Sexual Harassment?

package Company::Connection;

use Moose;

...

sub connection {

my ($self, @args) = @_;

# @Linda: I hope this isn't creepy but if you're reading this I just
# want to say I think you're awesome and we should go out on a date
# sometime soon. Do you agree [Yes/No] -- Matt

# ps. do not commit this class to the master branch!!!

...

return $self;

}

1;

8 Comments

Harassment is not boolean. It is situational. If Linda is not creeped out by Matt, and either appreciates or does not feel threatened by his comment, then it's fine.

If she does, then only direct knowledge of the situation can determine what is going on. Certainly, no one who comments on a blog post has any clue whatsoever.

I think it is creating a hostile workplace. We techie guys underestimate this. Imagine that you are trying to get some serious coding done and yet every time you open a file, every time you page down, you need to worry about finding this kind of stuff. Very distracting, ruins the flow. Women don't need it, they have enough s**t to deal with from guys.

It is unprofessional, as is the idea of workplace dating.

The author should have written a unit test instead if putting the question into a comment ;-)

No, seriously: the only situation when this comment may be an appropriate joke is in an already existing relationship between Linda and the author. I recommend the
Guy’s Guide to Feminism
, its instructive and funny!

I am commenting here because of the number of articles lately on this sort of topic. I am not saying which way is right or wrong, but that the prevailing views of what is or is not sexual harassment are VERY Anglo. One of the things that took me the most amount of time to get use to here in Latin America is the amount of PDA, co-workers kissing on the cheek, and even offending the girls in the high-school class for NOT kissing on the cheek. When I mention to my female friends in several South American countries about how this sort of situation (exactly the sort of thing above) can get you fired, they think it is silly ( yes, the women think it is silly ). I will also tell you that this will not get Matt a date here either. What WILL get Matt that date is to confidently pull Linda aside and say something like "Let's go to dinner Friday night. I will pick you up at 7pm." Then walk away. All over the world, women EXPECT men to be confident and aggressive and will look down on any man sheepishly, timidly trying to get their attention. I have seen women with Master's degrees who have good paying jobs get pissed if EVERYONE did not take notice and take time to appreciate the new set of breast they got while in Colombia. I will probably be condemned for not being sensitive enough, yet I have been personally condemned by woman outside the USA for being too timid when approaching a woman. I have been told - by women - 'You want to take a woman to dinner; tell, don't ask. If she doesn't object, you have a date.' So, back to the original question. Is this sexual harassment, IT really depends on where the woman is from, and if you want to apply a sort of MENS REA it depends on where the man is from also. So everyone, get off your seriously narrow Anglo view of every friggin thing in the Universe. Now can we get back to coding?

I think it depends on the situation.

Situation 1:
Linda and Matt are friends. They've grown close at work, talked about interests. That sort of thing. IE: They have a comfortable relationship already and Matt's interested in her. If this is the situation, I think this is by far one of the cutest, sweetest things. In this situation I'd probably say yes (were I not already married).

Situation 2:
Linda and Matt are co-workers. Matt is a little creepy. He's maybe tried to ask her out before and she's side stepped or said no. Or they really aren't much on the friendship side of things. Then this is probably not wise.

Is it sexual harassment? Well... only if this is part of repeated attempts to ask her out and she's declined. Then it might be. Or if the message was toned differently. Like "Hey Linda, I think you're the hottest woman I've ever seen. When I look at you.... "

Seriously though, in the right situation, I think that's one of the most adorable things ever. It might lead to some embarrassment if Linda's not interested and it somehow made it into the main source code or was seen by someone else, but that's not harassment.

To me its a little heavy handed. ... He should have used Moo! (ba-dum).

Truthfully, I'll echo the others. Assuming Matt's advanced haven't been rebuffed before, and that they are on good terms, I don't think telling someone that they are awesome and politely asking on a date is inherently harassment.

Personally, I think its a rather cute tactic. Of course the situation is different, but who can forget (ok, I just found out about it) the proposal on PerlMonks!

thanks for the recommendation of "The Guy’s Guide to Feminism". I ordered the ebook and are half through it. although i'm not part of the main target audience, it has some interesting points. some of them were also mentioned by several people in the recent discussions.

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About Al Newkirk

user-pic ... proud Perl hacker, ask me anything!