Homily: Some Men Have An Attitude Problem (plus Tweets)

Today’s homily got its inspiration from an article reader Linda Calhoun sent me a few days ago. It’s called ‘1 in 4 men don’t think exposing themselves constitutes sexual harassment, survey finds‘. This absolutely blew me away. There are still a large number of tweets and other media about the topic of men (because it’s usually men) who are finally being exposed as predators in the media. There’s so much else going on it’s not front and centre right now, but it’s not going back into the shadows. Because of this, the idea that so many men (and women!) still think this way is shocking to me.

I knew anecdotally from discussions on other websites that there were still plenty of otherwise intelligent men who had some pretty appalling attitudes when it came to sexual harassment. Still though, I thought that it would be universally accepted that getting your dick out without it being obvious the woman wanted you to, isn’t on!

The survey of 1,000 USians began with the question, “What do you think counts as sexual harassment.” The instructions were to select all the examples that applied. In a bending-over-backwards attempt to be fair, I would say that the question is badly worded. “Harassment” is ongoing behaviour, and all the examples were written as if they were one-offs. However, they were talking about harassment, so the implication should be understood by all but the most pedantic.

Further, as the article points out, “Merriam-Webster defines sexual harassment as ‘uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature especially by a person in authority toward a subordinate (such as an employee or student).'”

The article notes:

The survey found that 91 percent of women and 83 percent of men thought “being forced to do something sexual” fit the bill.

If that doesn’t count as sexual harassment, what does? Who are the 17 percent of men and 9 percent of women who don’t agree?

Men were even less likely to characterize behaviors that didn’t involve physical touch as sexual harassment. Twenty-four percent thought flashing someone doesn’t count and 30 percent thought making sexual comments about someone’s body isn’t harassment.

You can see the full results of the survey here, and they make interesting reading. Here’s a graphic from the survey to whet your appetite:

Definitions of sexual harassment.

(Click graphic to go to source.)

I find the big gap between men and women in these is concerning. Also, the fact that so many things that are clearly a form of sexual harassment, abuse, or violence aren’t considered that by so many. I would have selected every one of the above. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. Why should anyone have to put up with unwanted attention from anyone?


Political Tweets

Well said.
(Via Ann German.)


This is what the GOP thinks of the people who vote for them.
(Via Ann German.)


When the news of credible allegations of paedophilia against Roy Moore broke, his Democratic opponent Doug Jones soon went ahead of him in the polls. It seems Alabama has got used to the idea of a pervert for senator, because the polls are neck and neck again.
(Via Ann German.)


Just sayin’.
(Via Ann German.)


Pre-Mueller Time Tweets

We need a new category folks!

Seem this is another of those “open secrets.”
(Via Ann German.)


Oh dear, another thing Jared Kushner “forgot” to disclose when filling out those pesky government forms. This time it’s the Ethics Committee who weren’t told the full story. I recommend reading the short Newsweek article the link takes you to.
(Via Ann German.)


Mueller Time Tweets

Harriet Litman of the New York Times has done an excellent summary of the Michael Flynn issue.
(Via Ann German.)


Human Rights Tweets

It sounds to me like the CIA and other intelligence agencies under the Trump administration are looking more and more like the FSB (the new name of Russia’s KGB). There are some scary quotes from Mike Pompeo (pronounced pom-pay-oh, not pop-pee-oh, if you’re reading this 1News) in the article in the link.
(Via Ann German.)


Religion Tweets

Of course, these fu€kwit$ can’t help but bring their God into the situation to try and make everyone think they’re really good people. Flynn’s statement following his arrest included the words, “I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right.” Unfortunately, it works on many too, especially on Trump’s Evangelical base. Most of us thankfully see it for what it is – blatant hypocrisy.

It makes what James Comey did all the more enjoyable …
(Via Ann German.)


The blatant hypocrisy of religious extremists disgusts me. This is Roy Moore’s latest effort:


It got this response:
(Via Ann German.)


This is excellent!!!
(Via Ann German.)


Scary Adults Tweets

Following on from the scary response to the sexual harassment survey, and the “Scary Kids Tweets” – now we have “Scary Adults Tweets.”

