Why would anyone still believe that in our modern society? Because like the vilification of gay people ('gay' and 'faggot' are still a word used by virtually everyone to put things down as 'unmanly' or generally 'shameworthy') it has has entered the undertow of culture, where it is less apparent, but just as strong.
When someone is raped, we say we understand that her life is shattered, that she will never recover. It's part of a general acceptance that certain events mean someone's life is 'over' (death of a child, significant other) and that they may never recover. This acceptance implies expectation. Stronger women are questioned, seemingly admiringly, but actually judgingly: 'How can you just continue living after this?' with a hidden 'you are supposed to have broken!'.
It's easy to say that being raped should be like breaking a leg: an unfortunate event that can happen during a lifetime in human society with all its strange and from which you can recover after some pain and trouble. The difference is of course that one was inflicted on purpose by someone in your social group, while the other is usually self-inflicted or at least accidental. That this makes a difference is actually part of the same problem: that if you've been bested by another in your social group, you lose status and value. This also has ancient origins and as a result has deep roots in our minds. A chimpanzee with a broken leg doesn't lose status if humans take care of its leg. It only loses status if it loses a fight.
What is the way out of this? Make a conscious effort not to believe these things anymore. Raise your children not to believe these things. Don't participate in them and scold everyone that does them. Teach them it doesn't matter if someone has asserted dominance over them and that their lives are no less valuable as a result of it.
Justine, please seek professional help. Find a therapist that will work on changing the beliefs that have caused you to experience this event so strongly and caused it to have such an influence. There are lots of women on whom a similar experience had a weaker effect. This is not because you are weaker: it is because of what you were taught during your life, because of your beliefs. It is hard to change beliefs. There are many emotions connected to them, which makes you recoil from touching them. A professional therapists will enable this process, after which I hope you will look back and think "why on earth did I believe those things so strongly that a single event could have such a strong influence on my life?!"
I've been assaulted by peers. I've had drugs slipped into my drink. One time, someone put a gun to my head and robbed me.
After these experiences, I had nightmares, phobias, and insecurities. But surprisingly quickly, I recovered. Without social expectations of permanent trauma, the mind seems to be quite resilient. Thank you for making this point so much more eloquently than I could have.
Being victimized by others is not a choice. Abiding in a victim identity is a choice.
That's why so many rape survivors choose that word - because it is more powerful than victim. Perhaps there are even more powerful names - thriver, for example.
Let me tell you that what Justine is feeling is absolutely not some social construct built exclusively on archaic misogyny. I have known more than one gay man who was raped and felt exactly the same way.
You might consider that at least some of the women who appear to deal better with being assaulted are actually just putting on a brave front to avoid being pitied and condescended to.
The terrifying thing about this is that in the area of sexuality the difference between an exciting, enjoyable experience and a terrifying, traumatizing one can be entirely in the mind of one party and not necessarity noticeable to the other party while it's happening. Especially if both are drunk.
And most women fully expect men to be bold and take the initiative while they themselves give vague signals that are easy to misinterpret. And all of this is pretty much expected to happen while everyone involved is drunk because that removes inhibitions and that's what everyone wants.
A recipe for disasters like this, really.
I think a large part of the problem is the social acceptance of alcohol and being drunk. Objectively speaking, getting drunk is similar to getting wasted on other (illegal) drugs. Alcohol is a drug which due to an accident of history is legal. The negative consequences of alcohol consumption are ubiquitous. More people die from alcohol than from all illicit drugs combined. If it is wrong to take drugs, it is wrong to drink alcohol, especially to the point of debilitation.
Being drunk should not be an extenuating circumstance for bad behavior, it should be an aggravating circumstance. When people choose to drink something which makes them less able to behave in a socially acceptable way, they should be prepared to accept the consequences.
Bringing up that men can also be raped and will feel 'the exact same way' is a good point, but I believe a red herring. A central point of my argument is that all people do not feel 'the same way'. It's exactly the fact that some people feel differently that makes clear that the consequences for Justine's life could have been far less if she had had different beliefs. And I bring this up because I believe it can reduce the consequences for future Justines and perhaps is useful to future Justine.
Some children who are abused recover quickly. Others are messed up for many many years.
We agree so far.
But so what? Are you suggesting that she is wrong to feel so distraught? Or that society is doing something to encourage her to feel this distraught?
Because from I read I see a lot of society blaming her for what happened and telling her to get over it.
