In light of the #MeToo movement and the proposed ‘sex ban’ by Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, debates have been sparked over appropriate contact with colleagues. More specifically, the relations between men and women and how (or I guess, whether) platonic affection can be expressed between male and female colleagues.
This question was sparked in me last week when ai was listening to 2GB. Herald Sun columnist and Macquarie Radio presenter, Andrew Bolt was talking to The Australian’s Chris Kenny about Rita Panahi, who also writes for the Herald Sun. During the segment, Bolt stopped himself from referring to Panahi as ‘gorgeous’. His reason was caution and a warning from his wife.
To be honest, this is a bit sad. Nothing creepy was intended. Bolt (and Kenny) was trying to use ‘gorgeous to praise Panahi as a person and colleague. And she is gorgeous!
There are some words that probably should be said with care and be used in certain contexts. ‘Sexy’ is probably one of them. Reserve that for partners and close friends that you know won’t take it the wrong way.
’Darl’/ ‘darling’ ‘sweetheart/ ‘sweetie’, go by the person. I personally love it when someone calls me ‘darling’. I always have. Makes me feel cared for, I guess. ‘Sweetheart’ or ‘honey’ are probaly best left for loved ones and partners. It’s probably seen as inappropriate in some contexts, especially work.
I think it’s sad that we’ve gotten to this point. Unfortunately, I think the Left have taken us, ironically, where the Right did fifteen or twenty years ago. Male/ female relationsships are automatically sexualised. Men are treated with suspicion and treated as they are sex maniacs just ready to jump every woman they see. The Right use to control women in a similar way; treating them as temptresses that can’t be trusted.
No, not all men are creeps. Male and female friendships can and should be able to flourish without fear and without an erotic cloud over their heads. Men and women should be able to be affectionate, say ‘I love you’, ‘beautiful’, etc, without any party being accused of being ‘creepy and the like. Again, I must empasise it’s context and intent. If you are close friends with someone, regardless of gender, and the person is OK with it, I think words they’re fine.
However, while we live in the times we do, there are other adjectives you can use. Here are a few (some of which are my favourtes).
(From GIF Keyboard)
(Kath and Kim, anyone?)
Awesome or ‘awesome sauce’
(Any Friends fans?)
We should tackle abuse and harassment. No doubt about it. And you should only say and do what people are comfortable with. But let’s not make a battle against harassment and abuse become a movement that silences or demonises people that shouldn’t be.
What terms of endearment or friendship do you like? Are there certain words you only accept from certain people? Let me know in the comments below.