A comment on the times we live in. This is what happens when the most powerful man in the world embraces conspiracy theories and has people believing that top media outlets are “fake news” and fake news is real.
(Via Ann German.)


One response …


Funny Tweets

A wee ditty …
(Via Ann German.)


Someone found a pic for Donald Trump to retweet!
(Via Ann German.)


Christmas Tweets

Here’s a good one!
(Via Ann German.)


Space Tweets

Very interesting stuff.


From the YouTube description:

The Optical Search for QED Vacuum Bifringence, Axions and Photon Regeneration (OSQAR) experiment at CERN searches for axions, hypothetical particles that could be a component of dark matter and explain why our universe is made of matter instead of antimatter.


Other Animals Tweets

The latest update from the wonderful Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire, England.


Oh man! What a cutie!


Feeding the hedgehogs to help them bulk up for winter.


Very cute!


I wonder if they’ll make friends? Maybe they are friends, and they’re hiding their illicit relationship from the human who’s filming!


Some nice guys.



Marine Tweets

Another amazing undersea creature …


Whales are cool!


I hope he put them back in the water!


Bird Tweets

Magpie mischief!


The amazing expanding nest of the lang-tailed tit.


We’d all want to be rescued from there!


Insect Tweets

Wow!!! What a creature and what a pic!!!


There are more! This account is a great find!






And we still have the amazing Gil Wizen.


Dog Tweets

Typical Lab behaviour. They’re such lovely dogs!
(Via Ann German.)


Cat Tweets

He’s got his thinking cat on …




This cat has found a nice warm place for a nap!


I’ve seen this video before, but it’s so cool it’s worth posting again.
(Via Ann German.)


Flying puffball!


Japan’s Cat Island.



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45 Responses to “Homily: Some Men Have An Attitude Problem (plus Tweets)”

  1. Diana MacPherson says:

    Well I do snicker but that’s because people are stupid not because I’m sexually exploiting them. Haha. I kid, I kid. I laugh later, to myself. Or I text a friend.

  2. j.a.m. says:

    Which is it? One tweet says the GOP has been scheming for six decades, but another says that tax reform was “rammed through”. (In point of fact tax reform has been debated at least since the 2010 Simpson-Bowles Commission report — a report that Obama commissioned but then ignored.)

    I was very skeptical about Trump, given his flawed personality and character, and seeming lack of serious convictions. But a year in, I must say that his unerring knack for getting under the skin of the sore loser moonbat far left and driving them to utter distraction is just… beautiful.

    • Claudia Baker says:

      Almost as beautiful as Trump’s unhinged, panic-stricken tweets from this past weekend. It’s Mueller time!

    • Yakaru says:

      Yes he does do that very effectively. But that kind of thing is hideously ugly, pointless and infantile when it happens in sport. From outside the US a different score board is visible, and not only are you, j.a.m., and your country being punked every day by this moron, but the rest of the world is laughing and manipulating him like the ignorant goose he is.

      • j.a.m. says:

        Politics ain’t beanbag. We shall see who laughs last.

        Meanwhile, I can tell you that so far, getting punked by Trump feels a whole lot better than getting punked by the “ignorant goose” (as you colorfully put it) who preceded him.

      • Countries like Saudi Arabia and China know that all they have to do is treat Trump like a king to have him think they’re great guys. If you charm him, you can do what you like. Trump really believes that getting on with President Xi is going to make China change their policy. Also, diplomacy and business deals are completely different, and Trump doesn’t understand the difference. No wonder Tillerson called him a moron. It must be incredibly frustrating for him and the others dealing with foreign relations. They’re actually doing a good job, but are constantly being sabotaged by their boss.

        • Yakaru says:

          His body language around Xi and Putin, and the tone he uses when talking about them is fawning and clearly submissive. He hasn’t got a clue about the position and status he has, of course, so he is easily intimidated on a personal level.

          And the only foreign leader I noticed who ever trusted him was Teresa May. And she got burned, because she didn’t realize he doesn’t know what the EU is, and was planning on playing the UK off against Germany, with one-to-one trade deals. (Merkel, as we know, tried to explain it all to him a dozen times, but he never got it.)

