24 June 2012
Many effects of the gender-free playworld we've fabulized are silly or stupid, but some are downright dangerous. Read any old-timey book and you will find a population of people who understand implicitly that a male and a female who are not related to each other (and some who are) should not be alone together in private. It is dangerous to both. One may accuse the other of having said or done something inappropriate, or anyone at all may make the same accusation because there are no witnesses. A damaged reputation is nearly impossible to repair, as anyone who has suffered one knows.
One or the other may actually say something inappropriate, which is even worse.
But worst of all is that one of them may do something inappropriate. Or one of them may even do something horrible, and this is where it becomes clear that the danger to women is much greater. They have so much more to lose, and so much less ability to defend themselves.
There is no law, no rule of etiquette, no Scriptural injunction, no cultural memory that tells us a male and a female who are not related to each other should not be alone together in private. But they shouldn't--even if they are coworkers, even if they are friends, even if they are not friends, even if it will save on gas, even if everybody's wife and husband are OK with it, even if it's just for a little while. It's a bad and dangerous idea. It is a courtesy to both parties to find an alternative, however inconvenient, to this situation.
Things I haven't said:
All men are or want to be rapists
Pastors shouldn't counsel women or hear their confessions