Sunday, April 29, 2012

Slippering it

Let me preface this with the statement that I do not like politician Peter Slipper and I have no sympathy for his predicament.

But, and isn't there always one. This is about case I know of that is yet to be resolved and it would be inappropriate to fill in who, where and when, but clearly it is a workplace situation.

The accuser is young, cute, gay and attractive, and also in the situation of being the newbie. The accused is older, respected, gay and anything but a newbie and in a position of power.

The accuser accuses the accused of sexual harassment.  The accused is suspended from work. This is as it should be.

Apparently the accused did make sexually suggestive comments to to accuser. No one who knows the accused would be surprised by this. No one who knows the accused would take any notice of suggestive comments. I have done the same. But I pick my mark. I only do it when I know the person well enough. It is such great fun to make a straight guy blush with embarrassment when you suggest you want to ??? I suppose at the end of the day they could call me for sexual harassment, but as I say, I pick my marks very carefully. As times have changed, I do it very rarely now. Perhaps an example will help.

'Nick, I have a problem.'
'What's that Andrew?'
'When I am pleasuring myself I think of you and workmate Peter together, but I can't work out who is doing whom. It kinda works seeing you on top, but hey, I think I would like to see you on the bottom. C'mon Nick, tell me which you position you'd rather be in?'

Nick's face turns to a shade of red. He is so sweet and I like him heaps. What a pity he is straight. He laughs and tells me I am sick.

'Sick I might be Nick, but then I didn't have a threesome with my girlfriend and our mutual dyke friend, (V, you met her) did I. And it was you who asked me about what sort of lubricant to use when you wanted to add some less than vanilla experiences to your time with your girlfriend'

A silly grin and more embarrassment. Yet, had Nick recorded this banter, and turned nasty, I could be in the position of the above accused. He said nothing but grinned and smiled.

I don't like to think of myself as too smart, but I think I am a bit smarter than the accused who may well have had a much less explicit conversation, with someone he trusted, just because the accuser was also gay.

From what I can work out, the accuser had an ulterior motive to get out of where he was and into a more desirable place. He encouraged flirtatious conversation with the accused and at some point recorded some chat on his phone as proof of sexual harassment.  In summary, the accused was set up. In further summary, the accused was in a position of power over the accuser and the accused is old enough and been around enough to not fall for such a situation. Whatever the outcome, the accused's career is ruined and the accuser may well be victorious but his card will be marked.

Now, imagine if the accused was of the age he is, say 50 plus and the accuser was female, say mid twenties. Now that is much more serious, but should it be? Generally yes because situations like the above are common to gay men. Older gay man comes on heavily to a younger gay man. Younger gay man brushes off the older gay man. So long as older gay man takes no for an answer, no offence is committed. If the older gay man continues to come on to the younger gay man, sometimes he will be successful, but the younger gay man might have to be firmer to reject him  or he might succumb. That is just how it works in gay world. The lesson learnt from above is that gay world does not work in the workplace. But just to reinforce, the accuser had been a flight attendant too, so clearly we are not talking about a poor innocent young gay boy being hit on by and older gay man.

What has this to do with Peter Slipper?

Absolutely nothing, but if you added alcohol into the mix described above, and the accuser was ideologically opposed to the accused....well, all I can think is that there is no queen like a stupid old queen who has been around long enough to know better.

Slipper may well have been set up, but ultimately, it is his fault. What I wonder is how high up the Liberal Party hierarchy was the authorisation for a plant on Slipper.

I am very doubtful about clicking publish on this one, but after eight years of keeping myself clean, what the heck.


  1. Yes it is Slipper's/Accused responsibility not to have been there in the first place.Seems he has got away with stuff for a long time if the reports are correct. One has to be very careful here. A bit of a Pandora's box has been opened there, methinks. A good post and well said.

  2. Sexual harrassment is a real mine field no matter which side of the fence you're on. I recall when i was still working a female employee was told to only enter our building via the front door because the back door led to the locker rooms, toilets & showers, of course she took no notice and waltzed through at the change of shifts to find most of us in various stages of undress then had she had the cheek to claim sexual harrassment never seen her again after that :-).

  3. Anonymous10:08 am

    Call centres can be a minefield of potential sexual harassment cases. I used to muck about with a gay guy I worked with, we often crossed that line but we trusted each other. But you're right, it so had the potential to be really really ugly. Spot on about choosing who you can & can't fraternise with.


