A precise label eludes me. On the one hand, you've got TV talent with remote door locks, pervy doctors, and film directors or producers who have taken the "casting couch" cliche to boggling extremes; on the other, you have doddering, clumsy or juvenile types who sometimes put their hands where they oughtn't.
Both are bad but surely there are different levels of badness, and different appropriate responses? Often there is a drastic power imbalance inhibiting the right response to low-level creepering -- if your boss or a county judge pats your bottom, you're a lot less likely to give them hell (cold stare, shocked comment, a good slap) for it that you would a random guy in line at the five-and-dime; and once they've gotten away with the low-level stuff, some of them don't stop there.
In all the denouncing and firing, I notice a few who might've have been shoved towards proper decorum if they'd been backhanded by their chosen victims early and often; others seem, at least in hindsight, to have been utterly predatory, as set on their path as a shark. Many of the latter appear to have exercised a predator's judgment in their choice of prey, going after the weakest.
Some kind of tipping-point has been passed; a series of high-profile arrests (Jerry Sandusky, Larry Nasser, Jared Fogle) may have been the earliest signs, followed by accusations against Bill Cosby and the UK's Jimmy Saville. Or maybe we just passed some kind of "critical mass" of women in management -- nothing personal, guys, but I have been on the receiving end of too many "I'm sure he didn't mean it/he's just a diamond in the rough/think of the team" chats with managerial higher-ups, men who simply can't (or won't) conceive that such misbehavior was seriously meant.
Things have changed. It's too early to tell if this first big shift points to greater concern for such things in workplaces generally, or if it will trail off in tabloid-headline trivia. I'd like to think the good old-fashioned withering glare, stern comment and stinging slap will stage a comeback in response to creepy comments, worrying situations and wandering hands.
8 months ago