24 Aug 2013: Sexual Harassment: Notes of a Good-Looking Guy

This rawstory addresses a popular defense of sexual harassment: “b-b-but Mom, good looking guys get away with it!”.

I worked five years for a silicon valley company with a culture of sexual harassment. The culture coded men who worked hard and didn’t party or come on inappropriately to women as “nerds”.

The result was that people like myself, a female coworker/supervisor and others were then coded as “incompetent” because anyone who worked too hard was obviously “stupid”. We couldn’t keep up: we couldn’t “compete”.

Just before I quit, I was completing a version of a compiler whilst a wild party took place next door. I didn’t choose to go although it was for employees.

I learned the next day that there had been property destruction and fighting at the party, perhaps more. Rapes? I don’t know.

I found another job in Seattle and moved away the next month.

Many men do believe that good looking guys get away with sexual harassment. Seriously (ok get ready for this) I consider myself a good looking guy (stop laughing): my FB photo was taken recently after my cancer onset and I’ve worked in modeling. I recently played “Karl Lagerfield clone” in an ad made for the Chinese market, for Maybelline, air-kissing beautiful fashion models (it was so fun). I’m not even gay, just happy at times.

But my being a GLG has never gotten me access to women per se. Far more of a factor was my liberal education and wide reading which makes me a good conversational partner, and my experience is that you don’t get “in” until you establish chops in something other than grabbing tits at work, whether knowledge, sports, or even Trivial Pursuit. The rule seems to be that women want (what do they want?) a prospective sexual partner to have a non-sexual skill. They want to be on your side in Trivial Pursuit, bridge or any other team sport where you help their side win.

And, if you’re playing on their side note that Women love it when you aren’t magnanimous, and go for the kill. Blokes show mercy: women don’t.

Furthermore there are considerable downsides to being a Good Looking Guy. There’s the expense of maintaining the image with top quality suits, dress shirts and ties. Haircuts are also needed. Most important, popular culture in its fondness for irony has spread the myth (largely through the novels of Steven King and his imitators) that charming Good Looking Guys are serial killers.

Which is why you see some seriously beautiful women with men who are like, what, uh, sort of squat. Or fat, or … you get the picture.

“You know what yer problem is Danny? Yer too good looking!…best thing that could happen to ya is an industrial accident!” – David Mamet in About Last Night

There was one C-GLG who was a serial killer and that was Ted Bundy, a real charmer that sympathized with abused women and worked on their behalf – and killed legions back in the 1970s before many of you young whipper-snappers were born. But what made Bundy a serial killer?

Misogyny, not his looks. He got the message (as I did) that violence against women was O.K., whether from the media (the violence against women in films of the 1950s was striking: the women got struck all the time) or from his family.

A culture of misogyny creates sexual harassment.

Now, “Taki’s” ultra-right site accuses men like me of expressing opinions like this “in a desperate last-ditch attempt to get laid”. Not so, in my case. With late stage prostate, one tends to somewhat lose interest in getting laid. With grandchildren one is quite satisfied to collect stamps or bird-watch instead of grabbing women’s tits at work. At work one likes to sit back in one’s corner office (had one had one ha ha) and pontificate like Roger in Mad Men.

I’m saying that we live in a culture of misogyny and I live in its blowback, having to endure tirades from my Mom, my sister and my former wife unnecessarily in part owing to MY misogyny and in part to a general misogyny. I want my grand-daughters not to have to endure this.

So take it from Uncle Ed, a recovering Good-Looking Guy. Grabbing women’s tits at work, whether you’re a GLG or an industrial accident, is WRONG and shows an unattractive desperation to boot.

A culture of misogyny creates sexual harassment.


8 Responses to “24 Aug 2013: Sexual Harassment: Notes of a Good-Looking Guy”

  1. Interesting thoughts….you are, indeed, a good looking guy, and I too, for some reason, have never trusted good looking guys (although I never imagined they were serial killers!) Misogyny does indeed lead to sexual harassment – the recent demise of our first female Australian Prime Minister was a depressing example of this: it certainly is an ugly attitude. I appreciate your honesty; it would help if everyone could discuss this issue as reasonably as you do.

    • spinoza1111 Says:

      Well, thanks, Michele (blush blush). Demise? I missed that story but will check it out now.

    • spinoza1111 Says:

      Ah, I see. Metaphorically she’s toast. I will read up on her demise/

    • spinoza1111 Says:

      I see, Julia was booted out by Rudd. Interesting, must read more about her and in general Australian politics. I envy you your labour-friendly culture including a high minimum wage and very matey male culture, in which bus drivers and currency exchange fellas were always ready to help the Yank. And when you check out the women they check you out right back. None of this squealing, or blushing or any of that nonsense. Unless of course you lay a lecherous limb on them in which they will lay you out (note: this is theory, not praxis: I never laid lecherous limb on lady in Australia.)

      O, OI’ve niver laid licherous limb on lady in Australia!
      For if I do they tell me la, she will like to deck ya!
      From Bondi to Bronte from Sydney to the Strand [1]
      OI niver laid lich’rous limb on lady in Australiaaaaaalia!

      OI’ve done so in London and in Scotland and in Eire
      Worldwide OI’m the menace of the sex that is so fair
      I’ve spent time in clink in Paris and in Glasgow and in Rome
      OI’ve even did “the jaihouse rock” in Alaska in a little town called “Nome”!

      But, Oi’ve niver laid lich’rous limb on lady in Austraaaaaaaaaliaaaaaaaaaaa!

      Edward G. Nilges 24 August 2013. Copyright (c) 2013. Moral rights asserted.


      [1] I’ve only spent a week in Australia but somehow it seemed to veddy British in so many ways that there must be something, a subway stop, a town, a fish and chips chain, called “The Strand”. A strand is a beach, for pity’s sake:

      The king has writ a brae’ lettair,
      And signed it wi’ his hand,
      And taken it to Sir Patrick Spence!
      Wuz walkin’ on th’ “strand”…

      • Nice little ditty! There is indeed a ‘strand’ in Sydney, the very posh ‘Strand Arcade’ (nowhere near a beach). And yes, Australia is a very matey, egalitarian culture, to the extreme where we quite like to cut down those who are too successful – ‘the tall poppy syndrome’ we call it; by-product of a convict heritage I think. Poor old Julia was shafted by Rudd (although some said he was just returning the favour) but a lot of misogynistic nastiness led up to it. We are unfortunately still quite a sexist (and racist) country. Ah well, that’s human nature for you, could be a lot lot worse…

      • spinoza1111 Says:

        I have shopped at the Sydney strand. I believe there’s a really great Dymock’s, much more comprehensive than any in Hong Kong.

  2. If a culture of misogyny creates sexual harassment, what creates a misogynistic culture? Could it be a patriarchal social system?

    • spinoza1111 Says:

      Certainly, more precisely one in which young men are expected to police women by asking them out for dates and their hand in marriage when those young men would rather be going to Australia to find themselves.

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