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2 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

No, I don't know personally of anyone in the working world who has had a negative consequence to this rule.  Do you?

The personal experiences of two people have nothing to do with the issue on a large scale. That's like the people who say we musn't be in the midst of a global pandemic because they personally don't know someone who has died of Covid-19. Our personal experiences are not the be-all, end-all. 

Part of what's so insidious about this rule is that it leaves people plenty of plausible deniability. You can't prove a person didn't land a certain client because they weren't able to lunch and/or meet privately with the decision makers. You can't prove a certain sale wasn't made because the person wasn't allowed to play golf with the decision makers. Yet, it's very easy to prove that meals and golf clearly matter in the business world, because companies put out a great deal of money paying for them. 

An individual who will meet with some people and not others, dine with some people and not others, is just as harmful as, say, a golf club that will admit some people (white men) and not others (black or female people). 

For more specific examples on how it can be harmful, and why it can get someone in legal trouble, you might read Why the 'Mike Pence Rule' is Bad Business and how the rule hurts women.

I don't care what anyone does personally if the decision only has personal consequences. The minute consequences spread to other people because of a personal decision, I have a problem. 

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I would be bothered. I'm not gorgeous by any stretch of the imagination, but it's more than that. Dh and I have a great relationship and have been married a very long time. However, I recognize my own

Why the woman? Why should not the man who feels he needs to put up those rules reconsider the type of work he is in?

I have not read the responses yet bc I'm in a rush, but I'll tell you really quickly the conclusions I came to... My husband works in a job that has A LOT A LOT of infidelity associated with it,

16 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

I’ve been in American churches my whole life, except when overseas.  Trust me when I say a big chunk of them don’t actually have that problem, unless just following scripture is a problem.  It’s not some institutional bias of Christianity at all in a healthy body.  The ones I know who have those issues struggle with imbalanced theology in general though.  It’s not some blanket rule, maybe you just need to find a better congregation who is focused on obedience to the Lord and love and respect of one another in the body as an outworking of that.

 Very brief version is got tired of church shopping, almost walked away from religion. To stay basically had to stop church going. But I pray always to find a church , meanwhile I grow my faith in other ways.

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16 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I do have empathy.  I have yet to know of one single person who actually has been harmed in any way by this.  That is all I am saying.  

But you don't have the kind of job where it is something you would see, and your personal experience is irrelevant to disproving harm. 

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5 minutes ago, katilac said:

But you don't have the kind of job where it is something you would see, and your personal experience is irrelevant to disproving harm. 

That is true.  However even on this huge board, with all kinds of y’all having come out of corporate America I am not seeing that it is currently a widespread problem.  

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28 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I do have empathy.  I have yet to know of one single person who actually has been harmed in any way by this.  That is all I am saying.  

 

If you don't see how women benefit from the mentorship of high level professionals (who are still mostly male), you aren't really trying very hard to find the information you claim that your empathy hinges on.  

You say you have empathy and I believe that you believe that you do.  Still, simply saying something is true doesn't make it so.  

If you need to know specific examples from specific people who are harmed, is that really reflective of empathy?  

You've seen examples of it in this thread. 

You seem to be suggesting that if you don't know a single person harmed, that means no one is.  Do you think that everyone harmed by this type of sexism immediately details their story and publishes it? A lot of people don't.  They don't have the words or the time or the inclination to share their stories.  I was discriminated against on the basis of gender in the workplace.  When I consulted a lawyer to quit my job (imagine having to consult a lawyer to safely leave a job, yeah it was bad), I didn't say anything about the gender discrimination to the lawyer because I didn't even see it clearly in my anxiety to get out of there.  She saw it for what it was and asked if I wanted to sue.  Actually she said "it sounds like someday, someone is going to sue this man for sexual harassment and discrimination, do you want it to be you?"  I said no, I just want to get out of their without him coming after my professional reputation.  I spent several years blaming myself for what I had experienced.  

-You aren't reading or listening to many (any?) of the longer pieces on this topic that are readily available to you for free on the internet.  We need to read and think deeply before we prognosticate.  

Here's some links:

https://hbr.org/podcast/2018/10/when-men-mentor-women

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/pences-gender-segregated-dinners/521286/

https://hbr.org/2017/05/men-shouldnt-refuse-to-be-alone-with-female-colleagues

https://blog.powertofly.com/study-shows-men-are-avoiding-women-at-work-2640112018.html

https://leaderonomics.com/business/challenge-womens-access-mentorship

 

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4 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

That is true.  However even on this huge board, with all kinds of y’all having come out of corporate America I am not seeing that it is currently a widespread problem.  

Why does it have to be a widespread problem to be important? If your dh is fired over something unfair, should I shrug in response and say, well, I am not seeing that as a widespread problem Scarlett, so quit worrying about it? 

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5 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

That is true.  However even on this huge board, with all kinds of y’all having come out of corporate America I am not seeing that it is currently a widespread problem.  