I agree. I can't believe some of the comments. The top rated post at the moment is from someone who feels sympathy with the abuser and who believes it was the fault of the victim. Who then edited his comment to say that her DUI charges were unforgivable, as if this somehow caused her to be assaulted.
Other commentators are basically saying similar things - she fell apart, what's with that, why can't she jut get over it? Another comment says that the language she used about her assault is ambiguous and can't have been all that bad. Yet others are implying or stating baldly that she did consent to being groped in public by her boss! Frankly, it sickens me to read the comments these fools are making.
I avoided that part of the post, but a DUI is something you bring on yourself and not something I can easily forgive. People driving drunk kill people. You don't get to say, "Yes I could have murdered people but don't you see I was distraught". "Oh, ok, it's fine then"
You guys have to deal with it that she voluntarily lied down on a bar, induced by alcohol with other men around her and OFFERED her body to be licked. In which universe did she saw an expected outcome of not being approached with a sexual tone? They were drinking the entire night and all those geeky guys normally filled with anxiety completely loose up with one of the other sex they have been around with for quite some time and then all of a sudden this woman lies down on a bar, peels her shirt up and pours a drink on her body whilst having a boy friend?
She must have at least expected something, no? She was not raped or "sexually assaulted", she had intimate contact which she knowingly was building up to the entire night and she could have very well contracted her back muscles and got off that bar when she saw her boss approaching. In fact, why did she even get on that bar when she was fully aware of the context? A body shot, really?
No. A body shot is not an invitation for anything. A body shot taken from a girl with a boyfriend is not an invitation for anything. A body shot taken from a girl with a boyfriend, while hanging out in a bar with 'geeky guys' that just 'loosened up' is not an invitation for anything. If you think it is, you have a problem.
To answer your question again: no. Just no. No, no, no, NOOOOOOO!
I was talking about societal expectations earlier. I don't know what subculture you belong to, but it seems one that goes against the grain on this. And we have the law on our side.
As someone's boss, you don't french-kiss someone then-and-there, on the bar, in front of colleagues and peers. That's not just taking chances, that's a display of dominance over both her and the colleagues and peers. It's true ape-like behavior and most people aren't prepared for that anymore, in any context. No matter how drunk they were, most present would still have gone: "WTF is happening here?" when that happened in front of them.
Now bypassing that, accepting that this has happened, then the following is still baffling. She isn't reciprocating. You cannot not notice that and you should back down at that point.
Bypassing that, accepting that he didn't notice or severely misjudged, then you still don't engage in sexual behavior right then-and-there, in the open. There are only few persons in few circumstances that enjoy such public displays of sexual behavior. Most people wouldn't ever, in any state of mind, with any girl, perform this behavior. They wouldn't do it if the girl was naked and asking for it. Let alone if she was clothed and her feelings towards such behavior were entirely unknown.
> she could have easily denied him the opportunity
In your abstraction of what happened and an abstraction of human beings, she could have. In the actual situation, with actual people and all their idiosynchrasies and their history together: no, she couldn't. She didn't. And in the end that still boils down to this: the fact that she didn't resist does not mean she is guilty and he is innocent. He behaved like an asshole, whether she resisted or not. He shouldn't have behaved like that, whether she resisted or not. Most people would never in their right or drunken minds behave like that or wish others to behave like that. He was wrong.
> she could have easily denied him the opportunity when things started getting too close.
That's garbage. She said she froze up "like a deer in the headlights". She sounded terrified, so no - it wasn't easy at all.
He was in a position of power over her which most firms with an HR department are very specific about.
Two words: Rape Culture. Rape culture exists when we continue to question the motives of the victim. The fact that many of you continue to excuse his behavior and question hers, leads me to believe that we're going to see way too many cases of this in our lifetimes. It's no fucking wonder these things continue to happen. The sexual assault apologists in this thread is really disheartening and frankly, appalling.
That's so very, very wrong. Anyone who argues this in court has a bad lawyer, or isn't listening to their good lawyer. Sexual assault can occur even if you don't know you are doing it. It is your responsibility, as the initiator, to know whether consent has been given or not!
Groping someone in a drunken stupor is very likely to get you into a LOT of trouble. The sooner this misconception is cleared up, the better. Both for those poor unfortunates that encounter the one with the misconception, and for the person with the misconception themselves, otherwise they might find themselves in jail!
