#MeToo

Terrified.

Tableau / Eng
m_name

TableauEng

PRE
Microsoft
m_namemore
Feb 12

I spent a lot of time today reading dozens of #metoo posts and all the comments.

I must admit, I was not familiar with this issue very much, so I was rather appalled to discover all the nasty crap that some posters had to deal with. What was way more eye opening, though, is the level of stupidity in a lot of comments from all sides of this debate.

I am your typical introverted socially awkward male software engineer. I’ve been in the industry for a while and have made a decent career. After reading all these posts and comments, I decided to look back and try to remember if I myself have unknowingly committed in the past anything close to the offenses related to this topic.

I can’t honestly say that I have, but I definitely came up with a number of situations where I am pretty sure I haven’t done anything wrong, but not according to some of commenters.

And that, my friends, scared the living crap out of me.

1. I have a job that I love and career that I spent years building.
2. I have family that I love and care about.
3. I would never think anything about it, but according to some comments, there was a number of situations in the past, that I could have been reported to HR for sexism or harassment.

Even many female commenters are contradicting each other in what is a real offense and what is not. And it turns out, in many cases it actually depends on the context and social situations, which is pretty much impossible to determine for most socially awkward introverts like myself. Maybe some of those commenters were just trolling, I don’t know. And that terrifies me even more.

It is a sad time. There’re some really bright females in my team, but I just can’t see myself mentoring or building any successful productive working relationships with them for the fear of unknowingly offending them and being consequently reported to HR instead of just being told that what I did was not ok with them.

This is apparently the safest course of action according to a lot of commenters, to make sure that the guy does not escape the justice and gets his life ruined for sure. I am not taking my chances. I just can’t afford to be that guy.

comments

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  • Apple 3eta
    For someone who says he is socially awkward you pull a carefully crafted manipulative text.
    Feb 1210
    • Microsoft See2Sky
      In your dictionary, does “Socially awkward” mean someone who is incapable of writing well formed text ?

      What’s your point !?
      Feb 12
    • Apple 3eta
      Nope, in my dictionary “socially awkward” is someone who is not very good at “reading” other people. However, this post is not only well formed, it carefully presses all the needed buttons to sound legit yet it is complete bs. Fake sympathy to the cause, fake “I won’t deal with women”. The message this text is crafted to convey is: “Stop doing what you’re doing because we will punish you”. A very good manipulation, and although I’ve seen better, never from someone really “socially awkward”. Those are usually genuinely sincere folks.
      Feb 12
    • Microsoft See2Sky
      Then I guess you should start using a normal dictionary... Having their own version of definitions and acting on it was what actually lead to the whole misunderstanding and aversion towards Feminism... “Socially awkward” simply and most commonly means someone’s shy to actively participate in social interactions...

      You called the post BS based on your assumptions.. that’s harsh.. When I read the post, all I can notice is someone who’s already inept at general social interactions is fearing it more observing some posts/comments where some women could potentially misuse this movement... You should try not to form prejudices from the definitions in “your dictionary”...

      “You see what you choose to see, because all perception is a choice.
      And when you cease to impose your meanings on what you see,
      your spiritual eyes will open, and you will see a world free of judgment
      and shining in its endless beauty.” -Paul Ferrini
      Feb 12
    • Planned Parenthood / Engydug26
      ^^ this! Completely agree with @3eta!
      Feb 13
    • Apple 3eta
      @See2Sky, typically when you are good at understanding other people and their motivation, you are not worried that much about how other people will behave. You know when you notice the red flags and although you might not know what exactly this person is capable of doing you know you should be alerted when you are with him or her. You know pretty well who you can flirt with and who you want to avoid looking in the eye. When you don’t have fine tuned understanding of other people, when they are all unpredictable to you, then you might worry about “all men” or “all women”. OP stated that he is not only socially awkward in your interpretation as “shy”, but he actually said he doesn’t understand women that well and therefore will prefer to avoid. It wouldn’t be bad, I mean I can imagine people genuinely doing that (I used to not go in the elevator with strangers as a kid), unless the post was carefully crafted to give the exact impression you bought into. I am sorry, but I have seen too much manipulation in my life to see when the text is genuine and when it is just a set of carefully pulled strings. Well, there are obviously people in a whole other league who I wouldn’t be able to recognize, but this one is not the case. I’m ok if you trust this guy being sincere. I have the right though to express my opinion of who he is and what he does.
      Feb 13
    • Microsoft wololoooo
      It's not that black and white. I'm socially awkward and can read other people pretty well. But when I'm in the middle of a social situation, I suddenly don't know what my hands are doing or what I'm really saying, or I don't know what to say. Something as simple as someone saying "Hey, what's up" can become hard to answer in such situations, even though I theoretically know how to act.

