When all men get painted as the enemy, it shouldn’t surprise women that all men hear the message and act accordingly. Like many a swinging pendulum, it seems the #MeToo swing has over swung. The wrecking ball is turning out to be a boomerang. From Fast Company:
LeanIn.org and SurveyMonkey just released the results of a survey on the state of men and women interacting in the workplace in the age of #MeToo. The results are frustrating. The data reveals that 60% of male managers say they are uncomfortable performing common workplace activities such as mentoring, working one on one, or socializing with a woman. That’s a 32% increase over last year.
To add insult to insult, senior-level men who were surveyed are now far more hesitant to spend time with junior female colleagues than junior male ones, across a range of basic work activities. The men were 12 times more likely to hesitate to have one-on-one meetings, nine times more likely to hesitate to travel with a junior woman for work, and six times more likely to hesitate to have a work dinner with a junior woman.
Well, that’s totally expected. A rational response to being tagged, without evidence, as a predator, is to take steps to make sure one cannot possibly be accused of predation. The delicate female prey (the New Women’s Movement is about victimhood, not empowerment) can only be safe when all men are caged or somehow not in proximity. A man with a lot to lose (job, prestige, family, social trust) would lack judgment should he put himself in the situation where the word of a member of the more delicate sex could destroy him. His innocence does not matter. He knows that he’ll be presumed guilty in that situation.
Author of the article, Melissa Locker goes on to say, ” It’s an infuriating addition to the challenges that women already face in the workplace, adding to their emotional labor by making sure their male bosses feel comfortable interacting with them alone and at those all-important work socialization events.”
Infuriating, maybe, but not unexpected.
The same article goes on to state that women still report harassment. But what does “harassment” mean? It is a word so broad and loose three feminists in a room would have five definitions.
Rational good guys are in protection mode. The bad guys exist in the office and remain obtuse and boorish. The boors and leches make work annoying and in some cases, dangerous, for women. The good guys find ways to defend themselves rather than engage a losing proposition.
The good guys retreat. The bad guys are still bad. Women are stuck dealing with the bad guys and being inadvertently frozen out by the good guys.
How does this bell get unrung?
The vast majority of men are decent. They don’t deserve to be tarred for being men. And women don’t deserve abuse. Women also deserve face time with their superiors. They deserve to be seen as individuals, just as men do.
The #MeToo Movement didn’t do that. The feminists leading the charge and their Hollywood helpers created insulting messages that make normal male behavior seem wrong. Boyhood is portrayed as being wrong. The Gillette video illustrates the sweeping #MeToo generalizations, generalizations that in reverse, would be viewed as misogynist.
Group identity is antithetical to a fairness because it is bigoted. The solution to a a few men acting badly isn’t to portray every man the same way and punish every man for the actions of a minority of men.
It’s worth watching this Jordan Peterson conversation with Camille Paglia. They talk about traditional versus modern roles for men and women. They discuss integration of the sexes in the workplace and the complexities in the modern understanding of male and female roles. It’s not as straight forward as one might expect.
The fact is that the notion of men and women working together in such an intimate way is a modern phenomenon. The rules haven’t been written yet. Can men and women successfully work together? Of course. What makes a healthy work environment that integrates men and women? That’s still being figured out.
It’s yet to be seen if the #MeToo Movement’s actions have harmed or helped women. So far, the results are discouraging. And no wonder. Women should know the harmful consequences of clichéd portrayals and condescending stereotypes. Unfortunately, that knowledge did not inform the #MeToo Movement.
#MeToo took a legitimate problem and undermined themselves by generalizing to all men.
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Author: Melissa Mackenzie