In news that came as a shock to absolutely no one who has a vagina and a law degree, it turns out the legal profession, just like the remainder of community, is full of entitled men who think they can get away with a grope here, a touch there and apparently much much more.
But what should you as a woman do? Save for forwarding this article to every man you know, nothing. The rest is for you, a man:
STOP looking at women’s breasts at work. RAISE YOUR GAZE TO HER FACE. (Unless you are doctor performing a medically required breast exam, in which case my bad, as you were).
STOP “accidently/on purpose” resting your hand on a woman’s back or knee. Do you know how often I have accidently rested my hand on a man’s back or knee at work? No times! Do you know why? Because even if you accidently touch a co-worker on the back or on the leg, YOU NEED TO MAKE A DECISION TO KEEP YOUR HAND THERE. What? You didn’t realize your hand was STILL on her knee? It’s bullshit and we both know it.
STOP pretending you are confused about how to compliment a woman in the wake of #MeToo. If you wouldn’t say it to your male colleague, don’t say it to your female colleague. You’ve been doing it for the last decade, but it actually hasn’t been ok to reduce a professional woman, or any woman for that matter, to her physical appearance for quite some time.
STOP assuming that your sexual advances are welcome. That is literally the defence of date rapists. “Surprise sex” is not a thing. No party involved should be surprised. Ever.
STOP pretending that just because you have a daughter, wife, sister, mistress or aunt, you are not and could not possibly be a perpetrator of sexual harassment.
I don’t even know what to say to this. If being related to a woman reduced the number of sexual harassment and assault cases, the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in our community would be much MUCH lower. It also assumes that men don’t sexually harass their relatives. Wrong again.
IF you DO want to start a consensual romantic relationship with someone you work with, proceed with caution. Particularly if that person is a subordinate who is 20 years younger than you. Check your HR policies and think twice. Maybe the wife you have at home is enough. Because let’s face it, a lot of you are married.
STOP SEXUALLY HARRASING AND ABUSING WOMEN. IT IS A CRIME PUNISHABLE BY IMPRISONMENT. AT LEAST SOME OF YOU WILL EVENTUALLY BE CHARGED.*
* Probably not until you are older. Way older. Practically dead.