Director Invited me Out - Help!

Heliotrope
Posts: 765
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Director Invited me Out - Help!

Post by Heliotrope »

shopaholic wrote:
> The thing that would concern me most right now is: does he read this forum?
> Plenty of people I know do. For a lot of reasons connected to this, I
> suggest you have the post deleted.

Why?
That would be quite perfect actually. He would know she finds him smart and attractive, and that in most any other situation she would have said yes. But also that she has reservations because she works for him.
If I were him reading this, I'd have a nice little ego-boost, but would also know not to pursue her further.
She says nothing that makes her look bad in any way, quite the opposite I'd say.

shopaholic
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:42 pm

Re: Director Invited me Out - Help!

Post by shopaholic »

Heliotrope wrote:
> shopaholic wrote:
> > The thing that would concern me most right now is: does he read this forum?
> > Plenty of people I know do. For a lot of reasons connected to this, I
> > suggest you have the post deleted.
>
> Why?
> That would be quite perfect actually. He would know she finds him smart and
> attractive, and that in most any other situation she would have said yes. But also
> that she has reservations because she works for him.
> If I were him reading this, I'd have a nice little ego-boost, but would also know not
> to pursue her further.
> She says nothing that makes her look bad in any way, quite the opposite I'd say.

Really? If I were him reading this, I would be concerned that she is likely to discuss (aspects of) our relationship with a lot of people, both online and in person at school. That would bother me, and not because I would be planning to do something sinister. The successful relationships within tiny international school community circles seem to be the ones in which both partners are discrete enough to keep the core of their relationship private, just for them. The ones that implode, with results that tend to involve a lot of people, are the ones in which one partner is indiscrete and gossips a lot so that everyone around them knows what is going on. That's what I've seen, anyway.

Heliotrope
Posts: 765
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Director Invited me Out - Help!

Post by Heliotrope »

shopaholic wrote:
> Really? If I were him reading this, I would be concerned that she is likely to
> discuss (aspects of) our relationship with a lot of people, both online and in person
> at school. That would bother me, and not because I would be planning to do something
> sinister. The successful relationships within tiny international school community
> circles seem to be the ones in which both partners are discrete enough to keep the
> core of their relationship private, just for them. The ones that implode, with
> results that tend to involve a lot of people, are the ones in which one partner is
> indiscrete and gossips a lot so that everyone around them knows what is going on.
> That's what I've seen, anyway.

She's asking for advice here, anonymously, so that's pretty discreet.
Plus, there's not a (romantic) relationship to discuss yet.
If I were him, reading this wouldn't worry me at all, on the contrary. It's definitely better than her asking advice from her colleagues, which actually also wouldn't worry me tbh as it's her prerogative to ask advice from whomever she wants.

shopaholic
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:42 pm

Re: Director Invited me Out - Help!

Post by shopaholic »

Heliotrope wrote:
> shopaholic wrote:
> > Really? If I were him reading this, I would be concerned that she is likely to
> > discuss (aspects of) our relationship with a lot of people, both online and in
> person
> > at school. That would bother me, and not because I would be planning to do
> something
> > sinister. The successful relationships within tiny international school
> community
> > circles seem to be the ones in which both partners are discrete enough to keep
> the
> > core of their relationship private, just for them. The ones that implode, with
> > results that tend to involve a lot of people, are the ones in which one partner
> is
> > indiscrete and gossips a lot so that everyone around them knows what is going
> on.
> > That's what I've seen, anyway.
>
> She's asking for advice here, anonymously, so that's pretty discreet.
> Plus, there's not a (romantic) relationship to discuss yet.
> If I were him, reading this wouldn't worry me at all, on the contrary. It's
> definitely better than her asking advice from her colleagues, which actually also
> wouldn't worry me tbh as it's her prerogative to ask advice from whomever she wants.

A LOT of people read these forums. If he does, he'll recognize it. Yes, it is her "prerogative to ask advice from whomever she wants", but that doesn't mean everyone is going to view her posting here the same way. A thing might be your prerogative, but that doesn't mean your colleagues and supervisor have to view it as professional.

If someone asks you out and you say no/plan to say no, it's pretty shabby to blab about it in any context in which it could get back to them or begin to circulate among colleagues, I think. There are anonymous forums unrelated to international schools where she could get truly anonymous advice guaranteed not to be linked back to her/him/their school.

metooedu
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:20 am

Re: Director Invited me Out - Help!

Post by metooedu »

> A LOT of people read these forums. If he does, he'll recognize it. Yes, it is her
> "prerogative to ask advice from whomever she wants", but that doesn't mean
> everyone is going to view her posting here the same way. A thing might be your
> prerogative, but that doesn't mean your colleagues and supervisor have to view it as
> professional.

So...do I understand this correctly? Your biggest fear is that the director or others will read this and dislike her because she has posted this anonymously on a public forum? Thus making HER indiscreet??? You don't think the biggest fear here is that a person in a position of power is asking out his subordinate? That's a lot of himpathy. Power dynamics are coercive and his behavior is totally inappropriate, not only to this woman but to the other women that work in his school. I would hope if he reads this forum he would get a good slap in the face and knock it off.

