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08:08 PM on 06/08/2013
There are important cultural components at play too. Dr. Drexler's article seems to refer to the professional environment in the United States only. However in Europe and South America (excluding the UK) greetings between colleagues of the same same sex or the opposite sex may include light kisses in one or both cheeks, half of full hugs, men kissing women's hands, etc., and it varies from country to country. There are places where sticking your hand out and avoiding other physical contact is just rude and says: I don't trust you. Globalization is bringing us all closer in business now.
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07:00 PM on 06/08/2013
"her male colleagues certainly didn't embrace their female clients nearly as freely.."

Men, a word to the wise: Do not embrace or kiss your female colleagues. And try not to let them do it to you. You'll have a sexual harassment claim slapped on you so fast it will make your head spin.
11:13 PM on 06/09/2013
or at least gossip will materialise behind your back ; he is such a womanizer !
Caryn Banker
06:47 PM on 06/08/2013
Globalization: In international business and greeting friends, it's pretty much anything goes, whatever you are comfortable with. Asians traditionally bow, no contact whatsoever; Americans shake hands, Brits do the single cheek air-kiss, Europeans- the double cheek air-kiss. My husband's new company, they do the handshake-1/2-hug.
Uncountable number of times, I've seen this lead to the awkward/funny moments, "Oh, you do the double-cheek!, I'm just stickin' out the old hand! haha", "Yeah, & I'm an Aussie too! I've been away too long..." Or bowing and clunking heads leading to laughter, apologies, "let's just shake hands!"

I've never seen any of these greeting bring on, what appears to be at least, sincere discomfort. Everyone seems to get that it's just an ice-breaking ritual to say hello. Getting it wrong usually leads to laughter and a genuine breaking of that ice.

I have to say, I'd find it a bit smarmy and patronizing for a boss to touch my shoulder while dressing me down though, man or woman.
06:42 PM on 06/08/2013
Hugging and kissing just isn't appropriate a vast majority of time 'in the office', even if it's a women hugging/kissing others. These are professional settings that carry a certain level of formality, and hugging/kissing shows a lack of seriousness, especially to many males (there's a reason males handshake instead of becoming bosom buddies).

Not only that, but allowing women to do these things but not men is essentially a double standard. If we're going to talk about equality and fairness, then women need to keep their arms and lips to themselves.
03:59 PM on 06/08/2013
When I was a young kid, I remember seeing a great deal of affection in greetings in my father's business. I still see it w/ women, but the men just don't do it very much. Men are terrified to act this way, although if they are like me, I am sure they would like to. It really did foster a strong sense of camaraderie and greased the wheels that drive the firm. These days if a man (instead of a woman) acts this way it could be extremely detrimental to their career and could easily be misunderstood and turned into an HR incident. PC politics, dont you love it.
02:56 PM on 06/08/2013
you know what would help gender equality, a major internet news service ... say.... Huffpo, publishing pics of side boobs to objectify women -every day.

and wardrobe malfunctions so we can all point and laugh at women.
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02:52 PM on 06/08/2013
This is an interesting article. However, I disagree with the conclusion, especially. It is certainly about "the point of contact," especially for individuals who do not want to be touched intimately by people who are not intimate friends or family. In particular, a large number of people have been physically and/or sexually abused and, for whatever period of time the abuse occurred, lost the right to determine how their bodies would (or would not be) touched. For a professional colleague to assume that hugs, pats, kisses, etc. are okay or even a positive thing is quite a leap. It's best to stick with handshakes and other ways of communicating warmth rather than possibly cause someone else even a moment's discomfort or distress.
Tony Sez
02:31 PM on 06/08/2013
This crosses a line in a dangerous way. In the US we hug/kiss friends and family. Business clients are not friends first. And employer/employee relationships are not friendship, either. If my male or female boss started hugging and kissing me in or out of the workplace it would make me extrememly uncomfortable.

