Loud and Clear: When Don Draper isn’t stylish

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Image: Loud and Clear typewriterIn Colorado Matters' weekly feedback segment, listeners commented on recent interviews, including one with the University of Colorado - Boulder's first visiting scholar in conservative thought.

In the interview, professor Steven Hayward talked about an op-ed he wrote about findings of sexual harassment in CU’s philosophy department. Hayward was critical of the report, particularly of findings that some male faculty were observed ogling undergraduate female students.

Hayward said, "There is this, I think, contradiction. On the one hand we live at a time of, A) maximum sexual liberation and B) women's empowerment. On the other hand, it seems to me that the vague suggestion of ogling in that report without any facts at all was really kind of ludicrous, I thought."

Hayward went on to say that his mother and mother-in-law just slapped men who ogled them at work. "Maybe we oughta get back to that," he said.

Alexandra Bair of Denver wrote in to say, "This plays directly into the victim blaming, boys-will-be-boys mentality that is pervasive in this country right now. "

Of the suggestion that women should slap men who make sexual gestures or comments, Bair wrote, "It is an extremely quaint and dated notion that Don Draper-esque men are allowed to fondle their secretaries as long as the secretaries are allowed to slap them in retaliation.”

Listeners also wrote in after hearing a recent interview about condo construction in the metro area. Reporter Ed Sealover of the Denver Business Journal explained that it’s largely stagnant. Developers, he said, are just too afraid of being sued for construction defects.

State lawmakers may try to address the issue this session, and Sealover explained what reform could look like. For instance, encouraging alternative dispute resolution or requiring that a majority of homeowners in a homeowner association sign onto a lawsuit before it can move forward. Such changes have proven controversial and failed to clear the legislature in the past.

Lynea Hansen, a spokeswoman for a coalition of homeowners called “Build Our Homes Right,” contacted CPR after the interview. She said that alternative dispute resolution is expensive for homeowners, especially lower- and middle-income owners paying a mortgage. And she said that requiring large majorities of condo owners to file lawsuits is problemmatic because, she said, condo developers may retain ownership of more than 50 percent of buildings.

Engineer Ken Hamilton of Denver also wrote in about the condo interview: "It’s very difficult to perform engineering work for residential projects without taking on a significant amount of risk," Hamilton said. "Insurance companies have very high deductibles for my aspect of engineering." He added that his professional liability insurance rates are roughly 9 percent of the gross income of his company.

"Therefore," Hamilton noted, "you can see why not only contractors are reluctant to work on condo projects, so are engineers and architects, particularly the small companies."