Please don't tell me that her not ever able to obtain a job is Joe's fault. Look at what she writes and smears on the Internet for the public view. Unless she goes to work at some feminist induced Ruby startup where this is accepted and even stimulated, this trail of shit smearing will haunt the search engine index pages for years.
You just don't get it, do you? If you don't ask for explicit consent, and rely on mixed signals to evaluate consent, if you get I wrong then you are still responsible. That's the personal responsibilty of the one initiating the unwanted sexual advances.
I don't care if she stripped down naked and paraded up and down the bar. This doe s not give any man the right to engage in unwanted sexual activity. Full stop. A court of law would find the same, and in fact there are quite a few surprised men who have found this out, to their cost.
Now. I can't speak to that. As a white male I've never been in a situation like that in my life. And I'd bet a lot of money that you haven't, either. So you know what? We should probably both avoid talking as if we know what it feels like.
You mention "why" a lot in some of your posts. "Why did she not get off that bar?", "Why did she even get on that bar?". Let us be clear about one thing. Justine suffered a sexual assault. Asking victim-centric questions about the assault is blaming the victim. What followed the encounter from her HR department is disgraceful and unnerving, but not surprising considering your attitude toward the whole thing...
Yes. It really is very simple: when you're with someone who has been drinking, or who you are the boss of, or both, you need to get explicit consent for sexual activity.
"Are you okay with this?"
> Shouldn't the victim have responsibilities? Know what is at stake?
"She was wearing a short skirt" wasn't particularly acceptable in the 1980s and, as can be seen from this thread, is not acceptable today.
Why is it so hard to understand that people initiating sexual contact need to be the ones to take responsibility? Especially if they're in a position of power over the other person?
This wasn't just "any contact". Did you read where he jammed his tongue down her throat? Did you read where he groped her ass? Did you read the part about penetrating her with his finger?
Quit trying to frame this as just "any contact" because it wasn't.
The bullet points seem to cover several minutes at least, if not a good half hour or longer. At all times she could have said "please stop now". Did she? Perhaps she did. We don't know, though. At one point she expressed surprise that her boss would do this even though he was married. Was that "please stop, you're married!" Or was it "aren't you married?"
Could be either, from this report... So the ambiguity is enough to give space to all these pointlessly angry debates.
Edit: the following links remove some ambiguity, but not a whole lot: http://theotherzach.com/writes/2013/10/9/events http://blog.matt-darby.com/essays/i-am-the-other-developer
Their is a power imbalance in the employee/employer relationship, and it is almost always skewed to the employer. That's why there are unions, and workplace relations laws.
> Did you read where he groped her ass?
> Did you read the part about penetrating her with his finger?
Quit trying to sensationalize the story.
Are you implying that I blamed the victim? What was that again about reading comprehension?
He didn't exaggerate about him forcibly sticking his tongue down her throat. That's what she wrote. You clearly do have a reading comprehension problem!
Fingering may or may not involve penetration. I can't make it any clearer without being explicit.
Or, maybe I have a reading comprehension problem.
Following the shot:
- Joe began to start rubbing my back and kissing my forehead (let me say this is not uncommon behavior between me and men I consider close friends. I have a close relationship with a lot of my former EdgeCase coworkers)
- Joe then put his hands down the back of my pants, yes, I wear a thong and thus he began grabbing my ass.
- Joe then started kissing me, forcibly with his tongue. I was not reciprocating.
- Joe began to put his hand down the front of my pants and finger me. I was a deer in headlights staring into the eyes of the two male bartenders hoping someone would help me.
Did you miss the part where he penetrated her with his finger in front of everybody?
>Joe began to start rubbing my back and kissing my forehead (let me say this is not uncommon behavior between me and men I consider close friends. I have a close relationship with a lot of my former EdgeCase coworkers)
So this is not uncommon. She was OK at this point. She occasionally let men kiss her forehead. Opinions may vary on the sexual implication at this point (as for her it is a social greeting).
>Joe then put his hands down the back of my pants, yes, I wear a thong and thus he began grabbing my ass.
Here she implies that wearing a thong allows for ass grabbing? I am uncertain whether she is okay with it due the usage of the word "thus". Seeing she had a boyfriend at that point, it should be a red flag but I don't know her standards in relationships. Could be a major red flag but could also be playing around.
>Joe then started kissing me, forcibly with his tongue. I was not reciprocating.
