With the #MeToo movement claiming scalps in politics, media, and Hollywood, it seems wise for men to be more cautious in their interactions with women they work with.
That’s just good practice, although it is a bit sad that even friendly interactions have to be curtailed, in order to avoid hearing 10 years later that you sexually harassed a colleague.
Then there is the very real concern of blatant set-ups.
How easy would it be to have a casual or otherwise meaningless interaction morph into a situation where a politician or businessman could find himself the victim of an extortion attempt?
Republican state Senator Evan Vickers, of Utah, may have dodged a bullet, recently, and others should pay attention. He handled this situation just right.
On Thursday night, the senator was staying at the Little America Hotel, in Salt Lake City. As he emerged from his room, he was met by a young woman he did not know.
Said Vickers, in an interview with KSTU-TV:
“I opened the door and there was a young lady standing there and she said ‘Hi,’ and I said, ‘Hi, who are you?’ And she said, ‘I’m your date.’ I said, ‘No, you’re not.’ She said, ‘Yes, I’m your date,’” KSTU reported.
The woman refused to leave and kept repeating that she was Vickers’ date.
“She was standing in front of the elevator and I said, ‘I don’t know who you are and what you’re doing here,’ and she said, ‘No, you don’t understand. I’m your date.’ I said, ‘No I’m not and walked back into the room,’” he told KSTU.
Vickers returned to the room, locked the door, and asked a legislative colleague to escort him out of the hotel. The woman left, and he was left wondering what she was trying to accomplish.
The word was spread among Utah lawmakers to be on the lookout for attempts to entrap them.
And while hotel security is reviewing their security video, Salt Lake City police, as well as the Utah Highway Patrol have been alerted.
“I’m shocked,” said Utah state Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis, a Democrat.
I imagine Utah lawmakers are particularly sensitive to this.
On Wednesday, a British tabloid reported that an escort named Brie Taylor had made the claim that Utah state Rep. Jon Stanard attempted to solicit sex from her.
They believe she may have gotten paid to make such a claim.
Stanard actually left the Utah State Legislature last week because of “personal and family issues.”
The #MeToo movement did a lot of good, but it also holds the potential to be weaponized, so beware.