      Being socially awkward doesn't mean you can't read people. Would you call bullshit on a woman writing a #metoo post? Probably not, so don't call bullshit on that guy. Give him the benefit of the doubt at least, even if he's 100% legit IMO.
      Feb 13
    • Microsoft See2Sky
      @3eta - I am glad your tone got better in this comment... May be you calmed down a little..

      About your end statement, ofcourse you are entitled to give your opinion.. But not in a demeaning and ridiculing way as you called the Op manipulator and his post BS... Like you, I have seen too much manipulation in my life too.. At the same time, I have seen too many innocents got accused of false accusations due to which they lost friends/family/Careers... Atleast learn to start a conversation rather than ridicule.. Even your head should be able to see may be on a slight chance there’s a possibility the Op could be honest...

      As the other commenter said, just imagine if a women posted something under #MeToo and a guy calling her manipulator and BS...
      Feb 13
    • Apple 3eta
      See2Sky, I can only imagine what would have started if a woman posted a similar story: “I have read all the #metoo stories and now I am terrified and don’t want to mentor men or stay with them in the same room, I am terrified they will assault me all of the sudden”. Just do a thought experiment and imagine the responses.
      Feb 13
    • Microsoft See2Sky
      What do you mean ? It’s totally understandable to be terrified... Anyone would... If I find such post or a woman in real life, I would do my best to comfort her and make her feel at ease ...
      Feb 13
    • Apple 3eta
      See2Sky, some nice folks definitely would. Others would call her stupid and /or point out that the chance of being assaulted is really rare, and the worse case scenario - she can keep the door open or meet in a meeting room with glass doors. Just like when you read stories about pedophiles and that most assaults happen within the family, you don’t run home terrified of your family. Unless, of course, you already have an abusive family.
      Feb 13
  • Amazon MadHatter
    Female here. Do not see what you have to be afraid of! If you are decent and respectful in your interactions with your female colleagues you are fine. Treat them the way you would expect to be treated simple! Trust me women are not looking to rush to HR with complaints. Yes this me too campaign has raised awareness but it still is very tough to file a sexual harassment complaint in any company. Nobody just takes your word for it. You need to prove it. Trust me when I say women will not go through that hassle if it’s not worth and it usually is worth it only when she is harassed mentally or physically. Don’t try to be the victim here because you are not. Be the good guy you claim to be and you will be completely fine.
    Feb 1213
    • Lyft xmgzzx4
      Shrug. I'd never pursue anyone at work since that's just common sense. That men do it is true and hurtful to women and men are not the victim.

      I think that ironically women are the victims here again. You are alienating your potential allies.

      You can choose to assume I am a minority or a jerk or a sexist, and decide alienating me and people like me is fine.
      Feb 12
    • Flagged by the community.

    • Airbnb OQBW55
      It’s a new thing to you so you just don’t know what’s the right thing to do but you are smart person you will learn soon. Like when you start working fresh out of college you don’t know shit but you learned how to survive.

      It is so frustrating to hear ppl being black and white and saying “oh we should stop interacting women” Taking easiest solution, disengaging. It sounds too lazy and stupid to me.
      Feb 12
    • Flagged by the community.

    • Lyft zVWz64
      @Crocodill hope I will never have a manager like you in my career. If you don’t have a people skill, stay as an individual contributor duh! Also what the heck are you talking about social progress for blacks? Did you take history class from Neo Nazis????
      Feb 12
    • Flagged by the community.

