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Researchers “Disappointed” That #MeToo Backlash “Even Worse Than Anticipated”

Researchers “Disappointed” That #MeToo Backlash “Even Worse Than Anticipated”

This shouldn’t be the least bit surprising, and yet…

Who could’ve foreseen the consequences of a movement that promoted believing all women over examining facts and evidence?

From campus kangaroo courts to the nationwide #MeToo movement that sought to out serial sexual predators protected by their rank and wealth, #MeToo brought with it consequences of all stripes — positive, but mostly negative.

The Weinsteins and Frankens of the world met long-overdue justice. But as the movement that began as a megaphone for those silenced or ignored morphed into a mantra and then the insistence that all men are secret predators, waiting for the opportunity to pounce on innocent women, the backlash rightly began. Add to that the bizarre trend among millennial women that allowed regret for lack of boundaries in sexual encounters to later be interpreted as sexual assault and quite frankly, I’m surprised the backlash hasn’t been more severe.

The Harvard Business Review published a study, the results of which “surprised” researchers:

The study’s biggest surprise has to do with backlash. Respondents said they expected to see some positive effects of the #MeToo movement: For instance, 74% of women said they thought they would be more willing now to speak out against harassment, and 77% of men anticipated being more careful about potentially inappropriate behavior. But more than 10% of both men and women said they thought they would be less willing than previously to hire attractive women.

Twenty-two percent of men and 44% of women predicted that men would be more apt to exclude women from social interactions, such as after-work drinks; and nearly one in three men thought they would be reluctant to have a one-on-one meeting with a woman. Fifty-six percent of women said they expected that men would continue to harass but would take more precautions against getting caught, and 58% of men predicted that men in general would have greater fears of being unfairly accused.

Because the data was collected soon after the #MeToo movement gained momentum, and because much of it focused on expectations, the researchers conducted a follow-up survey (with different people) in early 2019. This revealed a bigger backlash than respondents had anticipated. For instance, 19% of men said they were reluctant to hire attractive women, 21% said they were reluctant to hire women for jobs involving close interpersonal interactions with men (jobs involving travel, say), and 27% said they avoided one-on-one meetings with female colleagues; only one of those numbers was lower in 2019 than the numbers projected the year before.

The researchers say that some of the behaviors are manifestations of what is sometimes called the Mike Pence rule—a reference to the U.S. vice president’s refusal to dine with female colleagues unless his wife is present. “I’m not sure we were surprised by the numbers, but we were disappointed,” says Rachel Sturm, a professor at Wright State University who worked on the project. “When men say, ‘I’m not going to hire you, I’m not going to send you traveling, I’m going to exclude you from outings’—those are steps backward.”

In December of 2018, I blogged about a Bloomberg article that discussed the impact of #MeToo on Wall Street. SPOILER: The results were the same — men hesitant to be alone with female coworkers for fear their words or actions might be misconstrued.

No more dinners with female colleagues. Don’t sit next to them on flights. Book hotel rooms on different floors. Avoid one-on-one meetings.

In fact, as a wealth adviser put it, just hiring a woman these days is “an unknown risk.” What if she took something he said the wrong way?

Across Wall Street, men are adopting controversial strategies for the #MeToo era and, in the process, making life even harder for women.

Call it the Pence Effect, after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who has said he avoids dining alone with any woman other than his wife. In finance, the overarching impact can be, in essence, gender segregation.

Interviews with more than 30 senior executives suggest many are spooked by #MeToo and struggling to cope. “It’s creating a sense of walking on eggshells,” said David Bahnsen, a former managing director at Morgan Stanley who’s now an independent adviser overseeing more than $1.5 billion.

This is hardly a single-industry phenomenon, as men across the country check their behavior at work, to protect themselves in the face of what they consider unreasonable political correctness — or to simply do the right thing. The upshot is forceful on Wall Street, where women are scarce in the upper ranks. The industry has also long nurtured a culture that keeps harassment complaints out of the courts and public eye, and has so far avoided a mega-scandal like the one that has engulfed Harvey Weinstein.

This shouldn’t be the least bit surprising, and yet…


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#MeToo is the urge to nag gone public. If you’re not married to the lady, avoiding her is the easy response.

