tv American Soldiers Views of Europeans 1917-18 CSPAN December 10, 2017 9:04pm-10:00pm EST
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counterparts. kind of the religious lives of their own people but the very laws of their people. announcer: you can watch this and other american history programs on our website where all of our video is archived. announcer: this year marks the 100th anniversary of the u.s. entry into world war i. college professor richard folder talks about american soldiers positive views the american. of american museum in kansas city, missouri, hosted this event. >> it is now with great pleasure that i introduce a longtime supporter and advocate and good
friend of the museum, dr. richard sean fault nor. invaluable an resource to the museum and has been actively involved with many of our public programs. --is a key advisor for our and for the partnership and that our programming, particularly decent tenure lecture series. he currently serves as the general william h -- of united states history of the united states army. he has notably published "the school of hard knocks." the recipient of the society for military histories 2013 distinguished book award. he is also recently published
and you can pick up both books and our using them store. ongoingeen doing research contextualizing 1917 in our world today, providing a critical lens on the united states and its relationship to war. energy at the staff college and the united states military academy at west point at our stage every time he speaks her. please join me and probably .elcoming richard [applause] i give a lecture like a freshman. such is life. i am not 100% today.
if i am actually patient zero for the new strain of the influenza, we have a new history to share together. laura puts exes down so i stay in the zone. i am sent sometimes i lecture a preacher. i love the first world war. it has a number of firsts for the united states. it is the first time we sent a large army to europe. it is the first on the native leave our shores to interact with foreign cultures and societies. in the mexican-american wars, there were no more than about 70,000 americans in all of those 2.5 years and in the
spanish-american war which lasted a decade, still only about 100 24,000 americans. if you're are not a sailor, tourist, sort of a rich or bow him artist, the majority of americans have never left the shores of the united states. leave thesemericans a tabula rasa.t deep set ofvery ideas. one is our perception about the british. we had already fought two wars against them. the confederacy against the american civil war. americans expect all of the worst out of the british.
that is before you talk about the irish. everybody likes to talk about the irish. national pastime to hate the brits. as reflective anglo phobia. sort of how the chinese u.s. today. americans are the rising power sort of held by this evil rising british power. on the other side, there is something called a close sachsen glo-saxonism. really corresponding with the spanish-american war.
o-saxonism is a deeply ethnocentric view of the world, predominant among upper-class and middle-class white anglo male protestants particularly in the northeast. deep abiding foes like woodrow wilson, teddy roosevelt, jp morgan but one thing they can ofee on is their admiration the british political and economic system. what is interesting -- and i will talk to about the civilians today -- is that large number of civilians have this perception in a large amount of officers have that perception. weird mix.sort of a you cannot separate the american consumption of the germans without dealing with the american perceptions of the german americans.
this is from the census of 1890. in the time the americans entered world war i, the germans make up the single largest ethnic group in the united states. they have deep concentrations, especially in the midwest and the eastern part of the nation. the native sort of anglo-saxon americans have different perceptions. on one side there are good germans. those germans who left the german shores from the revolutions of 1848 through the establishment of germany seeking more political freedom. the bad germans and of course this is the age of television is some, the age of the anti-saloon league. anglove sort of white partisan united states to see germans as beer-swilling.
benjamin franklin rails against germans. they refuse to assimilate. newspapers,eir own you have that tension. when it comes to our perception of germany there is ambivalent. americans are grudgingly respect fall of the great strides when it wasmade established as a unified country and large numbers of american scholars are following their work in chemistry and on the other hand there is a creeping fear that that oppression is him, that german militarism is somehow skewing the german worldview. about earlier today, those negative perceptions move deeper and
deeper. agree, pointed out and i it is worse in the germans thought. starting against their atrocities against civilians, their use of poison gas. .hey are bad by the time you get to april 1917 is my pointed out earlier, there is no option to deal with them. areourse, the british inundating the united states with reams of anti-german propaganda. when george takes over the committee on anti-american propaganda, the billboards wasseas are barred it extremely negative images of the germans, last but not least are the french. on the one hand, in american schools, the paragon of france marquis ofs the
lafayette who comes to the united states during the american revolution and is instrumental in getting the french to support our revolution and ultimately that support helped us get victory, insured our victory. when you look through history book on the french have a good role. you also see they supported the confederacy against the war and messed around with mexico in 1860. so we're not exactly trustful of them. it does not help that in 1910, less than 1% of americans and that senses were identified as having french stock. not a lot of french come to the united states to visit, very few come to integrate. most of the vision americans have comes from secondary sources. and even the secondary sources are ambivalent.
