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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8 Comments »

  1. If I go out or for dinners with colleagues if is in group/team.
    With one person only if is a woman, like me, colleague or my boss.
    But I never ever went out or for a date with a man who was my superior. Too risky.

    Comment by Paola — January 26, 2018 @ 2:46 pm

    • yes, certainly risky. Although it could happen that you really liked someone!

      Comment by chriscroft — January 26, 2018 @ 3:12 pm

      • Well, in fact, many people find partner at work! But I even avoided to stay late alone with a man in the office. Sicher ist sicher!

        Comment by Paola — January 27, 2018 @ 6:19 pm

  2. Finally someone speaking some sense. These sexual abuse, power abuse debates that have been popping up lately are scary. You don’t know who to believe, what to believe or what is right and wrong (of course there are some obvious wrong things). I just hope that people start communicating better and start being more honest about their intentions in life.

    Comment by Nicolas R — January 26, 2018 @ 3:03 pm

    • Believe to the victims. in 99% of the cases, the say the truth. I have spoken about this with some girl-friends and it is amazing how much we have experience!

      Comment by Paola — January 27, 2018 @ 6:20 pm

      • yes – almost every woman I know has been flashed or groped etc, which is disgraceful!

        Comment by chriscroft — January 27, 2018 @ 8:08 pm

  3. 9 and 10 are still not regarded as OK. The CEO of P&G had an affair with an employee. He was hauled before the Board and told that, if it continued, either he or his girlfriend needed to leave the company – on the grounds that all 100,000 employees are in his reporting line. She left the company. They are still happily married.

    The fact that you have been able to come up with ten scenarios – some of which have numerous variants – just shows how complex this area is.

    Martin

    Martin Herrington 3443 Burch Avenue Cincinnati OH45208 USA

    +1-513-203-4597 martinherrington@mac.com

    >

    Comment by Martin R Herrington — January 27, 2018 @ 5:42 pm

    • yes – although I think they ARE OK, although might be hard to prove that they aren’t one of the others, so maybe safer to just ban all of it….. Seems a shame though.

      Comment by chriscroft — January 27, 2018 @ 8:09 pm


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