the feminist blogger takes a sexual harassment quiz

Last week, I finally finished up the last of my HR paperwork for the jobs I started like six weeks ago. (Yes, things are that messy and fall-between-the-cracks-y in my life right now–though my work life’s tidier than the house, our checkbook, and so on …)

One of the last things to get done was the required sexual harassment training for state employees in the fine state of Minnesota. The good news is that I have no desire to harass anyone in any way, sexually or otherwise, and pretty much just want to leave everybody well enough alone while I go about my business. (Really, I just want to sleep.)

The other good news is that, apparently, years of internet feminism-ing and general preoccupation with gender issues and power are excellent preparation for any sexual-harassment-related quizzes you may happen to encounter during the course of your working life. I was asked to define sexual harassment, explain how it’s different from sexual discrimination, characterize its effects, and consider what behaviors and situations might ‘count’ … thinking all the while, hmm, paging Dr. Obvious … And it turned out that my responses were slightly more complicated versions of the official answers, with fancier words. I do like fancy words.

I am cheered that my chosen home state has, actually, quite a thoughtful sexual harassment training module for its employees. But I have to admit I was also a little bummed that these basics are very obviously not obvious to every adult in our culture. Consent and respect and awareness of both power dynamics and diversity, people. They’re good stuff.

This rambling blog post was brought to you by sleeplessness, teething, considerable improvement in the level of panic-type symptoms in these here parts, way too much grading, and the letter Q.

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