#MeToo’s awkward side effects

Hey, speaking of social media, how’s the dating climate at Facebook and Google, supposed beacons of empowerment and bold progressive cultural change? “Employees are only allowed to ask a co-worker out once,” the Journal reports. “If they are turned down, they don’t get to ask again. Ambiguous answers such as ‘I’m busy’ or ‘I can’t that night,’ count as a ‘no,’ said Heidi Swartz, Facebook’s global head of employment law.”

But . . . what if you really are busy? What if you actually can’t that night, but would like to do it another time, but you forgot to add that part, or simply wanted to be asked again? What if you are a rare devotee of the slightly crazed 1990s dating handbook The Rules, and you refuse to accept a Saturday-night date after a Wednesday? What if you would like to present a sense of mystery or are slightly undecided? What if your impressions of the asker change over time? What if you date people only after they’ve proved their persistence by standing outside your window passionately lofting an old-school boom box playing “In Your Eyes” like John Cusack did in Say Anything? (It is 2018, so do not try this in real life. You will probably get arrested.)

Let’s face it: This is all kind of weird. In this worldview, which developed long before #MeToo, everything must be spelled out, contract-like, businesslike, and brisk. There is no room for error or nuance — the stakes are far too dangerous and high! Moreover, for those most deeply entrenched in the current movement, the previous paragraph might sound wildly problematic. How dare one presume that a woman might be on the fence, or that she might actually be a normal, well-functioning adult who can somehow avoid spiraling into mute terror over a second date request? How can we possibly expect an adult to personally judge when behavior crosses a line?