one such book is called " innocents abroad." one page says france has established a paragon of civilization and a couple of pages later, after watching the ca he says he thinks the french might have a triflingn-can view of society and civility. one of the things the doughboys talk about before they leave and once they get there is the presence of wild women. all soldiers love wild women, we know it goes along with that. hembrick, a red dirt farmer from fulton county, georgia, i'm from georgia and at this time a red-dirt farmer is pretty low. he manages to scrape up a little bit of education to teach in a one-room schoolhouse but even he has the idea that france is both attractive and repulsive.
but they start to create an overly romantic vision of france. americanwar starts, sympathies are almost always for the french. the french have been violated. the french have been invaded. german aggression. they are victims. so american soldiers, i have read a number of letters and diaries, have this kind of crusader mentality that they were crusaders. there were going to go overseas, help to liberate france from the evil tyranny of prussian militarism. sermons would've laid it out here quite well. but there is a problem here. when you have these overly romantic, overly unrealistic visions of the world, you are disappointed.rely
levi, two slides before had talked about if he could do anything when he was young man it would go to paris. but the majority of soldiers do not go near exit is. especially if you are a combat soldier. of --, it is paris the paris of the war zone. the small, militant war zone. you see the disillusionment kick in almost from the beginning. time and time again in doughboys letters and diaries they mention common things. one is on the far left. andgenerations and gerard and millennia they have put together their big blue or titles.
the maneuver is vital to the agriculture of the world areas. when the americans see these little villages with their big maneuver piles they say -- their manure with their big piles, they say france's way behind us. they are comparing and the french are not coming off very well. the first lined up there is a great song, the doughboys favorite song about a mademoiselle. to change the lyrics sum. the french -- they defecate and urinate in the public square -- ok? what you see out there is an outdoor urinal. the americans are saying, what would you have this, right?
i would not use the first person to use that language to get policed using that language. at the americans are not seeing the best and brightest of france. they are sorely disappointed. some of the more perceptive observers quickly pulled this up. wrote averidge are comment. he was a comment in the 82nd division. if you want to read a good account of the war that is synthetic of the doughboys, read that. a jewish chaplain inference. he is echoing what you see in the stars & stripes and also from a general. you came here expecting disneyland. so it makes no sense for arprised that you make disappointment when you get the nasty carnival ride the ghost to
kansas. i'm just saying. it is not that the two groups do not try to get along but time and again there are certainly irritations that affect both sides. here is the real truth. army, even a conscientious army, can live in perfect harmony with a foreign society. we have a hard time doing it with american society, i'm just saying. the army is consisted of young, footloose men and these young footloose men have their own idea of what should be happening in france. they should be welcomed as liberators and every time they turn around they are being overcharged. complained that there is one price for locals, what price for french soldiers, in a
very large price for the americans. you have to love that. what could be worse that in these jerk water towns you are for a ride. the ingratitude! didn't they know we were coming here to save them? the doughboys don't realize they problem.icit in this with these young men coming to town, the first thing they do is go on a buying spree. they are paid $30 a month minus reductions but it still makes him the best paid soldiers in europe. they have cash. the french have always delicacies. the american start eyeing up eggs, milk, cheese, bread. it is only logical for french peasant already hit hard by the war to try to make the most unmet take in. at the same time, the french merchants are still living in
that little town with the americans move on. gyp the locals like they the americans, they will have to live with that after the fact. what tends to happen then is that breakdown in relationship. what the french complain about is that the american arrival is quickly followed by a lot of criminal pettiness. those young footloose men don't understand the language. withhave no problem chopping down trees, eating chickens because they're hungry. and loose with fire. young, footloose men are sketchy when it comes to property rights. they are devastating.