Okay red flag all raised. She was getting kissed. Not liking it. He already had her hands on her lower section. Why did she not get off that bar? Why did she even get on that bar? Why was she still on the bar when he groped her ass? How can he possibly know her limit when she DOES allow ass grabbing and forehead kissing but DOES NOT allow full-frontal kissing?
>Joe began to put his hand down the front of my pants and finger me. I was a deer in headlights staring into the eyes of the two male bartenders hoping someone would help me.
She can come up with all sorts of analogies and somehow expects people to help her out. She is not okay with the current situation. Why does she not stand up already?
>I told Joe to stop and reminded him he had a wife and children. He said, “Don’t’ worry about it we have an agreement”
Can't you think about that before you offer your belly button to him? That you have a relationship yourself as well? You can talk but not stand up? Was he actually pushing you down?
I am not sure which part I missed. Or she. Or he. Or all of us. But I can see (read: read) what she did, expected and lived through and how it could have been easily avoided every major and minor step which can only make me say that it was her fault. Note that this has nothing to do with how she handled her experience and what it made of her, but rather how being raped or not and who's fault it is.
If she had some pushed him away and got off the bar, I can pretty much guarantee you we'd be seeing comments just like yours about how she was freaking out over nothing.
You are misreading this. It doesn't mean it makes acceptable ass grabbing. It was there to make the point that my putting his hand down her pants in that manner, he was touching skin. A thong does not offer an extra layer of protection.
Die in a fucking fire, you victim blaming moronic waste of fucking skin. Or at the very least get the fuck out of my fucking industry so you stop giving those of us with a penis and a clue a bad name.
>Just because she consented to the shot part does NOT mean she was offering anything else
"A body shot is a shot of alcohol (such as tequila) that is consumed from a person's body, usually from erogenous zones such as the navel or the breasts." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_play#Alcohol)
"An erogenous zone (from Greek ἔρως eros "love" and English -genous "producing" from Greek -γενής -genes "born") is an area of the human body that has heightened sensitivity, the stimulation of which may result in the production of sexual fantasies, sexual arousal and orgasm." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erogenous_zone)
Please take note of the part involving "sexual fantasies, sexual arousal and orgasm". She peeled her shirt up in a submissive position on a bar with lots of alcohol involved. Which part are you missing?
Before you cry out straw-man, don't. Nowhere on wikipedia does it say body shots guarantee consent to groping and fingering. The fact it occurred on her navel doesn't mean 'yes'.
By all accounts she was at least tipsy, if not outright drunk. Further, Joe was her boss at the time (i.e. position of authority). The responsibility was squarely on his shoulders to be 110% positive that his advances were welcomed. Whether he was unable to do that because he was too drunk, too excited, or didn't care does not matter. He failed in that responsibility and it is nobody's fault but his own.
At any point she could have screamed, said "No" or simply stand up. Being tipsy doesn't paralyze your muscles. You can still speak and resist. If was she actively resisting anyone would have gotten between her and him much earlier and the police report would be in her favor immediately.
It is not until she feels penetrating contact, she begs him to think about his wife. In no instance before that (ass grabbing, facial kissing, tongue-to-tongue contact) she even pointed out possible resistance. How is it not her responsibility to not climb on that bar when her boss is around? To not lift her shirt in front of her boss?
We aren't talking about brushing up against someone at the bar. Her fucking boss took the body shot as an invitation to sexually assault her. What's so fucking difficult to understand about that?
You do it in your post with, "why didn't she remove herself from the situation". Neither one of you question Joe's behavior...just Justine's. If you can't see that as victim blaming, then I'm not sure what else to say.
There is a built-in time limit to prevent rapid replies when threads get deep.
You can either wait a few minutes, or work out how to get the reply box.
Which brings me to my final observation: at any point in time women seem to be able to give, not give but also revoke consent. For the latter: even after actions by both parties have taken place.
If you do not have explicit consent, and you misunderstand the signals given by the woman, no matter what the perceived provocation: it is your responsibility as to what happens. Your failure to understand you've stepped over the line into the realms of sexual assault has nothing to do with the woman.
If a man gets it wrong, he cannot say that it is the fault of the woman. The woman may have given out some mixed signals, but it was the man who initiated the contact, and it was the man's responsibility and duty to ensure that the woman was ok with what is happening.
> I cannot explain to men how hard it is being a woman trying to play it cool in an industry of men. I want everyone to think I’m cool and relaxed so I try and just play by their rules. Regardless I got on the bar and lifted my shirt as far as I was comfortable.
