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Author Topic: The FHRITP heckler issue  (Read 1604 times)

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Offline Remiel

Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2015, 10:45:17 PM »
Was Mr. Simoes made an example of?  Absolutely.

Given the fact that he shouted "FHRITP" to someone with a microphone and a camera--and thus, presumably a national audience--do I have any sympathy for him?  Not particularly.

There needs to come a point at which the "boys will be boys" argument no longer holds water.   Freedom of expression is one thing, but doing it at someone else's expense is something else.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2015, 11:04:35 PM »
The thing is, using 'boys will be boys' as an excuse at all is actually incredibly insulting to males.  It implies that they can't help it for the sole fact that they are males.  I don't know about y'all, but I don't believe that for a minute.  I've met too many men (ages 3 and up) who are polite, kind, and respectful to believe that there is something inherent in 'being a boy' that excuses being a jerk.

Online Angiejuusan

Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2015, 12:29:08 AM »
The thing is, using 'boys will be boys' as an excuse at all is actually incredibly insulting to males.  It implies that they can't help it for the sole fact that they are males.  I don't know about y'all, but I don't believe that for a minute.  I've met too many men (ages 3 and up) who are polite, kind, and respectful to believe that there is something inherent in 'being a boy' that excuses being a jerk.

There was always something about that phrase that infuriated me, but I could never figure out what it was. Thank you, Oniya, for saying what I could never figure out.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #53 on: May 18, 2015, 08:40:30 AM »
I work for one of the biggest media/telecommunications companies in the US and I can tell you that if one of it's employees pulled a stunt like this, drunk or not, they'd be fired immediately. Why? Because it goes against the company's Code of Conduct.

Each person that has been hired by my employer agrees, and signs said agreement, to follow the Code of Conduct. It is made perfectly clear that we are representatives of the company both at work and during our personal off times. We have to re-read and re-sign the Code of Conduct yearly just so we don't have lapses in memory.

Employees are the face/voice of their employer. Like it or not, your behavior - even during your days off outside of work - are a reflection upon your employer. Obviously, some things are not even going to create a blip on HR's radar. Cheating on your spouse? They don't care (unless you are cheating on your spouse with another employee - especially a superior). Drunk driving? They aren't going to like their employee being in jail instead of at work (and can fire you if you miss too much time). But getting on live tv and making the comments/threats that this guy did? The moment he was outed as an employee of that company, he was done for.  His behavior may never cause the company to lose money, but who is going to take a chance? Who wants to have that as the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the company's name?

Code of Conduct is there for a reason - and companies expect employees to behave outside of work a certain way for a reason. It's simple business sense. You wouldn't want a woman abusing, serial rapist alcoholic representing your company so you enforce a set code of behavior for your employees.

Offline kylie

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Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #54 on: May 18, 2015, 10:36:52 AM »
     I find it hard to blame the company in this case, although I do worry somewhat about companies (among other institutions) increasingly policing outside expression of many different kinds (not always in a good way), some say more than before.

     I don't understand the drunkenness defense very well myself...  Of course, I hardly ever drink.  Though it seems to me, drunkenness is not supposed to be a good defense if you run someone over on the highway -- so why should it be a valid defense here?

      The sorts of argument that would concern me more are like, is this kind of approach really being applied to everyone equally?  Or will it ever be?  Why is it okay for people to get irate on the street and yell, "Hey fuck you!" at some car that cuts them off on the road, but it's not so okay to say something that includes "pussy"?  Is it okay to call a guy a "dick" whenever he does something wrong but "cunt" directed at a woman is going to be considered automatic charges of harassment?  Is part of the response to sexual discrimination writ large and in cultural institutions (unequal pay rates, job stereotyping and profiling, rape frequency) actually also a prescription that men must "just suck it up" when people use sexually vulgar language to pick on them -- they're supposed to "get the joke" or at least shrug it off more -- that is rather often assumed to be something men should do. 

