Sunday, January 14, 2018


"For God’s Sake, New York Times," the headline reads, "#MeToo Is Not Going to End Flirting And Fun Sex." It's a point that has been made before in response to the idea that the current focus on sexual harassment and assault (especially given its penchant for after-the-fact realizations of bad behavior) is going to somehow drive every man in the country to completely sublimate any sexuality in the workplace.

But let's say, for a moment, that men nationwide start following the advice of New York employment attorney James Vagnini:

Vagnini says dealing with workplace gender relations need not be complicated:
"My general rule is: If you wouldn't say it to a man, don't say it to a woman. Your best bet is to leave it alone and just say, 'Good morning'."
So what?

Implicit in the debate over whether or not the workplace flirting and sexual flings between coworkers are going to come to a crashing halt is that there's something necessary about them. And although I met one of my girlfriends through a mutual employer (although we weren't in the same workplace), I think that human relationships will survive if the workplace becomes off-limits for looking for a partner.

The mores of sex and partnering change regularly. Trends and fads come and go, and technology introduces us to ways of meeting people that didn't exist a decade previously. This process has survived every social upheaval (major and minor) that humanity has seen fit to throw at it. And it will continue to do so in perpetuity. And so if tomorrow, men become cautious about making a move to the point of paranoia, mores around coupling will adapt to the new reality. Sure, some people will miss out on what may have been a really great relationship for them, but, as the saying goes, there are other fish in the sea.

And it can be said that there may even be utility in exploring what the world might look like in the absence of workplace flirting and fun sex. If we understand that the current atmosphere of sexual misconduct is, at least in part, a reflection of the way we currently understand and go about the search for sexual partners and/or sexual reputation, perhaps there are solutions to be found in looking at the matter differently.

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