1980s >> 1988 >> no-1005-may-1988
Letter: Destructive behaviour
In reply to Keith Graham’s letter in the April Socialist Standard, I agree with him that it is appropriate, and not before time, that the trade union movement take up the issue of sexual harassment at work, but the article which prompted my letter was about sexual harassment between colleagues at office parties. This is a social situation, and about behaviour with which women frequently, at worst comply, or at best excuse. There was no mention of the the “boss”. If his/her attention is unwelcome, few contracts of employment insist on office party attendance, the women don’t have to go.
However, this suggested analogy of the pensioners being mugged is not “by the same token”, no one is passive and compliant about being mugged. Though it might be “by the same token” if the point was that they have all their lives accepted a society in which mugging in various disguises is endemic.
I didn’t say that destructive behaviour of individuals should be left to Ben Elton. I wrote that such behaviour is “more effectively dealt with by Ben Elton”, the word “more” got lost somewhere between me and the final edition. My point was more specific, if we are going to write about the destructive behaviour of individuals let’s not discriminate in favour of, or against, one form. In fact I agree, we should deal with all matters affecting our class.
Incidentally, “nailing” was used because it seemed to fit the tone of the original article, and as a metaphor in tune with the time of year.
As to his suggestion in the last paragraph of his letter, perhaps one reason why we are ignored by “different working groups” is that we spend more time in fighting than out propagandering.