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Friday, December 5, 2008

Across the Alligator River.

Yesterday at Mills College, I had two hours of mandatory sexual harassment training, so at least now I know how to do it. It would have come in much handier at the beginning of the semester, but better late than never.

Kidding aside, these two hours of mandatory unpaid training went a little faster than most, and one of the most interesting sections was when we read and discussed the story which I present below.


Across the Alligator River
(adapted from a story by Sidney Simon)

A Man and a Woman live on opposite sides of an alligator infested river. The bridge on the river is destroyed by a storm, and now the only way across the river is by ferry boat. The Woman deeply loves the Man and wants to see him, but alas, she has no money. The Ferry Boat Captain is glad to transport her for free in exchange for sexual favors.

The distraught Woman, goes to Her Best Friend for advice, but the Best Friend refuses to get involved.

The Woman decides to the Ferry Boat Captain's terms, and crosses the river to see the Man. He asks her how she got across the river and the Woman tells him. The Man rejects the Woman and tells her to leave.

The Woman goes to visit Another Male Friend on the side of the river where the Man lives. The other Male Friend becomes incensed when he hears the story, and goes to confront the Man, and the Male Friend beats the Man up. The Woman watches the fight, and laughs out loud while the Man who spurned her is pummeled.

Here's the hypothetical question. Which character in this story filled with unpleasant characters is the most repellent to you and why?

Answers can be put in the comments.

11 comments:

Matty Boy said...

I told my dad this story this morning.

He picked the alligators.

Distributorcap said...

you should see what we have to watch for harassment training.....

i would rather watch the alligator

CDP said...

I used to conduct the Sexual Harassment training at my job. Least favorite responsibility ever. After I finished a class two years ago, I was walking down the hallway and I heard a female employee call out to a male employee (a supervisor) "hey, did you learn anything?" Response? "I didn't grab your ass when I walked past you, did I?"

I chose to pretend not to have heard this conversation. And we had employees in California, and I'm pretty sure that Mills has to pay you for the training. Something to look into.

FranIAm said...

CDP is the HR professional not me, but having managed many folks in Cali, I do believe that she is right.

PseudoPiskie said...

The woman should have realized that the man didn't care enough in the first place or he would have found a way to resolve the situation. She wasted her time and her self respect. Wonder if there is a message in this for the participants in the TEC/anti-TEC mess.

Matty Boy said...

The Female Friend who wouldn't lend her a few bucks for a ferry ride certainly gets some blame, but then again someone at the training postulated the protagonist Woman might have been a weird psycho stalker and everybody is better off knowing her as little as possible.

Splotchy said...

I have no idea who is most despicable, but I don't think one should infer that Her Best Friend was female.

Matty Boy said...

Hey, Splotch. I stripped names off the characters, but kept the genders intact. The Best Friend is female in the original story. I didn't mention it, but in the original story, the Ferry Boat Captain is female.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

The Ferry Boat Captain--because s/he is the only one in the story in a position of power, and s/he abused it.

Just my .02...

Doxy

Matty Boy said...

When I was at the training, Doxy, I went with the Captain as well, but the Male Friend who escalates a situation to physical violence when the conflict has nothing to do with him ran a close second.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Interesting--I would say the Best Friend who refused to loan the Woman the money to cross was next. But that may be a gender difference on our parts---for me, that would be a HUGE betrayal. Best Friends stand by you, no matter what.

Of course, it may be that the Best Friend knew the Man was a jerk and was trying not to enable her friend to continue in a bad relationship. But that requires us to read all kinds of things into the story...

Doxy