This blog has three purposes:
1) Talk about things that don’t matter because everything that happens is serious and I think there is value in thinking about non-serious things. Also I have the emotional intelligence of a young ant.
2) Dirty up the internet with pro-Canadian propaganda
3) Get more followers than my blog nemesis, who has since quit blogging but still has 450x more followers than I have
But really the main purpose is #1. As such, I don’t often talk about serious things. But I’ve become annoyed by some talk I’ve heard surrounding the recent increase in sexual harassment/assault allegations, the #MeToo movement, etc etc.
I’m not going to talk about my stance on the #MeToo movement, but I am going to take a stance on one of the reactions to it. I’ve heard a lot of “well, I guess you can’t hire/work with/talk to women because they will accuse you of harassing them!”
There are many things I’d like to say about this, but today I focus on one, which is WHAT DO YOU THINK WOMEN HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH THIS WHOLE TIME?! [sidenote: the following is very gender binary, mostly to get a point across, but obviously this can apply to all genders]
The logical equivalent of “I can’t be around women because they might get me in trouble when I ‘do not’ harass them” is “I can’t be around men because there is a minority that will harass/assault/rape me”. And by that I of course mean that it isn’t the equivalent at all because 25% of women (in the U.S.) have reported being assaulted and 1% of men (also in the U.S.) WHO COMMIT RAPE have been found guilty. So really the odds are stacked in one way.
Why is it that when there was some fraction of men who were attacking women it was like “well most men are good” but when some fraction of women speak out about this it is “all women are vindictive therefore don’t talk to them”?
Also inherent in this claim is that women are completely unreasonable and don’t understand when they are being assaulted and/or harassed. Which basically means women are terrible people and/or stupid. So just know that this is what you’re saying.
But really, if someone asks you to stop doing something, you can just stop. Even if you didn’t know it was wrong. If you stop, chances are you’ll be fine. I mean, even if you don’t stop, chances are you’ll be fine (cry), but hopefully that is changing.
In closing, you CAN hire/work with/talk to women (or anyone for that matter). What you CAN’T do is harass/assault them. “But isn’t the line between flirting and harassment very thin?” You might think it is, but a few guidelines: if you hit on a woman and she says she isn’t interested, stop. I suspect it is extremely unlikely that she will take you to court for harassment. I don’t think people fully understand the mental, emotional, and financial burden of filing an allegation. People don’t take you seriously; people talk about you; you spend hours (weeks? months?) filling out reports, talking to people; etc. This is not something people want to go through just for fun.
If you are falsely accused, I also suspect there is a zero percent chance that you will be found guilty given that people who, you know, actually rape women are not found guilty. Sure, times are changing. After all, it only took 60 women accusing Bill Cosby of drugging them to get him in trouble. But you’ll probably be ok.
The power structure of society is such that as soon as women gain the ability to credibly file allegations, men state that this is reason not to hire/promote them, thereby weakening women’s economic position and their credibility. Please don’t do that. Women have never been in the position to say “I’m not going to hire men because they might harass or assault me”. This is your privilege.
Also the fact that the discussion is all about whether men can hire women says something more about where society is still at.