 

So first it's not a problem because you don't know of any examples.  People bring some examples to your attention.  People point out that there are professions where this *really matters* (and not just in corporate America) and gently remind you that you might not know what you don't know about these other professions.  So NOW, you can see that there are examples but you, with no experience in those industries, feel it's appropriate to declare that you don't see that it's currently a widespread problem?  The goal posts are moving.  

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1 hour ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

No, I'm saying that if a man won't eat a meal alone with every employee, he shouldn't eat a meal alone with any employee.  

I would amend that to say for work purposes. I don’t care who people have  friendly non work related lunches with. But if women have to juggle their time to accommodate men or to have a chaperone then  men should have to do the same. And I can guarantee that most men won’t put up with it for themselves. 

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I volunteer in a position where I work with several men on an individual basis.  Most of the men are fine with meeting with me alone to maintain the privacy of the people we’re helping, or with me restocking the food pantry when no one else is around except him, or giving me a ride home if it’s after dark.  But one man absolutely will not be alone with me no matter what, to the point that it’s nearly impossible to discuss private issues with him. His wife or another adult has to be around all the time and he leaves me to walk home alone at night.  While I’m comfortable in my neighborhood, I live in one of the largest cities in the the world and have been harassed and groped on the streets here, and I know women who have been more violently assaulted.  It’s certainly safer for me to get a ride home alone with him than walk home alone by myself.  But he knows he’s safe, and he wouldn’t ever think that his rule has any negative affect on me.  

The Mike Pence rule makes me less effective in a volunteer situation with no potential to move up any ladder.  I have zero trouble believing that it has a major effect on women in a corporate situation. It’s a form of systemic sexism.

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38 minutes ago, katilac said:

Why does it have to be a widespread problem to be important? If your dh is fired over something unfair, should I shrug in response and say, well, I am not seeing that as a widespread problem Scarlett, so quit worrying about it? 

I would expect those close to me would show me a lot of empathy and concern.  

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36 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

 

So first it's not a problem because you don't know of any examples.  People bring some examples to your attention.  People point out that there are professions where this *really matters* (and not just in corporate America) and gently remind you that you might not know what you don't know about these other professions.  So NOW, you can see that there are examples but you, with no experience in those industries, feel it's appropriate to declare that you don't see that it's currently a widespread problem?  The goal posts are moving.  

Amira did provide an example of how it causes her a problem.  Other than that I have not seen examples of how it has actually caused problems.  I read through the links you posted.  Yes, I can see how in certain industries woman can be affected. So I don't know what the solution is for these situations.  Due to the actions of a few it seems everyone has to suffer. And when men try to protect themselves they are accused of being sexist.  Maybe sometimes it is a deliberate attempt to keep women out of the good ole' boys club.  Maybe sometimes it is just a man doing his best to support his family, make his wife feel safe in their relationship and to avoid a situation where a vindictive woman can falsely accuse him of misconduct.

As much as we want things to be equal for all, it just isn't.  Maybe I have accepted that and I don't really see it changing.  If I knew a woman in that situation I would strongly encourage her to reconsider the type of work she was in. 

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13 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

As much as we want things to be equal for all, it just isn't.  Maybe I have accepted that and I don't really see it changing.  If I knew a woman in that situation I would strongly encourage her to reconsider the type of work she was in. 

Why the woman? Why should not the man who feels he needs to put up those rules reconsider the type of work he is in?

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Just now, regentrude said:

Why the woman? Why should not the man who feels he needs to put up those rules reconsider the type of work he is in?

I said if I knew a woman in that situation.  So that would be why I would give the woman any advice.  

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27 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Why the woman? Why should not the man who feels he needs to put up those rules reconsider the type of work he is in?

*mic drop*

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11 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

The situation in Mississippi where male gubernatorial candidates refused to let female reporters travel with them or interview them 1:1, while letting male reporters do the same, doesn't strike you as a problem? 

An action doesn't have to be intentionally sexist (or racist, or ableist, or. . . . )  to be discriminatory, or illegal.  

Why do you feel that the right of the man to support his family should be valued over the right of a woman to support her family?  

Some of us haven't accepted it, and the U.S. government has pretty clearly said that they don't consider this something that is acceptable under law.  

For generations Americans have looked the other way about segregation, and institutionalization, and other discriminatory unequal practices on the grounds that they "just weren't going to change", and then they did.  Sexism can change too. 

Our country needs more women in certain fields.  in my field, education, we need more men.  If people walk away from jobs because of discrimination it hurts everyone.  

Don't put words in my mouth. That is not what I said. 

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1 minute ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

You said the following

How should I read that other than if a man's desire to support his family interferes with her job, that presumably supports her and her family, she should leave the job?  

If there's another way to read this, please tell me.  

