Is it time for a blacklist?

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Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by celette482 on Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:41 am

She says, tongue-in-cheek but in that way that means she is actually quite angry and is trying to avoid rage-quitting male-female interactions.

http://abovethelaw.com/2015/09/female-lawyer-who-called-out-biglaw-partners-sexist-remarks-now-considered-unemployable/

Do. Not. Use. Linkedin. To. Trawl. For. Dates. (This has happened to me as well. In fact my ratio of legitimate professional contacts to awkward come-ons was about 1:3. It pisses me off when people say Linkedin is a necessity and I'm so glad I got a job in government employ that's basically mine forever. For cause!)

Penisopinions have taken over our bus rides and our walks and our trips to the grocery store. But if you come between me and my paycheck? Son, you better sit down. In the Jezebel take on this (http://jezebel.com/dont-use-linkedin-to-tell-a-woman-shes-stunning-idiots-1730131626) one of the commenters mentioned that she got hit on by her recruiter and the company did nothing, but SHE told everyone back at her job (which churned out the sorts of people recruiter needed) and the company is blacklisted. The reason they ended up blacklisted, by the way, was less that a recruiter hit on her and more that the company didn't seem to think this was a problem.

Is this what it's gonna take? We're half the world and half the workforce. We know people and people know us and if you want to burn bridges, I'll get the can of gasoline?

Sure, I get sexually harassed on the REG at work. But that's because I'm a public defender and more than a few people I see in courtrooms are not... 100% there. But we still circulate "Try to avoid jail visits at X Prison because inmates there cannot keep it in their pants...." advice. And just because I'm geared up to expect creepiness from the indigent homeless and people strung out on godonlyknowswhat (our actually clients tend to be okay or at least trying to play nice with us, their attorneys. And if they're not okay we get them help ASAP. the worst are the people who are picked up for the crime of being homeless, they're in bad shape all around) doesn't mean I'm gonna take it from a non-mentally ill non-homeless person. Like that one marshal. F*ck that marshal. (one of the marshals hits on one of my coworkers with just that edge of deniability but women know when they are being hit on and he sometimes hits me with the splashback, despite the rings- we were actually debating faking an engagement for her)

Basically, coming from someone who has seen multiple penises in the line of duty, it's completely unacceptable to bring this shit up at work unless (MAYBE) you're both in different departments, you're both at the same level of the company, and you're hella respectful. Any ounce of power imbalance and there is a giant stop sign. And frankly, this applies to both genders.

Final side note: If you say "I know this is probably X, but..." where X is any value of sexist racist mean rude whatever, just stop because whatever follows is guaranteed to be X and all you've proven by prefacing that statement is that you're doing so with full knowledge. We need to treat that like a warning from our mouths to our brains that we should just stop talking.
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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by reboot on Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:13 am

I am with you. There is an informal blacklist (we call it PNG for persona non grata) in my sphere for people who display sexist/racist/bigoted/corrupt behavior on the job. It either let's you know who to not put on your team or let's you know how to take protective measures if you end up on a team with some of these folks. Unfortunately even massive corruption does not get people officially banned, official reference checking is very rare, and thus the bad pennies are always out there, so the unofficial PNG list is the only way to protect staff and, even more importantly, clients. I will not repeat some of the things bad pennies do to a vulnerable population over whom they have the power to not feed, evict, deny refugee status, deport, etc.. If you have an ounce of imagination you can picture what those folks do with unsupervised total power over people who are totally dependant on them.
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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by JP McBride on Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:14 pm

celette482 wrote:Do. Not. Use. Linkedin. To. Trawl. For. Dates. (This has happened to me as well. In fact my ratio of legitimate professional contacts to awkward come-ons was about 1:3. It pisses me off when people say Linkedin is a necessity and I'm so glad I got a job in government employ that's basically mine forever. For cause!)

Sounds like a problem that Linkedin should be able to solve on its own.

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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by BiSian on Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:39 pm

Yeah cause it's totally the website's fault that morons with no sense refuse to understand there's occasionally places where it's inappropriate to make their boners the subject of conversation... EYE ROLL
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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by JP McBride on Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:28 pm

BiSian wrote:Yeah cause it's totally the website's fault that morons with no sense refuse to understand there's occasionally places where it's inappropriate to make their boners the subject of conversation... EYE ROLL

Linkedin is responsible for maintaining a professional environment on their website. I don't understand what you find ridiculous about that.

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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by Werel on Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:53 pm

I think it's not too realistic to expect a social networking website to have control over the behavior of its members, especially behavior in private messages which only the sender and recipient will see, and behavior which the recipients are (rightly) reluctant to report because it might have disastrous professional consequences-- so outlandishly unrealistic, in fact, that it merits a sizeable eye roll. Smile
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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by JP McBride on Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:59 pm

Werel wrote:I think it's not too realistic to expect a social networking website to have control over the behavior of its members, especially behavior in private messages which only the sender and recipient will see, and behavior which the recipients are (rightly) reluctant to report because it might have disastrous professional consequences-- so outlandishly unrealistic, in fact, that it merits a sizeable eye roll. Smile

They already have the infrastructure in place to deal with problems like this. If they didn't, they would be overrun with spam. There would be no need for Linkedin to reveal the identities of people who flag messages as harassment, so there would be little chance for retaliation.

