ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hot House Flowers

Are we going too far?  Will all our demands for safety backfire?   The latest that concerns me greatly is the rejection of working in open spaces as being equivalent to being seen at a nude beach.   I think that is ridiculous and over-kill.

Have we become hot house flowers - so weak and vulnerable that we need all this special protection?   Will we be wearing burkas next (no disrespect intended  to those who are more comfortable in burkas)   By that I mean, do we need to start hiding to feel safe?

We fought so hard for equality.  Why are we fighting now to be coddled?

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Timing is eveything

Last night at the City Council meeting I found myself having mixed thoughts and mixed emotions.  I was emphatic and proud of the young women who came forward to complain that they felt uncomfortable because of Dominic Casserta's unwanted attention towards them.  Proved to me, whether I liked it or not, that Dom was a sleezy jerk.

Yet, I was also bothered because as the night progressed the words used to describe him and his behavior became more and more extreme.  He went from being a jerk to being bully (fair enough) to being a predator (not so sure) to being a pedophile (not so!.)

I found myself thinking this is an example of mob psychology - the emotions and rhetoric builds on itself and becomes nastier and nastier - angrier and angrier.  in another era this would have built itself to a lynching mob.  Good thing we are at least somewhat more civilized - and of course, we had our police there.

I also found myself having mixed emotions about the role of our Mayor and City Council members.  On the one hand I applauded them for taking the time and trouble to bring this to light and to allow so many people to express their feelings.  I could see how touched our City Council members were as they listened.

Yet, the cynic in me couldn't help wondering about the timing.  Dom has taken unpopular positions on the council and there are those who would have liked to see him gone - having nothing to do with the accusations.  Was this a set up?   Did our Mayor and her team find people they knew who had made complaints years ago bring them up again?

Too Dom is running for County Supervisor.  So too is another man I know - and he too is now being vilified for harassment behaviors that were alleged to have happened years ago.

Why now?  Has the #MeToo movement reminded people of events from long ago and given them the helping hand to be strong and come forward now.  YES, a resounding YES.

BUT, I can't help but wonder at the timing.  Has the movement also made it all too convenient for those running for office to be destroyed by their opponents?

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Should harassment be treated the same as abuse?

I abhor sexual abuse - or abuse of any kind for that matter.  I am delighted that #MeToo has brought out so many people (mostly women - but some men) to tell about what happened to them YEARS AGO and some recently.

BUT to ruin lives about some stupid remark, or awkward requests for dates doesn't seem fair at all.

I find it particularly obnoxious that now that we are in an election cycle so many people (mostly men) runnint for office are being accused publicly of alleged behavior that happened so many years ago.

Rape - violence - abuse - should be prosecuted without a statute of limits.  Harassment - meaning annoying, irritating and often stupid behavior should have a statute of limitations.  Either you report it formerly within six months or it can't be made public..... That's the only fair way to apply due process to what would be  an infraction or misdemeanor at most.

YES, let's stop harassment, abuse, rape forever.   But how far back are you willing to go to ruin someone's reputation, profession and possibly life because of some stupid inappropriate behavior that happened more than 10 years ago. 

Should we be treating these stupid harassing behaviors the same as violence, abuse, rape?

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Political Weapons

Two men I know are running for County offices.  Actually they are running for the same office.  Both have JUST been accused of several counts of sexual harassment that allegedly happened years ago.

Why now?  Who is behind this?  Who else is running for that same office?

I've been worried about things like this and have been warning clients and friends alike to be super-careful.  With all the good the #Metoo movement is doing - there is also the danger of using accusations as weapons to get rid of people we don't want in office.

I don't know the truth in either of these situations.  BUT I am very wary of the timing of the accusations.

Has the public declarations of so many other women reminded these women in particular of what either of these two men allegedly did to them?   Are these greatly exaggerated claims to ruin the political reputations of two men running for office?

Why now?

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Learning Social Clues

I find it sad that teenagers are learning about social clues for the first time.  Our local newspaper - the San Jose Mercury - has this picture of teenage girls on one side of the line - and boys on the other.  They are in the gym learning the meaning of "consent."

"Consent" - something those of us who played freely together as kids learned when we were about five years old.

What's the difference?  Easy - our parents, teachers, guardians were NOT on top of us at all times.  They were not dictating our play.  They were not  getting in the middle of our scarbbles?  They were not making up the rules of the stick ball or jump rope games?

We learned by doing - by succeeding and by failing.

Non-verbal cues are critically important to social relations.  Starting to learn them as teenagers and adults is sad.

Maybe I shouldn't call it sad since I am often consulting and coaching highly brilliant people how to get along with each other.  I am consulting with newly minted managers and CEOs even helping them learn the same things.

It's not just about dating.  It's not just about sex.  It is about understanding the social clues.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Men and Women need to change

To just blame men for harassing behavior doesn't seem completely fair.  Some of them are clueless - until we women clue them in.  If we smile and pretend we are OK with behavior and words we find offensive - we are not giving clear messages.

Women - be strong.  Be direct.  Say NO.  Say strongly I don't appreciate that humor, please avoid it around me. 

For those of us women who do know how to push the jerks away -  let;s help our more vulnerable sisters and brothers.  Let's teach them how to be strong and how to take care of themselves.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

#MeToo could become #YouToo

It is shocking to learn how many companies are still avoiding offering training in proper workplace behavior (alias:  Preventing Harassment , Discrimination and Bullying in the Workplace.)

Others, onl;y thinking about the cheapest and easiest are providing the basic on-line training complimenting themselves on being in compliance.

Sure, you may be in compliance, but the research has shown that poor to mediocre training doesn't make any change.  If you want to really change attitudes and behavior you must provide opportunities for discussion, Q&A and role-playing.  This can only be accomplished with face-to-face training.

My clients report having far greater understanding  of why behavior that they thought was OK was actually found to be offensive by others.

So - do you want a lawsuit?  Do you want to have to fire someone who misbehaved?  What bout you losing your job and reputation - it has happened to prominent CEOS.....

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