the hard-earned things the french residents have brought up. one other thing that touches up the french is the first thing they're told to do is clean up the town. shovelans the doughboys manure pile up and carries it away. there is a robe or the french are charging americans trench rent. time and time again, the french government at the aef headquarters stars & stripes will print how false this is but the image never goes away. the french believes we are millionaires, they are going to try just for everything they can. from world war i
veterans and 1970's. 65 years ago there are still in doughboys saying, we hate the french. they charged us rent for the trenches. not everything is bad. have a lotns still of sympathy for the french. even though they still don't understand the effect a strain on the society of this total of traditional war, they do try to help out but time and again you get reports of americans helping to carry and the crops, helping repair the local church, helping to repair the local school. they are really complementary and the french take them in treat them like members of a family. it especially happens of the french have lost a son or have a son still in the army in a have a special affinity for the children.
the guys are really feeling some of the effect of the war. in march 1918, the soldier "stars & stripes" starts a fund where soldiers can francs to help the french. by the end of the war, they had adopted thousands of children's. these soldiers are so popular young'uns that they have them trailing along to help. this happened so much that they are told to send the children back home. there are some really good reasons first out. one is they are teaching them words they should not know.
talk to thesaid, chaplain. americans are also tourists. history books. they are aware of what happened in european history and in their letters and diaries they are always well by the history and architecture that surrounds them. doughboysle of the , after theis armistice very few american soldiers get a chance to go on leave and go to paris. it sort of sidetracks him. the it is lifted between middle of january 19 19 and march 1919, the ymca gets over 119,000 wars of doughboys of the sites around paris. the culture tong some extent. some are trying to learn the language.
otherre looking for recreation. i, i always argue is the beginning of the first great american sexual revolution. when the doughboys are brought into the training camps of the united states, for the first time of the history of the united states, there is a concerted effort to do sex education. not"y of the "thou shalt variety. they are trying to avoid venereal disease. there are still 60,000 american soldiers during the war hospitalized for some sort of an aerial disease. it makes it the fifth largest disease in the united states or the army at that time. the french have a solution. calledve something "licensed french military
brothels." there are checks of all been denizens of the brothel to make clear of it. the higher upsom and they say, for god's sake don't tell the president. so efficiently, army regulations, the use of brothels and prostitutes is against the law. of angetting a case aerial disease. but at the same time, john j pershing has been around the army for a long time and supports what rudyard kipling says. asgle men don't go in saints.
so while you are officially saying they'll shall not, the army is also giving out -- the soldiers are going on leave, and .eing given directions there is a separate one for officers and one for enlisted men. this guyundamental is .amed george walker george walker was part of the social hygiene movement in the united states and he becomes sort of the expert for an aerial disease in the american army. catalogs how the americans dealt with this. pervy i think.e it was not enough to understand what is going on but he wanted to understand what this american was doing toe
sexual mores. he takes undercover agents, sends them out to these french or downloads, talks to bordellos, -- french talks to prostitutes, asks about americans. some interesting stuff. the prostitutes say, when the americans came here they were straightlaced and now they are just as perverted as the french. i will leave you to your imagination as to what that means. you have to sort of be surprised. soldiers are returning to eudora, kansas, uncle henry is returning to kansas and at first em is firsttie shocked but then maybe she is kind of happy.