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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:07 pm

I have difficulty understanding where those impulses come from in the first place. Both romantically and professionally, the most important thing to me is that the entity on the other end of the deal likes, wants, and appreciates what I have to offer. You can't know you have that if other forms of leverage are in play, and you guarantee not having that if you outright abuse said leverage. So even from a selfish standpoint...

Shrug People are morons.
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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by Werel on Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:19 pm

JP McBride wrote:There would be no need for Linkedin to reveal the identities of people who flag messages as harassment, so there would be little chance for retaliation.
Yeah, because the harasser would never figure out who'd ratted on them unless LinkedIn dropped them a note with a name in it rofl

(Sorry for the glib, it's just that they always find out. Harassers don't get into positions of power by being bad at protecting their own interests. Pretending otherwise is a dangerous lie to tell people who might be contemplating filing a harassment report)
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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by JP McBride on Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:04 am

Werel wrote:
JP McBride wrote:There would be no need for Linkedin to reveal the identities of people who flag messages as harassment, so there would be little chance for retaliation.
Yeah, because the harasser would never figure out who'd ratted on them unless LinkedIn dropped them a note with a name in it rofl

(Sorry for the glib, it's just that they always find out. Harassers don't get into positions of power by being bad at protecting their own interests. Pretending otherwise is a dangerous lie to tell people who might be contemplating filing a harassment report)

Ok, let's step back for a second. Do you have a better idea of how to solve this problem? I'm getting the sense that you think that there's nothing that can be done.

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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:26 am

Probably nothing can be done to immediately correct the problem. That's partially because there is insufficient giving of shits within the cultural system LinkedIn is part of. Shift hearts and minds to the point where harassing people carries enough risk to actually discourage would-be harassers (unfortunately difficult in practice without opening up "that person harassed me" as the new best way to harass/threaten/coerce/punish someone, now with 100% less recourse for the actual victim) and this specific problem goes away entirely along with many of its siblings. But shifts take a long time, and LinkedIn has insufficient dictatorial power (and insufficient incentive, as a for-profit company run largely by wealthy white male shareholders) to enact that shift on its own.
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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by BiSian on Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:36 am

Yeah. What NT said.

Insisting the website control the dipshits isn't a workable solution and ignores the heart of the matter--which is jerks refusing to behave properly.
And no, it's not that they "just don't understaaaaand." Bull. Shit.
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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by celette482 on Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:41 am

Besides the fact that the problem isn't LinkedIn at all.

It happens all the time, under every circumstance imaginable. That marshal hitting on my coworker? You know he carries a gun and a taser, right? Leaning over you, gun/taser (depending on which side he's standing on) right at eye level when you're sitting down.

Focusing on the website is a total derail. Men didn't need LinkedIn to remind female coworkers that their primary purpose is to exist for visual pleasure before.

As far as I'm concerned, Name and Shame is the best way to go. Men (and honestly people when it comes to other things like, say, racism or homophobia) pull this shit because they know they won't get called on it. Maybe they think their social circle would approve, even. They corner you in the quiet in a place where there are no witnesses they cloak themselves in plausible deniability and they make you wonder if you're imagining things and that it can't be THAT bad. All the while you spend your work day slightly on edge. And these are the people controlling whether or not you get paid. Who send you work or who do your performance reviews. You're unsettled and twisted around by the person who supervises you.

It FEEDS on silence. It THRIVES on self-doubt. It gets stronger every time someone minimizes or disbelieves or questions a woman who risks BEING FIRED to speak at all (seriously not a thing we do for recreation, the knee-jerk reaction that they are making things up when there is so so so much to lose and nothing to gain but a wee bit of sanity, a wee bit of outside assurance that "IT'S NOT JUST YOU" no we don't go through that for revenge or shits and giggles, especially not the ones with good work records, the ones who clearly do their job well and who just don't want to be told they're beautiful by people who hold their rent money). The only way to starve the beast is to deny it the silence.

And she's a lawyer. Let's not forget that sexual harassment in the workplace exists on all levels. The Name and Shame isn't available for the hypothetical but statistically likely 17 year old working at mcdonalds with the 25 year old boss who wants in her pants. But, the awareness and the outrage helps keep it in the general consciousness, helps combat the silence.

I know people have criticized the shame culture of the internet and I think the criticisms are valid, particularly in situations where the identity of the parties or the context is uncertain. But otherwise? I'm sorry someone on the internet hurt your feelings, boorish sexual harassing man. Maybe you are on your period?

Also, there's no way in aggregate the men getting called out for harassment will face the same amount of blowback that women experience when they do call it out and when they stay silent. That guy's gonna be fine. She's losing some clients but she'll also probably be fine. The hypothetical but statistically likely 17 year old waitress probably got raped by her 25 year old boss. We see the ones that are easy to report, reported on by relatively privileged and media-savvy women. I guarantee you it exists on all strata of society.
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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by JP McBride on Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:05 pm

celette482 wrote:Besides the fact that the problem isn't LinkedIn at all.

