Megan Garber for The Atlantic
This week, as the allegations against Tyson were gaining attention in the American media, Bloomberg published a report about the men of Wall Street and how they have decided to address the revealed abuses of #MeToo. “No more dinners with female colleagues” is one solution they have come to. “Don’t sit next to them on flights” is another. And “book hotel rooms on different floors.” And “avoid one-on-one meetings.” Having had more than a year to listen and learn and adjust to the new information, most of the men Bloomberg spoke with have looked around, searched their souls, and come to a tidy conclusion: “Avoid women at all cost.” 1
The consequences of this conclusion, for the women on the other end of it, are obvious: The women will miss opportunities for mentorship and fellowship and advancement. Their very presence will be interpreted as its own potential danger: to men’s reputations, to men’s prospects, to men’s careers. The women will, in this ingenious new strain of American Puritanism, be softly shunned: as seductive, as vindictive—as professional threats.
Emphasis mine. And
Lin Farley 2 wrote in The New York Times last year, and in its absence the term sexual harassment has become too unwieldy, too imprecise, too commercialized. As the writer Rebecca Traister put it, “We must regularly remind everyone paying attention that sexual harassment is a crime not simply on the grounds that it is a sexual violation, but because it is a form of discrimination.”
They accuse; he denies; sexual misconduct and its defense; point and counterpoint; the scientific method. But what gets lost in the easy binaries? What of the lives and careers and ambitions of the people doing the accusing—people who, in coming forward with their allegations, will have their names permanently entangled with the man they say did them harm? The stories of those who have lived in Tyson’s orbit have served as reminders that, here on Earth, we remain biased toward the stars.