Close The Fed | August 30, 2019 at 1:22 pm

This wouldn’t be so bad if the dems hadn’t stuck by Clinton during the Lewinski thing.

And now they’re overcompensating.

Tsk, tsk.

Close The Fed | August 30, 2019 at 1:24 pm

And they’re overcompensating because dumping Clinton means they can use Trump’s remarks to try to get rid of them.

Dems, so transparent.

The reaction of women to #metoo has been disappointing and indicts their suitability for positions of responsibility.

HBR reports “Twenty-two percent of men and 44% of women predicted that men would be more apt to exclude women from social interactions …”

so women (far more than men) anticipated this backlash. And yet they did nothing. They hardly even complain now, to their credit, because it is their fault and they know it.

They prefer it this way. They may not say it of course because that would be contrary to their interests. But their behavior up to now, in response to the #metoo phenomenon, shows it. Now maybe it makes sense, and the harassment was a terrible, horrible thing, but none of the women I know say that.

I just think women are passive and sort of like to see men in trouble. This movement puts men in trouble, so quite a few women, maybe a majority among the opinion leaders, likes it.

They are willing to put up with the backlash. and so let them. And the backlash should go on for several decades, because the cultural threat will last at least that long.

It is some steps backward. Because obviously we had gone too far forward. We had jumped the shark.

2nd Ammendment Mother | August 30, 2019 at 1:27 pm

Play stupid games win stupid prizes. It’s surprising they didn’t realize with the left’s disdain for conservative ideas and pushing of sexuality into every conversation that there would be blow back.

I’m curious if they also looked into whether women execs were doing the same things and whether gay employees were also facing the same blow back.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to 2nd Ammendment Mother. | August 30, 2019 at 1:46 pm


    Just wait till the lesbians start coming forth with assertions they’ve been harassed and abused by other leftist feminist women.


even Helen Keller and Ray Charles, separately, of course, saw this coming.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | August 30, 2019 at 1:58 pm

Oh my, however will the muslim Cair Bears ever survive all the women going after them?

Hamas-Linked Organization Partners With U.S. Census Bureau

Once upon a time, girls were raised to be ladies, and boys were raised to be gentlemen. They both learned to acknowledge the difference; respect the difference, and employ manners to interact in a pleasant society.

But now that it’s twice upon a time, the opposite is true.

2smartforlibs | August 30, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Lucky we still don’t burn people at the stake.

The law of unintended consequences rears it’s head.

There is no killer for business momentum quite like uncertainty. Because of the excesses of the left and potential for injustice, a movement allegedly seeking a better workplace environment for women has made the situation worse, for both women and men.

Experience has shown us 1) that rich, powerful, and celebrity men can get away with criminal behavior, and 2) that less powerful men of good will in society cannot protect themselves, absent discrimination against women (or a mother who is a judge).

We can and should have a discussion about what the rules in the workplace must be. We need clarity. And, we need people to call out leftist, perverse demands for the mischief they are.

“Believe All Women” — my aching a$$. Whoever came up with that slogan, and every person who amplified it, committed a civic sin by tarring the reputations of people without at least some corroboration. There would necessarily be a backlash, if we want to keep anything like a just and civil society.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Valerie. | August 30, 2019 at 2:57 pm


    artichoke in reply to Valerie. | August 30, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    No thanks, any conversation that will mitigate the current backlash isn’t on. Men have *finally* figured out how to protect themselves and are doing so. We’re not about to change suddenly.

    Doors will be kept open. Groups will tend to be more single-sex. This should not be seen as discrimination, because there can be all-female groups as well as all-male.

    I don’t see anything close to a reason to believe it won’t happen again, slowly at first of course. And all the gains men have made will be bargained away because men are shitty negotiators in such things.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to artichoke. | August 30, 2019 at 4:53 pm

      All-female groups will never be seen as discriminatory. Only all-male groups.

        It’s been that way for a generation or two, but perhaps now the pendulum swings back a bit. Especially with the gender-bender stuff, it becomes harder to justify given women anything you don’t also give men, after all some might be the opposite sex but “identifying” in that gender, etc.