You cite Wikipedia like it was a boolean logic kind of situation where just taking part means an invitation to anything a drunk brain can come up with.
Being drunk is not an excuse.
a dude who likes women
>I want everyone to think I’m cool and relaxed so I try and just play by their rules.
followed by "Regardless" says a lot about her sense of responsibility and ability to see what exactly she was doing, implying and portraying by lying down on that bar. Or was it the alcohol? Because certainly nobody lifted her on that bar, right? Nobody pushed her down when her boss groped her? Nobody held her mouth open when her boss sticked his tongue in? Nobody told her "your boss has all right to touch you, Justine. Stay flat, your boyfriend will never know"?
Lying down on bar - doing body shot != permission to sexually assault.
So you believe that if you do a body shot of off someone, you then have permission to sexually assault them? Wow..
I see this in movies all the time. Now you guys are telling me its sexual assault.
A couple is different than a married CEO and his employees. I don't feel you're arguing in good faith, so I'll leave it at that.
You couldn't possibly be using Wikipedia as a justification for sexual assault, could you?
I'm in no way defending him or his actions, but it's understandable how an intoxicated guy (therefore less able to read subtle body language signals) could think an act of foreplay like licking alcohol from her body was a way of consenting to further sexual advances.
But when you kiss someone, and they fail to reciprocate, and certainly when someone tells you to stop, you've clearly crossed a line. In my mind, there's absolutely no room for grey area in this from the point she said "stop".
> But when you kiss someone, and they fail to reciprocate...
It's likely that he didn't notice her not reciprocating the kiss. He might also have though she was just a bit shy or simply a bad kisser.
> In my mind, there's absolutely no room for grey area in this from the point she said "stop".
Agreed, no doubt about it. However, this is what she wrote:
"I told Joe to stop and reminded him he had a wife and children. He said, “Don’t’ worry about it we have an agreement”"
There's a massive difference between "Stop, I don't want this" and "Stop, we shouldn't do this because you have a wife and kids". It seems to me like Joe though she meant it the second way.
This whole story seems like a tragic case of serious miscommunication between two intoxicated people, not a vile act of evil.
Ignoring that she was clearly uncomfortable with everything about the situation, even if she were merely uncomfortable with making out with a married man this would be more than enough reason for her to say stop and expect him to not continue.
The fundamental problem with this kind of equivocation, though, is that in a scary as fuck situation people do what they can to get out and sometimes they can't figure out the right thing to do in the split second between someone kissing them and shoving their finger in their genitals.
The problem with not getting explicit consent is that the other party may not be comfortable with your advances. If you misinterpret the signals, well, I'm sorry - that's your issue, not the other parties. If you mix up the signals as you haven't communicated sufficiently with the other party, then I'm afraid you are still responsible for your actions.
Personally, I've never been bold enough to be so forthright to a woman. Now I'm married, I'm glad I never was! This sort of situation seems to me to be an absolute minefield and you are highly at risk of getting it wrong!
I honestly feel no sympathy for this Joe fellow. He should never have placed himself in this situation, and he should never have attempted the things he did until he had the chance to properly know whether he got consent or not. You are NOT going to find that out clearly at a rowdy bar surrounded by colleagues and party-goers.
Yeah. That's sick.
This part a lot of people can agree with, myself included. The rest, not so much. I understand and I share the sense that pearjuice's opinion is aggravating, but this reaction is not acceptable and, worse, it sabotages your (valid) point.
By the way, if you really want to hate someone, go search the comments of the article for "Peter Habicht".
I had two points there - the first was that pearjuice was plain wrong. The second was that pearjuice's attitude does not belong in civilised society and that anybody holding such an attitude should be defenestrated with extreme prejudice.
I respect your opinion that my chosen means of attempting to make the second point were suboptimal, but I am happy to stand by my words with the possible exception of 'moronic', which might have been better replaced by 'abhorrent'.
I am civilised. I think that your attitude (suggesting that someone whose opinion differs from yours should be killed by throwing them out of a window) is far less suitable to civilised society than pearjuice's, who is arguing a contentious and sensitive point, and may be wrong, but is at least willing to do so without calling people names or threatening to harm them physically.
Your behaviour, however, is completely unacceptable. What's your excuse for it? Do you also beat up things and people around you physically when you get upset, or does your violence remain verbal only?
