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McFeely: A man's handy dandy guide to avoid sexually harassing women in the workplace

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Mike McFeely2 / 2

Some men claim to be nervous because of all the male entertainment and media titans who've been fired in recent weeks over sexual harassment allegations.

"What can we even do anymore?" they wail. "I'm afraid to compliment a woman at the office because she might take it the wrong way and get me fired."

While some of this angst might be legitimate, we get the sense some men are just playing the victim. They think "boys will be boys" still plays in 2017.

As a basic premise, it would seem men leaving sexual innuendo—or straight-up sexual references—out of conversations would be a start.

For example, dropping a "that's what she said" to twist every sentence into a lewd one—a la Michael Scott from "The Office"—probably goes against your company's HR manual. It's not that difficult.

But perhaps some gentlemen don't quite grasp the concept.

So, as a public service, we've put together a handy-dandy guide for those guys who might be wondering what's acceptable to say to a woman at the office and what might cross the line.

ACCEPTABLE FOR A MAN TO SAY: "Did you get a haircut? It looks nice."

UNACCEPTABLE: "Did you get a haircut? It makes you look hot."

ACCEPTABLE: "Let me get that door for you."

UNACCEPTABLE: "Let me get that door for you so I can watch your butt after you walk through it."

ACCEPTABLE: "That's a nice sweater."

UNACCEPTABLE: "That's a nice sweater I'd like to see on the floor next to my bed tomorrow morning."

ACCEPTABLE: "Would you like a raise?"

UNACCEPTABLE: "If you have sex with me I'll give you a raise."

ACCEPTABLE: "You've worked really hard lately. Why don't you take a couple days off?"

UNACCEPTABLE: "You've worked really hard lately. Why don't you take your shirt off?"

ACCEPTABLE: "Could you come over to my desk for a second? I want to show you the latest revenue projections."

UNACCEPTABLE: "Could you come over to my desk for a second? I want to show you my genitals."

ACCEPTABLE: "What's your cell phone number? I may need to text you tonight if I have a question on the new account."

UNACCEPTABLE: "What's your cell phone number? I want to text you a picture of my crotch later tonight."

ACCEPTABLE: "This is a stressful job. If you ever need a break, just let me know."

UNACCEPTABLE: "This is a stressful job. If you ever want to fly to my condo in Florida and have sex for a few days, just let me know."

ACCEPTABLE: "I really enjoy working with you."

UNACCEPTABLE: "I really enjoy looking at your breasts."

ACCEPTABLE: "Can I grab you some lunch?"

UNACCEPTABLE: "Can I grab you by the (anatomically specific area)?"

Any of these unacceptable statements would be enough to disqualify a man from keeping his job in the private sector. In Congress and the White House, not so much. Soon, perhaps. We can only hope.

Mike McFeely
Mike McFeely is a WDAY (970 AM) radio host and a columnist for The Forum. You can respond to Mike's columns by listening to AM-970 from 8:30-11 a.m. weekdays.
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