If there’s anything Fifty Shades of Grey has taught us, it’s that SM isn’t quite as underground as some might think. Of course, it’s also showed us what bad writing looks like, but mostly it’s the SM thing. Whether this mainstreaming of SM will prove to be a fad like Kabalah in Hollywood, or a long-term change, is still unclear, but there’s no doubting that a lot more people have come to appreciate a bit of domination in their lives.
Of course, just because you like domination in your personal life doesn’t mean you necessarily want it from your boss, Secretary and Be My Slave notwithstanding. In fact, “power harassment” has become a bit of a hot topic in Japan, along with sexual harassment. It’s gotten enough attention to warrant a public education campaign, complete with posters for the workplace. One poster in particular has been getting a lot of attention on Twitter…though not exactly for the reason you might expect.
In an effort to stop power harassment, which is basically a boss abusing their power, a recent poster appeared explaining some examples of power harassment (or “pawa hara” in Japanese). The poster, below, shows a boss (the tiger) growling at one of his workers (the dog), who whimpers and bows. The animals are undeniably cute, but unfortunately, we have to say that bosses abusing their employees isn’t really a rare scene in many Japanese companies–though things do seem to be changing. On the other hand, I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone being yanked around by their necktie…
Nonetheless, one Japanese Twitter user couldn’t help noticing the surprisingly sexy undertones of the poster. “This power harassment caution poster is perfect in a fujoshi way,” wrote @NayutaKoryu. In case you’re not familiar with the term, “fujoshi” is an (impolite) way to refer women who enjoy homosexual couplings of male characters–usually in fan fiction, though BL comics are a popular genre in their own right.
If you’re wondering how a power harassment poster could get anyone turned on, well, take a look below and tell us that this doesn’t get your loins tingling–at least in a Simba and Nala kind of way.
▼Caaaaaaaaaaan you feel the loooooooove tonight?
Though the poster may have some of us thinking about the, uh, joys of power harassment, it does reveal some important information. In addition to encouraging bosses to avoid abusing their position, it provides examples of the types of harassment most faced by employees:
55 percent have had “mean things yelled at them” by their bosses, which is classified as emotional attacks.
28.7 percent have received excessive work quotas, classified under “too demanding.”
24.7 percent have “been ignored after greetings,” which is considered “cutting them off from personal interactions.”
19.7 percent said they had been asked questions that were too personal, which was categorized as an invasion of privacy.
18.3 percent said that they weren’t receiving work, which was classified under “not demanding enough.”
4.3 percent said they’d been hit on the head, which is obviously physical violence.
While not getting work might not sound like power harassment to some of us, it has become somewhat common in Japan when companies are trying to force employees to quit without firing them.
Though power harassment certainly is a very serious issue, we can’t stop grinning over the apparent sexual tension in the poster. You can almost imagine the tiger as Sherlock and the dog as Watson…