However, I do think it's possible he won't learn that lesson and instead will just shun her now and treat her terribly. So, if there really is a serious threat to her for having posted here, then this thread should definitely be deleted. If anyone wants to start a new thread about general MeToo issues in international schools (with no details of specific cases), I am in favor of doing that instead!

shopaholic
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:42 pm

Re: Director Invited me Out - Help!

Post by shopaholic »

metooedu wrote:
> > A LOT of people read these forums. If he does, he'll recognize it. Yes, it is
> her
> > "prerogative to ask advice from whomever she wants", but that doesn't
> mean
> > everyone is going to view her posting here the same way. A thing might be your
> > prerogative, but that doesn't mean your colleagues and supervisor have to view
> it as
> > professional.
>
> So...do I understand this correctly? Your biggest fear is that the director or others
> will read this and dislike her because she has posted this anonymously on a public
> forum? Thus making HER indiscreet??? You don't think the biggest fear here is that a
> person in a position of power is asking out his subordinate? That's a lot of
> himpathy. Power dynamics are coercive and his behavior is totally inappropriate, not
> only to this woman but to the other women that work in his school. I would hope if he
> reads this forum he would get a good slap in the face and knock it off.
>
> However, I do think it's possible he won't learn that lesson and instead will just
> shun her now and treat her terribly. So, if there really is a serious threat to her
> for having posted here, then this thread should definitely be deleted. If anyone
> wants to start a new thread about general MeToo issues in international schools (with
> no details of specific cases), I am in favor of doing that instead!

Sorry, I don't think his actions were out of line. He asked her to a social event where there would be many people present. I do think you need to consider the context, which is that many of us work in far-flung places where we don't speak the local language, and school/expat communities are small. I have been friendly with people who happened to be admin in the past for these reasons, and there was nothing unprofessional about it. Assuming that he has romantic intentions isn't quite fair at this point, I don't think. Perhaps she looks lonely. Perhaps he wants to ensure that she feels comfortable/not isolated in their community so that she can feel comfortable and supported and happy. Maybe he thinks she'll gel with some of his friends, maybe one of them shares an interest with her. Things work differently in expat communities, and I don't think it is fair to judge this man based on the details we know. This has nothing to do with gender, by the way, and I resent the "himpathy" comment.

That being said, I know two happy marriages made up of teacher + admin, and both met and began dating while one spouse was technically the line manager of the other. I still don't see anything wrong with this if everyone professionally.

metooedu
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:20 am

Re: Director Invited me Out - Help!

Post by metooedu »

You are using situations with happy endings to ignore the fact that many of these situations don't go well.

As a former IS teacher, I am very familiar with IS and the needs of an expat community. I understand your arguments, but they can be used to gaslight women when they have a negative experience. I've worked in this field several years now and while you know of many examples that worked out fine, I know of many examples where it didn't. An issue of sexual harassment/assault gets written off as an "interpersonal problem" and a relationship gone bad between two people when in reality the woman suffers enormous career and mental health consequences and the man escapes unharmed.

I'm sorry you take issue with my himpathy language. But, I stand by the fact that you appeared to center your concerns on what the director will feel and not on what she will feel, and she is the person at greatest risk here. He holds all the cards.

I realize that expat IS communities are small and many teachers use it to hook up with one another and (sometimes) try and find love. But, I also know that some really bad behaviors get swept under the rug because of the acceptance of these "romances." I am not arguing that all romantic relationships must be stopped, but I stand by the inappropriateness of a person in a position of power (Director, Supervisor, Department Head) going out with a subordinate.

shopaholic
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:42 pm

Re: Director Invited me Out - Help!

Post by shopaholic »

metooedu wrote:
> You are using situations with happy endings to ignore the fact that many of
> these situations don't go well.
>
> As a former IS teacher, I am very familiar with IS and the needs of an
> expat community. I understand your arguments, but they can be used to
> gaslight women when they have a negative experience. I've worked in this
> field several years now and while you know of many examples that worked out
> fine, I know of many examples where it didn't. An issue of sexual
> harassment/assault gets written off as an "interpersonal problem"
> and a relationship gone bad between two people when in reality the woman
> suffers enormous career and mental health consequences and the man escapes
> unharmed.
>
> I'm sorry you take issue with my himpathy language. But, I stand by the
> fact that you appeared to center your concerns on what the director will
> feel and not on what she will feel, and she is the person at greatest risk
> here. He holds all the cards.
>
> I realize that expat IS communities are small and many teachers use it to
> hook up with one another and (sometimes) try and find love. But, I also
> know that some really bad behaviors get swept under the rug because of the
> acceptance of these "romances." I am not arguing that all
> romantic relationships must be stopped, but I stand by the
> inappropriateness of a person in a position of power (Director, Supervisor,
> Department Head) going out with a subordinate.

> You are using situations with happy endings to ignore the fact that many of
> these situations don't go well.

No, I'm not.

I understand your arguments, but they can be used to
> gaslight women when they have a negative experience. AND I'm sorry you take issue with my himpathy language.

