UH study finds #MeToo, not as positive as expected, backlash against women

The #MeToo movement that started in 2017 is now having a fallout in some workplaces against women.

A new study, found that, following the #MeToo movement, men are significantly more reluctant to interact with their female colleagues.

A University of Houston study finds there is backlash against women after the #MeToo and it's not been as positive as people thought it would.

University of Houston Bauer College professor of leadership and management Leanne Atwater said the gains, in terms of harassment are being coupled with losses in terms of career potential and career advancement.

“Men are excluding women from social interaction. They don't want to meet with women one on one. They are reluctant to hire women if the job requires close interpersonal interaction. They are reluctant to hire attractive women," said Atwater.

She said she doubts most managers are even aware of this backlash and discrimination is happening and it could translate to a legal matter.

"This reluctance to hire, if it translates into actually not hiring, violates Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act. You cannot use someone's gender or appearance to make a job-related decision," said Atwater.

Legal Expert Amos Waranch said people are more afraid of being publicly shamed than of being sued.

"Not so much that they're worried about getting hauled in front of a court of law. More, they're worried about being hauled in front of the court of Twitter," said Waranch.

He said the defensive actions in the workplace are bad for everyone including the workplace and people falsely accused.

"It's bad for women, it's bad for men, it's bad for employees, it's bad for employers. When people don't get along, they're less efficient at work," said Waranch. "It hurts society if everyone's constantly on edge being worried about minor interactions turning into some sort of literal federal lawsuit."

Atwater said it's not just men having the reaction to segregate, rather than integrate. The backlash needs to be nipped in the bud before it gets worse. Positive effects of #MeToo were less harassment, women felt more comfortable to speak out and men more careful.

2018 #MeToo March

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