  4. I am glad you did press publish. I had actually held no positon on this - because I don't know - but as I get older I seem to be becoming more cynical about the way the media runs some things and then whats behind that. Then there is the issue of the honesty of politicians - someone once wrote that if someone tells you they want to get into politics - shoot them. A joke! I know of precious few honest politicians Ted Mack being one - he knocked back his pension for a start - They are a grimy lot and grime sticks to them - what bothers me is their honesty, whether they rip us off - and all of that - Sexual harassment needs to be acted upon if genuine - but its a hard one because the edges are so blurry and you just can't know. You have put another side forward worth considering.

  5. Peter Slipper was first nominated by the conservatives 20 years ago and stood successful for his seat in 1993. They have supported him in every single election since, paid for his advertising and appeared on his platforms.

    Now they want to destroy him because Slipper didn't live up to conservative party morals. Oh really? What brought this epiphany in conservative party morals? Why did it take the conservatives 20 years to discover their crisis?

  6. 'What has this to do with Peter Slipper?'

    You mean the peter Slipper who is also a priest in the Anglican church?

    Bugger me (well, not just yet I've got the breakfast dishes to do) if there's a bloody church in the mix!

    I don't give a toss (innuendo optional) whether Slipper is a poof, closet or otherwise. Apart from the Cabcharge stuff (and my guess is that he's not the only lonely petunia in that particular onion patch on that one) his offence is (allegedly) harrassment.

    A can of worms visited upon a (sadly) sneaky government and an unlikeable member(innuendo optional) of parliament.

  7. I'm proud that Australians are generally uninterested in the sexual peccadilloes of politicians, the only difference in this case being a charge of illegal harassment. Why didn't the young pup just say "Back off you silly old poof"? It's too easy.

    But thanks Andrew, for providing a possible motive - my having already assumed it was a set-up. Gosh I'm naive.

    Much as we may dislike the lady's policies, Pauline Pantsdown did describe some rather dirty and vicious tactics by Tony before she was dropped from the Lib Ticket. Hopefully, Abbott's 'well known' rep in this regard will see him set himself up the way Slipper has set himself up.

    I agree that in principle he should not have to stand down until the case is dealt with: The way all those peurile twits behave we would soon have no one left in the building. On the other hand... might be a good idea.

    The Cabcharge thing and the Thompson thing have been handled in a morally bankrupt way. It is one thing to say unproven mud should not be enough to bring down a government, but quite another to deliberately pervert/delay the course of justice.

    Why should he earn >340,000 per year just to tell these naughty children to behave at work? Disgraceful twaddle. Must go now, got to work out how I'm going to survive on the dole for the next 10 years while searching desperately for a job...

  8. Christine, even I knew some time ago his history was not good. Why appoint him?

    Windsmoke, things like that spoil it for those who have genuine claims.

    Fen, I can well imagine about call centres. Yes, you do have trust and you can only do that when you know the person really really well.

    MC, the media shows quite an unwillingness to upset the apple cart at times. While I am probably a Labor supporter, a very disappointed one and have been for a long time, I wonder if the worst politicians are the ones who have come up through union ranks.

    Hels, the Liberal Party have known about Slipper for years, as I reckon you know. Maybe it was convenient to ignore matters.

    LS, I believe you are right about not being the only petunia in the onion patch. I do love a good in your end, oh!

    FC, of course that is what anyone of a certain age would say. I'd reckon Abbott could be very vicious, especially in the past. I wonder who had the say in appointing Slipper? Meanwhile Julia works quietly away at other matters.

  9. Middle Child mentions the honesty of politicians; I don't believe there's any such thing.
    I also believe that sex talk of any kind shouldn't take place at work. You just never know who is going to take offence and accuse you of harrasment.
    Play it safe and talk about the footy or anything else.

  10. River, I could be wrong, but I expect there are many politicians who just quietly represent their electorates who we never hear about. What I really think is most politicians start off with ideals but ideals won't get them far. They have to become shifty to succeed if they want to get anywhere and get their ideals up.........and then it all goes wrong.

    Of course you are right about sex talk at work. No need for it all. But men just can't help themselves, gay or straight. Sometimes women too. Most of what I mentioned was history. My workplace has changed and that sort of stuff doesn't really happen now. Our work place has been sanitised. Boring.

  11. It's hard to know when someone is going to take what you say as a joke, or accuse you of sexual harassment.

    I'd say if you make a joke, that's not harassment. If the person doesn't laugh, looks uncomfortable, and/or doesn't respond than it should stop.

    If it continues, THEN I'd call it harassment.

    OR if a person feels their job or position is threatened in some way...if they feel they have to put up with the comment, then that would be bad.

    I agree with Middle Child....the edges are blurry. It's confusing.

  12. Dina, I guess always erring on the cautious side will keep people out of trouble. But not everyone is like that.