       I think at least partly as a consequence of that same basic gender norm, you get the offensive men claiming that women should understand even when it's directed at them, "It's all just horsing around."  Cause well, many of those men are brought up being expected to trade in such language of lower body organs also among themselves, more or less and whatever they actually feel (whether they're really amused or hurt or indifferent), they're often demanded to say oh yeah, just a joke.  Cause well that sort of locker room trash is said to be 'harmless' (ahem, cough) and ya know who wants to be ostracized or deemed "immature" or in some cases actually bullied more...  Whereas if the wording is about a woman's body, suddenly everyone is on thin ice?  No? 

      In the case of women, it does make sense to say it's not really harmless because of the position of women in society and also how people often react in very different (read: generally oppressive) ways to revelations of sexual behavior by women, as opposed to when it's about men.  That being said, what I'd like to know is:  At what point is this seriously going to be considered "inappropriate for anyone in public to be receiving" ?  Because I think what we have is more a fussy, rather traditionalist gender divide in many ways...  Oh, it's okay to say this word but not that one and some groups will just have to take it, but if you toss in this one then suddenly it's too much risk and people get fired.  But people who know the game will just keep their venom below the radar, or directed at less public targets or groups (take women in stigmatized jobs say, sex work for example -- and generally those without a news channel likely to cover them, and those working class men who are thought to be in industries or groups where it's more accepted - perhaps construction work?? to yank on one stereotype a bit and see) .

      None of that is to say anyone should have to put up with it on the job, in public places, and from strangers.  And certainly not a pattern of it directed at a particular industry, as the female reporters as a group are reporting.  But that's just the rub for me...  Why is the fuss only about "pussy", rather than the whole notion of a society that shouts "fuck you" left and right?

      Also, gender stereotypes pick this stuff up and run away with it in another same-old direction.  I sometimes hear arguments like:  Oh men should learn to be more polite or more restrained because that should make them feel "tougher, stronger, more sacrificing aka more MANLY."  And it becomes a way that some gendered things are hidden away while others are somewhat more often aired and discussed.  Much as all the public hair must be covered or brushed out in approved Japanese porn -- some things are so protected that no one can really talk about them in public anymore.  And at the same time you hear conservative politicians (in both Japanese and American politics among so many others) going on about how the lives of women and especially mothers need to be micromanaged to "protect" their fragile but oh-so-important to the state bodies, sexuality, and often especially fertility (US side: abortion/contraceptives anyone) and from there, often socially impressed family roles (what about that maternity leave and promotion chances, anyway).

-------

      On another angle:  Things like Code of Conduct can be strange animals.  I have to say any particular institution's "code" is only as good as the reputation of the people applying it in a given time period.  I'm not going to sit here and say anything and everything simply must be good and essentially "tough shit you signed it guy", because hey this thing people had to sign says the company fires people at will.  Umm, well, usually they can do that anyway and the breadth of the code is as much about corporate excuse for whatever management feels like (they'll make it about your hairstyle as their employee too!) as cheery notions of a progressive, perhaps egalitarian society.  I won't say "civil" because anyone can start to say most anything else they want must be "civil" when we're talking about a company "owning" your time.  How much is about the company practically speaking, "owning your image and likeliness and signature" in every moment in a society that seems to be swinging hard away from anyone thinking about even trying to keep things fully private?  That is a concern too.  As is simply the notion that people will be fired on a whim -- but whims may not apply to everyone equally.  And managers and monitors can sometimes become invested in enforcing some traditions and codes that are really not so progressive as well. 

      So...  On the one hand, such "general guideline" regulations serve a general good in protecting other employees from more suspicious, and even outright scary, treatment by others in the workplace.  And just perhaps and more incidentally, in a way they may also protect them at other locations that coworkers may have established they can be found at.  Well, that part's good and if I felt like that was mainly what they were going to be used for, I'd be happy with an outfit.  On the other hand though:  They're often intentionally broad so people will be looking over their shoulder worrying about the "appearance" of any impropriety whatsoever being used against them.  And they can also be handy tools for the company to make up excuses but it's not necessarily applied with precision or consistency in all applications.  From the employer's point of view, particularly in a bigger company or a particularly image-sensitive company, they can also have a convenient flavor of anything goes.  And nobody knows just what, but boy are people supposed to be keeping up to date --> cautious as all hell --> anxious and beholden to immediate management on umpteen tiny issues and political concerns, contractual and otherwise.

