Working From Home, Harassing From Home

The planetary directive is ‘social distancing’: homo homini virus, if I can say so – and the fact is, I can.The ideal (intangible, like any ideal, but nevertheless) is we all work from home and generally never get out. Goodbye theaters, clubs, pubs and so on.All social life moves online.

The anti-epidemic commands don’t care about eroticism: everybody is on their own!In other words, they should help themselves, since that what the internet was invented for. We cannot, after all, allow people to meet new people and get close to them – the opposite of social distancing. Whoever is already in a relationship and lives under the same roof as the significant other, good for them. Whoever doesn’t, not so good.

In Britain, for some time, they prohibited visits to your partner living elsewhere. Here, they tried banning dances in public establishments and socialization with strangers on a beach towel. Elsewhere, the authorities recommended the citizens having sex with masks on, or even safer, through glory holes.

You’d think that, since we are no longer commuting, workplace harassment is no longer possible, either. Wrong! Quite the contrary, the technological advance allows something that used to be very difficult in normal times: harassing multiple people at once, even during a meeting. There was some commotion recently about a reporter with The New Yorker suspended by his bosses after being seen masturbating during a Zoom meeting with colleagues.

“I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera (…) I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers. I thought I had muted the Zoom video, I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me”, he explained.

And since all remaining eroticism is online, the regulators began adapting to the new reality as they go along. Until recently, in Finland, sexual harassment legally involved actual physical contact. Touching is, however, obsolete, something B.C. (Before COVID-19). So very recently, the law has been amended, and now sexual harassment includes “harassing verbally, through images and messages, including by sending unsolicited nude pictures”. Thus, exhibitionists on the social media messaging services risk up to six months in prison – physical, to be served.

To resume the “new normal”: there is no more sex, just sexual harassment.

As a post scriptum we should mention that what media does nowadays is mostly a psychological ideational harassment; one can, however, withdraw at any time from online, non-physical harassment. On this, it’s worth pointing out that harassment of any kind should be an offense. People can wear masks or take any precautions because they feel threatened, not because someone decided it on a government level

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