If it's a typo and you meant to say that if you knew a man in this situation, you'd encourage him to quit, I can understand it, but otherwise I can't read it any other way.   

I was only talking about what I would say to a woman who had a job that was problematic for her.  Obviously, if the man was  in the position of power he would probably not be complaining.  I am highly unlikely to have  man like MP ask me for my opinion of the matter of that rule.  But if I did I would tell him the same thing.  Go find a job where your beliefs and marital boundaries don't cause harm to others.  

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2 hours ago, regentrude said:

Why the woman? Why should not the man who feels he needs to put up those rules reconsider the type of work he is in?

Because it would apply to any employment situation or social situation as a blanket principle? And isn’t inherently problematic, as I explained in detail several times back in the thread.

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9 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

Because it would apply to any employment situation or social situation as a blanket principle? And isn’t inherently problematic, as I explained in detail several times back in the thread.

Yes.  I was thinking earlier that MY solution (not that this would ever happen) is to stop the way that sort of business is conducted in the first place.  Insane hours, doing business over meals, and golf courses etc....that should just not happen in the first place.  And as @Arctic Mama pointed out earlier, there are ways to conduct business with glass wall conference rooms so that confidential conversations can happen without any problem.  

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Some day a woman is going to encourage a boardie to start a business with her husband and whichever one of us it is, is going to laugh and the woman won't know why 😆 

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I think the fundamental disconnect here is that some people think that working lunches and one-on-one meetings between people of opposite genders are, by definition, a "problem" that needs to be "solved," and if the various solutions generally impact female workers in a negative way, oh well.

And other people (who actually have experienced working in careers where this is common) don't think the meetings themselves are problematic at all, and the actual problem is some people's unwillingness to accept that men and women are capable of behaving professionally without there being some level of sexual tension or temptation or "danger" there. The idea that it's acceptable for a man (whether consciously or unconsciously) to damage a woman's career in order to "keep his marriage safe" or "protect his wife's feelings" is just patriarchal BS — women should not have to sacrifice their careers to keep men from having affairs or to keep idiots from gossiping. 

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17 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

You said back in the thread that your husband doesn't tell his female employees and teammates about his policy.   Why?  

Uh, because it’s his personal religious practice and belief dictated by conscience as well as best practices in his work environment, supported by HR in how THEY have told the managers to interface with employees of either sex. And when it comes to client meetings it’s doubly important to have more ears on the situation so it doesn’t become a situation of telephone for contracts.

Oh wait, maybe it’s because he’s a closet sexist and nobody noticed yet.  Yeah I’m sure that’s it. He just happens to hire a huge diversity of green EITs straight from college, based on their performance and professor reviews, with the intent of mentoring and growing them to be the best engineers possible, but because he is careful in this aspect surely he is harming their careers.  Right.

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25 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

Uh, because it’s his personal religious practice and belief dictated by conscience as well as best practices in his work environment, supported by HR in how THEY have told the managers to interface with employees of either sex. And when it comes to client meetings it’s doubly important to have more ears on the situation so it doesn’t become a situation of telephone for contracts.

Oh wait, maybe it’s because he’s a closet sexist and nobody noticed yet.  Yeah I’m sure that’s it. He just happens to hire a huge diversity of green EITs straight from college, based on their performance and professor reviews, with the intent of mentoring and growing them to be the best engineers possible, but because he is careful in this aspect surely he is harming their careers.  Right.

Is there any HR department or company lawyers that would advocate for bosses and subordinates to meet privately, one-on-one, routinely behind closed doors? Places where that is considered advisable business practice? Without any type of CYA in place? 

I honestly don't think this is purely an issue of sexual impropriety or appearances. Any number of issues crop up when you have a disagreement about something like intellectual property or who is at fault or who was promised what...and if all that happens with no record and just a he said/she said account of a meeting? It seems like any lawyer would say that's not good business or personal practice. But I tend to watch too much Judge Judy. And have also attended too many military SAP trainings, lol.

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1 minute ago, EmseB said:

Is there any HR department or company lawyers that would advocate for bosses and subordinates to meet privately, one-on-one, routinely behind closed doors? Places where that is considered advisable business practice? Without any type of CYA in place? 

I honestly don't think this is purely an issue of sexual impropriety or appearances. Any number of issues crop up when you have a disagreement about something like intellectual property or who is at fault or who was promised what...and if all that happens with no record and just a he said/she said account of a meeting? It seems like any lawyer would say that's not good business or personal practice. But I tend to watch too much Judge Judy.

When I started working back in dark ages, there used to cubicles with those foam walls high enough you have to stand to see someone even for the worker bees and managers had rooms with doors that locked. I am in IT. So when people had one on one meetings to discuss a program that was not working we could do that without disturbing anyone.  Most of all there was no need for being in a closed room just to discuss anything not confidential.

