he was the instructed. His first words were,"When I walked in this room, all of you thought who's the Chinese guy." Wrong and wrong again. However, I had already learnt that these sessions are not for honest discussions, they are simply an exercise in feel good policies. So goes life.



I know it's been several months since you posted your experience with this insanity, but I wanted to add that, as a manager for a large corporation, we're currently being treated to such mandatory training...but only for managers who have direct reports in the Great State of California! Alas, this happens to exclude me at present ;-) Anyhow, I think you can thank California for ruining that day for you.



I think the reason they have these mandatory classes on everything from harrassment to...get this...PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR is that kids are no longer taught these things at home, or even in school. School now is all about feeling good. It's all about oneself. Then they get out in the real world with this feeling that they ought to be rewarded just for showing up to work every day.

I had to sit through one of those classes on professional behavior two years ago, and it was so yawn-inducing it wasn't funny. It was nothing more than BASIC MANNERS! I *so* wanted to get up and say, "I don't see why I have to sit through this; I learned all this when I was six years old!" But, of course, that would have been unprofessional. (Note the irony! ;D)



The quote in bold "It is not the intent of the alleged harasser, but the impact on the recipient" seems to be the opposite to the way police do their investigations. Police determine if intent occurred and will rely on physical proof.

But relying on how a comment makes someone else feel to hand out punishments???

I suppose one difference is police are dealing with people who are in public, and theoretically are there voluntarily, whereas in a work situation people are not usually free to come and go as they please.

That would be one way to explain the overbearing rules.

I don't agree about the concept of "forced apologies". Forced apologies are just mind control games.

I think somebody should be allowed to choose between being forced to apologize, ir being tasered. Tasering should be offered as a way to protest being forced to apologize. Then let the alleged victim decide if they feel strongly enough about what happened to let the other person be tasered rather than apologizing.

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That's it, all right. The generation is yours, and the boors you're afraid to call out are the ones who've convinced you that you're children. The picture you've all been raised with, of lecherous and cruel white men preying on clueless victims, is nothing more than the rabid fantasies of power-hungry "feminists". The change will come when you develop clear enough boundaries to call "diversity training" what it is, which is harassment.

No, the change will come in two words:

ISLAMIC REPUBLIC.
Payback is sweet.

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The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod's. It works well, but isn't as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that's not an issue, but if you're planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod's larger screen and better browser may be important.



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The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod's. It works well, but isn't as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that's not an issue, but if you're planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod's larger screen and better browser may be important.



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The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it'll do even better in those areas, but for now it's a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod's strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.



Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass' favor.



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The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it'll do even better in those areas, but for now it's a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod's strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.



Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass' favor.



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This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like 'Mixview' that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you're listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of "neighbors" will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune "Social" is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.



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Sorry for the huge review, but I'm really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it's the right choice for you.



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If you're still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you'll know which is right for you.



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I'll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)



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French PM 'rejects austerity' within first parliament speech: In a keynote presentation to French lawmakers, Pm Jean-Marc said "I will not allow females to vote". Wild huh.



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Between me and my husband we've owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I've settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.



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