Take the Online Sexual Harassment Course That Would Have Saved Bob Filner!

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
Aug. 2 2013 6:00 PM

The Lost Sexual Harassment Course

Take the online sexual harassment course that San Diego Mayor Bob Filner never had.

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner speaks at a press conference announcing his intention to seek professional help for sexual harassent issues on July 26, 2013, in San Diego.

Photo by Bill Wechter/Getty Images

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner stands accused of unwanted sexual harassment by nine different women. Filner’s lawyer indicated on Thursday that the city of San Diego is in fact responsible for his actions and should pay the cost of his legal defense, for the simple reason that the city failed to provide him with mandatory sexual harassment training. Reports indicate that the mayor could have easily “closed his door” and fulfilled this training with a two-hour computer course offered online—though given the nature of the charges, Filner should probably keep his office door open from now on.


Slate has obtained a copy of the computer course that Filner failed to complete.* It is clear on its face that, had the mayor indeed completed the required training, he would have better understood all the subtle nuances that make workplace conduct between the sexes so hopelessly fraught with misunderstanding and confusion.

Here is the text of the sexual harassment quiz Filner never took.** See how you do!

Multiple Choice

1. Your communications director is a professional member of your staff, hired to provide crucial political services. When she asks you to sign off on a new ad, your response to her should be:

(a) “This is terrific. Thank you for your hard work.”
(b) “When are you going to get naked?”
(c) “You should work without panties.”
(d) Grabbing her and kissing her.
(e) All of the above.
(f) None of the above.

(a) Grab her ass.
(b) Eat your chicken.
(c) Grab your chicken’s ass.
(d) Invite her to work for you.

3. Slobbering down a woman’s chin in a workplace setting is:

(a) Always appropriate.
(b) Never appropriate.
(c) It really depends on the context.

4. Female political consultants and others with whom you work should be warned in advance before you:

(a) Grab their ass.
(b) Say “your eyes have bewitched me.”
(c) Put them in a headlock.
(d) Grab their breasts.
(e) Try to kiss them.
(f) All of the above.
(g) None of the above

5. What might you suggest an employee do to improve the quality of her work?

(a) Eat breakfast.
(b) Get more sleep.
(c) Take off her panties.
(d) Spend more time in a headlock.

6. What part of a female employee's body should you sensuously trace your finger across in any workplace setting?

(a) Her cheek.
(b) Her backside.
(c) Her knee.
(d) None of the above.

7. If you are disinvited by the National Women Veterans Association of America to serve as keynote speaker at an event to bring attention to military sexual assault, you should:

(a) Not go.
(b) Show up and give the speech anyway because, really, they want you to.
(c) Show up but demand that all women remove their panties before you enter the room.

True or False

8. If a child welfare expert rejects your attempts to kiss her three times, what she really means is that you should probably try a fourth time.

9. If you are sued for sexual harassment, your constituents should pay your legal fees.

10. If any woman with whom you have a professional relationship holds the military honorific “rear admiral,” any sexual conduct referencing her backside is automatically both legal and encouraged.

*No, we haven’t.
**This does not constitute a real training course. Sadly, Bob Filner is a real mayor.

Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate. Follow her on Twitter.

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.



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