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On Tuesday, Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, apparently realized that the #MeToo movement might have a serious problem on its hands: if #MeToo insists that all women must be believed, no matter what, some men are going to act in risk averse ways with female employees. That means, according to Huffington, a massive drop in the number of men who are willing to mentor women.
The link directs to LeanIn.org, a group dedicated to empowering women. According to the site, “twice as many male managers now feel uncomfortable working alone with a woman. This is a step in the wrong direction … almost half of male managers are uncomfortable participating in a common work activity with a woman, such as mentoring, working alone, or socializing together.” Furthermore, 16% of male managers now say they’re uncomfortable mentoring a woman, as opposed to 5% before #MeToo. And senior-level men are five times as likely to hesitate to travel for work with a junior-level woman than a junior-level man.
Why would men feel comfortable working alone with women or socializing together when the possibility of a fraught encounter could ensue — and when men have been told that no matter what allegations are levied against them, the burden of proof immediately falls on them?