Chris Croft's Personal Blog

January 26, 2018

Abuse of Power?

Filed under: Assertiveness, Uncategorized — chriscroft @ 2:30 pm
Let’s assume for the sake of simplicity that it’s a man harassing a woman – although of course it could just as well be a man harassing a man, a woman harassing a man, etc
At what point (if any) does the following behaviour become acceptable)?
These are in an approximate but not exact continuum – good luck!
  1. He implies that if she doesn’t accept the date it’ll affect her career – she accepts because she fears for her job (clue – this one is CLEARLY unacceptable…!)
  2. She is hoping for promotion, or at least career security, so she asks him out and he accepts.  He knows she is expecting career benefits, but he makes no promises and determines to remain unaffected, ….but he does accept her offer.  She doesn’t particularly enjoy the liaison.
  3. She is hoping for promotion, or at least career security, so she asks him out and he accepts.  He knows she is expecting career benefits, but he makes no promises and determines to remain unaffected, ….but he does accept her offer.  They both have an enjoyable time.
  4. She is hoping for promotion, or at least career security, so she asks him out and he accepts, not believing his luck.  He enjoys the liaison.  a) she does too b) she doesn’t
  5. He asks her out – she assumes that if she doesn’t accept the date it’ll affect her career.  She’s wrong, he has no idea that she is thinking that, it’s all just in her head, but is of course real to her.  But she accepts the date for the wrong reason.  a) she enjoys it b) she doesn’t.
  6. He asks her out and she accepts, (she finds him attractive mainly because of his power and wealth).  But she does find him attractive, …and he is making the most of it – asking people out quite often and mostly being successful.  They both enjoy it.  a) the relationship is the length she wants, either short and sweet, or longer.  b) he cuts the relationship short sooner than she expects or wants and moves on to the next person.
  7. He finds her attractive and asks her out, just once.  She doesn’t find him attractive and rejects him, accusing him of trying to abuse his power.  He hasn’t thought about the fact that he might have power. He accepts the rejection and doesn’t ask again.  She is unhappy about being asked – does she have a right to be?
  8. She asks him out, and he accepts. If he wasn’t powerful she wouldn’t have asked him, or even noticed him.  They have a good time.
  9. He’s the boss, but regardless of that they are both attracted to each other and they have a brief fling, which they both enjoy.
  10. He’s the boss, but regardless of that they are both attracted to each other and they begin a relationship that continues into lifelong marriage and happiness.

 

These are the things we should be pondering, as well as picking extreme cases and easy targets.  Everyone needs to know where they stand – at the moment it’s a mess, and that means that people will make mistakes, people will be frightened of each other, and quite possibly both men and women will suffer. Let’s have a proper debate!

 

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