This article is my view on the current #metoo movement, the situation that arises out of this and to a degree a social commentary. To assure you get my viewpoint and also to make sure nobody just smears this, I would like to make certain points clear.
Yes, I’m a white male, in my mid-30s. I have a loving relationship with my wife for over a decade. I am happy that my wife can work and I would never want to have this any other way — we have a lot of fun together in our respected fields.
Despite some comments I have to make here, I am pro equality, but have to point out that I would never call myself a feminist.
I find sexual harassment and rape despicable — from my perspective, only weak losers would accept harassment or rape anywhere.
I think that every credible allegation should be thoroughly investigated and, if proven true, the perpetrator should be held accountable and go to jail (at least) for a very long time!
I’m very harsh, straightforward and provocative when I write — my idea and point behind that is to make a clear, sharp and “hurting” picture so you as a reader can understand the reasoning and my perspective.
In the long run, I hope that these words will make people understand that what I talk about here is not just a fluke, but a very real and very big problem.
I was motivated to write this because I talked to acquaintances in my field. They work in various departments and some are responsible for hiring in various companies. I also discussed this topic with friends, family and other business owners in the USA and the EU.
These are men and women who decide which criteria will be applied to candidates and how positions will be filled — so I give a great deal about what they say!
Now, after all that, what does that have to do with jobs and women? — actually, a lot, because of the discussion in the #metoo movement and reactions to it, especially the upcoming calls for changing legislature, show that we have to treat women differently than men in the workplace. At least that’s the result that the whole movement propagates.
And if we want them on the staff for small, middle class or enterprise businesses, we need to see how we can proceed — because the whole #metoo debate changes a lot for women and the companies that want to employ them.
So let me unpack this whole situation for you one by one.
If you don’t know about the #metoo hashtag then I can’t help you and you probably never read the mainstream media or Times Magazine who made the movement person of the Year.
(Can somebody tell me how a hashtag can be a single person? — I don’t have a problem with that but it’s strange…)
The movement is about speaking out against sexual harassment which I totally support — sexual harassment is nothing anybody, company or normal human being should support or stand for and no normal human being does.
It´s like poverty or living an unhappy life — nobody is actually promoting poverty or living unhappy.
So I don’t have a big problem with the movement itself.
There are however two big problems with the whole situation:
- Accusations alone kill careers and businesses just through the media attention and absence from any investigation or evidence
- The narrative of the whole debate is that every claim must be believed — regardless how ridiculous the claim itself is and that any questioning of this or that people want an investigation is automatically anti female.
These two social justice paradigms have made it impossible to defend anybody against accusations — regardless how suspicious or shallow the claims were — and it still continues so we can assume this will stay for way longer than just the next week.
Another problem is that the meaning of sexual harassment was widened to include what most of us would consider normal behavior among adults. This includes but is not limited to: getting invited for a drink, making somebody a compliment or standing in the same room.
This paints almost any interaction at a workplace in a sexualized context which in turn makes it almost impossible to be comfortable with each other. This has a major chilling effect on teamwork, arbitration and general communication.
I think this is best demonstrated by Mr. Terry Crews, who put it in the broadest term possible in his support video for the Time Magazine:
If you make anybody uncomfortable, in any way — you can’t do that!
Many media outlets have similar definitions — mostly with the unison chorus “if you make any women in any way uncomfortable” then you are doing something wrong and support harassment…
As mentioned before I don’t support harassment! — But I do have to admit, I still want to be able to talk to people — especially at the workplace.
Congratulations #metoo movement, you just made any interaction that could be happening in a normal work relationship also considered to be a possible sexual harassment claim.
Never mind that everybody knows these are ridiculous standards, but as we have all seen in the #metoo outfall, it’s the accepted and proven conclusion!
Now as a business owner myself and somebody who is in voluntary leadership positions I can tell you one thing:
It´s impossible to accomplish anything if you are not willing to make someone “uncomfortable”! Especially if you take on a mentor role!
