I wanted to pass along a note I received from a friend -- a male:
"I thought you might find this of mild interest because it points up one of your blog's themes. It's a very small thing, and when it happened, it seemed so natural that I gave it no thought. But now that I think about it, it says a lot (too much) about where we are as a culture.
"My company was contacted by a high school senior -- a girl -- who is working on a project. She asked if she could interview a particular middle-aged man who works for me, who is an expert in the field she's writing about. My immediate reaction was that if this interview was to occur face-to-face, for my employee's own protection, he would need a witness, preferably a female employee of the company. My female assistant agreed with me, and another woman who works for us volunteered to sit in. When we told the employee about the girl's request, he was squeamish about meeting her at all and suggested a phone interview so that, he said, 'no one can accuse me of anything.' I should add that this man is a perfectly well-adjusted father who has raised a fine son, and that he has a stellar track record of community service. He is a long-time elder in his church, and has never been accused of anything, that I know of.
"Of course, the sole reason we were all concerned about his being falsely accused was because he is male. We would not have had this concern if he was a she.
"Only later did it dawn upon me how unfair it is that good men must slink through life concerned about being falsely accused. Isn't it sad that everyone in my office had the same reaction? And isn't it even more sad that we didn't think there was anything unusual about that reaction? It's become standard operating procedure."