Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday dismissed men’s growing fears of interacting with women in the workplace, suggesting they should just stop being”creepy.”
The Democratic congresswoman retweeted month-old news about a survey showing that 60 percent of male managers are hesitant to mentor or socialize with junior-level women – a one-third increase from last year. The survey by feminist group LeanIn.org also found that the managers are 12 times less comfortable holding one-on-one meetings with junior-level women than with junior-level men.
The upshot, it would seem, is that women are getting less support and opportunity, potentially stunting their careers.
At the same time, fully 70 percent of employees said their company has “taken action to address sexual harassment,” a 46 percent increase from last year. Yet the percentage of women who said they feel safe at work fell since last year – from 91 percent to 85 percent.
“Is it really that hard not to be creepy?” she tweeted.
Is it really that hard to not be creepy? https://t.co/WJJv7QNDyn
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 9, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez echoes #MeToo
LeanIn.org founder, Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg, offered a similar take on her nonprofit’s findings shortly after they were released. In an appearance last month on CBS, Sandberg called for further feminist reforms to the workplace.
“The problem is that even before this, women – and especially women of color – do not get the same amount of mentoring as men, which means we’re not getting an equal seat at the table, and, you know, it’s not enough to not harass us. You need to not ignore us either,” she said.
“If there’s a man out there who doesn’t want to have a work dinner with a woman, my message is simple: Don’t have one with a man. Group lunches for everyone. Make it explicit, make it thoughtful, make it equal.”Sandberg continued: “It’s not enough to not harass, and I think too many people think that’s sufficient. That’s necessary, that’s a basic, but it’s not sufficient.”
A women’s problem?
However, some commentators questioned whether the survey indicated a failure of #MeToo. Since the movement launched in 2017 – with the goal of eradicating sexual misconduct in the workplace and beyond – critics have warned that it risks fulfilling its own vision of men as villains and women as victims.
LeanIn.org’s finding were not the first evidence that the naysayers have a point. Last year, Bloomberg News reporters interviewed 30 male Wall Street executives and observed that “many are spooked by #MeToo and struggling to cope.” According to the report, male managers are avoiding even hiring women in an attempt to avoid sexual harassment allegations.
According to David Bahnsen, a financial adviser who oversees more than $1.5 billion.”It’s creating a sense of walking on eggshells.”