I would suggest the response from these women wasn’t unreasonable. As a metaphor, think of sexual harassment as a hot stove. Once burned, anyone would be reluctant to test empirically whether hot stoves always cause intense pain and tissue damage. In this analogy, these minor exclusionary behaviors aren’t the hot stove—but they may be the "burner on" indicator light, or even the faint smell of gas. They suggest an atmosphere in which more extreme behaviors are more likely to occur, and those are atmospheres that, quite reasonably, a woman may choose to avoid so that she doesn’t incur the risk.
« Older Dung beetle worms in PNAS | Life, Death, and John Prine Newer »