I kissed dating goodbye reflection
It’s not just that our collective understanding of the prevalence of harassment has changed; it’s that our understanding of the very definition of has been called into question.
The definition will grow more capacious as we retrain our antennae to categorize certain male behavior as threatening that we’d previously been conditioned to dismiss or ignore.
One male director of a design firm told the paraphrased, “it has been figured out how men and women should interact.” But the rules of interaction haven’t changed—it’s just that, for the first time, women are publicly calling foul en masse.
Sexual harassment has moved from the realm of cheesy office training videos to the real world, where harassers are not only Donald Trumps and anonymous subway masturbators, but also our friends, lovers, fathers, and work buddies.
The baked-in subjectivity of this definition, combined with the large-scale recalibration of this moment, has allowed space for some people to wonder whether cracking down on sexual harassment will put an end to all friendly flirtation.Some of these women had already recognized certain incidents from their past as harassment or abuse.Others have been forced by this interminable news cycle to relive, reconsider, and reclassify some of the things men have done to them against their will or to search for boundaries in the mess of human interaction.Male friends have contacted me out of the blue to ask me to be honest, to tell them if I think they’ve ever done anything to earn them a spot on one of the many semi-secret lists of sexists and creeps bouncing around the internet.
When I told a Lyft driver in Detroit that I was in town for the Women’s Convention in late October, he asked if I was “a #Me Too,” too.Both the #Me Too hashtag and the “Shitty Media Men” spreadsheet place accounts of one-off verbal come-ons next to dire accusations of sustained sexual abuse, which made some feminist critics (including, when the spreadsheet first circulated, me) queasy.