    • Microsoft AttaGrl
      MadHatter, I admire your patience. I am puzzled by these guys who keep saying they are afraid (of an imaginary threat, as per your demonstration), while ignoring that every single women had to internalize fear since the craddle.

      These times are changing, and apparently it is unbearable to some people.

      OP, all we are asking for is to live in a world where we can have the same level of safety and the same professional credibility as a random guy. Is that so hard to understand?
      Feb 12
    • Lyft zVWz64
      Prerequisite to success lolz give me a break. @Crocodill you are pretty helpless so you are right I should choose my battle wisely. Some ppl just have no self reflection, no empathy, and most importantly no understanding of how organization and leadership work and still wants to be successful as an employee in a corp lolz Don’t you think ur strategy is a bit off? Maybe it makes more sense to set your strategy right and focus?
      Feb 12
    • Flagged by the community.

    • Lyft xmgzzx4
      The threat is perceived by me and surely others. You get to decide who you want on your side. Usually it's better to have friends than people walking on eggshells around you. If you really care about change you should not dismiss other peoples feelings like that.
      Feb 12
  • Google / Eng
    lena33

    GoogleEng

    PRE
    Salesforce
    lena33more
    There was a post about some girl not liking to remind her to smile. From that point I understand that guy, why take your chances.
    Feb 128
    • Salesforce
      kernelgrl

      Salesforce

      PRE
      Google
      kernelgrlmore
      Yeah because were here to smile on command. Yeah
      Feb 12
    • Google / EngTapioca
      Have you ever seen anyone reminding a male colleague to smile?
      Feb 12
    • Cruise Automation / Eng
      In general, keep advice about appearances to yourself. Applies to both genders for the most part.
      Feb 12
    • Google / Eng
      lena33

      GoogleEng

      PRE
      Salesforce
      lena33more
      Appearance, religion, family, kids, politics... Maybe talk only about weather. Ah no - climate change :)
      Feb 12
    • Salesforce
      kernelgrl

      Salesforce

      PRE
      Google
      kernelgrlmore
      How about work? Stick to work?
      Feb 13
    • Salesforce / EngnJlL46
      Yeah just being told to smile isn’t a big deal as long as it isn’t accompanied by anything vulgar.
      Feb 13
    • Cruise Automation / Eng
      I wouldn't appreciate unsolicited advice about smiling more, unless it is solicited and I asked for advice.

      You want a smile? Tell me I did a good job on something or what you like something I'm wearing
      Feb 13
    • Oath bdjaufba
      @Tapioca you've never worked in Fast Food have you?
      Feb 14
  • Amazon jenfjxms
    Like OP, I was appalled to learn about some of the things women had to endure in the corporate world. And like OP, I have decided to stick with the offenders and avoid the victims because I refuse to change how I treat women.
    (sarcasm, if it wasn’t blatantly obvious)
    Feb 125
  • Flagged by the community.

    • Square
      Googling

      Square

      PRE
      Amazon, Facebook, Google
      Googlingmore
      OP crafts a clear, honest, and generally empathetic response, and this is your reaction? And you wonder why such an opposing viewpoint could possibly exist? Makes sense.
      Feb 12
    • Amazon 123raj
      U misandrist!
      Feb 13
  • Microsoft sushiCats
    What are you terrified of? Just be a good human?
    Feb 124
    • Microsoft Eqv4tr
      There are many definitions of good. Some of them contradict to the others.
      Feb 12
    • Microsoft sushiCats
      Can you please elaborate this in OPs context? How often are we really faced with this dilemma of choosing which "definition of good" in a day to day work environment?
      Feb 13
    • Salesforce / EngnJlL46
      E.g.: Some would say being told to smile is a friendly (“good”) gesture to cheer someone up, others would say it’s rude and harassment.
      Feb 13
    • Microsoft sushiCats
      Why is it hard to just apologize and don't do it again instead of being terrified? Seems like a super lazy and patronizing way to cheer someone up in the first place.
      Feb 13
  • Square
    Googling

    Square

    PRE
    Amazon, Facebook, Google
    Googlingmore
    This. This. This. This. This.
    Feb 121
    • Oracle Eli
      That?
      Feb 13
  • Google / EngTapioca
    It is super simple to avoid trouble. Just don't say/do anything to a female colleague that you would not say/do to a male colleague.
    Feb 129
    • Amazon hdiefbja
      Have you heard the things some guys in all male groups say to each other? Dangerous advice. 😉
      But I get what you mean.
      Feb 12
    • Flagged by the community.

