I know the story broke a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve only just now gotten enough time to sit down for 30-40 minutes, tops, to write a response in blog posting form. When I first read the story on the Huffington Post (see link below), I nearly threw up my overnight oatmeal, one I made with old-fashioned rolled oats, soy milk, chia seeds, flax seed meal and one of Glenn’s squeeze-y fruit/veggie pouches. Not bad, I must say…
Anyway, I know sexism, misogyny and the (mostly white) patriarchy still linger in the keyboards and stale coffee of workplaces the world over, but this is ridiculous. For a better idea of what I’m talking about, imagine a movie where the AMC show “Mad Men” and 2010 comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine” crossed over, as sexist old(er) men from the 1960s get transported through a magic water cooler to the workplaces of 2019. These obnoxious good ol’ boys would be taken down and out like Confederate statues for saying to the office secretary “Darling, could you give me Bob’s annual report, a cup of coffee and a blow job? Thanks! I’m falling so far behind and really need to get A-HEAD! Get it?! Hahaha!!”
Almost two weeks ago, the accounting monolith Ernst and Young got into some hot water over a misogynistic, vile “training course” called Power-Presence-Purpose, where women are shamed for being anything other than a Stepford wife with a briefcase. Using words like “child-like” and “flatterable” – among many others – to describe women who drop their children off at daycare at 07:30, slay the boardroom meeting at 09:00 and get the lucrative contract before lunch makes me wish that hot water boiled Ernst and Young like a lobster in a pot.
Even though it doesn’t offer the course anymore, their begrudging, get-it-over-with non-apology apology by a peroxide blond stock photo named Kelly Grier, the U.S. Chair of Ernst and Young, was insufferable. You don’t apologize by saying “we regret some of the content, but there are people who’ve taken the program and credit it to helping their career.” No, an apology is “we regret the content because it disrespects and devalues the hard work and gifts of the women we’re honored to have employed. Empathy, assertiveness, creativity, intellect – these are qualities we see in both our male and female employees. We have learned a valuable lesson: you can try to be part of a solution, but end up being part of the problem itself.
Kelly, I have a great idea for Ernst and Young for a new training program, a three-part seminar for men called “Awareness-Assumptions-Adjustment,” where they learn that complete junk science (and hatred of any woman that dares to be your equal) isn’t just sexist, but harmful to themselves, their careers and society as a whole. “Men are like toddlers, throwing temper tantrums and making messes for others to clean up, whereas women are calmer, cooler and stay collected under greater pressure, able to handle when things go wrong.” It would teach that when they act like an absolute asshole to a female colleague, they show weakness and insecurity, losing a potential ally and demonstrating unprofessional behavior and causing the cohesiveness of a workplace to come undone. Watch any Senate or Congressional testimonies, and see how the female witnesses keep it together while their male counterparts often go berserk at the slightest criticism. See how that sounds now.
I have to go shower and get to bed now – another day ahead of me, another pre-made breakfast (chia seed pudding with some protein source), another day of Glenn’s autism therapy (which is going well, he’s also just an incredibly smart and stubborn two-and-a-half year old) and now the third day of a new job. Good night, everybody, and good luck.