In the wake of numerous accusations being leveled at men in entertainment and the workplace, 32-year-old Tim Stewart is concerned about how women have been mistreated, but more importantly, that he’s now expected to do something about it.
“Don’t get me wrong, sexual harassment is bad,” says Stewart. “But, lately it feels like there is all this pressure on me to help stop it. I just don’t think it’s fair to hold me accountable for my role in allowing sexual harassment to happen all around me.”
“Look, I would never sexually harass someone in the workplace,” Stewart told reporters, “But when one of the guys in the office crosses the line with a female coworker, I make sure to immediately leave the room, or, if I don’t feel like leaving the room right then, stand there silently while it happens. I am in no way condoning it.”
As many companies are growing less tolerant of workplace harassment and assault, Stewart says cracking down on harassment can go too far.
“All I’m saying is I just don’t think it’s fair to hold me accountable for things that other people are doing in my presence,” says Stewart, who works in HR. “After all, it’s not my job to police the behavior of my colleagues and very close friends.”
A recent harassment allegation Stewart received involved his friend from college, whom he’d helped get a job at his company.
“John was definitely being kind of a dick, so I told the women to let me know if it happens again. I’m trying to be supportive here,” says Stewart. “I think I should get credit for that at least.”
Stewart noted that it’s hard for many men to have uncomfortable conversations with their friends and coworkers. Conversations, he says, they could’ve otherwise continued to avoid indefinitely.
“I sympathize with women, but it’s a lot to ask for them to put their discomfort on me, someone who did not ask to be a part of the situation.”