It's not very popular on Twitter when conservatives suggest that one way to curb sexual harassment and assault in the workplace is to observe some version of the "Pence Rule": A set of guardrails that prevent uncomfortable situations of men (especially male bosses) being alone with female colleagues (especially subordinates), particularly in circumstances like a hotel room or involving alcohol.
I think such guardrails are common sense, and many of the objections involve overly simplistic thinking. Some concerns about such rules, however, are valid, and there's a debate to be had.
Before we get to tough questions like "should a male boss take his subordinates up to a hotel room alone?" though, I think we can find common ground on one guardrail that could be erected to mitigate the problem of workplace sexual harassment. It's a much weaker variation of the Pence Rule. Call it the "Pants Rule":
Male bosses should keep their pants on for the entirety of business meetings with colleagues.
This is not a rule liberal icon John Conyers followed, according to reports.
Now I can predict the objections:
Are you so vain that you think a female colleague can't see you in your skivvies without jumping on you?
Do you lack such self-control that you can't meet, in your underwear, with women without it somehow becoming sexual?
Do you lack so much confidence in women's intellect that you think they'll be distracted from work just because you lack pants and a shirt?
Is your marriage so fragile that your wife won't let you consort with other women while you're basically naked?
Perhaps it's my misogyny, or maybe I'm a repressed prudish conservative, but these objections seem overcomable to me.