Hollywood awards season kicks off Sunday with the Golden Globes聽and promises to bring with it an avalanche of showy support for everything #MeToo. But while the stars show up on the red carpet in black, eager to support the recent public exorcisms of sexually inappropriate behavior, some women are privately doubting where things may be headed 鈥 at least, according to a controversial editorial published Friday in the New York Times.

In the editorial, critic and novelist Daphne Merkin ponders whether it鈥檚 time to drop what she considers to be the politically correct automatic outrage to every new harassment charge. She further adds that in private, many women鈥檚 reactions are a bit more complicated.

鈥淕row up; this is real life,鈥 Merkin says she hears her feminist women friends say when a new charge has been dropped. 鈥淲hatever happened to flirting?鈥 and 鈥淲hat about the women who are the predators?鈥 She adds that 鈥淪ome women, including random people I talk to in supermarket lines, have gone so far as to call it an outright witch hunt.鈥

Merkin goes on to question whether what we now define as harassment is always worthy of career-destroying public shaming: 鈥淪houldn鈥檛 sexual harassment, for instance, imply a degree of hostility?鈥 Writes Merkin. 鈥淚s kissing someone in affection, however inappropriately, or showing someone a photo of a nude male torso necessarily predatory behavior?鈥

While it鈥檚 possible that some people were cautious to show support for the essay on social media, many more were vocal about their frustration and disappointment with the op-ed:

Others have also pointed out that the high-profile men Merkin cites as examples of cases 鈥渋n which the accusations are scattered, anonymous or, as far as the public knows, very vague and unspecific,鈥 were, in most instances, fired for allegedly abusing their power in the workplace. N+1 editor Dayna Tortorici tweeted in agreement with Merkin鈥檚 argument that workplace accusations can be vague. But, Tortorici countered that 鈥渁 lack of clarity around terms like 鈥渋nappropriate conduct,鈥 derives in large part from employers鈥 / boards鈥 wanting to ward off liability. If they can鈥檛 define it, they have more flexibility when considering individual cases.鈥

Of course, Merkin is far from alone in questioning whether the movement has overstepped its mark and become the 鈥渨itch hunt鈥 we鈥檙e discussing in supermarket checkout lines. Editorials from major publications and broadcasting companies have been asking the 鈥淗as it gone too far?鈥 question for weeks, to an extent that threatens to significantly shift the tone of the conversation.

It鈥檚 a shift that New York Magazine writer Rebecca Traister anticipated back in November. In an interview with Ezra Klein, Traister pondered when those attempting to derail the movement might make their move.

It鈥檚 a really hard conversation to have, and so I do think that lots of people will jump on any excuse to make this conversation stop,鈥 says Traister. 鈥淭here鈥檒l be a moment where everybody just sort of is like, 鈥極kay, we鈥檙e not having this conversation anymore.鈥欌

Merkin isn鈥檛 necessarily suggesting we do what Traister fears and stop the conversation completely. Rather, she鈥檚 asking that we bring the conversations and the doubts we鈥檝e been having behind closed doors out into the open. And, because different women have different life experiences, it鈥檚 likely that many of us are discussing the issue in different ways.

What we say about #MeToo can feel like a delicate dance on a razor-thin edge with stakes that are very high 鈥 for both women and men. But the conversation is brave and important. So let鈥檚 keep talking, and let鈥檚 make it a nuanced and honest discussion.

Do you agree with Merkin鈥檚 op-ed? Tell us @BritandCo.

(Photo via Stephanie Keith/Getty)