Amid the hope and optimism being expressed by women who view the #MeToo movement as a phenomenon that can help create a world in which fewer women are victimized by powerful men who could threaten their careers, some women, including columnist Cathy Young, fear that maybe the “Weinsteining” is going too far. In an Op-Ed for The Los Angeles Times, Young warned against overzealously targeting men for flirting in the workplace, noting that “many women enjoy some degree of sexual interaction in their work lives” — herself included. According to an informal 2015 survey from Mic, she wrote, 17.9 percent of men and women under 35 had met their significant other through work.
As examples of alleged overreactions to “low-level lechery” in the workplace, she cited the example of literary critic Leon Wieseltier, who lost his gig at The Atlantic, and funding for his new magazine project, after it was revealed that he had made sexualized comments during work and kissed co-workers, “on a few occasions on the lips,” against their will. She also cited the recent suspension of former head of Amazon Studios Roy Price, who had been accused of sexually harassing Sarah Hackett, a producer for Amazon who also happens to be a lesbian with a wife and children. Price had allegedly repeatedly propositioned her, despite her protestations, during a cab ride while she sat alongside another top Amazon executive with lines such as, “You will love my dick.” Later that night, Price allegedly crept up behind Hackett at a party while she talked with other Amazon executives and loudly said “Anal sex!” into her ear.
Young is not the only woman who has voiced such concerns. Former reality TV star Joanna Krupa expressed a similar sentiment in defending actor Jeremy Piven against allegations of sexual misconduct, The New York Post reported. “I think people are taking advantage of the whole situation with [Harvey] Weinstein, and they’re trying to make a living or they’re trying to get famous,” the 38-year-old former Real Housewives star said.
In the end, Young concludes, even if harassment from people in authority “should be discouraged,” it’d be best not to “demonize men or patronize women” by over-regulating sexual interaction in the workplace. Young acknowledges that the #MeToo movement has yielded positive results, but she seems to ignore that women have been afraid to speak out about harassment due to the potential consequences to their careers — even the current President of the United States, for instance, recommends that women who are harassed quit their jobs and find new ones.
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Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times.