PJ Media

Touching at Work: The Good Old Girl Network

It seems there is a double standard in the workplace–if a href=”http://drudgereport.com/flash2.htm”Katie Couric slaps her male staff/a for (horrors!) using a word she doesn’t like, it’s just cute but if the genders were reversed–watch out. Just touching a woman or even making a comment is often seen as sexual harassment that can get you placed in sensitivity training, on probation or fired, while massaging men at work doesn’t raise an eyebrow–not even from the men who aren’t looking for a free back rub. Craig at a href=”http://buffalog.blogspot.com/2007/07/put-up-and-shut-up.html”Buffalog blog posts /aon his experience:br /br /blockquoteThere’s a manager where I work, a woman, who demonstrates an unnatural need to give back massages to the men in the department (most of whom are younger than she). We work in an open-office and so the, um, attention, is quite public. Now, I assure you that, in this particular case, the attention is not welcome, but men being men, even in 21st century America, no one will go to H.R. about it. Imagine if the sexual tables were turned./blockquotebr /br /Yes, just imagine–the women would be up in arms. But when the tables are turned, it seems that the nurturing sex is as unsympathetic toward men in the workplace as men were toward women years ago. MSNBC has an article entitled, a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19536167/””Male Sexual Harassment is not a Joke” /athat describes the case of Thomas:br /br /blockquoteThomas, who works in academia but didn’t want his full name used, found himself in an office made up of mainly women who would routinely share and copy each other emailed jokes and emails about men. A few, he adds, “made fun of men’s unique anatomy, if you know what I mean.” The behavior, he says, made him feel isolated. When he finally addressed the matter with the women in the office, “the women were stunned, generally with a ‘You’ve got to be kidding,’ kind of attitude. And they kept doing it.”/blockquotebr /br /I am not a big believer in charging co-workers and others with sexual harassment over trivial matters. Perhaps Katie Couric really didn’t mean to slap the male writer and maybe the women in the example above with Thomas the academic didn’t think that what they said was done in a malicious manner. But their conduct shows that they have no respect for their male colleagues and employees–surely, if the tables were turned, they would support a woman taking action against this type of behavior. Are the good old girls so sexist that they expect men to sit quietly and take whatever behavior they wish to dish out? If so, then equality in the workplace has nothing to do with equality between the sexes and everything to do with women seeing themselves as the new nobility.