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Dear Imprudence: My Boss Sexually Harassed Me, Should I Cover It Up?

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6 responses to “Dear Imprudence: My Boss Sexually Harassed Me, Should I Cover It Up?”

  1. Tera

    Yes. Especially good point about structural sexism in the entertainment industry.

    What especially bothers me is Prudie’s “advice” to “watch Entourage” and saying that “any reality-show producer” would “love to be there.” The idea that actual sexual harassment has entertainment value REALLY bothered me.

    Also, the boss’s behavior doesn’t indicate that “he knows he behaved terribly.” It may indicate the he knows his behavior could jeopardize his career/repuation if he got caught.

  2. Kaitlyn

    “You should know your own limit [with alcohol]” – that really stuck out and pisses me off.

    I’ll be 22 in August, I’m “old enough,” but no, I don’t know my limit.

    And why did he take her to his house? That’s just icky.

    And Prudie ignored another reason to blame her – she got in his car instead of a taxi. *eyeroll*

    If she’s working in the entertainment business, she should report him and he may be a big name, so it may lead to surface policies. And why can’t interns go to the celebratory party? That makes no sense. (As does the whole answer.)

    I bet there are many comments in response to the LW saying, no, it’s not your fault, and maybe Prudie will make a bad apology in her next column. (Saying it’s your fault for being offended.) She trivialized sexual assault, focusing on irrelevant details (I thought he was gay).

    People will read this and be afraid to report sexual assault or even ask for advice from friends and family. Yet again. We treat victims so poorly.

  3. codeman38

    Kaitlyn: “You should know your own limit [with alcohol]” – that really stuck out and pisses me off.

    And of course, there are those of us who do know our own limits… and who are constantly mocked by others because our limits couldn’t possibly be that low. It’s a no-win situation, really. (And people wonder why I don’t go to many social events at bars…)

  4. K

    @Codeman38:

    My migraine medication (propanolol) drastically lowers my alcohol tolerance. I am fine with this, as lower alcohol tolerance is VASTLY superior to constant immobilizing pain in my life. However, other people keep telling me that I should be “cured” from taking pills for the past 1.5 years, or that I should have “rebuilt” my tolerance by now.

  5. EGhead

    Every time I read something like Prudie’s ‘advice’ I just get so angry and bewildered that the only response I can manage is something like, “SHUT THE FUCKSAJFODISFJLKJ!!!!!11!” Thank you for articulating everything that is wrong with this when I can only stew in my own outrage!

  6. Kali

    ACK.

    That makes me so, so, SO mad. I’ve been the girl who was harassed while inebriated and not very well able to express that I didn’t want what was happening. I kept pulling away, turning my head, and ducking when the guy was trying to kiss me. He’d also been drinking, more heavily than me. I am very, very lucky that things stopped there, because it got through his soggy skull I didn’t want to be kissed, and the next time I saw him, he actually said, “I should have stopped the first time you moved away.” To my knowledge, the event shook him up enough that he’s never gotten drunk around a girl he’s not already involved with in the five years that have passed since then, with the exception of a wedding, where he actually asked the girl, “Can I kiss you?” before he did. Major props to him for learning from the experience.

    To have to work with someone who has harassed you is awful. I’ve been there, too. My boss wrote the whole thing off as a laugh, but I didn’t think it was very funny that I had to tell a married guy I’d never expressed any interest in to stop putting his arm around me and calling me his girlfriend. And when your boss is the assailant, or when your boss is complicit like mine, it’s so much harder to do anything.

    The right answer is, he shouldn’t have done that to begin with, and at very freaking worst should have stopped after the first attempt was brushed off. She should do what she feels is right – whether that’s reporting it, talking to the guy and telling him how wrong what he did was, or trying to get transferred to work under someone else.

    The real right answer is that he should have never put her in that situation. That someone in his position should know better than trying to prey on interns. Grr. That sort of problem shows up in the law, as well, unfortunately. We did a case like that in my trial advocacy class, and one of the guys actually said that it wasn’t the fault of the powerful male supervising attorney if he kept dating and ditching the young female attorneys he was supervising – “how is it his fault if they keep biting?” he said. I wanted to throw something at him! The supervising attorney shouldn’t be hitting on someone they supervise, that’s what’s his fault! Especially not as a repeated course of action that he seemed to do to every woman he supervised. I tried to explain the problem, but like most people in a position of privilege, he didn’t want to see how the behavior he’d just endorsed was problematic. Yet another man who, when he finds himself in a position of power, may use it in a sexist way. It was so disappointing…especially because the other women in the class likewise thought the case we were dealing with was a joke!

    ~Kali


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