Then some genius decided that offices should have half walls, then no walls because apparently it would foster team building or creativity or some such nonsense. You can just shout across the room if you want to have a conversation and most people do, previously we would need to use the phone. Now there is absolutely no place to discuss anything without going alone into a conference room even if the matter is not confidential.  If it is occupied you are forced to find some place quiet. So making it less safe not more. 

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27 minutes ago, EmseB said:

Is there any HR department or company lawyers that would advocate for bosses and subordinates to meet privately, one-on-one, routinely behind closed doors? Places where that is considered advisable business practice? Without any type of CYA in place? 

I honestly don't think this is purely an issue of sexual impropriety or appearances. Any number of issues crop up when you have a disagreement about something like intellectual property or who is at fault or who was promised what...and if all that happens with no record and just a he said/she said account of a meeting? It seems like any lawyer would say that's not good business or personal practice. But I tend to watch too much Judge Judy. And have also attended too many military SAP trainings, lol.

The idea that people who work together should never discuss anything in a room with a closed door is totally bizarre to me. It doesn't even have to be some super secret confidential discussion — sometimes people just want to have a conversation without being interrupted. Sometimes the office is noisy and people just want to have a quiet conversation without listening to other people's conversations or the copier making noise or everyone singing Happy Birthday to Suzi in Accounting.

The idea that two people sitting in an office having a conversation is so inherently scary and dangerous that it cannot be allowed to happen is just not something I ever encountered in more than two decades of working in a variety of careers.

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Except it isn’t that it’s inherently scary or dangerous, that’s hyperbole and not what any of us have said.  We explained ourselves pretty clearly I think, and if it’s not a position you hold it to company holds that’s not something we can speak to. 
 

When they redid the offices here the entire thing went to glass doors and many glass walls, except the bathrooms and some hall structure they needed more shear in.  So yay for consistency I guess. You mentioned noise - that is an issue in a lot of office design, everyone uses noise canceling headphones when they need to focus but the team really collaborates a lot throughout the day. Rona has made that very tough and inefficient, sadly.

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1 hour ago, EmseB said:

Is there any HR department or company lawyers that would advocate for bosses and subordinates to meet privately, one-on-one, routinely behind closed doors? Places where that is considered advisable business practice? Without any type of CYA in place? 

I honestly don't think this is purely an issue of sexual impropriety or appearances. Any number of issues crop up when you have a disagreement about something like intellectual property or who is at fault or who was promised what...and if all that happens with no record and just a he said/she said account of a meeting? It seems like any lawyer would say that's not good business or personal practice. But I tend to watch too much Judge Judy. And have also attended too many military SAP trainings, lol.

As a professor, I am often in the situation where I have a one-on-one conversation in which no one else knows the content of the conversation  Our offices have windows so that someone can view to whom I am talking and could see if there was inappropriate physical contact, but the content of the conversation is 100% confidential.  I also have a number of times where I need to discuss a confidential situation with a department chair or program director.  

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12 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

As a professor, I am often in the situation where I have a one-on-one conversation in which no one else knows the content of the conversation  Our offices have windows so that someone can view to whom I am talking and could see if there was inappropriate physical contact, but the content of the conversation is 100% confidential.  I also have a number of times where I need to discuss a confidential situation with a department chair or program director.  

Yep. My DH is department chair, and many conversations in his office are confidential. Being a public uni with no money, we have a building from the 60s and no fancy glass walls. When I meet with students in my office, I usually leave the door open if we just talk physics, but if there is sensitive information they want to discuss, like grades, personal situations, or disabilities, I have to close the door for privacy reasons. There is no extra person sitting in on these conversations  - who should that even be? (aside from the fact that my office can barely hold me and one other person)

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Been thinking about this discussion and the issue of reputations, and one question occurred to me: even IF a person says they have a policy of not meeting one on one, if somebody were out to ruin their reputation, what if they just claimed an inappropriate interaction happened one-on-one? Nobody has a witness 24 hours every day. If it comes down to accusations, claiming you would never do a certain thing isn't going to be terribly helpful.

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9 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

As a professor, I am often in the situation where I have a one-on-one conversation in which no one else knows the content of the conversation  Our offices have windows so that someone can view to whom I am talking and could see if there was inappropriate physical contact, but the content of the conversation is 100% confidential.  I also have a number of times where I need to discuss a confidential situation with a department chair or program director.  

This post reminded me of a situation when I was in college.

My college was small, and most professor offices were in the historic building.  Meaning, the original college building, 3 stories, built in the 1800s etc etc.  It was a building the college was working to preserve, even as they expanded and had more modern buildings and such.  Because of all of that, very few classes actually took place in the building, but most offices and admin and such were there.  

Anyway, most of the math professors were male.  I remember once having a conference with the math professor I had, in his office, and he closed the door.

 

Nothing improper happened.  Nothing weird happened.  No, he wasn't creepy.  No, I never felt threatened.

 

But I won't lie........the closing of the door in an office with only a single window to the outside, where only me and a male professor were in the room...........................it wasn't comfortable.  

