The workplace is like a battlefield for men these days. Why, everywhere you look, titans of industry and journalism are being toppled by women coming forward and accusing them of sexual harassment and assault. That’s why our own vice-president won’t even dine with a woman without his wife, who he lovingly calls Mother, present. The possibilities for being misinterpreted are just endless.
The situation is so dire The New York Times reported yesterday that poor male executives are quaking in their boots:
In Silicon Valley, some male investors have declined one-on-one meetings with women, or rescheduled them from restaurants to conference rooms. On Wall Street, certain senior men have tried to avoid closed-door meetings with junior women. And in TV news, some male executives have scrupulously minded their words in conversations with female talent.
Having to scrupulously mind their words? What fresh hell is this?
Fortunately, Anne Victoria Clark is here to help, with her Medium essay entitled “The Rock Test: A Hack For Men Who Don’t Want To Be Accused Of Sexual Harassment.” Clark also sympathizes with the plight of today’s anguished male, and has a simple solution:
It’s as clear cut as this: Treat all women like you would treat Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
I know, this sounds weird, but trust me, this is a visualization exercise that will work wonders in your dealings with the women in your workplace. When a woman approaches you, just replace her in your mind with The Rock. Then, behave accordingly.
Clark then offers a few workplace scenarios, in which inserting The Rock into your visualization frame will help you if you are coerced into a coffee meeting with a female co-worker who happens to be “blonde, and so was your last girlfriend! This is so confusing! What a minefield you are in.” Or if you’re invited out for drinks with a group of co-workers and “one of them is even wearing a skirt. ME-OW, right?” Just picture any of these women as The Rock, and your problems will be solved. As Clark puts it: “Simply offer them the same respect, admiration, and healthy dose of fear you’d offer anyone who could completely destroy you should you deserve it.” After all, today’s female population is in fact at least as strong as The Rock. Terrifying.
Or, you know, some of these guys from Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Wall Street, TV news, and elsewhere could try treating women as the workplace equals that they are. Just throwing that out there.