          • Yeah. It’s like his lifelong bitterness trying to be accepted into the upper echelons of NY society which he’s never managed because he just doesn’t get it. He thinks he’s making it with leaders like Putin, Xi, Abe etc because they flatter him. His lack of empathy etc means he can;t tell the difference between real and fake emotions.

          • darrelle says:

            I think you are right on target there Heather.

    • Linda Calhoun says:

      Yes, enjoying others’ pain and discomfort is a primary trait of people whose hearts are filled with Jebus love.

      A big reason why I avoid people like you.


      • Mark R. says:

        Well said…Jebus love looks suspiciously like hate to me. Strange that people like j.a.m. are blind to this obvious observation.

        Yes, avoidance is advised.

    • It looks to me as if Trump is just as obsessed with whether he won as the far left is. For goodness sake – he’s wasting money on a commission to find a mythical 3-5 million illegal votes that would have given him the popular vote, but denying that the Russians interfered in and tried to influence the elections. He’s still talking about his victory in speeches and is still obsessed with Clinton, imo because she won the popular vote. He’s still handing out red and blue coloured county maps of the election results that make it look like everyone loves him. He talks (falsely) about his great support in the polls when it’s actually the worst of any president at the same stage. I could go on of course.

      • nicky says:

        ‘Insects’ is a rather broad category, it comprises about two thirds to three quarters of all known species. Moreover, maybe climate change is not their greatest problem. What about say, pesticides?
        I think that some insects, like the different species of honey bee, fertilising most of our crops, need special attention, out of necessity
        Other species, such as some kinds of mosquito (Anopheles?) or fleas need special attention from humans for different reasons, because the are disease vectors’
        And then, how many gardeners welcome the attentions of Ladybirds (insects) devouring Aphids (insects), but sometimes being protected by some ant (insect again)?

      • nicky says:

        I think those 2+ million illegal voters is due to
        – people who moved states, died etc. wIthout being struck from the voter roll in their previous state.There is no report, however, that any of these people voted more than once. (Heck, even Mr Trump’s buddy Mr Bannon did not get himself struck from Florida’s roll when he moved out)
        – a silly extrapolation from some small ‘studies’ [ ]
        As I keep repeating, the real fraud was voter disenfranchisement and ‘irregularities’ in the counting.

  3. nicky says:

    What I find striking is how much men and women concur about the order of what consists sexual harassment. Only in 2 cases (sharing intimate photos or videos without permission versus making sexual comments on looks/bodies; and snickering or laughing disrespectfully versus whistling) do they not concur, but they disagree by less than 1 %-age point, so I doubt it is really significant. It is clear this was not a cross-cultural questionnaire.
    I must say that personally I broadly concur too. Except for no 1, but I guess that touching in a ‘sensitive’ area (genitals, buttock’n legs, breasts, face) is meant. If not I’m asexual harasser myself. Eg. I often give an encouraging little pat on the shoulder, which (correctly) is never interpreted as sexual.

    • As women, most of us can tell the difference between an “encouraging pat” on the shoulder, and one that has a deeper (gross) meaning.

      • nicky says:

        I’d hope so and I bet you do!

        • One of the best bits of advice when trying to teach younger women about it is, “if it feels wrong, it probably is.” Women, on average, are better at picking up those unconscious signals even if they don’t realize they’re doing it. We all know the feeling of a man “giving me the creeps.” It’s because those that still haven’t learnt to see the bad ones consciously are still mostly able to do it unconsciously, and they should take heed of those creepy feelings.

  4. rickflick says:

    Re: chapman tweet:
    As I see it, Obama’s ACA was a big compromise going in. He and others were thinking a single payer with no insurance company involvement would be more efficient. They quickly moved to an insurance company structure, probably in an attempt to go slow and perhaps go bipartisan. Even with all the committee hearings and debate, not a single republican voted for it. They wanted to create the impression that the Dems were just “ramming it through” by their superior numbers. GOP never seems to play fair.

    • darrelle says:

      The ACA was a virtual copy of a Republican plan from just a few years previous. A plan which in turn was based on a plan that Romney had a hand in, and signed into law in Massachusetts in 2006 when he was governor. The Obama Administration never presented anything like a single payer healthcare plan, though the intent with the ACA may have been that it would be a first step in that direction.

