The sham of sex harassment training – Los Angeles Times
The imposition of training that has a political cast violates my academic freedom and my rights as a tenured professor. The university has already nullified my right to supervise my laboratory and the students I teach. It has threatened my livelihood and, ultimately, my position at the university. This for failing to submit to mock training in sexual harassment, a requirement that was never a condition of my employment at the University of California 30 years ago, nor when I came to UCI 11 years ago.Interestingly, I have received many letters of encouragement — about 25% of them from women. The comments have been rich with words like “demeaning,” “oppressive,” “politically driven” and “indoctrination.” Other phrases included “unctuous twaddle” and “sanctimonious half-wits.”
Sexual harassment is a politically charged issue. The people of California have granted no authority to the state to impose narrow political and cultural opinions on individual citizens.
Since I work for a government agency and before that was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army, I have been forced to participate in a number of training classes that I thought were a waste of time.
Like the Professor, I resented the implication that I was guilty of whatever, and needed such training.
But I was wrong. I have come to realize that my view of such things was skewed. Like most people, I supposed that the purpose of such training was to instruct me in some area where I was deficient. But that is not the case.
The purpose of these training sessions is political. Some interest group or another, in the case of Sexual Harassment Training it would be militant feminists, but it could be the NAACP, had made a lot of noise and convinced some politicians that it was imperative that they “do something.” So they made such training mandatory for government employees. Then the fact that it was embraced by the government meant it spread into the private sector.
The purpose of the training is twofold. First, it gives an appearance of “doing something” which can mollify vocal critics. Secondly, in many cases, but not all, the training requirement has generated demand for people to give the training. In the case of Sexual Harassment it would be militant feminists. But in any case the ones who pushed for the “training” are the same group which ends up giving the “training.”
This also has the side effect of giving these groups access to a captive audience for their message. Whatever that might be.
So you see. The purpose of these mandatory classes is not to correct deficiencies in the conduct of employees, it is to protect the management and buy off critics.