Whenever you make a decision you will offend people and especially in the workplace you also have to make clear what people’s strengths and weaknesses are so they can improve themselves and their work. Most people that want to progress and grow even welcome that!
But all of that we now have to see through the lens of social justice, we simply can’t offend anybody — and it’s so easy to be offended…
When James Damore was asked for feedback from his supervisor and internally circulated his google memo, it got leaked, he got fired and women stayed at home the next Day because “for emotional reasons”
A ten page summary of data and analysis from Damore was enough to “emotional distress” the women at the company.
I’m not arguing here about the validity of the memo — we can talk about that on a separate occasion — my point here is that a ten-page document with written words that suggested possible gender differences cost multiple sick days!
Clearly, this doesn’t look like the kind of workforce we like to have in any company — at least I don’t know any company except Google that would be okay with this kind of behavior!
But all this is of course because women are winning and living their dream…
Right now the message of #metoo to men is very clear:
- As a man, you are automatically a possible rapist
- As a man, it is automatically harassment if you make women uncomfortable in any way
- And if you say anything against that then you are just some misogynistic a**hole that doesn’t want women to succeed or have their freedom
To show you where this movement is right now we can just go to Twitter:
Teen Vogue Columnist Emily Lindin Tweeted not long ago:
Huffington Post Editor & Founder:
I’m unable to think of men as real people!
— 64K Likes, 18K retweets.
Now on the consequences, I think there is a big thing to note here that a lot of people don’t really understand.
The common notion in the media is that now the work field will shift and women will be promoted everywhere because men are the worst people in the world.
What the media doesn’t see are three very important facts:
- Most businesses still care more about profit than gender distribution
- Most businesses don’t share the blatent disregard for men
- Most businesses are still created, maintained and lead by men — so you can’t put men out of the equation
What also a lot of people don’t want to accept is that men react differently to controversy — because this is a big point of contention, let me show you in real-world examples:
When men get treated unfairly they do complain initially but most of the time they try to find a way out of the situation with things they can do themselves!
(Follow the Links for each example)
Some just see how they can avoid this situation altogether…
So when I talked with my friends I wasn’t really surprised about the solution they came up with to the new #metoo problems for the workplace — I mean I was shocked at first but I also immediately understood the reaction and the sense behind it.
“We will probably not hire women if they have to work together with men” (paraphrased)
“We have to consider gender segregation at the workplace as a next step so we hire women only for positions where we can make a team out of them and where we have to hire a spot in the male-dominated parts we hire additional men” (paraphrased)
One of my colleagues from a US Tech company gave me even a (for me) more horrific answer when I asked him about this notion:
“we are considering to drop our female staffers in the non-support teams, this way we can eliminate the risk and from the outside, it looks like we just have a 90/10 split which is low but not unreasonable for a tech company” (paraphrased)
If you need a minute here — take it, I needed it too, That’s a harsh thing to swallow.
I think of this as a shocking conclusion, but I have to say it makes perfect sense when I heard their reasoning…
Even an unproven or false allegation can cost a company a significant sum of money!
For some businesses it could even mean bankruptcy because clients could drop them, they can’t bear the expensive legal fees or the media outrage kills their reputation.
And I don’t know anyone who is willing to take that kind of risk.
Adding to that the risk of possible pregnancy, that some call for sick leave when they have their period and the whole depiction of women in the mainstream media — and you have the perfect mix for “high risk, high cost, low reward” (actual quote)
“Officially, we will of course never ‘promote’ this — if somebody asks about stuff like that we will just say the teams can work better this way… but we don’t risk our core team that makes money just to fulfill a quota — Google & Co can do that and cripple themselves in legal affairs” (paraphrased).
Now you have to understand here, these are not people that don’t want women to succeed. They are not bigots or misogynistic pigs!
Some what you read was said by women.
These are people that have their own business, they feel responsible for everybody to provide a good work atmosphere, to pay good salaries and they take responsibility for everybody under their roof.
Why should we hire women?
