I confess: I still don't get it. We write about things that make people angry: sometimes on purpose (u mad bro?), sometimes because the topic interests us. But few topics are as consistent in their ability to draw anger and trolling and bizarre visitors as the issue of sexual harassment and responses to it.This attitude is common among low-ranking men who don't understand the socio-sexual hierarchy. They don't understand that by talking about the subjective realm of "sexual harassment" as if it is objective, they are usually taking a position that unfairly persecutes the lower-ranking men in society.
If I talk about my experiences training clients' employees in how to avoid sexual harassment, I draw nutters. If I talk about sites that discuss bad behavior towards women in gaming culture — great sites like Fat, Ugly, or Slutty — people get angry. Discussions of outing and vigorous more-speech remedies seem to be more controversial when the target is chosen for being a creeper rather than, say, a racist. Even the abstract subject of this post — the meta-examination of why the subject of harassment is so incendiary to some — generates some of the most vituperative comments we ever see here.
And just as the cruelest school bullies are those who are just above the lowest boys on the totem pole, the most clueless white knights are the gammas who have mastered their creepy instincts and don't see why everyone else doesn't do the same. Because they a) know they are at least potentially creepy, and, b) have managed to modify their behavior in a manner to control it, they believe that sexual harassment is objective, universal, and intentional.
None of those things are true.
You see, here is the observable fact of the matter. Men of sufficiently high socio-sexual status cannot sexually harass women. They simply cannot do it. A man of sufficiently high rank can, in public, grab a woman's ass, squeeze her breasts while making honking sounds, stick his tongue down her throat, sling her over his shoulder and haul her off to a bedroom, slide his hand down her pants and inside her underwear, or tell her to lift her skirt and turn around, without ever hearing a single word of protest.
Millions of women don't read 50 Shades of Grey because they so perfectly hate the idea of men ordering them around.
And a high-status man can do all of those things without having met her or even knowing what her name is. For example, compare the difference in the public reaction to direct complaints that Bill Clinton had raped various women to reports that Anthony Weiner had been sexting land whales.
Clinton not only raped and assaulted multiple women over the years, but inserted a cigar in an White House intern's body in the most power-imbalanced employment relationship that is even theoretically possible in the United States. He got a pass from the women and everyone else, with female journalists offering "one free grope" and volunteering head, simply because he is an alpha. Weiner, who is more of a Washington insider than Clinton was prior to his presidency, provokes considerable disgust for far lesser sexual offenses.
It's all about sexual dominance. The gamma can offend a woman by simply looking at her. The alpha not only won't offend that same woman by ordering her to lift her skirt and turn around, but the chances are very high that she will obey him even if she hasn't actually met him. Even if she won't obey on the spot, she will still laugh, slap his shoulder, and tell him "you're so bad!"
So, it is the intrinsically false perspective of the white knight that provokes anger and irritation from a wide range of men. The higher ranking men are not angry, they are merely expressing contempt for the mouthy gamma and his cluelessness. The lower-ranking men are angry at the unfairness of how they are targeted and castigated for behavior that is objectively less egregious than what they see their higher-ranking counterparts, and, for that matter, women, are permitted to do with impunity.
Lecturing creepers is, for the most part, bullying of omegas by gammas. It's wrong-headed and it's wrong. And it provokes anger for the same reason that most bullying does.
Consider, for example, the average sex scene in a SF/F novel written by a gamma male. Now reverse the sexes. I will bet that more than 50 percent of those sex scenes would qualify as "sexual harassment", if not sexual assault, if committed by a gamma or omega male.