 

In a way it's kind of sad, because I would hate for a female engineer at DH's work to feel uncomfortable just because he had to consult with her about something she was doing and close the door.  My DH isn't a creeper either.  As I said earlier in the thread, I have complete confidence that DH would never ever do anything improper.  

But yeah.....being alone with a guy can be just as uncomfortable for the female as it is for the male.  

 

 

 

 

(and just kind of as an aside...it's been mentioned that if people are worried about the opposite sex situation, they should be as worried about the same sex situation.    And what I want to say to that is that I am as confident that my DH will not cheat on me with a female as I am that he will not cheat on me with a male. )

 

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14 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Been thinking about this discussion and the issue of reputations, and one question occurred to me: even IF a person says they have a policy of not meeting one on one, if somebody were out to ruin their reputation, what if they just claimed an inappropriate interaction happened one-on-one? Nobody has a witness 24 hours every day. If it comes down to accusations, claiming you would never do a certain thing isn't going to be terribly helpful.

Well, isn't that what ensuring witnesses are present is really all about?  Sure, no one has a witness 24/7......but really....is it so terribly difficult to ensure that witnesses are present for the 40 to 50 hours people are at work each week?  

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7 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Well, isn't that what ensuring witnesses are present is really all about?  Sure, no one has a witness 24/7......but really....is it so terribly difficult to ensure that witnesses are present for the 40 to 50 hours people are at work each week?  

Yes. It would be completely impossible for me to create witnesses for any meetings I have with students - who do you think I should recruit to drop what they are doing so they can sit in on my meetings? (Even leaving my door open may not generate witnesses - depending on time of day, there may be a crowd of 20 hovering in the hallway, or I am alone on the floor.)
My DH's office is connected to the main office where the secretaries work, and he could leave the door open if the content is not confidential, but the secretaries go home at 4:30pm. Who is going to watch his meetings between then and 7pm? Seriously, which organization has spare people to chaperone their coworkers? No academic institution I am aware of does; people have plenty of their own work to do.

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10 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Well, isn't that what ensuring witnesses are present is really all about?  Sure, no one has a witness 24/7......but really....is it so terribly difficult to ensure that witnesses are present for the 40 to 50 hours people are at work each week?  

I would have to intentionally go out of my way, as some of my coworkers would have to do, to make sure that there were never two of us alone without a witness.  For the past couple of years we officed in a trailer during a building project.  Two people were the first two there in the morning.  Should they wait to enter the trailer until a third shows up to work as a witness?  If I am in an empty classroom and the first student walks in, do I need to tell the student to leave until another student arrives?  Can I not allow a student to leave the classroom if there is only one remaining student?  On the night of the week that I have night class and am packing up to leave, and the only person remaining in the trailer, should the janitorial staff send two people rather than one because there are two of us alone?  When I am leading a study abroad program, should the other professor and I not have coffee together in the morning as we discuss the day's schedule?  When a student drops by to tell me that the reason she has been doing so poorly in my class is that she is unexpectedly pregnant and doesn't know what to do, who should suddenly be the witness?  When a student comes by to discuss the accommodations he needs in my class because of a medical condition, who should be the witness?  

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6 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Yes. It would be completely impossible for me to create witnesses for any meetings I have with students - who do you think I should recruit to drop what they are doing so they can sit in on my meetings? (Even leaving my door open may not generate witnesses - depending on time of day, there may be a crowd of 20 hovering in the hallway, or I am alone on the floor.)
My DH's office is connected to the main office where the secretaries work, and he could leave the door open if the content is not confidential, but the secretaries go home at 4:30pm. Who is going to watch his meetings between then and 7pm? Seriously, which organization has spare people to chaperone their coworkers? No academic institution I am aware of does.

Well I see 2 options here....off the top of my head.

Leave the door open and schedule office hours for the time of day when crowds in the hall are common.  Given that class schedule don't generally change once the semester has started, that shouldn't be difficult to plan.

Or....schedule meetings for the library when even if they have to be private, they can be in the glass windowed rooms.  

 

I am not looking to take this to extreme ends.  If there is absolutely NO OTHER way to have a one on one meeting between a professor an a student than at 7pm, in the professor's office, with no one else around, and there can't possibly be any other solution........sure, have at it.  I mean, generally speaking, most professors aren't going to sexually assault a student, so yeah, generally speaking that sort of situation is perfectly safe anyway.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Well I see 2 options here....off the top of my head.

Leave the door open and schedule office hours for the time of day when crowds in the hall are common.  Given that class schedule don't generally change once the semester has started, that shouldn't be difficult to plan.

Or....schedule meetings for the library when even if they have to be private, they can be in the glass windowed rooms.  

 

I don't imagine professors can fit in all their office hours by scheduling them around crowds in the hallway. Plus, they're supposed to be at somewhat varied times, so more students are able to use them. 