Additionally, "they hadn't said no" is not a justification for putting your hand inside somebody's trousers.
Trying to paint an obvious failure of basic consent as ambiguous is, to my mind, at the very least "maybe she was asking for it", which I find no less unpleasant.
As such, I think perhaps our definitions of "civilised" differ.
I agree with you completely on that point. People like pearjuice do not belong in our civilised society. Seeing pearjuice victim blame is disgusting, and he should be taught a lesson in humility and empathy.
I suggest we make him sew a yellow pear on his clothes, and send him to a empathy training camp.
> However, the response of Justine matches ancient societal expectations: if a woman has been violated, she loses all value.
"The response of Justine matches" (be more pretentious) the response of someone who has experienced extreme violation of trust by a close friend who was also an authority figure. If you like, invent a hypothetical scenario that involves public humiliation and violation of trust and all the rest and no sexuality whatsoever and a person might be equally traumatized.
It's interesting that you recommended she see a therapist. As with all the well intentioned advice she's getting as a result of posting this, it's certainly a possibility that has occurred to her and has been recommended by those close to her.
Eventually one exclusive view gets upvoted to the top, and the thread is forgotten and life goes on, then another thread happens and maybe the same view dominates or maybe a different one does. How unenlightening. It's why I never take a position in these threads except maybe to offer pretentious meta-analysis, like I'm doing right now.
First, you're having an intellectually legitimate debate that's probably revealing some good counter points and offering valid, alternative perspectives on the broader issue.
Second, you're continuing a cold argument devoid of any (productive) empathy in lieu of passionate, scientific rigor.
This is not what this post needs. Let it go, guys. Neither of you is going to convince anyone meaningfully. The issue is polarizing enough as it is. This is a situation that calls for empathy and support, and the interchange of ideas that won't put other people off of listening to each other in an open way.
I don't mean to be self-righteous, but this is a community somewhat known for entering into page-length tangential debates -- that would be detrimental to the subject at hand.
... and HN is the place for that to happen! ;)
edit: I don't care about cynicalkane's comment enough to puzzle out what he means. No offense to cynicalkane intended. :)
You don't wonder why such an event would have one effect on one person, another effect on another person and whether perhaps things could be changed so Justine suffers less? I suggest that this strongly depends on what the person believes and that this can be changed, so her life changes for the better.
I suggest a therapist because I have firsthand experience with needing help to change my beliefs about the world.
And what I find borderline offensive is that you completely ignore the fact that the company pretty much swept the whole incident under the rug.
This in my opinion has had a much more immediate effect on the victim's sense of self worth than any deeper cultural issue.
Basically she was given to believe that what happened to her wasn't that big a deal, and since she clearly experienced it very differently, indirectly she was told she didn't have much value.
I find it borderline offensive that you find it borderline offensive that the GP missed out on the point you wanted to make while making other valid points. Respectfully, of course.
Do you think the public acknowledgement is more important than the firing? Is the problem that they were only 80% behind her instead of 100%? Is it something else? I really want to understand your position.
They appear to have provided support to her.
She could go to the police and file a report. It's traumatic, and unlikely to have any effect.
But it is not possible for the firm to say "We sacked Bob because he sexually assaulted one of our staff".
Why not? The event in question happened in a public setting, while her boss was acting in something of an official capacity (it was a work related event). To me, that demands a public acknowledgement and treatment of what happened.
Innocent until proven guilty is a firm principle.
Accusing someone of a sex crime will have very serious consequences for that person.
She has said that she doesn't want to involve legal processes. When the company publicly says that he assaulted her they force the legal processes to start - either he sues for defamation or police get involved.
'Swept under the rug', to me, sounds like doing close to 0%.
I will say, though, that I really don't like assigning percentages because I think they fit the situation poorly.
In my opinion, the company should have done two discreet things: fire the guy and address why he was fired (see my comment to other responder for why they should address the firing). Assigning percentages to these to represent their respective importance is not very useful; they are both past the threshold of Very Important. Therefore, they should both get done.
