These people are never happy.
A few years ago we were introduced to the #MeToo movement, which culminated most publicly with the attempted destruction of Juctice Kavanaugh. The idea that we should “believe all women” became canon in liberal circles to the point of absurdity. Have there been real problems with sexual harassment and assault among powerful men and female subordinates? Absolutely. Does that mean that it’s fair to generalize men as toxic predators and tacitly endorse the idea that proof isn’t needed? Of course not. In the midst of some very legitimate reports of abuse, there were men caught up in false allegations as well. Kavanaugh may be the most famous example, but he’s hardly the only one.
After the #MeToo movement became so high profile, a strange thing starting happening. Men got terrified of being falsely accused and started making behavioral changes in regards to their interactions with women.
CNBC recently ran an article titled “60% of male managers now say they’re uncomfortable participating in work activities with women.”
The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have brought huge attention to the challenges women face at work, but a new survey finds that 60% of male managers say they’re uncomfortable participating in regular work activities with women, including mentoring, working one-on-one or socializing.
According to the survey, released by LeanIn.org and SurveyMonkey, that’s a 33% increase from last year.
Senior-level men also say they are 12 times more likely to be hesitant about one-on-one meetings with a junior woman than they are a junior man, nine times more likely to be hesitant to travel with a junior woman for work than a junior man, and six times more likely to be hesitant to have a work dinner with a junior woman than a junior man.
Who could have possibly foreseen this?
Regardless, you’d think this new cautious approach would please liberal minded individuals who pushed the idea of a pervasive, toxic culture among men.
Nah, they are still mad.
60 percent of male managers need to grow up.https://t.co/sRipnNXHFX
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) June 9, 2019
Yes, I’m sure “growing up” will help if a woman claims something falsely after a private meeting. In a “his word against hers” situation like that, there is essentially no defense, as we’ve seen played out in the media multiple times over the last several years, including on college campuses. The media will destroy anyone who is accused and even if they aren’t important enough to make CNN, social media will be sure to do the job with their incessant mobbing.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of course had to chime in as well.
Is it really that hard to not be creepy? https://t.co/WJJv7QNDyn
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 9, 2019
Here’s the thing. One only has to read the frothing responses to her tweet to see exactly why it’s smart for men to be overly cautious. The initial judgement by these people is to always assume the man is being a creep and that he’s guilty. You see it in AOC’s tweet with the assumption that men simply can’t control themselves.
There’s a lot of truth to that. There’s absolutely no doubt that some men have done bad things. But it’s also true that a lot of men have made jokes, comments, etc. that they meant nothing by and ended up having their lives ruined over it.
With all this said, I don’t want to paint women with a broad brush either. The vast majority of them are not looking to falsely accuse men of sexual misdeeds. It’s likely 99.9% safe for men to continue doing what they’ve always done in regards to mentoring and working with women. But, perception is reality and the media chose to blow things up to astronomical proportions while the #MeToo movement also clearly overstepped its bounds. That’s left many men deciding it is better to be safe than sorry, even if the chance of a false accusation is small.
In the end, #MeToo proponents can’t really have it both ways. They created an environment where accusations are wholly destructive before any adjudication and men are rightly deciding to not take any unnecessary chances. Now, those #MeToo proponents have to live with the consequences and that may hurt women in the workplace if male superiors don’t feel comfortable interacting with them on a private, mentoring level.
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