On many campuses, the library may be a 20 minute walk from the professor's office. And office hours can't be all scheduled meetings, it's meant to be a time when students can drop in. 

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6 minutes ago, katilac said:

I don't imagine professors can fit in all their office hours by scheduling them around crowds in the hallway. Plus, they're supposed to be at somewhat varied times, so more students are able to use them. 

On many campuses, the library may be a 20 minute walk from the professor's office. And office hours can't be all scheduled meetings, it's meant to be a time when students can drop in. 

Based on DD24's school situation, which is very much different than mine was......I am not so sure that most professors in a general university system have gotten such a message.

I mean, your statement is correct.  But since it has always seemed to me that professors often generally schedule office hours when it's convenient for them, and without regard for their students (between myself, DH, and DD24, there have been approx 5 yrs or so in the last 25 yrs that I haven't had personal experience with college, so I am not just basing this on college when I was 19)  I can't see how professors could find it so impossible to mesh the concepts of meeting when lots of folks are around AND when students are available.  

 

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16 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Based on DD24's school situation, which is very much different than mine was......I am not so sure that most professors in a general university system have gotten such a message.

I mean, your statement is correct.  But since it has always seemed to me that professors often generally schedule office hours when it's convenient for them, and without regard for their students (between myself, DH, and DD24, there have been approx 5 yrs or so in the last 25 yrs that I haven't had personal experience with college, so I am not just basing this on college when I was 19)  I can't see how professors could find it so impossible to mesh the concepts of meeting when lots of folks are around AND when students are available.  

 

A small percentage of people think that no man should ever be alone in a room with a woman, therefore all businesses, universities, and all other entities that employee both men and women should have to jump through hoops to appease them? How about any man or woman who is afraid to be alone with a member of the opposite sex just avoids any job where that occurs? Adding layers of hassle and inconvenience to "solve" a "problem" that most people do not consider at all problematic makes no sense.

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3 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

A small percentage of people think that no man should ever be alone in a room with a woman, therefore all businesses, universities, and all other entities that employee both men and women should have to jump through hoops to appease them? How about any man or woman who is afraid to be alone with a member of the opposite sex just avoids any job where that occurs? Adding layers of hassle and inconvenience to "solve" a "problem" that most people do not consider at all problematic makes no sense.

I have a real question.....

How does this situation play out if it's the woman that is uncomfortable?    I stated earlier in the thread, and it's a statistical fact that from a statistical standpoint, men are more likely to be sexual predators than women.

Is it acceptable for a woman to have a policy of never being alone with a man due to her own concerns of sexual assault?

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9 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I have a real question.....

How does this situation play out if it's the woman that is uncomfortable?    I stated earlier in the thread, and it's a statistical fact that from a statistical standpoint, men are more likely to be sexual predators than women.

Is it acceptable for a woman to have a policy of never being alone with a man due to her own concerns of sexual assault?

Nothing will be done. I say this from experience and people will say why not stop working and stay at home.

This is not a hypothetical situation for me,  I actually faced something like this in my home country. You take precautions like not going out too late, my brother or father came and picked me up when it was too late. Women now almost universally ride two wheelers even in college which was not available to me when I was there. People will decide for you why work ? Even if the entire female gender feels this fear legitimately it does not change systems. Only women are expected to compromise. 

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3 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I have a real question.....

How does this situation play out if it's the woman that is uncomfortable?    I stated earlier in the thread, and it's a statistical fact that from a statistical standpoint, men are more likely to be sexual predators than women.

Is it acceptable for a woman to have a policy of never being alone with a man due to her own concerns of sexual assault?

I can understand a woman not wanting to be alone with a specific person who has demonstrated by his behavior that he is a creeper. But I think a woman who refuses to ever be alone in a room with a man because she thinks every male human is a potential sexual predator might want to seek counseling for that level of fear. I spent 10 years in college, and probably averaged at least one meeting per week with a professor behind closed doors, and never felt uncomfortable or unsafe. I worked for more than two decades in jobs that often involved being alone with a male coworker, either in an office or on a job site or in a restaurant, and never felt uncomfortable or unsafe. I think people who find that situation inherently fearful or worrisome assume those fears are justified and therefore most women must feel that way, but that's not true any of the women I worked with, went to school with, or know IRL.

 

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Treating male and female employees differently is sexist. Doesn’t matter if no one knows or it’s for a religious belief or if it’s to make a spouse feel better. It’s sexist. I have seven direct reports. If I meet with my male employees in glass conference rooms but my females employees in my office, that is treating them differently. If I have a rule I’d never be alone with my male employees but I would with my female employees, that is treating them differently. I would be extremely disappointed with myself if I didn’t treat my employees exactly the same. I never think, this person is male, so xyz treatment is needed. Either I meet with everyone in the glass conference room, or I meet with none of them there. In fact, I would feel terrible if an employee figured it out - My boss meets with me in xyz room, but she meets with the rest of the team in her office. It’s bound to be noticed at some point, and then I would have set up our company for adverse actions.