        So a group for “people identifying as women” and a group for “people identifying as men” might fly. You’ll have to put up with the trans stuff, but that’s here anyway, might as well enjoy some benefit from it.

        Trans, and intersectionality, see white women as possessors of enormous unearned privilege and these other groups have formed to get some of that for themselves. Use the chaos to reverse the dynamic that’s plagued us for 50 years.

The upshot is forceful on Wall Street, where women are scarce in the upper ranks

It’s worse than they realize. Women make lousy managers. More accurately, when you’re stuck with one who’s a lousy manager, there’s nothing you can do about it. Any mistake you can’t undo is a horrible risk. What kind of business wants to run horrible risks?

I have in fact known women who could manage departments filled with crusty old engineers—guys whittled out of blocks of testosterone—without difficulty, but they’d never have succeeded if they’d tried to go all Attila the Hen. But when you do get a “strong woman” Attila-wannabe, you’re sunk.

I heard a story from a woman who worked in some sort of law office. The women were being laid off so the manager—a woman of a “certain age”—could fill the office with pretty young boys instead. Try complaining about that and see how far you get.

    Olinser in reply to tom_swift. | August 30, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    It’s not just that. Women refuse to acknowledge a simple fact – that in any job where working more can get you ahead, men have an overwhelming advantage, because there is a subset of men that are willing to do a ludicrous amount of work to further their career and money earnings.

    EVERY STUDY ever done of the work place reveals a set of simple facts – women are significantly less likely to ask for overtime, less likely to accept it if it is offered, less likely to take on extra work if they aren’t compensated, and less likely to accept a job that asks you to work outside normal hours without extra compensation.

    In any job that you can advance your career by doing extra work or working more time, the % of people working that extra to get ahead are OVERWHELMINGLY male.

    What a shock that those fields are dominated by men. It’s not that women aren’t ‘capable’ of being Wall Street executives.

    It’s that they’re not willing to work 70 or 80 hours a week for years to get there. There are a certain amount of men that are.

    You see this in EVERY field. Engineering, banking, production, sports, competitive video games, you name it. The percentage of people at the top end of hours worked are OVERWHELMINGLY male.

America’s most deranged loser females had figured out a pretty good scam for a while. Like every scam, it’s been busted.

    The other females were just along for the ride until then. So now they can pay the price too, I don’t want to hear how they really never agreed with it.

No way will I mentor a female in the office. The traps are too many, one being that she turns on you. Then, too late, will you learn the lesson that no good deed goes unpunished.

“Throughout [the days], giving up her individuality, she would become the general symbol at which the preacher and moralist might point, and in which they might vivify and embody their images” (The Scarlet Letter, in case you don’t recognize the quote)

Any group, #metoo, SJW, etc. (liberals, conservatives and most in between among the groups), who look at any issue and apply their cause turning the group they oppose into a symbol of what they despise while ignoring the individual lose the ability to communicate their beliefs to any but those who are already believers. They are un-trusted by all others and eventually that lack of trust spills over in similar fashion to blacken the reputation of the very people they were originally championing.

The whole “MeToo” thing confused me. I have been taught to believe that women are powerful and empowered and can hold their own with men in any situation. There should be no boundaries or barriers since women are (genetics aside) the -equivalent- of men.

However, now I am being told that women are not powerful equivalents to men but are victims who are passive and cannot take care of themselves in any situation where there is a man…

Which is it?

What a shock.

When time after time women tell bullshit stories to try and bring down men that they think have wronged them and face no consequences, when ACTUAL predators get away with slaps on the wrist, normal people take steps.

It doesn’t matter what proof you have. If a woman accuses you of sexual harassment, you are probably going to get fired. MAYBE if you’re lucky you can win a lawsuit, but your career is already over.

If there is UNAMBIGUOUS PROOF that the woman is lying, you get to keep your job and she faces no consequences.

When this is the world they live in, what a shock that men are refusing to play along.

