(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.