Well, it hurts me to say but maybe we shouldn’t if this is how women behave in today’s world! It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to hire somebody that can potentially cost you more time and money to the addition that you have to create special rules for all other employees.
So in the current climate, I can’t really blame people for thinking that way!
Now, I totally know that not all women are sensitive and take every sexist joke as a reason to make a complaint. Just because women can bear children does not make them less objective or overreact in every situation. I worked with tons of women, some strong, some gentle, some even shy — but nobody was too emotional to come to work like the Google incident suggests.
On the other hand my personal view is not the prominent perception anymore. People in higher positions see liability and an additional cost factor.
They don’t see that the majority of women are actually hard working people — and I can’t actually blame them for that because I also doubt it after all the trouble I read last year.
I always thought most women want to work, to build a career and to be happy just like man do and are perfectly fine with getting their shot and work side by side with man together.
And against the Narrative that the Mainstream Media is promoting… Men actually want women at the workplace — most of us like to work together with the opposite sex and like to joke and laugh with them, to have some good fights and then drink coffee in the break.
But of course, they will not like it if that means they have to take extra precautions just because the new worker is female.
Would you like to work in a place where every word you say can get you literally fired without investigation or proof, even if it was a joke or compliment? — I personally don’t!
Maybe we do need gender-segregated workplaces…
Now I don’t like to end without any advice how to get this problem solved…
But my advice will be very limited because anything I will say here will automatically bring people out of their basements to say that my “thinking is wrong” and “people should just go with it and shut up”, or that “men should just dry their men tears and accept it” (which is the usual response I see on the net).
So read on — but at your own risk..
Let me make sure you understand that I am talking here about only one aspect of this very complex topic…
Just because you don’t see that men are going rampage on social media doesn’t mean that this is just a fluke and that it will go over soon and not affect you in any way in the future.
Men don’t have hashtags on Twitter, that doesn’t mean they don’t act on information they get.
A lot of young men are pissed — in my view totally justified and the media could start a 4-week apology tour and it wouldn’t bring anything anymore…
The damage is done!
A lot of men I know even in their private lives shifted in the last years from “I want to help women” to “I don’t care anymore”. This applies especially to young men in their 20´s but also older veterans and older women that could be great mentors.
Maybe that is in a way how it should be and a sign of equality but I am really concerned that the recent demonizing and outright lying will shift this a lot further…
Movements like MGTOW get more and more members & momentum and everytime women say “men are the problem — get with the program” they annihilate more men for their side and push them to see women just as rivals.
Women are actually and literally creating the very misogyny they wanted to fight in the first place!
What we would need is that good women — and then a lot of them — speak out against this kind of “punish first — we find out later why he deserved it” kind of mentality and to differentiate between “he made a sexist joke” and “he raped me” — not for just a week or in a hashtag but in meaningful ways
But to be honest I don’t see that happening anytime soon…
On a Personal Note:
I saw the #metoo movement as something very positive and wonderful in the beginning. Women (and men) spoke out about getting sexually harassed — it was powerful and I cheered for them. I wanted to help them because I had contact with rape survivors in the past.
I see this now differently!
Some claims are fake and some guilty people will stay free… there is no doubt in my mind about that.
In the meantime, careers are destroyed without proof or investigation to sooth the frenzy of people who are openly declaring “all men are rapists”.
It´s not about justice, it’s not about making something better, it’s just celebrating victimhood and hate.
I get the hate part — I think we all can feel for the people that were really raped or abused.
But with that hate came also the mentality that it is okay to punish and it doesn’t actually matter who gets punished — anybody will do, regardless if they are guilty or innocent!
All this has really changed me and my perspective…
It also changed how I see sexual harassment and rape itself — today my response to another claim is “Does s/he have proof, evidence and/or can somebody corroborate her/his story?” and if there is no proof, then I literally don’t care anymore! — Why should I help if it’s all about propagating hate against the next target regardless of truth or justice…?!
Last Edited: 10.01.2018
It makes little sense to me to maintain this account so don’t expect another update.
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