September 27, 2012
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that a word that had had no prior sexual or violent connotation in any context started being used around an office by some of the people in that office to make insinuations about one or more of the people in that office or about things that the people using the word wanted to do. Let’s say that the people making those insinuations were made to be honest about the meaning that they had given to the word, and had to go to the human resources department and write down or say, literally, what they had all agreed that the word meant. Let’s say that the word had one, more or all of the following meanings:
–She has fluid gushing out of her vagina.
–Her vagina smells.
–Let’s take video of her in the bathroom with a hidden camera, pass it around to people, and talk about it to her and around her.
–Let’s have sex with children.
–She has a lot of hair between her legs.
–She puts her fingers in her butt.
–Let’s kill her.
Wouldn’t it be cause for dismissal if even one of those things were getting said or written in that office, word for word, as I’ve written them, instead of the code word that had been decided upon by the people who were using the code word to mean those things? Aren’t there also things in that list that would be cause for a responsible, ethical, truthful person to call the police and have the people who were saying or writing them questioned?
There are a lot of things that are not specifically written in the Constitution or in Amendments to the Constitution. There is an infinite number of situations in which things happen which are not specifically described by any law. A large part of the practice of law is figuring out if and how existing laws pertain to situations as those situations occur. If there is a big problem, a destructive problem that is hurting a lot of people, then it is even more important to consider how existing laws can be applied to address that problem.
If existing laws don’t address the problem to the extent that the problem can be contained and starts to go away or is at least treated like a crime with applicable punishments, then laws need to be created that do address the problem that way.
It took years for sexual harassment to be identified and called sexual harassment, and for anything to be put in place to protect people from it. The reason that it took years is that women are not treated as equals to men.
What’s happening to me and to other women and girls is sexual harassment. Either it needs to be called that according to existing laws, or laws need to be enacted to specifically identify it as sexual harassment so that the problem can be addressed. Before the conglomerate began, a picture of an umbrella was innocuous; it is not innocuous now. The same can be said about a lot of the things that the conglomerate has used as symbols of female oppression; the coughing, sneezing and noserubbing, images, verbal or pictorial, of water and fish, the Caution cones, Wet Floor signs and other signs and symbols that have been misappropriated and used against women and against female equality. There are a lot of examples, too many to list.
You cannot avoid and deny the principle of an important law that protects human rights and continue truthfully to call yourself principled.
Nobody has to worry that free speech is going to suffer if people cease to be encouraged to use the conglomerate’s symbols of oppression to oppress people. Part of the application of laws is to figure out how they apply; part of deciding whether or not something is sexual harassment is to consider whether or not what’s happening is a pattern with a malicious or negligent intention or was one incident or a few incidents that aren’t repeated, or wasn’t meant to be anything other than what it was. One picture of an umbrella doesn’t prove a sexual harassment case, for example. Pictures of umbrellas that show up on someone’s blog posts a lot for a few years, along with things like blog posts that say “Eureka” and the other things that have shown up on Yahoo searches of the name Barack Obama for a long time mean that he is encouraging people to be very disrespectful of women, to harass them and to engage in other criminal and destructive acts. He cannot honestly say otherwise, and neither can anyone else who is doing what he’s doing.
The conglomerate is saying that women are not people, and it’s also saying that nobody, male or female, has the right to privacy. It is saying that it is ok to bully, to lie about the fact that you’re bullying, and to retaliate against people who object to being bullied. It is saying that children do not have the right to be protected from people who want to use them for sex, that children don’t have the right to make their own decisions about who touches them in sexual ways, that they don’t have the right to be protected until they are old enough to make decisions about sex for themselves. It is saying that it’s ok to kill people for no reason.
The conglomerate is also saying that people who object to any of the conglomerate and conglomerate-influenced behavior described in the preceding paragraph ought to be threatened and otherwise abused even more; the conglomerate’s behavior since the beginning couldn’t have been farther from supporting free speech.
Copyright L. Kochman, September 27, 2012 @ 4:26 p.m.