A Guide for Men on Not Harassing Women
Apparently men in Silicon Valley (you already know the rest of this sentence won’t be good) are afraid to work with women, especially in light of the Harvey Weinstein debacle, because they’re afraid they won’t be able to do so without accidentally harassing them. Or, I’m sure more likely, without doing something they consider to be perfectly OK, which is actually harassment, which they will find confusing.
Anne Victoria Clark wrote this really funny post on Medium about imagining your female coworker or associate is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in order to treat her appropriately, and it’s pretty perfect. But I offer you another insight into how to not harass women – just do what I do every damn day.
Look, I’m a boring straight woman, so that means I date men. I live in a city and use public transportation. I work in an office. I spend a lot of time in fairly crowded places, full of men. Many of these places have attractive men in them, and yet, I don’t harass any of them! Would you like to know how I accomplish this? OK, let me let you in on all my secrets. Here are some scenarios I hope will be helpful.
(From Hot Dudes Reading on Instagram)
Scenario 1: I see an attractive man on the train
Imagine I’m on the train, commuting to work. I notice there is an attractive man on the train with me. I think to myself “Hey, that guy is attractive,” and then I go back to reading my book, listening to my music, or minding my damn business. Things I don’t do:
- stare at his crotch
- block his path on/off the train
- invade his personal space
- touch him
Scenario 2: I see an attractive man at my office
Now let me start by saying I think it is always a poor idea to date anyone at work, so that’s my rule. But also, even if I didn’t have that rule, I would be capable of not harassing men at my office. Here’s what would happen: I see an attractive guy. I think “That guy sure is attractive!” and I go back to doing my job. Things I don’t do:
- tell him he’s attractive
- ask him out
- pressure him to have sex with me for a promotion
- make comments about his body
Are you getting it yet? Here is one more example for you.
Scenario 3: I see an attractive man on the street in the city
Say I am sitting on a bench on a busy street or in a park somewhere in Boston. I see an attractive man walk past me. I think “Hey, that guy is attractive!” and then I go back to whatever I was doing. Things I do not do:
- yell something at him about his body
- follow him
- touch him
- block him physically while demanding that he pay attention to me
Do you think you have it yet, guys? Is it clear? Have you figured it out?
“But woe is me,” you say, “how will I ever get a date? How will all these attractive women know about all my excellent qualities, and why I’m such a good guy, and boo-hoo, it is such a tragedy that they are preventing a really ‘good thing’ from happening to them, just because they don’t like being harassed.”
I hate to tell you, dudes, if that’s what you are thinking, honestly, in any part of your brain, but I have no shortage of dates and relationships with men, and somehow they are accomplished without any harassment from either side. You can do it too, I promise.
Pass it on.