#MeToo [pronounced “Pound Me Too”] had nothing to do with justice and everything to do with raw naked power. It was designed to force men to be subordinate and subservient to women. That is what it was all about. And, it did this by victimizing men. Unfortunately, just as white America is not allowed to defend itself against charges of discrimination, men are not allowed to defend themselves from charges of sexual harassment and rape. This leaves them little choice but to withdraw from every instance where a woman is in a position to make unsubstantiated charges against them. In other words, they stay away from women. business world, this means that a woman’s opportunity for advancement is severely curtailed.

Now, here is the biggest problem with #MeToo. It totally ignores the unequivocal fact that a significant portion of the female population has used the male-female sexual dynamic to their advantage. If women were not willing to use the casting couch to advance their careers, then the first one would have been sold at a yard sale, in pristine condition, and Harvey Weinstein would not be a household word.

Grrr8 American | August 31, 2019 at 10:52 am

The tea leaves were there as far back as Clarence Thomas. Any male in a workplace should consider every female as career-radioactive material, potentially career-fatal, and follow appropriate safety protocols:

1) Never, ever become romantically involved with a female coworker OR any of their friends or relatives;

2) Not using a bullhorn, but let it be generally known through your workplace that you don’t date coworkers. This also helps provide you protection against a revengeful “woman scorned” who you, e.g., turn down for a date or fail to respond to her overtures — when she (inevitably) talks to her female coworker / friends she’ll presumably hear that you don’t date anyone at the company (so don’t take the rejection too personally).

3) Don’t socialize after work with female coworkers. If it’s too obvious or impractical to avoid some group event, be one of the first to leave – alone (and watch your alcohol consumption lest even a relatively benign slip of the tongue be spun into …);

4) Minimize or avoid Facebook etc. friending of female coworkers (arguably any coworkers, lest lack of females be spun as discriminatory). FWIW, I’d advice staying away from social media in your private life, since its business model is really just creepy spyware — spying on you. That, and employers and coworkers can monitor what you post, so no matter how you conduct yourself in the workplace, you risk being done-up by …;

5) Be professionally / politely friendly in the office with female coworkers (to avoid that would be too obvious and could raise questions from HR), but keep it extremely superficial. Pets, weather but nothing about their relationships or gossip about coworkers;

6) This is a judgment call, but consider keeping a diary if your radar / gut instinct feels that something is amiss (or could be heading that way) — especially if you feel that you’re being set-up. As lawyers term it, “contemporaneous” records are best (so as to less likely to be portrayed as self-serving created after the fact). I like sending emails (careful as your wording so as to not be misconstrued); depending on your company’s system, but I like to send to myself on the company’s email system — that auto-date stamps it and is available later if you need to defend yourself from an internal company investigation. I also then recommend also emailing to a personal account and/or keeping hard copies.

7) Minimize or avoid entirely discussing your personal opinions or politics with even male coworkers. Be a vague mystery man. Helps make the potential targets on your back that much smaller.

8) Recall the 1980’s Mike + The Mechanics song “Silent Running” and its line: “Salute the flag, whatever flag they offer. Never hint at what your really feel.” You’re going to be ever-more subjected to “diversity and inclusion” training and agendas — most of which is anti-male (particularly White male), anti-Christian, etc. I know it’s hard to suppress one’s principles and religious beliefs — but one has to pick their battles to win the war, and a kamikaze mission for an individual career won’t accomplish much. Instead outwardly display the minimal fealty in order to avoid ID as a potential issue (learn from James Damore at Google) — and battle elsewhere such as the ballot box and supporting like-minded groups working to restore sanity to our culture overall, which in turn could someday channel-back in to corporations.

Good luck!

Signed, White Male Employment Law Attorney

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | August 31, 2019 at 1:26 pm

Oh my! Talk about Democrat Party, Leftist hypocrisy!!!

I didn’t know this happened but it should be thrown in Democrat faces.

“…2004 lawsuit that Amaani Lyle, an assistant in the writers room, filed against the show for being forced to listen to the writers joke about Joey raping Rachel, and watch them pantomime masturbating, and mock “black ghetto talk.” (The judge ruled that the writers’ behavior was necessary for a creative environment, laying the problematic groundwork for a “creative necessity” defense to be deployed elsewhere.)…”

Even Stevie Wonder saw that coming.