The last few weeks have been marked by an onslaught of accounts of sexism and sexual harassment in Hollywood, D.C. and many other places. Ever since Ronan Farrow exposed Harvey Weinstein for the gross pig that he is, women and men from all walks of life have found the courage to voice their own stories of harassment, assault and just plain disgusting behavior.
What also came to light was proof that the Old Boys Club (OBC) was still alive and kicking in 2017.
Let’s get one thing straight right now, knowing about the bad behavior and doing nothing about it makes one COMPLICIT.
Nope. I’m calling BS on that.
I grew up in a culture that found it acceptable to lie in the sun covered in baby oil tanning my skin to a crisp. When I found out that wasn’t a good idea and was, in fact, hazardous, I gave it up.
Many also “came of age” in a culture that didn’t acknowledge the dangers of second hand smoke and were able to partake of their ciggies wherever and whenever they wanted.
Before that there was a culture that mandated that people of color couldn’t use the same restrooms, water fountains, etc. as Caucasians.
You see where I am going with this. Frankly, using the “way of life as I knew it” excuse for excusing bad behavior just doesn’t hold water with me.
Culture changes. People must as well.
It’s called evolving.
And the ability to evolve is an actual requirement to becoming a fully formed human being.
In a perfect world we would blow up the OBC entirely. Since that does not seem likely to happen anytime soon, the time has come to FORCE evolution on the OBC and provide them with new Rules of Conduct. An ethos they can post in the ‘ole clubhouse or even carry around in their wallets if need be.
Here is a start.
Clubhouse rules to live by:
- ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS assume we don’t want to see “it.” Because we don’t. Never have, never will. Anyone who believes otherwise is delusional. And 100% pervy. Keep it in your pants at all times. (I’m looking at you Louis C.K.)
2. Traveling does not mean all rules fly out the window. Just because two colleagues are traveling to the same out-of-town work function doesn’t mean it is open season for sleazebags. NEWSFLASH: we don’t want your room key. Chances are if your coworker was married when you left, said coworker is still married when you get to your location, or in a relationship, or I don’t know… someone who values professionalism.
3. We don’t think your sexual innuendo’s, sexist comments or politically incorrect “jokes” are funny.
4. We don’t appreciate comments on our body parts or reproductive capabilities. We don’t have birthing hips or a commodious vagina just because we have had multiple children. Also, it is always good to remember- MY EYES ARE UP HERE.
- We don’t want to put in extra hours completing tasks while you and your OBC are out golfing.
- We don’t want to be referred to as “the girls in the office.” We are women, colleagues and even SUPERIORS.
- Don’t try to paint us as “emotional” or “hormonal.” Just because we may not process the exact same way you do does not make us inferior. We are not. We are just women. ROAR!
- Don’t refer to a woman with strong voice, opinions and high work standards as a bitch. The proper term is LEADER.
- Do not retaliate by lying. I have experienced this in my office ever since I started talking about the discrimination I and others around me have experienced. My giving voice to such behaviors does not make me “the bad egg” or a “negative influence.” It just makes me honest. And brave. Lying to cover your own bad behavior and sexism is repugnant…and transparent…and litigious.