Phil Brooks wrote: rpupkin wrote: FedFan123 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:The idea that you have to be careful dealing with a woman to avoid accusations of harassment is sort of the flip side of DF's "don't talk about panties to a woman" comment, but I also think it's overblown and paranoid, as well as another way women are "other"-ed/excluded in the workplace (unless of course the issue is that you are somehow inclined to say stuff that could be understood as gender stereotyping, or just believe that you don't have any control over that, but I think that says more about you than the woman).
The idea that there may be generalized differences between women and men is, as others have suggested, kind of a red herring, in that you aren't approaching a hypothetical generic woman, but a person in the workplace whom you know as an individual. Any advice on how to deal with a specific individual based on whatever scientific article is going to be less than helpful.
My point was strictly in general, and I specifically said that specific situations could change the equation. However, don't forget that we are probably talking about a big law firm. OP was in corporate and the other associate was in lit, so he had probably never even met her before they started working on this pro bono project together. Thus, OP probably had no idea (and still probably doesn't) about how she would react to these sorts of situations. This is exactly the type of case, where you don't really know the other person other than randomly being thrown on a pro bono project together, where I would "proceed with caution"
But why wouldn't one also "proceed with caution" with respect to a male associate whom one didn't know personally?
A male associate cannot accuse another male associate of harassment because in the United States, unlike in other developed countries, harassment is a form of discrimination, so it is not actionable unless it is "on the basis of" a protected characteristic, such as gender. It would be difficult to accuse someone of discriminating against his/her own gender.
It's not easy for anyone to bring a harassment claim these days, but yes, a man could bring a harassment claim against another man (either classic "quid pro quo" sexual harassment or something like being harassed on the basis of not meeting standard gender roles).
Also the idea that men need to treat women a particular way because of potential harassment suits is also disturbing. Do you assume male associates would be equally out to get you/manufacture allegations against you through non-harassment means? Isn't the solution just not to harass someone? This is yet another way to make women (or other protected classes) "other" and a threat to (white) men in the workplace.
(If you're getting at the fact that the US doesn't have a lot of protections against bullying in the workplace that's fine, but not a gender issue.)