How #MeToo Concerns Made Me Nervous at a Turkish Dance

by Evil HR Lady on December 29, 2018

What if a  man called a bunch of women to the stage and encouraged them, to the sounds of the cheering crowd, to make overtly sexual moves designed to embarrass them and elicit more cheers from the crowd?

That, we’d all agree, would be highly inappropriate.

But, what if a woman went into the audience, dragged up 10 or so men, and encouraged them, to the sounds of the cheering crowd, to make overtly sexual moves designed to embarrass them and elicit more cheers from the crowd?

My Human Resources brain freaked out and it made me uncomfortable when the second scenario actually happened, but I really needed to suppress that part of my brain. Not everything is about sexual harassment. Here is what happened.

We’re currently in Turkey, on vacation. Because we have relatives that live here, we’ve been multiple times, but only doing family stuff. This time I wanted to go full tourist. So, while we were in Cappadocia, we went to a “Turkish Night” show. This is one of those dinner shows where you’re entertained with traditional Turkish music and dance and fed really awful food. (Seriously, we expected bad food, but this exceeded those expectations in a bad way.)

To keep reading, click here: How #MeToo Concerns Made Me Nervous at a Turkish Dance

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Hogg December 29, 2018 at 3:54 pm

“Just because some people are super sensitive doesn’t mean the whole world is.” And the whole world should not be required – or forced – to agree with me, think like I think, or say only what I approve of them saying.

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Roger, that December 30, 2018 at 3:21 pm

In this instance it is the hrladys that is being super sensitive, and wrongly so. Unless she works for the restaurant, there is no business setting, there are no Unwilling participants, there is no forced participation, there are no workplace/social consequences for participants, no one is going to hold back promotion opportunities. She should stick to actual examples of harassment, rather than commenting on this false arguements.

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Dorothy December 29, 2018 at 9:22 pm

I wouldn’t have countenanced this in a work setting. I wouldn’t have gone to this event.

But two thoughts:
– As you pointed out the men participating would/should have known of this situation.
— In my experience, very generally, men see this sort of harassment very differently from women and much more positively.

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jdgalt December 30, 2018 at 1:41 am

Your last point depends very much on who is there. I would never agree to be embarassed in front of co-workers, all the more because it would give them an excuse to harass me but I could not dare reply.

This is a great example of how the harassment law can make camraderie with co-workers a bad idea. The law should be overturned, or at least toned down, exactly because it does that.

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Pconnor December 30, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Agreed. This is a false equivalency, what is happening at this show is not happening in a workplace, there is no power structure forcing employees to participate or suffer consequences. And while men might feel uncomfortable, it is also seen as humorous because men are not subject to the male gaze as often as women are, are not treated as decorative objects the way women often are. . The pressure on a woman would be different. If she is attractive then she must be enticing when she dances, if she is not attractive then the humor is because she is an ugly woman trying to be sexy. The pressure on the man is to make fiunny and dance. No one expects the male dance to be sexy, regardless of how he looks-because a sensuous male dance is not how we expect any male to perform.

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Anonymous December 29, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Being a foodie person, I would have skipped the occasion, but I want to let you know that the video of a belly dancing didn’t play. I know how much of the body is involved from my hairdresser both telling me and showing me the results of her lessons. It is good exercise for your body.

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grannybunny January 2, 2019 at 3:24 pm

The #MeToo Movement is nonexistent in Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia and a number of other countries.

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