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What seems like a gray area to one person is outright harassment to another.Many of the anecdotes that respondents described, especially those that involved unwanted physical touch, could easily be filed under the graver labels of sexual abuse or assault.To get a handle on how people define, or are redefining, the borders of sexual misconduct, distributed a survey asking people a series of questions about their experiences as targets or perpetrators.
One male director of a design firm told the paraphrased, “it has been figured out how men and women should interact.” But the rules of interaction haven’t changed—it’s just that, for the first time, women are publicly calling foul en masse.
Sexual harassment has moved from the realm of cheesy office training videos to the real world, where harassers are not only Donald Trumps and anonymous subway masturbators, but also our friends, lovers, fathers, and work buddies.
Though the lines between acceptable behavior and harassment feel in some ways clearer today than ever, there still isn’t anything close to broad agreement about where all these lines should be drawn.
This is why the current moment has both women and men reassessing interactions from their past, wondering if they were on either end of a troubling encounter.
People who felt flattered as teenagers or young adults by sexual advances from older authority figures grew to see such pursuits as “gross” or an abuse of power as they aged.
Survivors of verbal harassment were sometimes wary of naming it as such if it never escalated into anything physical.
Some of these women had already recognized certain incidents from their past as harassment or abuse.
Others have been forced by this interminable news cycle to relive, reconsider, and reclassify some of the things men have done to them against their will or to search for boundaries in the mess of human interaction.
A friend’s father, who I’ve known for years and hugged at least a dozen times, paused and asked for consent before putting an arm around me at a party this month.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating