Can Men and Women Work Together in the Workplace?

A similar version of this article was published at Washington Examiner.

What do you imagine would be a logical response to a massive political movement that seeks to destroy not just men in power who take advantage of female coworkers but any man who has any type of sexual interaction with a woman at work who afterward felt slighted?

To avoid working too closely with women.

Indeed, a new study, yet to be released, has found that following #MeToo men are significantly more reluctant to interact with their female colleagues. According to the data, 27% of men avoid one-on-one meetings with female coworkers, 21% of men said they would be reluctant to hire women for a job that would require close interaction (such as business travel), and 19% of men would be reluctant to hire an attractive woman.

It would appear, however, that this perfectly natural response on the part of men is yet another example of women’s oppression.

“A lot of men aren’t so much afraid of being accused of anything as they are they are angry that #MeToo ever happened. They’re angry that they’ve been made to think about their behavior, made to interrogate power dynamics they always took for granted, and are punishing women for it by refusing to interact with them … It’s yet another form of victim-blaming; another way to quietly put women back in their place,” writes Arwa Mahdawi at the Guardian.

“The data was collected in early 2019 from workers across a wide range of industries,” adds Mahdawi. “Researchers had asked the same questions in early 2018, just as #MeToo was in full swing, and depressingly, things appear to have got worse.”

Of course they have. What did people think would happen in a post-#MeToo era? That men and women would hold hands in the workplace and together sing Kumbaya?

In Jordan Peterson’s 2018 exchange with Jay Kaspian King of Vice News, Peterson made a bold and provocative query: “Can men and women work together in the workplace?”

Of course they can! said King, who looked at Peterson as though he had three heads. What follows (particularly from the 4:50 mark) is a fascinating exchange about how to potentially stop sexual harassment in the workplace.

Peterson suggested that when women wear make-up and high heels in the workplace they advertise themselves as sexual beings. (One need only turn on Fox News to see the glaring truth in that statement.) He then suggested, hypothetically speaking, that if women were to wear uniforms as men do—since men by and large wear suits—the sexualization of the workplace may be severely reduced.

The point of Peterson’s argument wasn’t to suggest what should be done but to consider what the “rules” in the workplace ought to be so as to reduce the potential for sexual harassment.

“One of the things that’s enjoyable about the interactions between men and women, even if you’re married, is an element of flirtatiousness that can underscore the interaction,” said Peterson. ” You don’t want to get rid of that. It’s too tyrannical to get rid of that. But you’re playing with fire.”

And there it is.

Men and women are sexual beings, and the sexual tension between them does not disappear when they enter the workplace. The idea that men are solely responsible for the interplay that occurs between the sexes in the workplace (or anywhere else) is absurd. A man will have a hard time propositioning a woman who’s all business. Unfortunately, plenty of women are willing to use their sexuality to get what they want. They are no different from men in this way.

Mixing sex and business is tough. There’s so much wiggle room for things to go wrong when you combine the two, which is why men are taking a step back from working with women. And for that they’re labeled “angry.”

“US men appear to be following Mike Pence’s lead. Maybe they’re angry that #MeToo ever happened” because “they’ve been made to think about their behavior, made to interrogate power dynamics they always took for granted, and they are punishing women for it by refusing to interact with them.”

Or maybe they just know they can’t win. If men interact with their female colleagues and have the audacity to notice what the women are wearing, their jobs can be on the line. Alternatively, if men try to avoid being in close contact with women so as to alleviate any misunderstandings, well, they’re being childish by retaliating against women.

In other words, Peterson was right.

“I don’t think we’re capable of having an adult conversation about [the ability of men and women to work together in the workplace]. Not as a culture. Not even a bit.”


Suzanne Venker

Suzanne Venker is an author, columnist and radio host known as The Feminist Fixer. She helps free women from feminism so they can find lasting love with men. Suzanne's newest book, WOMEN WHO WIN at Love: How to Build a Relationship That Lasts, will be published October 2019.

Reader Interactions


  1. ,Spencer says

    Look at indigenous cultures. How many of them, under good conditions, have men working with women?
    The answer is: very few. Among the Aninishnabe, women largely did agriculture, men did hunting and fishing. Prior to say 1920, how many American workplaces had both women and men working side by side? Few. There’s a simple reason: distraction.

