Under present circumstances of the #metoo campaign in India, it has become pertinent to understand how MeToo campaign has changed rules in different industries. If it has happened in the west, it is a catastrophe waiting to happen in India as well. These responses are taken from a recently concluded survey by NBC News’ THINK that asked the US professionals about how the #MeToo movement has changed the culture in their workplaces. A snapshot of the responses was published – here. However, this article goes beyond to research on the industry-specific responses from various social media platforms.
A generic trend found in the responses of individuals was that males have expressed how they have started avoiding or minimizing interaction with their female colleagues and females expressed their dismay over the sudden disappearance of support from their male colleagues they used to receive before MeToo. The responses also show us some industry-specific trends as shall be expressed below.
Some metoo responses received on their Facebook page are intriguing and learning. Most of these have come from women but some are from men too.
A woman employee of a Car and Truck Service Center at Wisconsin said, “It hasn’t. For the last 15 years, I have been the only woman at my company. I love it! So much better than working with women. I spent my first 15 years working in a corporate environment with women. They are brutal. Will stab you in the back while smiling at your face. Best change I’ve ever made”.
A man wrote, “I still open a door for women until one snaps for me doing so. At work, I try my best to avoid all contact with women unless absolutely necessary. My HR dept is all women so I avoid it when possible. I don’t speak to any unless they speak first, then just short and polite then walk away. Don’t sit next to any during breaks and if one sits at my table I’ll get up and leave. So yeah, CHANGED ME TOO! but not for the better”.
A retired woman commented #MeToo effect like this, “Thank goodness, I’m retired. I miss all the fine, respectful, decent gentlemen with whom I was privileged to work. I do not miss the few, very few, boy-men, who were demeaning to those they perceived as ‘underlings,’ arrogant, obnoxious and unworthy to ever be in positions of power over anyone, anywhere, at any time”.
A man has jokingly commented, “”How has #MeToo changed the way you work?” I don’t grab ass like I used too… very sad.”
Another man commented, “this metoo bs gotta stop or companies will stop hiring women”.
Another man had a classic comment, “Walking around with a nipple on your head so that everyone laughs at you is not my idea of a positive change.”
Another man retired from the University of Wisconsin said, “I, as a male, earned less than some women in our company. So what!?!”
Another man from Raleigh, North Carolina said, “Yes everybody laughed at me when I started making and selling pink pussy hats but look at me now!!!”
Another man said, “I thought most women were smarter than to get caught up into this BS.”
A woman added, “”We demand more respect and to be taken seriously”….. then puts on a pink vagina hat and throws trash all over the city!”
A differently-abled man wrote, “Sometimes men make wrong choices. Sometimes women make wrong choices. I am yet to see a man wear their penis on their head to prove their point. Would probably be arrested for indecent exposure….. lol”
A male medical sonographer wrote, “Well, there is a Female manager that gushed about all the good looking men in the department, that she doesn’t hire ugly men. I guess #metoo only applies to women being sexually harassed by men & not vice versa.” (that’s why we have #mentoo)
A woman mother wrote, “Those vagina hats put women back fifty years. Women and men are laughing their heads off about that. Sure didn’t get any respect from anyone I know. And the “me too” thing was started by Hollyweird, which told us all how these actresses got to the top of their game!”
A man from Maryland said, “Dawww I want to wear a pussy hat, and dress up like a pussy and dance awkwardly in front of hundreds of people including children. I don’t think it’s mentally ill but trump is….. you liberals crack the daylights outta me”.
A male entrepreneur from Phoenix, California commented, “I’ll never hire another woman unless she’s a conservative. Thanks to the idiot liberals”.
Industry Specific Trends
Metoo in Manufacturing
Out of different responses received by NBC THINK, a 43 years old male manufacturing worker said, they had received the corporate instruction of not being in a room with another female employee without the presence of a third person.
Another 57-year-old male manufacturing worker said, he keeps his conversation short with ALL co-workers and now avoids all types of personal questions as he fears anyone can scream ‘#metoo’ at any point in time.
#Metoo and Finance Sector
While a 44-year female employee of a Financial company said, she got a client fired because he commented on her looks and felt empowered because of #metoo, male employees in the Financial sector are avoiding women in all interactions or having a direct face to face conversation instead of telephonic conversation.
One male employee from Seattle commented that while talking to a woman he thinks he is communicating with a sophisticated AI.
#Metoo Has Shaken Government Entities
Male employees in the government sector need to be highly cautious because of their govt positions. Their responses to behaviour change were more measured.
A 22-year male employee of US Federal Govt. said he doesn’t feel comfortable sharing jokes with women around post #Metoo. He doesn’t ask women to go out with him, rather he asks his male colleagues to go out and share jokes with them.
#Metoo in Healthcare/Insurance
Healthcare/Insurance is an area with a high ratio of female employees. A 44-year male employee Massachusetts said, with the #metoo campaign he knows his job can be at risk anytime and hence he avoids as much interactions with women as possible.
IT/Software & Metoo
A male IT engineer from Raleigh commented that he was respectful to all individuals throughout his life, but after #metoo he had started avoiding all social interactions. He had become disconnected than ever.
A classic response had come from a Female entrepreneur of Tech Startup from San Fransisco Bay area. This 32-year female commented, and I quote –
“I am a woman and #metoo has screwed me. In Silicon Valley it’s difficult to get time with VCs, so you do whatever it takes. A lot of time that would be meeting them at a bar in the evening. It is good networking and that is how I got my initial seed funding. But now no one wants to meet with a woman under 40. Even in the office, they won’t be alone with you.”
A male employee of a consulting company said that his company stopped all travels with the management of with the other gender. Even sitting together in flights were no longer permitted.
A male 38-year-old employee of another technology company from San Francisco said something similar. He stopped all interaction with his female coworkers and stopped travelling with them on the same flight.
#Metoo Has Not Spared Education
A male professor of a University in Barkley, California said that professors from his institute stopped allowing any girl student inside their cabins even with doors open. No more additional help to girl students in their cabins.
A 58-year-old female employee of the education sector has commented that she was being denied promotion before #metoo. But after this campaign, she could put up a fight for promotion using #metoo.
So, we see that she probably threatened her manager to raise a false alarm under #metoo and forced them to give her promotion. That said, we understand the extent of rowdyism #metoo has created. If one woman could confess about using #metoo to get a promotion, there are definitely many others who didn’t tell such truth.
But probably the most intriguing response came from a male worker from a media company in New York. He said in a simple way – ‘I can’t do anything anymore’. Media is probably a highly female intensive industry where the ratio of females is highest compared to any other industry discussed. Discussing all different types of topics is a part of their work.
From the above responses gathered from NBC THINK survey on the #metoo campaign and from their social media channels, it is understood that this campaign has unleashed corporate terrorism. If you ever thought that #metoo was a campaign to report sexual harassment or the abuse women have faced, they are using it for their advancement in a corporate career. For people working in individual contributor roles, this may be only an additional caution, but for males that need to work in groups or in female-intensive industries like media, #metoo has unleashed a new terror. Women are not spared too. If girl students are denied additional help outside their class, female entrepreneurs are not able to raise funds and denied meetings with venture capitalists. In short, #metoo has created more injustice for all, rather than any justice.
So, did #MeToo change male-female dynamics in your company too? In the comment section below, let us know how the rules have changed in your industry after the #metoo campaign. How you have changed your personal relations and interactions with the other gender.