    • Google / EngTapioca
      I'm talking about colleagues in the most strict sense. Read it as a male colleague you've met for the first time.
      Feb 12
    • Amazon / Engphoto
      Our team would be fired in a day if we did that. The shit we say to male colleagues.
      Feb 13
    • Facebook Cpt Picard
      So treat all female colleagues, even the close ones, the same as you would treat male colleagues that you've met for the first time?

      That's basically what OP says he is going to do.
      Feb 13
    • Riot Games I will be
      Would get fired so fast with this advise.
      Feb 13
    • General Motors WiredLain
      Yeah no

      Workplace professionalism aside, there are clearly defined differences in the dynamics between male/male interaction and male/female (MOST of the time)

      Treating everyone as "equals" is unrealistic
      Feb 13
    • Salesforce / EngnJlL46
      Yeah I would probably also just choose to ignore The Rock because I’m afraid of him.
      Feb 13
  • Microsoft See2Sky
    This .. While I support and concur with the inspiration behind the #MeToo movement, I can only imagine how easily this could be misused.. In the past at one point I observed this in the name of Pseudo-Feminism.. While most of my female friends have intelligent and genuine conversations about these subjects with me, I have met enough women who blabber and point pretty much any thing a man does as wrong and sexist... As the Op feels, over time due to an increase in misusing of #MeToo, it might make the work environments unsociable and toxic..

    I hope people atleast give the benefit of doubt and do proper investigation before accusing the guy in an instant...
    Feb 120
  • Bloomberg iaYM02
    This topic is already being discussed in the national media. That for fear of being accused of inappropriate behavior men will minimize working interactions with women. It’s just common sense.
    Feb 120
  • Lyft xmgzzx4
    I'm completely agree with you. I'm avoiding dating for a while inside or outside the workplace. Unnecessary risk. Edited for clarity
    Feb 124
    • Cruise Automation / Eng
      ... So you're planning to date in the workplace?
      Feb 12
    • Lyft xmgzzx4
      Lol. Never! That was never in the question..
      Feb 12
    • Goodman Dbslrb
      I think you need to read your comment again, slowly. And then edit it.
      Feb 12
    • Google valleyman
      Great excuse man!
      Feb 13
  • Microsoft AttaGrl
    OP, your questioning your past behavior was great, your fear is unfounded, and you definitly lost me when you concluded that you would refuse to mentor any female worker because of this fear.

    You should really put yourself together and relax. Yes, false accusations surely exists, but an objective look at facts show that women have a lot to lose in accusing, even rightfully. If you are so scared of being falsely accused, then why don't you worry about being accused of stealing, or being a racist, or talking shit about your boss, by a random psychopath co-worker who would benefit from your demotion?

    The odds are pretty much the same, yet I don't see many men these days saying they are losing their sleep over these risks.

