Editor’s note: This podcast makes reference to sexual assault.
One of Hollywood’s biggest open secrets is now out in the world: heralded producer Harvey Weinstein’s notoriously long track record of sexual harassment against women. These revelations have sparked a national conversation about the relationship between men and women in the workplace, and the prevalence of sexual assault, harassment, and unwanted attention.
Regardless of a workplace’s affiliation to faith, speaking out about colleagues’ bad behavior is challenging for most people, says Halee Gray Scott, the director of Denver Seminary’s Kaleo Project, who is currently writing a book exploring how men and women can work well collectively in ministry. The obstacles just manifest themselves in different ways.
“I’ve worked in Christian organizations for 20 years and there is a tendency to think that everyone’s doing everything right,” said Gray Scott. “[Everyone believes that] everyone’s trying to do the godly thing. … You end up having that discretion moment where you ask, ‘Is something going wrong? I’m not sure that it is. It can’t possibly be.’”
On the other hand, there may be a broader acceptance of questionable behavior at a non-religious company, she says.
“In secular organizations, there is a tendency to accept a certain level of sexual impropriety as flirting or goofing off or someone having a good time,” said Gray Scott.
Gray Scott joined assistant editor Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the difference between enabling and showing discretion, why culture cares more about sexual harassment than in decades past, and how the Billy Graham rule fits into this discussion.
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