      Obama definitely tried to engage Republicans in policy making, for far too long in my opinion. That is why the healthcare plan he proposed was the Republicans’ own.

      • nicky says:

        Yes, Darelle, a very pertinent point. How can we explain the massive opposition of the Reps to the ACA (basically a Rep plan) other than by the fact it was ‘passed’ by Obama and baptised “Obamacare”? Pure petulance? Racism? Something else? If anything should have had bipartisan support. it should have been the ACA.
        BTW, I think the same of the Merrick Garland case, an exquisitely qualified judge, neither left or right wing. He could easily have been proposed by a respectable Republican. But he was proposed by Barack Obama. If hell existed, I’m sure that Mr McConnell, making up rules out of thin air (the last year of presidency? Why not the last four years?), would burn there for eternity.
        I fully agree with you that Obama “tried to engage Republicans in policy making, for far too long”, but that is with hindsight, of course.

      • j.a.m. says:

        Three-quarters of those ostensibly covered under “Obamacare” are actually on Medicaid. It is at best rather misleading to call Obamacare “a virtual copy of a Republican plan”, much less the “Republicans’ own”.

        The notion that Obama “tried to engage Republicans in policy making” is what we call in the vernacular “a fantasy”.

    • Yes, that is how I see it too. The reason a lot of that stuff is there is because the GOP intimated they might support the Bill if it was, and he was trying to compromise to make it something most could support. The GOP were being deliberately difficult and working on their “one-term president” strategy.

  5. nicky says:

    It took me a while to figure out the ‘cat hat’. Did not see immediately it was on top of a dog! 😳

  6. nicky says:

    Note, I knew that jaguars hunt in water, but I never saw underwater footage of a jaguar. Awesome!

  7. darrelle says:

    I agree that all of the examples on that Survey graphic above could be sexual harassment. There are a few near the bottom that I think depend on circumstances and intent, i.e. Some, like blocking your path for example (presumably against ones will), seem much more serious to me than the average Man or Woman who took that survey.

    I am curious as hell about what inspired anybody, particularly women, to answer that “Being forced to do something sexual” doesn’t constitute harassment. Maybe they were thinking, “that’s not harassment, it’s rape!”? Or maybe it was those women who wear “Trump can grab my pussy!” T-shirts?

    I had a similar WTF moment last night watching The Voice. There is a young woman contestant who is a Native American and proud of her heritage. Last night she sang Amazing Grace her intro bio was all about how devout a Christian she was and how she grew up singing in churches. I thought to myself, “How in the hell can someone who is a proud Native American, aware of their culture, be a devout Christian?” Religion is a seriously powerful brain-washing tool.

    • nicky says:

      I agree that especially the last seven would not constitute sexual harassment in many, if not most, circumstances.
      Telling sexually ‘loaded’ jokes, eg, could sometimes be harassment in one on one situations, especially if relentless and despite having been pointed out that they are not appreciated, but much less under circumstances they are mostly told, with more people present.
      Snickering or laughing disrespectfully appears more rude than anything sexual.
      Whistling 0I guess ‘wolf-whistles’ are meant, are generally fleeting. en passant as it were, and although annoying, would rarely qualify as real harassment (yes, a ‘concert of whistles comes close to harassment, even if ‘fleeting)’.
      Staring too, I would generally consider more rude than ‘sexually harassing’ under most circumstances.
      Winking? I do that regularly, without any sexual connotation or intent. I have difficulty to imagine a situation where winking could be construed as sexual harassment , unless a few of the higher ranked propositions have taken place previously.
      The ‘light hearted flirting’ is more problematic in my opinion, What,after all is covered under the flag of ‘lighthearted flirting’? I mean it only is acceptable if it is kind of consensual, meseems. And if consensual, few of the examples are actual harassment anyway.
      That being said, I can’t imagine that 17% of males*, and 9% of females (that is nearly one in 10!) would be ok with being forced to do something sexual. Maybe you are right, and they considered that it was worse than ‘just harassment’. I think so too, btw, but in the context I would definitely have marked it as ‘sexual harassment’.

      *I guess that those 17% of males being ok by being forced, had some nice heterosexual phantasy in mind, in which case ‘being forced’ loses a lot of it’s force.