    So, if you are really sincere about your questioning and want to progress as a human being, you should ask yourself why you chose to be specifically afraid of being called a sexist.
    Feb 125
    • Lyft xmgzzx4
      Cuz you cannot get someone fired by accusing them of theft, usually evidence required. Like of you say hey Joe be taking some monitors from work that's pretty easy to disprove but Joe making some nasty comments is gonna be hard to disapprove and very bad for Joe. Also Joe be afraid of saying something he might say to a guy (eg treating women as equal) and say something like hey nice haircut and getting fired. So Joe very confused
      Feb 12
    • Microsoft AttaGrl
      Your dismissive grammar just said everything about you, dude. Nice try though, next time try more subtlety (If you can)
      Feb 12
    • Uber Uberzz
      Lots of immigrants have language barrier problems, let it go. Attitude much AttaGrl?
      Feb 13
    • Microsoft Cl1ppy👀
      I am an immigrant myself (non native English speaker) and I can tell the difference between someone struggling with language and a dismissive jerk.
      Feb 13
    • Lyft xmgzzx4
      Is it the first time you internet? You all must be bigly fun on code reviews. :D. God you are worse than 4chan
      Feb 13
  • eBay fuudxhh
    Same feeling. Like I don't even know anymore what's ok to say in a workplace setting. Like a girl once tried a new hairstyle and I complimented it. But from the reaction it felt like I shouldn't have said that
    Feb 122
    • Microsoft / Engdocument
      You should be fired and exiled from any corporate position for commenting on a females appearance. Creepy. Poor girl is probably traumatized every time she sees you. Youre lucky to be employed.
      Feb 13
    • Cruise Automation / Eng
      Imo it's okay to compliment people's style choices as long as that's all it is
      Feb 13
  • Dropbox / EngCakeeee
    I think there's a high number of people in tech roles that are awkward as fuck. I cant count the number I've met that would qualify to be on the spectrum. Just painful to interact with. Which means that normal social signals just swoosh right by them. I think that's why some dudes are scared here. They don't know what those normal social cues are.
    Feb 120
  • Capital One jdb946
    The rule is simple. If you are ugly, you will be reported for sexually harassing wamen by interacting with them. So don't be ugly.
    Feb 135
    • Undisclosed Johmy
      Yes, that’s why accusations have been centered in Hollywood—that’s where the ugly people work. James Franco and Casey Affleck must be really ugly.
      Feb 14
    • Capital One jdb946
      Obviously I was talking about the common man. Once a man is beyond a certain wealth and influence level, the risk of sexual offense allegations increase as well.
      Feb 14
    • Undisclosed C4ssiopea
      This has nothing to do with being ugly of not.
      Harrasment is not a game of seduction, it is the expression of domination. Consent is the line between both, and the definition of consent is pretty clear.
      In other terms, let's imagine Apollo himself is back on earth and trying to screw girls and/or boys. Many of them may be seduced by his beauty and then bam bam , good for them all. That is seduction, not harassement.

      But still, there are many Apollos pressuring and harassing others : Beauty may increase your chances to find some sexual partners and avoid a form of frustration, but it doesn't magically prevent you from being a predator. How come?

      Ultimately, I believe that harrassement behaviors have their root in both bad education and a personal lack of empathy, more than sexual frustration : (as a civilized adult, one is supposed to have learnt how to manage their frustrations, whether they are sexual or not)
      So, chosing to be a harrasser really has nothing to do with how you look like.
      Feb 14
    • Capital One jdb946
      👆Found the gender studies graduate...
      Feb 14
    • Credit Karma Johmy
      👆found the pick-up artist loser
      Feb 14
  • Flagged by the community.

    • Flagged by the community.

  • Uber Vassily
    You could have given examples of what you did that would be considered as sexual harassment by some. It would help to judge if your fears are real or if you're just a sexual predator in denial
    Feb 120
  • Uber / Eng
    Rqwx5o

    UberEng

    PRE
    Google
    Rqwx5omore
    Just act very corporate with anyone that gives off that kind of vibe (easy to get offended, always assuming the worst)
    Feb 120
  • Microsoft Eqv4tr
    When I read comments like this I see that I'm not the only one who thinks that way. The problem here is that we're not united. Voice of reason drowns in the ocean of idiocy. The other groups are very agressive, extremely loud and consolidated, no surprise, my friend, that we ended up in a situation like this. The biggest problem is that other groups are not fighting for equality - they're fighting for dominance. In essence I see two options: sit on our hands and keep watching how this theater of absurd folds under its own weight or try to change this together.
    Feb 122
    • Lyft xmgzzx4
      Don't worry, pendulum swing, human nature, disengage live your life. Don't fucking fight the pendulum
      Feb 12
    • Flagged by the community.

  • LinkedIn larj f2d3g
    Aziz Ansari
    Feb 124
    • LinkedIn heffalump
      nope.
      Feb 12
    • Planned Parenthood / Engydug26
      What about him? He pressured a woman into having sex with him.
      Feb 13
    • LinkedIn heffalump
      shitty, but not assault.
      Feb 13
    • Planned Parenthood / Engydug26
      I never said it was assault.
      Feb 13
  • Credit Karma Johmy
    Lol, it’s not hard to avoid sexually abusing people. Most people who are harassed once don’t report it because of stigma, self-doubt or social pressures. Therefore, don’t harass or creep on people and there is next to no chance of being accused.

