Sramana Mitra: It’s not going in a constructive direction. It really is going to be a net loss in the process if we don’t do something about it. I’d like to know about what’s going to happen.
The other side of the question I have is the other part of the me-too movement that I feel nauseated by is that women who have gone and seduced men and maybe their encounters didn’t turn out the way she envisioned, she then goes out and writes this revenge post under the me-too tag. That goes viral online. That’s just not fair. If you go seduce somebody, you have to deal with the consequences including that this may not turn out the way you want it.
Janine Yancey: I have a saying when I was training employees at companies. It might be abrasive, but it’s authentic. When you’re young, you’re inexperienced. You just need to understand that you just don’t know what you don’t know. For that particular person, I just write it off because that person’s young. They’re going to do things that are not wise and not well thought out. As a society, we can understand that. It’s up to the broader movement to process that in an appropriate way. That person’s attitude would probably be different had she been around a few times.
Sramana Mitra: When you deal with the legal aspects of all this, it seems to me the unfair part of it is that it’s almost like the “guilty until proven innocent” scenario on the men side. The women are powerful. They can go and accuse somebody whether or not it’s a legitimate accusation.
Maybe it was a consensual situation and it didn’t turn out the way she wanted it. Now she’s going out and creating a fuss about it. Because of the nature of what’s happening in the broader world right now, it’s being picked up all over the place. What does the legal investigation look like in situations like that where it’s not necessarily harassment?
Janine Yancey: What I heard you saying is we have to be careful because people are putting things on the media and it gathers steam and momentum. All of a sudden, there’re significant consequences and the person who’s suffering those consequences has no opportunity to be heard or to rectify the situation. I agree. The path we’re traveling down is starting to be concerning. For the first five or six months while we’re bubbling up all these issues and we’re gaining momentum, that’s all positive things because it had to happen.
Sramana Mitra: The conversation had to happen because men have been misbehaving at the workplace for a very long time.
Janine Yancey: Moving forward now, though, I think what we’re both saying is we need to have a rational process. We can’t just have the mob ruling us. Social media and the news is basically a mob mentality. There’s no process and there’s no framework for judging what’s objectively true or not.
That needs to happen because it’s a bad result when we have a US Senator who has to resign and there was no process for evaluating what he did or didn’t do. I’m not vindicating or condoning. I’m just speaking about the process or lack thereof that triggered somebody to resign. Moving forward, we need to evolve this me-too movement so that there’s a process.
Sramana Mitra: Accountability and honesty. I think it’s becoming dishonest.
Janine Yancey: That’s what we’re working here at Emtrain. Let me answer your question about the legal ramification. Every time the employer has reason to know that there are concerns, whether on duty or off, even any incident like the incident purportedly stemming from that one date experience as a comedian, that would trigger the employer to be able to say, “Let me go do a quick interview to assess whether or not this is somebody we want representing us.” That would be the process.
Sramana Mitra: Thank you for your perspective.