    Look at the military. Prior to maybe 1976, women wore a special insignia- Pallas Athena- and until recently, their rank insignia were different. No institution has done more to integrate women and men, perhaps. During the first Gulf War, some Navy ships were incapacitated, because enough female sailors got pregnant- intentionally- that they didn’t have sufficient crew. When I saw that two women graduated Ranger school, I laughed my head off. I know, from personal experience, that the NCO’s in charge were ordered to ensure they graduated. Have you seen that picture of a male soldier carrying 2 packs- about 50 lbs per- while a female soldier next to him had no pack? Women, with perhaps some extremely rare exceptions, simply don’t have enough strength for, say, Infantry. Who was the female commander of the Abu Ghraib prison, during all the abuse- Gen. Janice Karpinski. Yep, she was female. They reduced her in rank, and should have court-martialed her, for her incompetence. Who ran the torture thing- Lindy… also female. How cute. Yes, males were involved, too. If a male officer sleeps with a female enlisted, even consensually, he’s toast. Female officers can sleep with male enlisted any time they feel like it, and nothing is done, even when the MPs or SPs catch them in the act, on post. There are male slags, who do as little as they can. Their percentage of male soldiers is about 2%, and the competent hate them.. There are female slags, too, and their percentage is rather higher, at least 10 times as high. No less than Richard Marcinko said there was a place for women in the military- those who are committed to the mission, graded on the same standards as men… They aren’t, though. Sailors play dirty tricks on each other, to see how they handle stress, and whether they can be trusted in trouble. Women see this as harassment, and so, are not seen as reliable. Ultra successful women, Suzanne, as you note elsewhere, have a problem finding husbands. Your friend, that you used as an example, was twice divorced. As with many sociopaths, she may have a very nice face for you, and a face red in tooth and claw, for her staff. Female supervisors, when they are sociopaths, bring a special venom to the workplace, something male sociopaths just don’t seem to have as much of. I had a female supervisor, for 14 years, who scored 100% on any sociopath profile I ever looked at. She had her special pet- a woman- who did almost nothing. She screamed at male and female staff, without reason. She drove some female employees to tears, more than a few times. She also had a long term affair, with another male staffer. She was untouchable- they had to keep her, to meet their quota. Go to a construction worksite. They’ll have a few very visible female employees, who don’t do much- it’s a cost of doing business. Men do most of the work.

    The answer to your question, in many cases, is no. And as for #metoo, if I don’t know a woman at work, extremely well, I talk to her as little as possible. I just don’t know how to refer her for help. I avoid talking to women at work, whenever possible. Women had their little crucifixion party, and as with all crucifixions, a message was sent. It was loud and clear. “Stay away from women”. MIKE PENCE RULE. I carry an electronic recorder, at all times, concealed on my person. If I know I will be speaking with a woman, I run it. I can download the file as an .mp3. I also have a clearly visible recorder. That former female supervisor moved on- they promoted her, to where she can’t hurt staff as much. I do have that clearly visible recorder. If I have to deal with that fomer supervisor again, I will put it out on the table, where it is clearly visible, prior to any discussion. I got a body cam, too, which I am going to start wearing on my person. I don’t care what snarky comments women make, about it. Sorry, my personal security comes first. By way, Hilary flew to Pleasure Island, Jeffrey Epstein’s paradise, as well as Bill. Probably just to look at the seagulls, though.

    • Maggie says

      This was such a well-written response! My husband was in the Marine Corps for 10 years and we have had extensive conversations about why females in infantry positions just can’t and won’t work out. He has seen it go South more times than he can count.

      Before becoming a nurse, I was a paralegal in a corporate law firm. The women there were almost predatory when it came to being dominating, loud and even sexually aggressive. But they were the first ones to complain if a man showed even a hint of those behaviors. I felt like I was working with a bunch of castrated males because they were afraid to say or do anything that could be construed as “offensive”. The women would even organize lunches at the local “exotic dance” establishment/ steakhouse, invite everyone, then watch like hawks to make sure the men weren’t staring inappropriately. Talk about setting a man up for failure!

      I don’t blame you for being paranoid about work interactions and for carrying recording devices. It’s a sad testament to our current society that you would even feel the need to do that, but this is the point we have reached.

      It’s time to stop denying the biological and emotional differences between men and women. We were not designed for the same tasks and do not have the same attributes as each other. I’m very happy I found Suzanne Venker and very happy that I found a husband who is is unashamed of his masculinity and his ability to protect and care for his family.