    • Here it used to be very common for Maori to be Mormons, despite them being seen as dirty because they weren’t white. I remember trying to discuss it with a Mormon classmate at high school, but she vehemently defended the church’s position.

    • j.a.m. says:

      St. Kateri Tekakwitha is a famous Native American saint.

  8. Lee Knuth says:

    Those insect photos were amazing. Sad to say insects are also losing the battle with climate change. A study in the Black Forest found that species were severely diminished.

    Sexual harassment seems to be so prevalent and the objectification of women by the media is not helping. Every woman I know has had this experience. One hopes with all of it coming to the forefront changes will happen.

  9. Mark R. says:

    I think evolution does it’s strangest work on insects.

    I think god does it’s strangest work on human brains. And god doesn’t even exist! Go figure.

    Loved the “prayer breakfast” so sad and so true…god does it’s strangest work on human brains.

    Since I’ve been following your tweets, I’ve a new appreciation for baby rhinos. They’re so playful, happy and loving…the caption “this is a strange dog” is apropos.

    • nicky says:

      Are you referring to JBS Haldane?
      [When asked by some clerics what his life of studying life & nature thought him about the Nature of God, he quipped: “An inordinate fondness for beetles!” He was rather fond of that quip himself and recounted it on several occasions]

  10. nicky says:

    That baby rhino actually wags it’s tail and body like a puppy, so enthusiastic, energetic and hopeful, so endlessly cute.

  11. Amy Carparelli says:

    Hello Heather,

    Some of the subjects mentioned near the bottom of the graph regarding ‘sexual harassment’ can be difficult to define or at least depending on circumstances.

    ‘Light hearted flirting’ for example is something I’ve been accused of on Twitter just because I was having conversations with men. I even had somebody accuse me of ‘flirting’ with a man who as I pointed out to them is my dad.

    ‘Winking’ for example. As I Tweeted about late last year I had recently had 8 people wink at me over a period of time. Most of these people were female friends and colleagues. All the people I know well and not one of those situations was harassment or sexual.

    ‘Staring’ I have no idea what is meant by this.

    ‘Whistling’ are we talking about a stranger or about a friend trying to get my attention?

    ‘Sniggering or laughing’ could mean anything. I’ve done that when I knew the person was trying to have a laugh with somebody else and I couldn’t keep a straight face, and I’ve done that when what the other person was saying was in my opinion ridiculous and laughable.

    ‘Making a sexual joke’ from my experience many people do that as do comedians on stage.

    The problem with the graph is some of the things listed depend a lot on the circumstances and they haven’t been given a clear definition to go by.
    Also, we must remember these situations work all ways: Men with women, women with men, men with men, women with women etc.
    Some of the things mentioned on the top of the graph go beyond ‘sexual harassment’.

    ‘Making sexual comments about somebody’s body’ – Does this include compliments I’ve made about another woman’s hair or outfit? Does this include several compliments my dad has received from one of his female colleagues?

    • Of course it depends on context and situation. A lot of those things are fine in some circumstances – if you go to a comedy show you expect to hear jokes about sex, and other things too, that would be inappropriate in other circumstances.

      If you ever get the chance to listen to older women who were in jobs where they worked with a lot of men in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, you will hear that the environment was very different back then, though constantly improving. The fact you don’t recognize staring pleases me greatly because it means you’ve never been on the receiving end of unwanted lascivious stares. Believe me, it’s revolting and creepy! The fact that you’re not seeing an issue with a lot of those things near the bottom is good, because it means those things are happening less often in inappropriate contexts, and younger women (and men) are not having to deal with them.

      Twitter is always going to be a difficult environment. Things like nuance, context, body language etc. are missing so misinterpretation happens. People who have suffered in the past will be more sensitized. Some people are just obsessive. They get so carried away with being seen to do the right thing, they’re incapable of normal relationships. They are often hurtful, and nothing you do will please them. Early on with Twitter, I found it extremely difficult. I suffered a big attack about 5-6 weeks in. I have no idea what it was about now, but I was going to leave. In the end I just decided to stick to my principles, try not to let myself down, and block the a$$ho£€s. They’re not worth it.

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