Explanation of the Difference Between Flirting and Sexual Harassment is Spot On by S. Ankel
(Link): Explanation of the Difference Between Flirting and Sexual Harassment is Spot On by S. Ankel
Ever since sexual harassment has become a widely discussed topic, there have been people complaining about how the #MeToo movement has ruined flirting.
This was especially the case after the allegations against Aziz Ansari were made in January 2018.
But no one has managed to sum it up quite as well as comedian Kate Willett, who articulated the clear black-and-white difference between flirting and sexual harassment in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.
In the lengthy post, Willett explains how the two should never be viewed as the same, calling good flirting “fundamentally empathetic”, while sexual harassment fundamentally “devoid of empathy”. She ends her argument by saying:
“You’re comparing a paint brush to a wrecking ball.”
[The post by Kate Willett]
I love to be flirted with. I don’t like being sexually harassed. These two things are not the same, and if you’re arguing the point “now men can’t flirt anymore,” you don’t understand what flirting is or you’re just pretending not to in order to set up a straw man argument in favor of sexual harassment.
Good flirting is fundamentally empathetic. It’s about building desire and it’s often pretty subtle. It’s paying such deep attention to another person’s emotions and body language that you create more intimacy with them.
It’s a two-way, playful, fun exchange that makes everyone feel good. Sexual harassment is the opposite. It’s devoid of empathy and it’s about forcing your will upon another person without having any regard for their desire. You’re comparing a paint brush to a wrecking ball.
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One thought on “Explanation of the Difference Between Flirting and Sexual Harassment is Spot On by S. Ankel”
I find this whole “oh, noes; all this sexual harassment talk is killing flirting” to be alarmism.
My bff at university is a feminist, and former president of Students Against Sexual Assault. I met her when I overheard her talking about a program I was considering. She invited me to pull up a chair, and we talked. I told her I’m available romantically. She replied she wasn’t, but she’d love to have me as a friend. I accepted her offer. (I soon found out I have a serious crush on her, and I even mentioned it to her, since I feared it would be obvious and would creep her out. She was perfectly fine with it!)
I say all that to say this:
Interacting with her was easy, and not harassing her was easier than pie. I even expressed interest, and that was fine with her. I felt like I was doing the minimum, not trying that hard. And, she thinks folks should be more like me.
I’m not saying this to boast, but to ask what’s the problem with these alarmists. I get that some young men lacking experience could get fooled. However, for those who should know better, what is their problem!?
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