    Why not worry about the people who say they were abused rather than some hypothetical innocent male who is possibly wrongly accused?
    Feb 130
  • Pandora OVRTH77
    I read great advice recently for situations such as this: talk to women like you’d talk to Dwayne Johnson (the Rock). Minus any fanboying. I’m assuming you’d act respectful, friendly, not flirtatious, engaged, and not physical. Do that. Just picture the Rock. Easy.
    Feb 132
    • Cruise Automation / Eng
      I saw that article too - it's a good suggestion
      Feb 13
    • Salesforce / EngnJlL46
      Eh. I would probably also just choose to ignore The Rock because I’m afraid of him.
      Feb 13
  • Zillow Group hYtJ18
    I'm amazed at how sensitive some men are being to the idea that that suddenly now (but not last year, for some reason?) the possibility exists for them to be held accountable for their words and deeds.
    Feb 141
    • Zillow Group hYtJ18
      And after all that manipulative wording don't pretend to yourself for a second that you can't tell when you're abusing someone.
      Feb 14
  • Amazon hdiefbja
    Feb 121
  • Amazon / Designbaezos
    Hey man, if you don't try to have sex with them, you'll be fine. Just, simple as that.
    Feb 140
  • Oracle Eli
    Feb 130
  • Microsoft
    yMcg47

    Microsoft

    BIO
    Amicitiae nostrae memoriam spero sempiternam fore
    yMcg47more
    I am terrified, too. By normal definitions, i have sexually assaulted women — leering, i guess.

    Sometimes when I am thinking, I stare blankly into space indiscriminately. Sometimes people point this out.

    One time, I did this while a guy is eating a donut, and he just smiled and said “want a bite of my donut?” And similar events like that happened.

    Now I know why a previous team tried various tests to try to trap me. A female co-worker once came by and said... “my boyfriend is going to be out of town this weekend for work. I will be all alone. I can use some company...”

    To which I politely changed the topic.

    Anyway...

    gle.com/amp/s/kkkk://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2016/mar/29/ticker-disabled-mans-leering-leads-suspension/%3famp&page=all

    The problem is that it is so subjective. If you so much as look at her wrong....


    In my case, if asked to stop, i would snap out of it and look somewhere else
    Feb 163
    • Lyft xmgzzx4
      Yeah I definitely don't want to be accused of starring inappropriately just because I was zoning out
      Feb 16
    • Salesforce
      kernelgrl

      Salesforce

      PRE
      Google
      kernelgrlmore
      Yeah. That happened. For sure. A team tried to “trap” you. Really?
      Mar 1
    • Microsoft
      yMcg47

      Microsoft

      BIO
      Amicitiae nostrae memoriam spero sempiternam fore
      yMcg47more
      Yea just like these #metoo stories
      Mar 1
  • Undisclosed Tabby
    The safest course of action is to learn to relate professionally to both men and women, so that you can feel confident in all your interactions and move your career forwards.
    Mar 40
  • Lyft niQv82
    If they take things the wrong way, you could also just have an honest conversation with them and explain you did not intend it in that way and just try to talk things out? I don't think anyone would be super turned off to the point they wouldn't listen to what the other person had to say.
    Feb 130
  • NerdWallet AEGY76
    I think there's a clear distinction between just being nice and making sexual advancements. So as long as you are clear on the difference and be mindful, nothing to be afraid of!
    Feb 131
    • Lyft xmgzzx4
      Is saying nice haircut a sexual advance? Just curious as to whether there's an agreement.
      Feb 13
  • Feb 121
    • Microsoft UMbR31
      Lol. Really funny video but fireband feminism didn't destroy you because the link isn't mobile friendly. If this were played in office, the natural reaction would be to laugh but then it wouldn't be politically correct to laugh. Man, this is confusing...
      Feb 13
  • LUXLOCK / Product
    TqO45s4

    LUXLOCKProduct

    BIO
    Thankful everyday I am in tech and grew up without it.
    TqO45s4more
    Mar 10

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