The TUC are probably feeling a bit irrelevant at the moment, (this maybe one of their rare sojourns into reality). What is the point of a 19th and 20th century industrial-society dinosaur in today’s world? Their soul-mate Corbyn has seized control of Labour and looks set to start de-selecting anyone not sufficiently deranged. So what are they for?
It is against this backdrop, they’ve fallen back on a made-up cum exaggerated out of all proportion problem of yesteryear, namely sexual harassment in the workplace. The TUC tell us that more than half of the women surveyed cite the problem. That’s unclear language, I can cite the problem of a lack of goals from my favourite football team, but is doesn’t mean I’m missing open goals personally.
But to take this at face value … well I just can’t. I’ve worked in a few places over the years, almost always in construction. This is not a politically correct industry like the local council, housing association or major charity. Yet in all the years I’ve worked, I can’t recall seeing a single incidence of this. Literally zero, no touching, no groping, no “get your tits out” remarks.
Part of this reflects a culture change and part reflects legislative changes since the 1970’s. If a person feels (and can prove) harassment, they can sue and potentially be handsomely compensated. And I don’t know of anyone with the opinion our society is insufficiently litigious. Furthermore, HR departments realise this too, and they aren’t keen to be on the hook because of some oaf acting boorishly. Pretty much everywhere I’ve worked has a clear code of conduct and very clear procedures of what to do if you feel you are victimised in this way.
My suspicions were further raised when half way through the article, the BBC ground-shifted from harassment to discrimination, the second head of their Cerberus-like obsession. They then go on to cite someone from the “every day sexism project” which might give us a hint into that particular cognitive bias. The BBC page contains a link if you’re particularly interested.
Finally, the ever impressive Frances O’Grady the TUC general secretary tells us “we want the government to send a clear signal that this kind of behaviour is unlawful” Er, we know, everyone knows. We know because it’s not 1974. Just for balance, they quote some middle-aged guy complaining about sexual harassment from a younger female member of staff. This is where whatever vestiges of sympathy I was feeling completely disappeared.
You see this with a lot of pressure groups. It’s almost like they need a problem to feel relevant. Like a lot of the 1970’s problems, they are all but solved, addressed, done. But some people just can’t let it go. They kinda like being paid for moaning and so ever more miniscule problems are highlighted. Like ‘everyday sexism’