I'm putting much weight on it because of two reasons. The first is that the only way Justine is going to be happy again is by dealing with what happened in a different way. The current way obviously isn't working: she's being selfdestructive. The only way I've seen work is having people change their assumptions and beliefs, generally taking up beliefs not shared by 'society'. I'm strongly channeling Nietzsche here: society has a vested interest in making the individual feel weak, powerless, insignificant and it is ruthless and cruel in the ways in which it achieves it. The second is that I believe preventing these things from happening is hard and that they will keep happening for a long time to come, no matter how hard we try. The 'prevent this' angle is covered well by many others, but the 'prevent these things from having such a strong impact' isn't. I believe it is a damn waste that so many people are made to believe they are weak, worthless, insignificant, guilty, for whatever reason, due to whatever history. I believe Justine is a prime example of what is wrong on this front. One incident had enough power to completely change who she feels she is, how she should behave, what she represents. This one incident has taken over everything. Why can it have this power? Because we allow it to have this power. And we are responsible for taking that power away!
Different brains respond to severe emotional trauma in different ways.
I urge you to spend some time with smart people with PTSD. Collect some data and evolve your beliefs.
The problem is that what is considered "sexually assaulting people" is relative to one's culture, education, religion, etc.
In ancient China just the bare foot of a girl was the most intimate thing you could imagine, something a husband will never get from his wife. In Tang dynasty apparently showing breasts was considered normal.
Right now in France saying "my dear" (ma chérie) when addressing to a colleague is a bit borderline but "you look pretty today" is ok (while not 100% innocent). Maybe it is the opposite in the US?
There is also this story (is it true?) of African students coming to France in the 70ties and raping girls who accepted to come to their room: in their original culture a girl who accept to go the room of a boy already accepted to make love, and the "no! please, no!" thing is a gameplay.
Not to talk about how things are in Japan...
I am not sure the current most common definition of the limit between laughing together and "sexual assault" in the USA is the best one and should be used as a worldwide norm. I would bet against it actually.
This is why we have laws. And the assault didn't happen 'worldwide,' it happened in the USA. So the definition is not really ambiguous.
Edit: what I mean is that using the self esteem, sense of honor, education, all these old things might prove more efficient than laws, and maybe especially in problems related to disrespect of women.
Edit: What did you hope to accomplish in your response?
Edit 2: Also, perhaps instead you could educate us what it is we could learn by hanging out with smart people with PTSD. Since not all of us have the opportunity to meet people in that situation, maybe you could share a bit about the experience and what you learned.
> Either your definition of sexual assault is much different that standard usage, or you hang out with deplorable people.
I was demonstrating that he was wrong.
Take a look at the list of factors that influence whether you will develop PTSD . Take the 1st factor: why does being female increase the chance of developing PTSD? Because of physical differences in the brain? Surely, but certainly also because of the different beliefs females grow up to hold. What it means to be female is not just a question of physiology (according to some, physiology doesn't even enter into it). One way in which people with PTSD are counselled, is by changing the way they perceive themselves, which includes what it means to be 'female'. Take the 4th factor: having other mental health problems. Why does a person have those in the first place? Again, there are undoubtedly genetic factors, but at least an equal amount is due to 'nurture', which can be addressed by further nurture.
Reducing the number of people who commit sexual assault is the only way to get rid of the problem at all. However, I don't have high hopes for that in the short run, because you're appealing to empathic and rational thought, while sexual assault happens in circumstances in which those kinds of thought are put on the backburner by the perpetrator (because of alcohol or simply because he's a opath). I'm a pragmatist: I agree people shouldn't be sexually assaulted, but given that people are* being sexually assaulted and will keep being sexually assaulted for decades to come, I think we should also focus on helping victims in better ways. And the best help for them is to have a set of beliefs that cause you not to be devastated by such an event in the first place.
I admit all my knowledge of PTSD is third hand. I hope it stays that way. Nevertheless, I don't think I'm disqualified from making statements about things with which I do have first hand experience, such as changing your beliefs contrary to societal expectations, to increase your happiness in life.
What data concerning 'smart people with PTSD' do you believe I am missing?
If someone breaks your leg, but you don't go to a doctor and complain about the extreme pain it causes you, am I then blaming you for the broken leg if I tell you that you I think you could suffer less by having it set and cast?
Psychological research does suggest that self-talk and future expectation has an enormous influence on experienced outcomes.
In other words, it is extremely unhelpful for a person who experienced an adverse event to anticipate trauma and my life will never be the same and suffering.
Trauma may happen. It may not. Time will tell.
I think you should probably delete this post, I can see it doing more harm than anything.
The fact you think "virtually everyone" does that certainly says a lot about you and the type of people you spend time with.
