This week I'm giving sexual harassment prevention training to employees of a small city, then training supervisors on how to respond to and investigate complaints. Then I'm doing the same for the city's entire police force.
The police force has few women, and by some accounts treats them badly. Some officers have been heard to say that women shouldn't be police officers. I expect to field some hostile questions. I was planning to bring a quarter, so I could hand them a quarter and say "Here, call the year 1964 and tell them you're pissed that they undermined your manhood." But that strikes me as a bit hostile. I'm working on toning it down.
Most people educated in the last three decades could hear my presentation and think that they had heard it all before. Most people not raised by feral crack abusers could hear my list of suggestions about how not to act and think "well obviously I'd never act like that at work."
But it's nevertheless necessary and useful. Here's the breakdown: 80% of my audience knows this stuff already, or even if they don't, would never act in a way that could violate sexual harassment law because they were raised to act decently. 10% of my audience lacks common sense about how to act and has forgotten their prior training, and requires the training to remind them how not to act, but will do fine after the training.
The other 10% is unable to retain simple instructions and lacks the inclination or capacity to act decently even when someone explains to them what "decently" looks like. They will do bad stuff, or not, depending on opportunity, boredom level, and happenstance. They will do so whether or not I train them.
That 10% pays my mortgage.
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