As allegations of sexual misconduct continue to mount against powerful men, one group in particular is struggling with how to navigate this brave new world. I’m talking, of course, about The Huggers. These guys — presumably the same ones who approach their female colleagues with outstretched arms and say things like “Bring it in,” “Don’t leave me hanging,” or, “What, none for me?” — are not sure what to make of a workplace where you just let professional women do their jobs and refrain from touching them or commenting on their bodies.
According to the Associated Press “Men are wondering if it’s still OK to hug a female colleague or ask about her weekend,” and many are reexamining their own definitions of sexual harassment:
Steve Wyardm a veteran sales associate for a Los Angeles company, says he thought he knew what sexual harassment looked like: a put-out-or-lose-your-job overture. But now he’s not so sure.
He wonders whether it’s gotten to the point where men can’t say, “That’s a nice dress” or “Did you do something with your hair?”
Indeed, these questions do sound stressful. Almost as stressful as worrying about whether your weird colleague is going to try to hug you again when you go to get coffee.