This past weekend, I sat down to watch Apple TV’s new show, The Morning Show. It stars Steve Carell as the host of – you guessed it – a morning talk show, fired for sexual misconduct. As it turns out, the TV personality used his power to coerce junior employees into relationships. When the scandal erupts, his co-host Alex (Jennifer Aniston) is left to pick up the pieces, the way so many women have before her.
The show is uneven in quality, but Carell’s performance is pitch perfect. When he’s initially fired, Carell Screams, “I didn’t rape anybody!” For the next few episodes, he opines to anyone who’ll listen about how #MeToo has gone too far. Except, has it?
While many hetero dudes have become allies to feminism in recent years, there are still those who insist the fight against Rape Culture has ruined their lives by limiting who they can date, and by creating consequences for untoward behavior. Well, we call bullshit! Here’s a list of ways #MeToo hasn’t ruined heterosexual men’s dating lives.
1. It’s Not Hard Not To Rape People
Yes, many modern feminists (myself included) are determined to take down rapists. People like me want to see them brought to justice. But, that should only be a problem for you if you’re a rapist too. The FBI estimates only 8% of sexual assault accusations are false, which is already a low number. So, if you’re accused of rape these days, you probably are a rapist. Plus, even for guys who get convicted of sexual assault, they often face fewer consequences than they should. Remember Brock Turner, anyone?
The best way to avoid getting charged with rape is not to stop dating, but to make sure you’re not to assaulting anyone. That means you should avoid sexual contact with drunk or unconscious folks. It also means you should ask someone if they’re down to bone you before making your move, not just presume they are. However, remembering to take such steps is about as challenging as remembering to brush one’s teeth every morning. If you’re not confident in your ability to refrain from raping people, I feel sorry for you, dude!
2. You Don’t NEED to Date Your Subordinates
I’ve heard some (mostly white and older) men gripe about how they can no longer meet ladies at work. What they really mean is that if they persistently hit on the powerless interns who work for them, they could get accused of sexual harassment. Here’s the thing – there are plenty of people you don’t work with! Thanks to dating apps, it has literally never been easier to meet people at any point in history. It is not a major sacrifice to refrain from dating your subordinates. Grow some balls, and ask out a woman who can say no without risking her professional goals!
3. You Can Still Compliment Women
There’s this misconception that 21st century men will inexplicably end up in jail for complimenting a woman’s haircut. And, that’s bunk! You can still tell a woman she looks pretty; you just aren’t supposed to scream disgusting comments about her ass while she’s exiting a Starbucks. Nor should you offer too many looks-based compliments to female colleagues, because, whether intentional or not, such remarks can feel sexual, and thus make people uncomfortable. However, there are still plenty of women whose looks you can praise! For example, you can tell your mom she looks nice in her new kaftan. You can also tell the woman you’re dating you think she’s cute without anyone thinking it’s untoward. Compliments are nice, as long as they come in the right context.