Wednesday, October 23, 2019
US flag

1st Valentine’s Day after #MeToo

If you’re wondering if you can send a Valentine’s Day card to someone who’s not your girlfriend or wife without committing sexual harassment or getting written up in a tabloid 20 years from now, on this first occurrence of the romance-laden holiday after #MeToo began, join the club.

More than 20 percent of millennial men in the US, for example, think asking a co-worker out for a drink constitutes sexual harassment.

But fear no more. Lots of students around the country are offering advice about what is and is not acceptable on Valentine’s Day.

What we can learn from this is the following: Go ahead and share a friendly word with a friend or make a new friend. Go ahead and bake your treats or buy a moderately-priced or expensive gift. But remember, part of the #MeToo movement has accepted the fact that innocent men will be tried and found guilty on Twitter before being given a chance to defend themselves in court or make their case for innocence. They consider this collateral damage and the breakdown of due process to be worth the loss if we can bring down the patriarchy.

Valentine’s Day is a chance to show that courtship is still alive and vibrant but also that we can feel affection for people around us without pushing that in a romantic direction, that we can love our neighbors—even those of the opposite sex, even children in hospital beds in Ohio—without exerting power, asserting male superiority, or assuming consent.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

MoCo doubles down on summer learning loss

Research is at least equivocal about summer learning loss, but maybe there's something to a new plan in Montgomery County, Md.

Downers North lights up the gym for Beth

Ongoing fundraising drives for a Downers Grove N. volleyball player killed by an intoxicated driver in Feb. are going strong in this western suburb.

High-payroll Yankees don’t make World Series

The World Series begins Tuesday, but some of the playoff games can teach us valuable things about youth sports, investment, etc.

Chicago teacher strike enters calendar week 2

Chicago teachers strike for the 3rd day Monday; the union wants smaller class sizes and support for paraprofessionals.

What happened after a coach disarmed a student

In Oregon last May, a high school coach saw a student carrying a gun and disarmed him. Now we know what happened next.

Fox Island disappears in the Chesapeake

An island that has provided some environmental education for many is being lost to rising sea levels in the Chesapeake Bay.

Ohio University hazing charges bring suspensions

The university is investigating hazing charges brought against several student organizations and social groups.

Vaping in a Md. high school

Clarksburg HS, like others in Montgomery County and across the nation, has a vaping problem among its students.

No Howard Co. juniors face required redistricting

Howard Co., Md., faces not only overcrowding but wide gaps in terms of socioeconomic status of families at its diverse schools.

Monkeys beat humans in cognitive flexibility

When we go about solving problems, we are sometimes so fixed in our ways that we fail to explore more efficient solution strategies.

Calif. law requires a sane start time for teens

A new law in Calif. will require public middle schools to start no earlier than 8:00 and high schools no earlier than 8:30.