I’m writing in response to Mr. Vajko’s plea for “more balance” (“Key Thoughts,” KP News Feb. 2018).
In the ’60s there was a pertinent saying: It is not for the oppressor to tell the oppressed what constitutes oppression.
Yes, sexual harassment and aggression are emotional issues. That does not make them less important. We are clearly biological beings; we are also human beings and have strong social codes that prescribe acceptable behavior. We have laws that back up that code, and both social mores and antiharassment laws center on respect for and safety of the individual, regardless of gender, class, race, religion, sexual preference, etc. Harassing behavior is not respectful; it creates tension, uncertainty and often fear. And the emotional scars of that harassment can last years or a lifetime. What may feel like harmless “flirting” may not feel harmless to the recipient.
Here’s an example. Last Friday, my husband and I went to the Blend Wine Shop in Key Center for a wine tasting. We enjoy seeing friends there, catching up on recent news, and just being in a friendly environment. A male friend came up to me and said, “You’re really cute.”
“Thank you,” I replied. “No, I mean you’re really cute,” he said. Now I was getting uncomfortable. “I’m really old,” I responded, in an attempt to stop these comments. “True, you’re really old, but you’re still really cute.” So, at that point I walked away. Mr. Vajko would probably find these comments harmless, but the point is they made me uncomfortable, and my friend refused to pick up the cues and stop his behavior.
Stop whining, men. The rules haven’t changed. I don’t see innocent men going down in flames; I see egregious and unlawful behavior being revealed. The big concept is respect and it’s backed up by law. So deal with it.
Judi Cleghorn, Lakebay