Justine is brave for coming forward and we should encourage everyone in a similar situation to do the same and support them when they do.
The deeper cultural problem here is that your comment has been voted to the top.
I'm not addressing the perpetrator at all, because he's obviously guilty of a crime. That doesn't change anything about the fact that we can mitigate the results of the crime.
The solution isn't to make society believe that it's not a big deal, and that people are expected to make a timely recovery. I feel like this would lead to even more victim blaming and even more self hatred for those who don't meet the societal expectations of quick recovery. The proper message isn't "you should get over it quickly", but instead "you CAN get your life back"... and unless I'm mistaken, I believe this is what people helping those with rape try to teach the victims to believe.
If you're seeing blaming in it, please do explain why since I'm as confused as the OP was.
I would add 2 things - according to his (now removed, but still available in wayback machine) blog http://web.archive.org/web/20130923014010/http://objo.com/ Joe O'Brian wrote that he was looking for professional help with mental issues or such in June 2013 (substance abuse? a rehab?). So, now the internet is lynching a sick person who already realized a problem and was seeking help? How nice. While the other side blames her drinking problems on the society and "male industry" (how childish).
Second, having dealt with drunk men myself (no drugs or guns involved, just alcohol - like in the story). A slap in the face usually works very well to help him keep his hands to himself. If it still doesn't work, a good smash in the face and moving away works even better. Unless, a lady gets so plastered that she can't move or use her brain, or she's a damsel in distress type. Then her life was ruined long before somebody put a hand into her pants.
It not okay to tell rape survivors that they are weak or wrong for having experienced their assault, their great betrayal in public as a negative and traumatic event. Instead, we need to blame rapists, over and over again, and dismantle rape myths, and offer survivors the support they ask for, not the support you decide they need.
Imagine you are in a building that has suddenly started to shake violently - and in slow motion you realize that this is your first earthquake, you are in a place without good building codes, and this area is capable of intensely destructive earthquakes - you may panic, feel a huge wave of paralyzing confusion, feel your brain flood with adrenaline, forget all your rational thoughts and fall down in shock as shattered glass falls on you and hurts you. Then a friend (who was in a stronger part of the building and didn't panic) finds you and helps you out of the shaking building. Later a person asks - why didn't you just duck under the table? Only idiots get hurt in earthquakes.
Here is also an article that addresses the long list of problems with "why didn't she punch him": http://adainitiative.org/2013/08/why-dont-you-just-hit-him-t...
You know why the world isn't like that? Because of beliefs and expectations.
You are judging this situation in the abstract and in hindsight. That is pointless and leads to callous conclusions that do not do justice to the complexity of these situations. It lacks empathy and respect for the complexity of the situation and differences between people. Try to imagine the scene, the days leading up to it, put yourself in the shoes of a woman, imagine the beliefs she has about how she should behave, how others will behave, about what is expected of her. The situation becomes complex, muddy: so many variables to consider! As someone else said: put yourself in a gay bar, with a score of gay colleagues, including your boss, and this happens to you. What if you worked in a larger company? What if the company was in bad weather and perhaps people need to be let go? So many variables!
She was in shock.
> Saying "no" isn't enough to claim she resisted.
Why does it matter if she resisted? Is it not rape if you don't resist?
It's not rape if the other person has no way of telling that you want them to stop.
A number of people's lives have been forever changed by the recently surfaced actions and instead of focusing on the "what ifs" and the hypothetical situations we focus on fixing the underlying problems within our community.
What is not easy to understand is how people don't understand this. :\
The fact that you committed this sentence to HN boggles my mind.
Yes it is. In fact, not saying "yes" is enough.
No, it's not.
This article has a reasonably helpful explanation of consent and "yes" and "no": http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2013/03/enthusiastic-consent/
It really a lot like victim blaming.
And the article explains that the burden isn't unilaterally on men - that men also benefit from partners who care about consent:
> Consent is not just about what you aren’t willing to do, it’s about being willing to talk, to communicate openly and without reservation with your partner about how they feel and how you feel. It can be intimidating, especially for guys, to take ownership of their feelings about sex, especially if they don’t want to have it. Many men feel that they have to have sex, even when they’re not comfortable with it, because they’re men and that’s what men do so they have to suck it up. There will be times that men will feel pressured, even coerced, just as women do.
Actually yes, yes it is enough you sick, perverted fuck. "No means no" isn't just a slogan, and it isn't "No, along with some physical resistance means no".