“The Talk”

Just because it’s the law doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Boys will be boys, right? (Wink, wink! Guffaw, guffaw!) In this male dominated world of skilled trades, I have mixed feelings about the sexual harassment training the IBEW foists upon its apprentices. As soon as the topic came up in our formal training, a tangible discomfort smothered the room. My class has four women and 22 men and all of a sudden, nobody was looking up or offering personal stories from the field. After some awkward silence, one guy shared experience from his military time: “Yeah, we had the one girl who was all loud. She was like one of the guys, ya know? And then she got a bad review, so right after that she made harassment charges and some of the guys got disciplined!”

Great. Thanks. What we’ve just learned through this guy’s tale (which was probably missing some facts) is that girls can twist the statute around into punitive measures, and that most allegations of sexual harassment are probably bogus or coming from somebody who is just “over-sensitive.” Read the rest of this entry »