prof. faulkner: when you look to what goes on and conventions in the 1920's and 1930's, these guys continue to try to so those wild oats when they come home. sometimes these relationships lead to problems. i love that bill malden cartoon. this is the town my pappy told me about. very shortly after arrival in france, doughboys started to request to marry french girls. some of them, like this american marching song are in the family way. they have to get legal opinions on this. lawyers are saying, we are here to fight, we're not here for fortification but pershing says at the end of the day it marriages a civil right and soldiers are not giving up their civil rights when they put on their uniforms. and because you want to get that
franco-american harmony, they work with the authorities to try to expedite for the americans especially when the french girl is left with a souvenir baby. americans return home with over 5000 war brides. war bride is a harrowing experience. you were going to a foreign land with a guy who may not understand your language and the army is making this tough. they say, i think these french webinar designing. they are trying to lauren some of these rubes they are trying these -- theye of are trying to lure in these rubes from kansas. they have to have tests for sexual disease.
several hundred thousand trendsns go through shipping to reach france. very few americans great a deep for theappreciation british isles. very few do anything to changes. a couple of tens of thousands of soldiers stayed there for takes, hospitals, logistics. it is interesting that they sort of said as you might expect the british seemed to be very standoffish. one thing that irritates americans is that the british have an air of superiority. they accuse the americans of coming here after the war has been one to steal the fruits of victory away from the british. i will talk about the soldiers here. what surprised me when i started researching this was how much the average american soldiers hated the brits.
in fact, whenever they are round the brits marching past them or having these frank open conversations they like to mention that ae f means after england failed, which is guaranteed to have some fighting. some of the perspective guys like lee lovage or said, here's the problem -- americans believe they are god's chosen, the british believe they are god's chosen in there is no one there to adjudicate so we have a problem. overall, it is amazing that we actually create this creation of the great transatlantic alliance is something tied together in world war ii. world war i is on very rocky ground. last but not least, the americans will get a chance to interact with german civilians as part of the guides of the armistice, all of the allied
powers will be given a section of the rhine and a little bridge over the rhine to occupy. to make sure the germs are not going to be up to no good because after all the armistice is just a secession of fighting, not the end of the war. in while the americans are going into occupy their area, pershing feels necessary to issue this general order to 18 which lays out how you are supposed to react. andshould be dignified preserve but there should be no social interaction between you and the germans and while it is saying we are going to be benevolent occupiers, he also approves legislation or orders that say -- if you are occupying a french and german home, if you 14-16,t males their age kick them out of the bed and take it for your own. that is one of the big differences.
when the americans were in france for the most part, they are living in drafting barnes, out buildings, churches, other places. not necessarily very well kept. when the american army initially occupied the rhine, they are living inside the houses of the german civilians. the moment you decide to do that, they anti--french order is gone. absolutely gone. americans a time at time again, you know, hey, these guys all these posters i saw before coming overseas work actually wrong. as the americans look at the german towns, the thing that they see time and time again is clean, orderly, and most importantly come the highest compliment the americans like us. they actively the occupation of the rhine by
the aef corresponds with the absolute bottoming out of the relationship between the americans and the french. the minutes the armistice goes into effect the doughboys claim the french say, you don't be this anymore, you treat us like dirt, you are charging even more. the french also sour of this relationship. they believe wilson is trying to give an adjustment on the face of the germans. again so bad that in january 1919, the american liaison officer with the french occupying the rhineland says the irritation that had been nowyonic priority this is in full bloom. the average american enlisted soldier absolutely hates the french. these attitudes are so great that even the germans pick up on it. german prisoners of war, we are censuring their mail to see what is going on they are doing and
saying the same thing. we fought the wrong people. the newspaper of the army of occupation of stars has to pay to print huge commentaries to remind the american soldiers why they came. and what they were hoping to accomplish. even though the american soldiers liked the germans and they were much closer to us than the french, they are still not us. one of the interesting things to me is what the american soldiers take away after their happy john through multiculturalism. french a seen the close and personal, at least they think they have and what they come away with is a renewed faith in american exceptionalism. i know this is sort of a political minefield today, at
this time and has deep roots in american history going back to the city on the hill. for lincoln this is the last, world.pe for the the americans already believe they are god's children and that is why there are problems with the brits but after seeing them up close and personal, when they return home for the most part there believes that the united states is the greatest nation in the world multiplies. help to spread isolationism and if you think isolationism, the united states is not an isolationist country. we were still messing around all over the world of the 1920's and 1930's, isolationism is -- we are not going around with the europeans. we try to fix them. they do not want to be fixed. there is one great exception to this american exceptionalism.
