Oh, god. Could you make it any more about you? Men are wondering if hugging women is still OK.
“Have we gotten to the point now where men can’t say, ‘That’s a nice dress’ or ‘Did you do something with your hair?’” says the veteran sales associate for a Los Angeles company. “The potential problem is you can’t even feel safe saying, ‘Good morning’ anymore.”
The sexual misconduct allegations that have brought down powerful men in Hollywood, media, politics and business are sending a shiver through the workplace. Men are wondering if it’s still OK to hug a female colleague or ask about her weekend. And some are asking themselves if they ever, perhaps even inadvertently, crossed the line.
You can still comment on women’s appearance in a complimentary way, if you’re also the kind of guy who says “That’s a nice shirt” to your male co-workers. You can comment on their hairstyle, if you also say the same sort of thing about other men.
“Good morning” is always safe, you dumbass.
Hugging is also safe, if you ask permission first, and if you don’t use it as an excuse to send your hands on a scouting mission to various prominences in the landscape. Again, I have to wonder, though, how often hugging is an important part of your interactions with other men.
Also, if you have to ask yourselves if you’ve crossed a line, then yes, you have crossed a line.
I’m really getting annoyed with these men who are playing dumb and incapable of understanding simple social cues and rules of behavior. We men aren’t that stupid, and no one is fooled — even you aren’t that dim. Apparently, though, the cost of appearing stupid is the price you’re willing to pay for an excuse to clumsily fondle women against their will.
“You don’t feel save saying ‘good morning’ anymore.” Sheesh. You really are willing to play the imbecile for a cheap feel.