What's the non-American view on the current sexual harassment situation in America?

Famous men being accused of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault has been a major issue in the last couple of months here in America. And I’m guessing non-Americans are aware of this because whatever happens in America tends to become a world news item.

But the reverse isn’t true. Americans often don’t hear about news stories occurring in other countries. Has there been an equivalent movement of accusations being made against public figures in other countries that we haven’t been hearing about? The only one I’ve heard of is the British politician Michael Fallon.

Assuming I haven’t just been missing the stories, what’s the view on this among non-Americans? Do you expect a similar series of accusations to occur in your country or in other countries? Do you feel sexual harassment is a problem that’s mostly confined to America? Do you feel that the problem exists but people won’t come forward in other countries? Do you feel that Americans are getting worked up over something that isn’t a big deal?

When two Canadians bump into each other they both apologize so I would expect such incidences to be less common here, but I also expect and hope that women who have been sexually assaulted will be more willing to say so; trends move north. Americans are not getting worked up over something that isn’t a big deal, this is a very big deal. I’m pretty stunned at the stories I’m hearing, and not just from celebrities. Apparently waitresses, f’rinstance, in the US expect to be harassed and groped and leered at by customers and management alike. It comes with the territory.

The Economist had an article on this topic in their international section last October (monthly article limit for nonsubsribers).

The problem appears to be worldwide, and probably worse in the developing world. In first world countries there are barriers to reporting: reprisals are feared, supporting evidence is difficult to come by, British courts interpret damages as “Injury to feelings” and pay low rewards.

Producers in Bollywood cast starlets in hotel rooms. Newspapers hush stuff up to protect sources of ad-friendly copy. 3/5 of actresses reported in a survey that they had been pressured to have sex.

NYT has a story on how things are unfolding in Sweden.

Summary: Swedish men are no different than American men, they just know how to act egalitarian in public.

Amazed you are amazed about waitressing, and I would lay money Canadian men are just as boorish in private as American men.

Possibly, and if so I’ll express my surprise. But elbow room is a natural resource here, some families pass it down through generations. Nearly every bar and restaurant I’ve ever been in has been in Canada, and I’ve never seen a waitress groped or slapped on the bum. It’s not a “just locker room talk, everyone does it” casual thing, I have never seen it happen. Not as a customer, not as a kid working first the grill at a Wendy’s and then a line cook elsewhere, not as an engineering student familiar with all the bars within 10km of campus. I’m sure it happens, I’d be shocked to learn it’s rampant. I don’t doubt drunk people say things they shouldn’t say thinking they’re being funny and flirty, though.

If it turns out that people in the halls of corporate or governmental power are just as slimy just as often here as elsewhere, well, I have to admit I’d be surprised at that as well. I haven’t traveled a lot in the US, but when I have, on business and not, I’ve noticed that Americans are a lot more likely to get in my space than I’m used to. So there’s definitely something different here about such things.

As for boorishness, well, I know how to keep my hands on the ends of my wrists where they belong.

In Pakistan we have had the Ayesha Gulalai debacle. Basically, an MNA (think Congressperson) accused Leader of the Opposition and former cricket starImran Khanof harrasement. There does seem a political issue here as she made her allegation after being denied a ticket for the next elections, but the allegation is being investigated.

The Director of Current Affairs at Pakistan TVwas sacked in November after several current and former female anchors accused his of long term harrasement and abuse.

The Federal Harrasement Ombudsman has been working since 2010 and their website and final orders and investigation results are put up there. Makes for sobering reading. Pretty much every major Govt Dept, Industrial concern, financial institution, , multi-nation corporation and Media House is on there. The fucking Foreign office is there too.

Neither have I ever seen this in Europe.
Is it really a common thing in the States?

To the OP.
Yes, there are now cases coming out in the Dutch film industry, where producers have taken advantage of their position of power.

We’ve had a long-running series of historic cases of criminal sexual abuse going through the courts over the last few years, ever since the Jimmy Savile story hit the headlines and several high-profile figures in various branches of entertainment (Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall, Max Clifford) went to prison. Over the last year at least, the Guardian has been running a series of stories of sexual abuse in football and other sports. Since Harvey Weinstein, there has also been an upsurge in reports and complaints of less demonstrably criminal, but still offensive, behaviour in bothentertainment, “high culture” arts, and politics.

A lot of stones are being lifted.

I don’t recall ever seeing it here in the states. However, one I’m a dude, and I’m not the usual target of this crime. Two, the folks committing these crimes know that they need some plausible deniability, so they don’t generally commit them in full sight of everybody. Three, they’re likelier to occur in some establishments than others, I’d think. I have no doubt that this does occur here, and elsewhere.

I’ve never seen it, but that doesn’t surprise me. From a server’s point of view, one grope a week wpuld be “constant”. But that’s a fraction of second out of 40 hrs.

Neither have I (in the US), but I can easily believe it’s for the reasons that Left Hand of Dorkness and Manda JO mentioned.

But when you’re in the service industry you experience a lot of those fractions, right? I only recall one incident from my time in the service industries, and that was a manager with wandering hands. We made sure he was never alone with a girl on staff, and we made sure he knew why he was never alone with a girl on staff.

The OP asks the impression of non-Americans, and that’s my impression. There are mashers bounders and cads everywhere, but I would be very surprised to learn that sexual harassment is as rampant here as it apparently is in the US, just as I would be very surprised if the homicide rate was as high here as in the US. But this is all based on my impression, and I may be wrong.

No! That is exactly what we are trying to change!

I already contributed when we did this a month ago: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=841976

You misunderstood. When you spend 4-8 hours in a restaurant, you have a larger sample size to examine than a customer who’s only there for 30-45 minutes would have. Just as someone staring at an intersection all day is more likely to see a car accident than someone who just pops their head out of the window to have a peek.

Okay. I was speaking to the expected behavior that is unacceptable,

And I see I posted in that thread. But I had forgotten about it. In my defense, I’ll say a lot has occurred on this topic in a short period of time.

Spain small town:
My friends and I used to pay for our “summer space” (two rented floors atop a bar) by waiting tables in the bar during rush hour. One day as I was returning to the kitchen with an empty tray, I turned back and slammed it on a guy’s face.
Bartender: “hey!?”
Me: “he grabbed my ass!”
Bartender: “this is a bar, not a whorehouse! You respect the waitresses like your own mother or you get your ass out of here! Understand?”
Dude: “uhhh…”
People at the next table: “better say yes, man, she will kick you out”.
Dude: “uh, yes ma’am”.

It was the only incident in 5 summers waiting tables. We understand that the fact that locals knew half the Taekwondo trophies on the walls were hers helped: people knew better than to pick a fight at that particular bar.

In Spain there has been a rush of reports from actresses and singers; a lot of them have met with remarks such as “she made her career jumping from dick to dick and now she’s got the balls to whine”. Now, if I happened to be sure that the guys writing such comments have never been laid even after payment, and never will, I wouldn’t mind so much. Pity there’s at least some who have not only managed to get laid, but even to reproduce.