On Office Sexual Harassment

Use this forum to discuss the June 2018 Book of the Month"The Girl Who Knew da Vinci" by Belle Ami
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Zain A Blade
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On Office Sexual Harassment

Post by Zain A Blade » 08 Jun 2018, 14:21

I found the author to be astute in her portrayal of sexual predators. The antics employed by Dr. Alberto Scordato to subdue his potential victim, Angela, were at times subtle such as alternating between putting her down and showing false concern; and at times his maneuvers were quite overt and physical. One thing's sure: none of it was lost on Angela. Understandably, it is not easy to ward off sexual harassment, especially if it's coming from a person who can make or break your career. Given her circumstances, do you think Angela's initial forbearance of Dr. Scordato's sexual advances to save her career is a measure of character weakness or strength?

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Post by katiesquilts » 09 Jun 2018, 03:14

This is definitely a valid and relevant question, considering the recent events with #MeToo and the Nobel Prize scandal.
I wish I could say that Angela should have just put her foot down and pushed back, as that's what I've done before. However, in my case, the man was at the same level as me in the company and trying to play it off as a joke, but I told him flat out that I'd talk to HR if his behavior continued. He was scared for his job after that and couldn't even look at me in the face, but since Scordato's in a much higher position than Angela, I doubt that would work...

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Post by Jillpillbooknerd » 09 Jun 2018, 07:03

As someone who has worked in an office setting where we had one of our employees get fired for sexual harassment, I don't think her reactions were really a strength or weakness. It's very hard to report someone that is in power or directly above you. I was glad that Angela was able to get out of that situation without it being worse for her. I liked the way that the author handled everything about that.

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Post by Sushan » 09 Jun 2018, 07:06

Anywhere when your career is at stake, there is a way that any reasonable, sensible soul with common sense will act. I think that is the case here as well rather than her weakness
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Post by Shraddha_rc » 09 Jun 2018, 07:13

Working in an office, it is difficult to tell someone about sexual harassment that one is suffering from their senior. It takes a lot of courage on their part to stand their ground. I think the author handled the situation sensibly.

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Post by Lunastella » 09 Jun 2018, 07:27

I´ve been in this situation. Well, I´m not an art historian but in a "he can make or break your career" and my livelihood depended on the job, and it´s very hard to totally put your foot down, even with all the feelings of disgust and all the red flags. I think Angela acted very humanly, which gives major points to the author in my opinion because it´s a very delicate topic to handle.

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Post by AWANDO OGUTU » 09 Jun 2018, 21:31

Most of today's sexual harassment cases are actually witnessed at the work places. The person's in senior position take advantage of their juniors all in the name that non compliance will result to job loss. It is worth noting that many employees are desperate and will do anything to save their jobs especially when it's on the line. They are compelled to give in to their employers demand. Angela's action thus cannot be deemed to be any weakness.

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Post by SereneCharles » 10 Jun 2018, 01:19

It is not a sign of strength, nor is it of weakness (though a little on the weakness side). It's not easy rejecting your boss's romantic advances especially when you know you need the job. But, she could have stood to her morals and said 'no' if she didnt want that. She may be fired from the job or not. Whichever case, she'd be proud she stood up to him.
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Post by Riszell » 10 Jun 2018, 01:51

Still, it's gross moral turpitude.

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Post by Libs_Books » 10 Jun 2018, 02:41

Zain A Blade wrote:
08 Jun 2018, 14:21
The antics .... were at times subtle such as alternating between putting her down and showing false concern; and at times his maneuvers were quite overt and physical. One thing's sure: none of it was lost on Angela.
That's the first crucial step, isn't it? Recognising what's happening, and that it's deliberate. Then various questions arise such as, 'Is there evidence that would persuade others?' and ' Has he done this to others?' Most important, though, is: 'Who will listen... and believe?'

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Post by Amcdanel86 » 10 Jun 2018, 13:12

I think Angela handle the situation well. she tried to keep her job and avoid his advance. when push came to shove. She protected herself.

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Post by Bookmermaid » 10 Jun 2018, 21:24

I think situations of sexual harassment that Angela found herself in somewhat difficult to say what should have been done. The need to maintain a job can sometimes be so crucial that reserved and affable women can easily find themselves being taken advantage off and they may just be clueless how best to respond. I think it would be best to avoid being ever alone in that person's presence. Angela quick thinking and counterattack on Mr. Scordarto is entirely laudable.

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Post by AbbyGNelson » 11 Jun 2018, 11:03

Jillpillbooknerd wrote:
09 Jun 2018, 07:03
As someone who has worked in an office setting where we had one of our employees get fired for sexual harassment, I don't think her reactions were really a strength or weakness. It's very hard to report someone that is in power or directly above you. I was glad that Angela was able to get out of that situation without it being worse for her. I liked the way that the author handled everything about that.
I agree with you. I think saying she was strong or weak is the wrong conversation to have. She dealt with the situation that she shouldn't have been put in in the first place.

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Post by prospero360 » 11 Jun 2018, 12:47

I think Angela handles the situation very well, which is one of the things I like about the book

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Post by Ever_Reading » 11 Jun 2018, 15:41

I have to agree with those who say it is neither a sign of weakness nor strength. It is hard to stick to the extremes with such issues. For females working in male-dominated fields, it is not easy for them to simply put their "foot down," especially when it might cause them to lose their careers. Angela worked very hard to get to where she is and I feel her patience with the situation is commendable. Either way, she is not in the wrong here, Dr. Scordato is. Let us not forget that.
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