Doesn't mean they can't be part of the solution. Getting LinkedIn to blacklist user accounts for sexual harassment isn't going to protect a teenager working at McDonalds, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a worthwhile thing to advocate for.

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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by celette482 on Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:14 am

If LinkedIn were willing to make it part of their rules that sexual harassment was a bannable offense...Actually I bet they do already.

The problem is that this message is on its face polite and complimentary. He's not telling her to suck any appendages or that he imagines her rear end would be accommodating to entry. Mods don't need a lot of backstory to make that seem bad. Explaining why being told you have a lovely picture is sexual harassment requires some extra information. And once you give the woman a chance to explain herself, you "have" to give the man a chance and then it turns into a game of he said she said.... (Which in all fairness it did NOT in this situation, the offending man apologized and has erased his LinkedIn profile, a decent response all things considered)

When it was really "He left written evidence of his inappropriateness and he's now trying to get away with it, banking on social advantages he probably wouldn't acknowledge he has."

The rules are fuzzy. Should LinkedIn ban all romantic overtures of ANY kind, since they're specifically a professional networking site? Perhaps, but then how do you tell the difference between romantic overtures and simple friendliness? Heteronormative thought suggests that ANY male-female interaction must have romantic aspects, which is absurd, not to mention erasing other parts of the Kinsey scale.

But, the thing is, you know it when you see it. At least the recipients do. I was talking about the marshal hitting on my coworker. all our male coworkers were shocked when the scuttlebutt got around that he had a crush on Coworker. All the female coworkers, myself included (and I've been watching for 3 weeks only) were like "Duh." Even those women who weren't the target recognized the behavior for what it was, and that Coworker was profoundly uncomfortable with the attention (plus we know she's happy in her relationship).

It seems really hard to police and fuzzy around the edges, but it isn't. However, do you really think your average massmarket, not-specifically-feminist website or anything else is going to ban a user on the complaints of a woman?
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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by kath on Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:07 pm

Very good point about it being difficult to mod "that it is a stunning picture" - and on LinkedIn, that probably is often actually a totally professional thing to say to another LinkedIn user - for example, if you're a photographer, makeup artist, model, or artist, that message would be great. I'm not sure it's practical to ask moderators (or feasible to code something) that could correctly identify those differences.

I think the slow culture change of all of us adhering to treating other people with respect, which would mean that in professional contexts like LinkedIn, it just wouldn't reasonably occur to people to make that sort of comment. Which evidently it did, he just didn't listen to his better judgement.

(Also, yes, I really wish "If you're prefacing a statement with an apology or caveat, look over it. Do you need to say it?" was something more people remembered. If it is actually something you need to communicate to the other person,* rephrase it so that you don't need to apologize for saying it. If you're apologizing mostly to pat their feelings, rephrase it to not require the apology and leave the apology there anyway. If you can't rephrase it in a way that doesn't necessitate comment, TAKE IT OUT. Especially if you're at the point where you've had the thought! The comment on the photo could not have been rephrased to not necessitate an apology.)


*I had someone recently say "sorry if I'm being 'possibly aggressive'**" before calling me out for something irritatingly trivial in front of others. He responded well to my "if you want to give me that feedback, I will accept it privately", but it was an instance of "you could totally have communicated this in an appropriate way, and wanting to apologize for it should have triggered you to see if it could be phrased in a way that didn't require apology" - which it totally could have, and though the feedback was trivial, doing what he asked isn't going to be a big deal. I'd just like to not have people be rude to me (especially in front of others) while requesting that sort of thing.

**no idea if he meant passive-aggressive? It was in quotes ...
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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

Post by OtherRoooToo on Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:11 pm

BiSian wrote:Yeah cause it's totally the website's fault that morons with no sense refuse to understand there's occasionally places where it's inappropriate to make their boners the subject of conversation... EYE ROLL

Yeah ... this absolutely feels like another - yet one more - in that long string of "Well, We Can't Blame the Hosting Organization for Individuals' Behavior" crossed with a generous sloppy helping of "Boys Will Be Boys" (which I generally read as "if something has to be done where men are at all abridged from doing whatever they want whenever they want, nothing will be done regardless of how many women are hurt as a result").

Surprised


Not to speak of which -- I remember DO NOT HIT ON A WOMAN ON LINKEDIN IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE coming up as a topic, like ... five years ago.  
And we've still got Entitled Amnesiac Dudes (if someone is going to say "it really should be 'people'" then by all means, please show me a woman who does anything on LinkedIn remotely like this ... while, again, there isn't one professional woman I know who doesn't have at least one anecdote like this) pulling this five years later, like nobody ever said anything about it??

Nah.

This is emphatically Not Okay, and perhaps there needs to be some public/private shaming announcement notice type thing involved.

Because I don't see how else it's going to stop.

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Re: Is it time for a blacklist?

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