the previous lecture hit on this. soldiers,n-american for obvious reasons, have completely different attitudes about the french then do the nativeborn white american soldiers. aef, fear and what will happen to american society if we let too much of this interaction toon, tries their hardest keep social interactions between african-american soldiers and the french, specifically french women, to a minimum to the point that they issue a secret memo telling the french officers how they should interact with african-american soldiers and it is always -- never treat them as social equals because they are not social equals in the united states and even the african-american soldier, with their going through little towns are telling the french, especially french women, stay african-american
soldiers. in some cases they say calmly tails."w, they have they areegard what saying. clearly, all of them are coming across the ocean to liberate. when they return home, returning to a society that does not see them as second-class citizens. you see them as social, political, sexual equals. you start to see the seeds, the roots, of course i've the civil rights movements. we have covered a lot of ground. what are your questions? [laughter]
prof. faulkner: look, i did not die at the podium! yay! [applause] i came underr: and on time. we can talk about the soldiers if we want to. >> the nice thing about having cohorts who are here from the staff college in we might come down and ask the really hard questions i asked for a yesterday. prof. faulkner: thanks. [applause] drags it is and -- are re-navy movement. >> i know sean has not spent much time looking at soldier diaries because they did not have diaries. that is an ongoing joke between sean and i. my question is, sean when you
are good if you don't feel this will -- just kidding. when you look at the attitudes here, do you see any marked difference between the officers and the enlisted? going further into the particularon that item, juicy differences in the different types of officers in terms of the programs because we have a lot of non-west point officers. the army already had a predilection for college-educated officers. they are looking for guys that have a couple years of college. the officers tend to have a more sympathetic view of the french then do a lot of the enlisted soldiers. that even goes across sort of the relationship with the allied officers. at the beginning of the american , they really liked the french soldiers. they realized how horribly
trained the american soldiers arson french are doing everything they can to bring the americans up and the americans are doing everything they can to learn from the french. theproblem with that is problem of american exceptionalism that inside the headquarters from persian -- pershing there is a concerted attempt to remove a lot of the allied influence from the training and doctrine of the american soldiers. in starts in the united states. the chief of the french military mission says, they are misusing us here. idea of how to maneuver units in battle, incorporating weapons come the americans are saying -- week got this. we have our doctrine. we will figure it out. it is interesting that the american soldier sort of stays with the idea -- i will get whatever i can from the french but he does have a couple moments of crisis. thatomes with the retreat
a couple of american soldiers here?"what is going on this is the french. the great army that held the germans. now i am seeing them retraining them in droves." that is the moralizing for all of these guys. ofn the americans in battles , the summer of 1918, there was some irritation that the french were leaving them out to dry. using the americans to spearhead the nastiest parts of the operation while their soldier sort of step behind. this will also happen with supports. a roundabout way of answering your question. >> thank you very much. was there any sense within the army about the hypocrisy of general pershing who was so
nicely set up when he arrived in france with the 23-year-old romanian and the attitude he had towards the ordinary soldier in secondly, is it true that the venereal disease rates in and about the american soldiers was higher after the war than in france? thank you. prof. faulkner: the highest federal disease occurs in the 1919and early winter of while replacements were arriving, they were thinking, i'm going to diet might as well have a good time. then when they were leaving, i might as well tie one on before eudora,k to you know, kansas. there is a spike in germany ended creates a problem. not only are soldiers getting vd but they are also getting a very large number of german women
pregnant. now you are stuck. there is an anti-fraternization policy but this looks like some pretty serious fraternization. so what the commander of the third army does is turn a blind eye. .his is always a chuckle walker would claim that 71% of the american soldiers in world war i had sex when they were overseas. i think that is wildly inaccurate. sort of sex and 1718 is like real estate. location, location, location. most of your combat soldiers are moving to the front and when they get these little villages they frequently say, never saw a woman under the age of eight or over the age of 80 in these towns. you are known as service and support logistics, that is where the bd rates go through the room. for me as a taker,, nam skype, the thing that makes me happy is the highest rate of the darrell
disease in the american army was with the military police. just -- venereal disease in the american army was with the military police. my apologies to the military police -- not really. [laughter] >> you talk about soldiers, marines are part of this. did you notice the difference between how marines viewed the europeans or was it the same as their footsoldier counterparts. faulkner: absolutely no difference. it is interesting, the marines, we do not even know there is of a record. youaverage american in 1917 would say, tell me about the marines they would look at you funny. only 13,000 guys. world war i makes the marine corps. have a poster that says, be the first to fight. join them marines.
