It’s a quote, so I can’t say for certain exactly what Marta Meana meant, but I took it to mean that society has developed certain rules that it considers to be part of social order, like monogamous marriage, appropriate dress in public, etc. Desire at it’s purest has no use for being constrained in those societal ways. So yes, if you were deeply attracted to a co-worker, societal rules say that may or may not be appropriate to express that, but desire wants what it wants.

For the record, telling a co-worker that you are deeply attracted to her is not in and of itself sexual harassment. Staring at her, looking down her blouse, standing too close to her in the break room, and otherwise making her feel hunted and uncomfortable is when the attraction becomes an issue, but sexual harassment isn’t primarily about desire — it’s a dominance posture reminding a woman of her place in the hierarchy (below the harasser.) It’s reminding her that she is primarily on earth to be attractive, not to compete for power or authority.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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