      I think this particular call was fair enough.  But yeah, "because it's the code of conduct" alone isn't really convincing for me.  It's the US Constitution that we don't have search and seizure without cause, either...  Except in practice?  Many people would say in the actual society, we do (can probably thank the Patriot Act lately in significant part?) and the government said fuck the basic spirit of the constitution to do what it really feels like this minute.  So because, because.  Maybe better:  In this particular case, it seems like a reasonably fair and useful, progressive application of the better side or spirit of harassment sections of that code.  At least start to say what in the world is being accomplished: Do people feel more safe in the workplace if you do this?  Okay that's something we can evaluate what and why comes out, and discuss or argue.  It's not a sound bite by any means.  But I get leery when people boil things down to "Because them's the rules."  ::)  One can boil most anything one likes at some point, if it's about sound bites.
     

« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 10:58:27 AM by kylie »

Offline Remiel

Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #55 on: May 18, 2015, 01:42:11 PM »
     But that's just the rub for me...  Why is the fuss only about "pussy", rather than the whole notion of a society that shouts "fuck you" left and right?

I think Oniya answered this earlier:  yelling "Fuck Her Right in the Pussy", especially to a female reporter, conveys an implied threat, whereas yelling "fuck you" is considered to be more of a general all-purpose expletive.  It's kind of the same reason why Ice T created so much controversy with his "Cop Killer" song back in the 80s.   It's just a song...but when it advocates violence against a person or group, the person or group in question has every right to be upset.

I'm all for freedom of speech, but for the life of me I cannot see what useful purpose FHRITP serves, other than to denigrate and demean women for a cheap laugh.

Offline Cycle

Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #56 on: May 18, 2015, 01:52:31 PM »
If I was an employer and one of my employees went around yelling "F*ck you!!!" all the time, yeah, there's a good chance she/he will get terminated.  I don't need people like that in my company or my life. 

Seriously.  Why spend energy defending people's "right" to be assholes? 

Why not, you know, encourage people not to be assholes


Offline Formless

Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #57 on: May 18, 2015, 02:27:41 PM »
I had to look at the origin of this term. How it turned into what it is.

The whole thing is disgusting to say the least. Its not a joke. Its just one of the bad things about the internet. Some idiot is glorified for being an immature jerk.

The employer actually did the right thing. Shunning that kind of behavior can deliver a message , no matter how grand or little that message be , that this behavior is unacceptable.

And if this guy thinks he didn't deserve to be fired , he file for a case and see what the court has to say for all I care.

But the idea that someone would say something offensive , regardless of the context or the target of what he has to say , and wants it to be viewed as a joke? That's wrong on so many level.

Its enough watching some of the youtube videos that showcased people doing it from various ages and origins. Now its degrading to women , next thing people will come up with something degrading to a certain society , community , or race? Because we've seen how the internet quickly grows tired of one fad and quickly search for a new one.

And its not like the guy who was confronted by the reporter was trying to be funny. He was taking pride in supporting it and going as far as to throw a threat. This is in no way a ' joke '. The guy had it coming.

Online Angiejuusan

Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #58 on: May 18, 2015, 02:54:23 PM »
I don't even get how it's supposedly a joke. I could, right off the top of my head, come up with a dozen better jokes for the situation (all of them involving innuendo). I'm racking my brain trying to come up with a possible place to even use that phrase and outside of 'adult' comedy stand up specials, I can't really think of anything.

Offline Remiel

Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #59 on: May 18, 2015, 06:36:44 PM »
I don't even get how it's supposedly a joke. I could, right off the top of my head, come up with a dozen better jokes for the situation (all of them involving innuendo). I'm racking my brain trying to come up with a possible place to even use that phrase and outside of 'adult' comedy stand up specials, I can't really think of anything.

Right?  As a "prank", it's pretty stupid.  It's not clever or even funny. 