so they have all of these enthusiastic volunteers who are probably and i would have to take a look into this, are probably the ones who are really the most idealistic. it would be interesting to see if there attitudes change. from what i've seen come there was not a lot of difference. >> thank you for your service. my question is related to this gentleman's. what differences did you find across that u.s.? did the westerners have different attitudes than the yankees northeast? [laughter] prof. faulkner: generally not. it is the opinion of the emigrant soldiers mostly coming from the midwest and northeast. this is going to need some study but in some of the accounts i read and a lot of it is from anglo-saxon soldiers reporting buddies, theyant
say these guys hated french, that there are just as dirty as we did. but the actual thoughts of these guys need to be studied a lot more but you can sort of see this if you look at the new immigration and that 1890's, if you are coming from, you know, russia or some little jerk water town in palermo, italy, you go to the big city in the united states and to a large extent you see progress but at the same time, the italians also have one out-migrations of the united states. they come in but a lot of them us" ands is not for leave. it needs a lot more study. the american to policy of not wanting african-american soldiers to be societyequally in the over there, how far up the change of command and that really start to be concentrated? wasn't mostly a military policy
or did it go all the way up to wilson himself? prof. faulkner: that is an interesting question. wilson basically takes his hand matters.ary in fact, pershing has more than probably aef any other military commander. policies came from pershing and his staff. and that secret memo, they are not able to figure out who shot john on that. it is coming from the highest reaches. the army has a weird way of doing things. with a four-month fences the when they form- what becomes known as the 92nd whiteon, the officers are . most of them are white southerners and the idea is the army says, these guys know how
to lead. it will lead to a lot of problems with more out in the morale in the-- division. without the work of the stupid doors, persians -- pershing's -- comment onmake any your observation? you mentioned the word "immigrant doughboys." i have heard a lot today about sort of the american, african american, and the doughboys, but those who came from poland and were perhaps conscripts in these ours army in work conscripts and came to small towns in pennsylvania and in order to fast-track their naturalization
to the united states they would sign up and go fight in the trenches in france, do you have any particular observations of how they reacted to their service? >> we talked about that before. one in five american soldiers is a first generation immigrant. it is a large population. ,rogressive in their treatment the army. they had special manuals printed and put them in special classes to teach them english, basic rudiments. of the same time there is his fear, especially with new immigrants that their social radicalism so the military intelligence branches always watching these guys. what i found with the emigrant is there are ceremonies and some of the large camps for 1500 guys to become citizens in one afternoon. those guys are becoming citizens and seem to subscribe to some of
that american exceptionalism as the natives. this is something that needs a lot more work. >> will you please join me and thanking dr. sean faulconer? -- dr. faulkner? [applause] announcer: interested in american history tv? visit our website. you can view our tv schedule, preview upcoming programs, watch college lectures, museum tours, archival lectures, and more. >> this week on "the communicators." talking about net neutrality and regulating the internet like a public utility. regulate one, it do
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