This would force me to ask them not to do this. Being brave enough to do this...what would it cost me in the workplace? And how long before the retaliation lawsuit?
Just a little bent
02:29 PM on 06/08/2013
Dr. Drexler says: 'Whatever women choose to do -- hug, kiss, handshake -- it's key to embrace the choice and approach the movement with confidence and ease.'

Just another example of how women have choices and men have none.

A male doesn't dare touch, or hug, or kiss, or give a "pat on the back" to co-workers or students (can you imagine a professor or teacher giving a hug for patting a student on the back or a job well done?) without making some women feel "uncomfortable" and risking sexual harassment charges or innuendo. A male even takes a risk just talking to women - the slightest misconstrued thought can land him in hot water with HR.

Thanks to forty years of feminism and media collusion, men nowadays are dehumanized and looked upon with suspicion for anything they do - no matter how human.
04:30 PM on 06/08/2013
The reality is that women need to look up on men with suspicion, because so many men are violent, are perpetrators of domestic violence, commit sexual harassment, prey upon the young and naive, commit mass murder, rape girls and women, and engage in deviant and illegal sexual conduct. Men are the perpetrators of over 95% of the violence and violent crimes. The mass shooters are almost invariably males.

And it is not feminism that have made women suspicious of men. It is men themselves with their love of and glorification of violence and war and toughness, with their callow attitude toward rape, with men making everyplace unsafe for women --- homes, military, schools, streets. Women are nowhere safe from male violence and male sexual violence. Looking at men with suspicion is not dehumanization (men did that to themselves by ridding themselves of kindness, empathy and sensitivity), it is a survival tactic.
Latin Fraulein
Equality not feminism
06:53 PM on 06/08/2013
sad but true...
Just a little bent
07:07 PM on 06/08/2013
Yes, Whalepeace,

We all know how much you love men and respect them as human beings.

It's displayed in your every post.

And of course, women are perfect in your own little world, with nary a flaw or imperfection.
12:22 AM on 06/10/2013

Now, I wonder how many, awful, oppressive, male managers we have to have a legal consultation about whether to prohibit all kissing, touching and kissing, and being sued for "generalized oppression", or allow it to continue and be sued for sexual harassment.

I guess if the kissing, touching, and hugging are totally insincere, it might be permitted.

That's a call only the female can make.
JuLeah Willson
02:01 PM on 06/08/2013
I can't stand to be touched by people if I have not given permission for that touch

It is an invasion of personal space

In a work place, never ever hug or kiss. I will shake an offered hand, sometimes, but ... hugging and kissing crosses a line
03:53 PM on 06/08/2013
Not necessarily. I once lightly put my arm around my dentist gratefully for dental work well done.
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Margaret Sunday
01:54 PM on 06/08/2013
Years ago, when my daughter was at Cal State getting her degree in accounting, they would interview with prospective employers. I told her.. Shake hands like you are shaking hands. Look at the person and give a firm handshake. She was hired by a major accounting firm before she fininished school. When she asked why the interviewer pick her, he said.. it was your handshake.:)
"Hey Kowalski, you out there?"
01:42 PM on 06/08/2013
Sounds like Jenna is a emotionally needy person who is desperately need of affection. She needs to be in therapy and not the workplace.
01:40 PM on 06/08/2013
If I kiss or hug a co worker I could get fired. It should be the same for women. What does "women are and men are men" mean anyway? I was told my whole life men and women are same except for a few insignificant differences society picked up on, then we were all socialized us to think those differences were actually a big deal. Is that still right?
12:21 PM on 06/08/2013
No, hugs are not appropriate and are explicitly called inappropriate in our employee training manuals.
It's a great life if you don't weaken!
02:31 PM on 06/08/2013
I'm very picky when it comes to being physically affectionate with other people. What's wrong with a handshake? I save my hugs and kisses for friends and family members. In the workplace, I prefer handshakes.
Tony Sez
02:35 PM on 06/08/2013
I couldn't agree more--no hugging or kissing coworkers or employees, please. Inappropriate physical contact for a work environment. Avoid the appearance of tolerating sexual harrassment by following this simple rule.