Friday, August 10, 2007

More Culture of Death

I know, I know, I never post twice in one day. But part of the reason I do this is to drain annoyingly recurrent thoughts from my head.

Let me propose a hypothetical situation here. Suppose the Fire Chief of Detroit decided upon a novel community outreach program. All women in the Department would engage in marching drills on stage in all the strip joints on Eight Mile Road (there are at least a dozen) in full dress uniform. Any who refused would be disciplined and written up.

Suppose these women firefighters were subjected, for hours, to sexual innuendo from the male spectators, along the lines of "hold my hose," "you can put out my fire," "you're making me hot," "give me mouth-to-mouth," and "blow my hose," along with sexual gestures and some spectators exposing themselves. And when they ignored the sexual invitations and innuendo of the spectators, the crowd turned hostile and angry.

Wouldn't that constitute a hostile work environment under current sexual harassment law? Would not people all across America, from every spot on the political spectrum, leap to their defense and decry the Fire Chief's actions? Of course they would.

Now, by changing two details, this goes from hypothetical to recent history. The first: instead of marching drills on the stages of strip clubs, the firefighters in question rode their trucks at a walking pace in a gay pride parade. The second: the firefighters were men, not women.

Sexual harassment is vile, regardless of the victims or the perpetrators.

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