Hid­ing out in the era of #MeToo

Stamford Advocate (Sunday) - - Sunday Arts & Style - By An­nie Lane Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected]­ators.com.

Dear An­nie: I’m a 26year-old man who’s very nice, thought­ful and kind. I’ve dated only a few times, and I know I’m still young, but in the era of the #MeToo move­ment, it scares me to date some­one, be­cause things I say or do could be used against me. How do I feel com­fort­able in the dat­ing world with­out hav­ing the fear that a woman will ac­cuse me of do­ing some­thing in­ap­pro­pri­ate to her? — Scared to Date

Dear Scared to Date: As long as you act with re­spect, you have noth­ing to fear. Re­spect, in this con­text, means tak­ing things slowly. Never pres­sure a woman to do any­thing (and don’t let her pres­sure you, ei­ther, for that mat­ter). If your date is tipsy, save that first kiss for an­other night.

Pay at­ten­tion to non­ver­bal cues and body lan­guage; if you’re un­able to read such cues or if you have any doubts, just ask (e.g., “May I kiss you?”). No, that might not be how things hap­pen in the movies, but I promise that it won’t ac­tu­ally ruin the mo­ment. If a woman wants to kiss you, she’s not go­ing to sud­denly change her mind be­cause you asked. And a lit­tle com­mu­ni­ca­tion can go a long way to­ward mak­ing sure both par­ties are com­fort­able and en­joy­ing the mo­ment.

Dear An­nie: I had two in­ci­dents in the past week in which a doc­tor’s of­fice staff asked in­tru­sive ques­tions con­cern­ing med­i­cal in­for­ma­tion and per­sonal in­for­ma­tion. One was when I was at an of­fice, and the other was over the phone. I re­sponded with, “I would rather not say.” I am a med­i­cal pro­fes­sional, and I know that this was not needed in­for­ma­tion. Both staff mem­bers were huffy af­ter I re­fused to give them the in­for­ma­tion they re­quested. What would be the least of­fen­sive re­ply? It seems that our per­sonal in­for­ma­tion is no longer ours and will be en­tered into com­puter data­bases ev­ery­where. — How to Re­spond

Dear How to Re­spond: The least of­fen­sive re­ply is the one you gave. As you well know from be­ing a med­i­cal pro­fes­sional, often front desk per­son­nel are just do­ing their jobs by ask­ing ques­tions — for ex­am­ple, at­tempt­ing to de­ter­mine how long an ap­point­ment will take. But that doesn’t mean you have to share de­tails you’re un­com­fort­able shar­ing. It’s wise to be cau­tious when it comes to shar­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, es­pe­cially any­thing that could be used to steal your iden­tity or funds. Last year, there were 16.7 mil­lion vic­tims of iden­tity fraud in the United States, an all-time high. Dis­clos­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion over an un­se­cured phone line or in pub­lic — even in your doc­tor’s wait­ing room — can make you vul­ner­a­ble to fraud. Your short and sweet re­ply — “I would rather not say” — is per­fectly ap­pro­pri­ate, even if not al­ways well­re­ceived.

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