You could extend the same thought to age or race. If I have a personal rule to to never meet alone with my employees > 60 years old but I can with younger employees, that’s wrong.

If I have a personal rule to never meet alone with my Native American employees but I can with my Caucasian employees, that’s wrong. 

I am very surprised people cannot see sexism in this Billy Graham rule, but maybe I shouldn’t be surprised? I expect this inherent bias happens more often than I realize.  

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3 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

I can understand a woman not wanting to be alone with a specific person who has demonstrated by his behavior that he is a creeper. But I think a woman who refuses to ever be alone in a room with a man because she thinks every male human is a potential sexual predator might want to seek counseling for that level of fear. I spent 10 years in college, and probably averaged at least one meeting per week with a professor behind closed doors, and never felt uncomfortable or unsafe. I worked for more than two decades in jobs that often involved being alone with a male coworker, either in an office or on a job site or in a restaurant, and never felt uncomfortable or unsafe. I think people who find that situation inherently fearful or worrisome assume those fears are justified and therefore most women must feel that way, but that's not true any of the women I worked with, went to school with, or know IRL.

 

What if he has never given off creeper vibes, and she doesn't actually believe every male human is a potential predator.......but still feels uncomfortable.

I mean....we can assume that every adult person who ever leads any sort of youth organization (scouts, ball teams, youth group leaders) is not a sexual predator and yet......we are totally comfortable with the concept that no adult is ever alone with a child....regardless of gender (and regardless of the statistics regarding adult males vs adult females.)

 

So....really, I wonder how this all meshes together?

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2 hours ago, Corraleno said:

The idea that people who work together should never discuss anything in a room with a closed door is totally bizarre to me. It doesn't even have to be some super secret confidential discussion — sometimes people just want to have a conversation without being interrupted. Sometimes the office is noisy and people just want to have a quiet conversation without listening to other people's conversations or the copier making noise or everyone singing Happy Birthday to Suzi in Accounting.

The idea that two people sitting in an office having a conversation is so inherently scary and dangerous that it cannot be allowed to happen is just not something I ever encountered in more than two decades of working in a variety of careers.

And what about performance reviews?  By almost every companies policy, they are to be confidential between employee and manager.  I worked for a company of over 1,000 employees.  No way could HR have someone sit in on every performance review and nobody else had the right to know anything about the results.

This conversation reminded me that when I was an executive assistant, more than once I worked late with only my immediate manager (male) there with me.  The boss I supported directly was female but also traveled a lot.  We had submissions that had to be entered into a system between certain hours, which happened to be European time for some of them, so very late our time.  I was the only one who knew how to work the system so I had to stay until all the submissions were ready so I could upload them.  My manager had to finish the financial documents that I then had to upload.   We weren't in a private room or office but we were the only people still at work at least in our side of the building/our floor (there were basically 3 floors divided into 2 sides each by lobbies).   There would have been no way to require another person to stay 4 hours past the usual quitting time just to make sure we weren't alone together.  That would be asinine.  

I was way more uncomfortable the few times I had to work really late on my own.  An office that size completely empty is a creepy place. 

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6 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

What if he has never given off creeper vibes, and she doesn't actually believe every male human is a potential predator.......but still feels uncomfortable.

If the man she's meeting with has never given her any reason to believe he's a threat, and she doesn't see men as potential sexual predators by default, then why would she be afraid she was going to be assaulted if she met with him?

Would having a second man in the room make her feel more comfortable?

Unless the door is actually locked to prevent her from escaping, which would never happen in a normal office or university interaction, why is a closed door scarier than an open door? Anyone could suddenly open a closed door, and an open door (or glass door) may not have anyone passing by.

If an open door or another person in the room or nearby makes the interaction "safe," then why isn't a working lunch or dinner in a crowded restaurant safe? 

 

6 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I mean....we can assume that every adult person who ever leads any sort of youth organization (scouts, ball teams, youth group leaders) is not a sexual predator and yet......we are totally comfortable with the concept that no adult is ever alone with a child....regardless of gender (and regardless of the statistics regarding adult males vs adult females.)

You don't see the difference between an interaction between a child and an adult, and an interaction between two adults? 

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10 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

If the man she's meeting with has never given her any reason to believe he's a threat, and she doesn't see men as potential sexual predators by default, then why would she be afraid she was going to be assaulted if she met with him?

Would having a second man in the room make her feel more comfortable?

Unless the door is actually locked to prevent her from escaping, which would never happen in a normal office or university interaction, why is a closed door scarier than an open door? Anyone could suddenly open a closed door, and an open door (or glass door) may not have anyone passing by.

If an open door or another person in the room or nearby makes the interaction "safe," then why isn't a working lunch or dinner in a crowded restaurant safe? 

