The year 2017 witnessed a staggering number of people talking about sexual abuse and harassment. The Harvey Weinstein scandal triggered things and the consequent #MeToo movement brought these narratives centre stage. While the conversation is continueing on social media platforms and otherwise, it seems like all of this has left a large majority of men confused as to what could be rendered as sexual harassment. Such a question was recently raised by an article by The Associated Press titled, In Wake Of Weinstein, Men Wonder If Hugging Women Still OK. This was later shared by CBS Los Angeles on Twitter and people on social media decided to clear this apparent ‘ambiguity’, once and for all.
While some used sarcasm and others revised the headline altogether, the article was collectively trashed by people. One user talking about the importance of consent, wrote, “Men: How will we know if women want us to hug them / Women: You could ask us / Men: It’s a mystery forever, another wrote, “Revised headline: After hearing victims’ stories, men ask “how can I make this about me?” There were also one, who extremely scathingly and sarcastically wrote, “Yeah, I thought work was for like, working. Silly womanly me, I guess there’s a real need out there to hug and compliment women while you’re on the clock. (Notice they’re not wondering if they can hug their male coworkers?”
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) December 4, 2017
And here is how people on social media reacted to it.
Yeah, I thought work was for like, working. Silly womanly me, I guess there’s a real need out there to hug and compliment women while you’re on the clock. (Notice they’re not wondering if they can hug their male coworkers?)
— Nichole (@withanaich) December 5, 2017
Revised headline: After hearing victims’ stories, men ask “how can I make this about me?”
— Bog Hag Astraea🌈 (@AstraeaFights) December 5, 2017
Men: How will we know if women want us to hug them
Women: You could ask us
Men: It’s a mystery forever
— Josh Silverman (@Bad_Episode) December 6, 2017
— doxxed shill (@DoxxedShill) December 5, 2017
Other than close personal friends and family, why hugging ever….?
— Brian Moody (@verymoody) December 5, 2017
And! You should ask first. It’s really easy. Four words. “May I hug you?”
— mlk hated white moderates (@hannahtraining) December 5, 2017
why do guys act like they NEED to hug women? you know there’s this gesture it’s where 2 people take one of their hands and shake it with the other person’s hand?? it works for everyone regardless of gender/age unlike a hug which is vry personal, considering it’s full body contact
— Violet (@urgirlviolet) December 7, 2017
respecting wahmen is the way to go with a firm handshake pic.twitter.com/r8oTntKy9u
— Alex Moya ✭ (@Zurqee) December 7, 2017
We at Indianexpress.com, while talking about the Aziz Ansari sexual misconduct sandal, spoke about this as well. And, as some of the opinions expressed in the video suggest, it is about time for men to understand or at least an effort to comprehend non-verbal and behaviourial cues. The change, albeit slow, is much required.