I said NOTHING about gender in my reply: why are you turning this into a men vs. women thing? His/her genders are irrelevant here. My advice would be the same if they were both women or both men. You seem very aggressive and determined to make this into a "metoo" concern. It really isn't at this point, and most likely won't turn into that. You seem to be trying to force this into the argument you are determined to have.

I stand by the
> fact that you appeared to center your concerns on what the director will
> feel

No, I'm not 'centering my concerns' on the director's feelings. My concerns ARE based on 1. concern for the OP, who did indicate she is interested in taking up the man's offer to socialise, should he offer again. I was urging her to think carefully about how an ill-thought post might appear to the other ., and 2. the feelings of two human beings.

I've worked in this
> field several years now and while you know of many examples that worked out
> fine, I know of many examples where it didn't. An issue of sexual
> harassment/assault gets written off as an "interpersonal problem"
> and a relationship gone bad between two people when in reality the woman
> suffers enormous career and mental health consequences and the man escapes
> unharmed.

1. You are no longer an IS teacher and I'm still working. Don't presume that you have more experience than I do, or try to discount my experience as less significant than your own. 2. I think it is horrific to imply that this person has nefarious intents, and that it is likely that his overture (we don't know if it was romantic!) would result in 'an issue of sexual harrassment/assault." You do realise that many, many people ask out other people for lunch, social activities, dates, etc. and the majority of these overtures don't result in sexual harrassment or assault. 3. Again, why are you trying to make this about gender at all? You really are quite sexist, aren't you?

sid
Posts: 1133
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: Director Invited me Out - Help!

Post by sid »

Having been around the block a few times (25+ years overseas), it really isn’t as black and white as people might want.
In some cities with millions of inhabitants, a massive international expat community, etc... sure, yeah, I’d tell everyone to go fishing in the wider pool. But there are tons of international schools in smaller, less cosmopolitan places, where the dating pool might literally include three people of relevant age, gender, marital status and linguistic background. It gets muddier then, and I’m inclined to say “give it a try”. Carefully.

metooedu
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:20 am

Re: Director Invited me Out - Help!

Post by metooedu »

> You really are quite
> sexist, aren't you?

I have repeatedly referred to the abuse of power. The person in power here is a man. The person not in power is a woman. And, due to misogyny, women are blamed for most sexual misconduct. This is not sexist to point out.

shopaholic
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:42 pm

Re: Director Invited me Out - Help!

Post by shopaholic »

metooedu wrote:
> > You really are quite
> > sexist, aren't you?
>
> I have repeatedly referred to the abuse of power. The person in power here is a man.
> The person not in power is a woman. And, due to misogyny, women are blamed for most
> sexual misconduct. This is not sexist to point out.

No, you have repeatedly emphasised that the OP is likely to be exploited BECAUSE she is a woman and BECAUSE he is a man. Here's one example: 'As a woman, YOU will bear the full costs of anything that goes bad and not him.' Stop making sweeping generalisations that indicate (all/most) men are likely to be predators/users. It isn't fair and it isn't true, and your bitterness and aggression are not a good look here. The chances are he is a good person who truly likes her in some way.

Would you be OK with a man advising another man that 'YOU will bear the full costs of anything that goes bad and not her'? I doubt it.

Why can't you assume the best of people until they prove otherwise? I feel sorry for you.


shopaholic
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:42 pm

Re: Director Invited me Out - Help!

Post by shopaholic »

metooedu wrote:
> You are literally making the #notallmen argument. You do realize that?
>
>
> https://medium.com/@KirstyStricklan/why ... 57e244f7a1
>
>
> https://www.bustle.com/articles/171595- ... versations
>
>
> https://time.com/79357/not-all-men-a-br ... -argument/

Your argument is illogical, and you struggle with reading comprehension. People like you are dangerous.

I'm done here.

Heliotrope
Posts: 765
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Director Invited me Out - Help!

Post by Heliotrope »

@shopaholic is making the 'what if nothing bad happens' argument, while @metooedu is making the 'but what if something bad *does* happen'.

I personally think it's good to not let fear dictate your decisions, but it would be foolish to consider how things might go wrong and the implications thereof. I too have seen some cases where it went awry, and yes, the women got the sort end of the stick in all of those.

It's good that the OP seeks advice here instead of asking colleagues at her school, and I don't think anyone reading this can be sure enough to assume her identity based on what she wrote – it's a big world.
It might be a reminder to those directors reading this that it's not appropriate to ask out subordinates. It's one of the prices you (should) pay for the bigger pay check.

Smoko
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:41 am

Re: Director Invited me Out - Help!

Post by Smoko »

metooedu wrote:
> You are literally making the #notallmen argument. You do realize that?
>
>
> https://medium.com/@KirstyStricklan/why ... 57e244f7a1
>
>
> https://www.bustle.com/articles/171595- ... versations
>
>
> https://time.com/79357/not-all-men-a-br ... -argument/

People like you totally undermine the #metoo movement.

How on Earth does getting invited to group lunch turn into a discussion about gender, gaslighting, and himpathy? Hilarious but ridiculous.

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