Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Free Speech

Sexual harassment was a new thing when I was in grade school. I don't mean 'new' as in someone just came up with the idea to start harassing members of the opposite sex, but that the fact that harassment was happening in the workplace and shouldn't be was an idea a lot of people were getting behind. We talked about it in class, likely because the of the Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas case that was all over the news. In the course of talking about it, our school's guidance counselor showed us a bunch of TV commercials and asked if the behavior of people in the commercials constituted sexual harassment. I still have to hand it to her for coming up with an idea that suggested that maybe the things we were watching all day might not be giving us the best ideas about relationships. One of the commercials she showed had women office workers watching a bunch of shirtless male construction workers and engaging in suggestive talk while pounding Diet Cokes. She asked if this constituted sexual harassment. To be honest, I still have no idea. The guys didn't know the women were talking about them...is this a free speech issue? In any case, I'm proud of that counselor for so thoroughly confusing me on this topic for so long.

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