  2. Faraj says

    You might also want to ask should women teach boys, and men teach girls. I’ve seen a great many articles, lately, on female teachers, who had sex with boys. Somehow they seem to not get put in jail, or even really punished much at all. Plus, if they get pregnant by the boy, he can be sued for child support.
    Equality under the law? I don’t think so.

  3. DW says

    My problem was not a dating issue, but an interaction issue. As I have experienced, many women tend to be very problematic in general. They come to work with baggage, easily defensive, and take everything personal. They hold grudges easily and will go straight to HR like babies. I worked in communications for almost a decade. I recently switched careers in the disability field because I kept coming across too much cutthroat politics and adversity. I was social media manager for different organizations. I liked what i was doing but felt i had alot of odds against me. The field has become more dominated by women. I keep hearing more about men dropping out of corporate culture and going onto the trades to get away from the PC environments of corporate culture. Are there any articles out there on this? Please post if you find one. Thanks for letting me share.

  4. Benjamin says

    In the survey, 27% of men avoid one-on-one meetings with female coworkers,
    >>>>>This does not mean that 27% of men avoid such. It means that 27% of men responded honestly. There is a difference. For what I see, the real number, in the real world, is over 90%.

    21% of men said they would be reluctant to hire women for a job that would require close interaction (such as business travel),
    >>>>same issue. 21% of men were honest. The real number is over 90%. I doubt it hits 100%; people evaluate risk differently.

    and 19% of men would be reluctant to hire an attractive woman.
    >>>> I know of a female attorney, drop dead gorgeous, smart, and raised in the South, so she has a sort of grace about her. She attracts male attention. She also has a chip on her shoulder, so she has sued three separate law firms, for sexual harassment. I have no idea what the real facts were, and neither do the law firms she applied to after that, but three lawsuits says it all. She now works for a University, as no law firm will hire her. 19%? Puhleeeeeeez.
    The real number is at least 80%, if not higher. I notice that some firms hire through proxies, to insulate themselves from such things.

    The upshot is that employing women is seen as riskier. All executives take part in risk management. Women see themselves in what appears to be a double bind. Men also see themselves in a double bind. This is not a good situation. Where there is no rule of law, people have to take the law into their own hands, and do their own risk management. This is costly, to society, in several ways. I’ve met more than a few male employers, who will only hire women they know, and trust, and have confidence in. They’ve seen others burned. #metoo is an electronic version of the crosses with crucified rebel slaves nailed to them, that the Romans lined the Appian Way with, after the Spartacus revolt. No, a better analogy- when Nazi “werewolf” guerrillas shot a few Russian soldiers, in 1945, in Russian-occupied Germany, the Russians responded by gathering a bunch of innocent German men, and boys, around 200 in one of several incidents, and just shot them on the spot. That’s the kind of justice it is, despite whatever lies the media wants to spread.

  5. Robert says

    Smart men know that you don’t eat where you defecate, and you don’t get into relationships where you work. Period. Some people say it much more, uhhh, colorfully than I do, like with 4 letter words.

    Obviously not all men are smart, or thoughtful, or respectful. There is this concept of rule of law- a fair hearing, and all that, you know, evidence. That is by the wayside. The only safe path, for men, is the Mike Pence rule. Period. I heard of a mechanic, where a woman came in furious; she alleged he would going to overcharge her because she was a woman, and so on, even before telling him the problem with her car. He was smart. She was driving a BMW. He told her he didn’t work on BMW’s, and mentioned another garage that did. He did, of course, work on BMW’s. But he had an issue: a ticking time bomb. Best way to deal with that is to get it out of your house, and let someone else deal with it. No insults, no screaming, no lawsuit. There is an energy cost to doing business with anyone. The energy cost for this woman was clearly going to be very high. He just terminated.

  6. Emil says

    Where have all the good men gone?

    Uhhh, maybe they are still around, just clothed in stealth? Because women are almost feral, nowadays?

  7. David says

    I own my own business and I once got a call from a women asking if I was hiring process servers. I am the only person in my business. While I told her I was not, I emailed her information to help her start her ow business if she was serious about the profession. Would I have gotten together with her in person to mentor her? No. Why? The Mike Pence rule makes sense in a legal context (protect myself against potentially false allegations). Conversely, I am mentoring a man and his wife on process serving. The Mike Pence rule is already in place.

    While my parents met in the workplace 40 some odd years ago and are still married, we have a different culture. The names Bett Kavanaugh and Clarance Thomas were not in the news back then. So I don’t blame men for being very cautious in this sense. Anything they say to a woman at work can and will be used against them in a court of law.

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