 

You don't see the difference between an interaction between a child and an adult, and an interaction between two adults? 

As to the first bolded...it's likely because she knows statistics.  1 out of 6 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.  And 90% of sexual assault perpetrators are male.  I don't understand why, given those two statistics....it's weird to think that woman might be really extra cautious in one on one situations.  

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

Well I see 2 options here....off the top of my head.

Leave the door open and schedule office hours for the time of day when crowds in the hall are common.  Given that class schedule don't generally change once the semester has started, that shouldn't be difficult to plan.

Or....schedule meetings for the library when even if they have to be private, they can be in the glass windowed rooms.  

 

I am not looking to take this to extreme ends.  If there is absolutely NO OTHER way to have a one on one meeting between a professor an a student than at 7pm, in the professor's office, with no one else around, and there can't possibly be any other solution........sure, have at it.  I mean, generally speaking, most professors aren't going to sexually assault a student, so yeah, generally speaking that sort of situation is perfectly safe anyway.

 

 

At my school, faculty offices are not on the same floor as classrooms.  My office is in a suite area where there are not generally crowds in the hallway any time of day.  I teach some students who work during the day and I must meet with them after 5:00; I teach weekend classes and I can't meet with those students during the day when there are more people around.  Our library does not have glass windowed rooms that faculty can reserve for meetings.

...And I just realized I am in this situation right now. I am at my office doing a streamed lecture to a graduate class and we are on a break.  The campus is almost entirely deserted as most people are still working from home.  The male janitor just came into the office suite to clean and I think we are probably the only two people in the entire four story building right now.  

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8 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

As to the first bolded...it's likely because she knows statistics.  1 out of 6 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.  And 90% of sexual assault perpetrators are male.  I don't understand why, given those two statistics....it's weird to think that woman might be really extra cautious in one on one situations.  

What percentage of women do you think have been sexually assaulted by a coworker in their office during a normal workday, or in the middle of a working lunch in a restaurant? What percentage of women do you think have been sexually assaulted by a professor during office hours? 

Not being alone in a room with a guy you just met at a frat party is smart. Not going on a date with a guy you don't know to a remote place or his apartment is smart. Refusing to meet with a coworker during a normal workday because you're afraid he'll suddenly sexually assault you in his office? That is not a reasonable fear, statistically or otherwise.

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2 hours ago, Bootsie said:

As a professor, I am often in the situation where I have a one-on-one conversation in which no one else knows the content of the conversation  Our offices have windows so that someone can view to whom I am talking and could see if there was inappropriate physical contact, but the content of the conversation is 100% confidential.  I also have a number of times where I need to discuss a confidential situation with a department chair or program director.  

Okay, yeah, I guess I'm thinking of private as in no one could see in or anything. Or even if it was just having a recording of a meeting or something if no one could see what was happening. Confidential, I understand...no record of what happened or accountability for either party is what I'm wondering about.

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2 minutes ago, EmseB said:

Okay, yeah, I guess I'm thinking of private as in no one could see in or anything. Or even if it was just having a recording of a meeting or something if no one could see what was happening. Confidential, I understand...no record of what happened or accountability for either party is what I'm wondering about.

Who would do the recording?  How would it be stored? If it is confidential, who would be allowed to hear it?  Would both parties have to agree?  You have 1000 professors on a campus having every one-on-one conversations recorded every day?  How long would the records need to be kept?  I just don't see how that would be practical.

Having a third person in the room would not necessarily make me feel better.  If Person A gets to choose who Person C is, it could even be worse for Person B--because if Person A and C are working together or protecting each other, Person A now has a "witness" who protects and lies for Person A.  I have seen that play out in the workplace before.

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1 minute ago, Corraleno said:

What percentage of women do you think have been sexually assaulted by a coworker in their office during a normal workday, or in the middle of a working lunch in a restaurant? What percentage of women do you think have been sexually assaulted by a professor during office hours? 

Not being alone in a room with a guy you just met at a frat party is smart. Not going on a date with a guy you don't know to a remote place or his apartment is smart. Refusing to meet with a coworker during a normal workday because you're afraid he'll suddenly sexually assault you in his office? That is not a reasonable fear, statistically or otherwise.

Okay, so you're saying women don't get sexually assaulted at work at high enough rates for an open door or glass window policy to be in effect? Or if I feel uncomfortable meeting with a coworker in private then I should ignore that feeling and do it anyway? I think there is a huge chasm of difference in any case between being alone in an office with someone with the door closed and no window and being in a restaurant with them. It's interesting you put those two things in the same category. They seem like apples and oranges to me 

What percentage of women would make this a problem in your view? How many women would have to be assaulted for it to be a reasonable standard for me to not want to be alone with someone in a closed door setting?

I'm not being snarky in case it sounds that way. I'm genuinely wondering because I've never heard this kind of advice before.

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