Offline Remiel

Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #60 on: May 18, 2015, 06:48:09 PM »
And just because it occurred to me, there is a difference here between this and Donglegate.   In the Donglegate case, a couple of guys at a convention were just making a joke between themselves--they probably didn't even intend to be overheard--and had no intention or desire to be thrust into the public spotlight.

Whereas, here, Mr. Simoes and his friend walked up to a female reporter with a camera and a microphone and proceeded to make complete asses out of themselves.    It demonstrated a severe and astounding lack of judgment and I cannot blame his company at all for firing him.

tl;dr  I have sympathy for the fellow who lost his job because of "Donglegate", but not for Mr. Simoes.

Online Angiejuusan

Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #61 on: May 18, 2015, 06:49:25 PM »
Right?  As a "prank", it's pretty stupid.  It's not clever or even funny.

You would get more laughs quoting Tenacious D. Or just saying whatever the reporter said in a suggestive tone. "There are riots in the streets!" "Oh I'll riot in your streets, all right." See? Immediately funnier then FHRITP!

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #62 on: May 19, 2015, 07:33:12 PM »
You would get more laughs quoting Tenacious D. Or just saying whatever the reporter said in a suggestive tone. "There are riots in the streets!" "Oh I'll riot in your streets, all right." See? Immediately funnier then FHRITP!

"There are riots in the streets? Well, I'm a riot in the sheets!"

Offline kylie

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Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #63 on: May 21, 2015, 11:12:21 AM »
Quote from: Remiel
I'm all for freedom of speech, but for the life of me I cannot see what useful purpose FHRITP serves, other than to denigrate and demean women for a cheap laugh.

      No, I'm not saying it serves a useful purpose.  I don't like it either.  But I don't think it's strictly speaking only about women necessarily.  I think it's also symptomatic of a society where any "softness" in general gets marginalized.  (Not sure if this is perhaps a little more true of American society than Canadian society though?  Or vice-versa even?  I wonder a little.)  It just so happens that "softness" is a quality people tend to assume stereotypically does and/or (worse) supposedly "should" belong primarily to women.  But much of the same logic can sometimes be used to intimidate and belittle anyone who is considered soft or just lacking in social support at the moment.

      Yes, it's a problem for women as a group.  But I think the broader logic supporting it isn't really addressed when it's treated as simply a matter of people needing to "stand up" for women.  Too often "standing up" also merges into (lots of people, men some among them) being "tough guys" and oversimplifying/stereotyping all over about umpteen other things that don't help women as a group all that much either, and may even hurt.

      Perhaps more to your point particularly?  I think if you look at the shorter "fuck you," there are many cases where actually that is also delivered in a tone or context where it's intended to be sexual, aggressive and really disturbing.  Perhaps there are quite a few situations where people see it is blowing off steam as well...  But I would say I've been in plenty of situations where I've felt it was really rude, nasty and quite personal.  You have to look at the people involved and the context to decide about each particular case.  Perhaps you could argue the longer form with "pussy" is more often going to have aggressive and sexual or devaluing readings for most people.  I certainly wouldn't say the shorter one hardly ever does, though!
« Last Edit: May 21, 2015, 11:21:43 AM by kylie »

Offline Ephiral

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Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #64 on: May 25, 2015, 01:59:03 PM »
A bit of wider context, from my local weekly.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The FHRITP heckler issue
« Reply #65 on: May 25, 2015, 02:38:06 PM »
I experienced similar 'casual sexism' when I was working tech support at a major online service provider.  I'd get people calling up and as soon as I identified myself, they'd ask to be transferred to a 'senior tech'.  At the time, there was only one person higher than me on the tech-floor roll, and that was purely because their last name started with an 'F' and mine started with a 'U'.  Inevitably, the person calling was male, and I inevitably solved their problem fairly quickly once I switched to 'authoritarian' mode from 'friendly customer service' mode.  Ironically, the fact that I was female was almost balanced out by the fact that the other tech had a distinctively ethnic name.  (Said other tech would occasionally get callers asking to be transferred to 'an American', and would inform them of which call center they had reached.  We commiserated a lot.)