This blog exists to support liberatory collectivist activism that seeks to uproot patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism. It also acts to center the experiences, theories, and agendas of radical and feminist women of color.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
When Men Are Dickheads, They REALLY are Dickheads! See the kind of thinking dickheads do: Read these comments by AllenS and Jason, for example, and "Hoosier Daddy" (get it?), "Trooper York", and "Moose"...
Why blame Catharine MacKinnon? Because the ability to prevent hiring/firing at will through lawsuits was in part her creation, and this is an expected outgrowth of that. IN Europe, many companies refuse to hire for as long as possible because it is impossible to release them once employed. And we are headed down that road. Their are societal benefits to at-will employment that are rarely realized.
This must be a joke. She looks like a beautiful and gracious addition to any business, which they knew when they hired her. Another woman, maybe the wife of her boss, must be behind this sudden dress code. Firing her for being attractive is Un-American.
Back in the 70's a beautiful 18 year old honey started working for the company I worked at. It was summertime and she showed up at work wearing a tight fitting top (no bra) that accentuated her large breasts and big nipples. They sent her home to change clothes. She WAS a distraction. I asked her out immediately.
The extreme female figure shown off rather than hidden away is only a threat to cyber-droid half humans that are comuter trained into valuing only half modem and half Amish person units. She shows why the creepy Splice movie plot is so evil. We need to say don't fix what is not broken....and she shows off that a normal woman is totally not broken.
I have no fear of being fired for being hot. My extreme averageness makes me nigh-invisible. People often think they have already met me because of it. I revel in my unhottitude. (Not like I have a choice.)
[Her two male] managers gave her a list of clothing items she would not be allowed to wear: turtlenecks, pencil skirts, and fitted suits. And three-inch heels. Turtlenecks and pencil skirts? Those are too sexy? I imagine she was wearing things a bit too tight and that was the actual problem, but this list is ridiculous. There does have to be a way to tell people they are wearing things that are too tight/inappropriate for work without getting in trouble, however telling one person (as opposed to the whole office) to not wear suits, turtlenecks and pencil skirts is going too far. We'll see what comes of this, I guess.
'I can't help it that I have curves,' Lorenzana told the Daily News. And I'm not going to go eat and gain 50 or 100 pounds because my job wants me to be the same size as everyone else.' That lack of tact makes me think that poor performance, as Citibank claims, was the reason for her firing. Also, her lawsuit seems to assume that no other attractive people work at Citibank. I find that hard to believe.
Rh...What does she exude? Whatever it is made her male colleagues suddenly incontinent. The Amish claim that they long ago solved this problem of beautiful women. But that only works in Pennsylvania and north. Down south we are surrounded by so many beautiful women that we have learned to stand up to the challenge and work well with them. Well maybe not in South Carolina.
There were three receptionists in my building. Two middle-aged and matronly, the other in her early 20s with a figure that wouldn't quit. She wore tight (but mostly tasteful - not too short, not too low) dresses and always looked very done with high heels, long nails, and makeup. I chatted with all three women. I kept telling the hot one that she needed to tone it down. She wasn't violating the company's dress code, but every time an exec's wife (many of them former secretaries and 2nd wives - yes, this was a little Peyton Place) came in and saw her, the wife would not like the image. After three years, she was the one laid off when they had to make cuts. If there had been a performance issue, I would think that would have been addressed much earlier.
Down south we are surrounded by so many beautiful women that we have learned to stand up to the challenge and work well with them. My company moved its headquarters from New York to Memphis and hired a lot of local staff. Apparently, the men were happily astonished at southern women who wore makeup and flirted. I have never worked in New York, but I have visited Boston many times and am always a little bit shocked at the defiant refusal to enhance or even embrace feminine beauty there. (Notable exception: I was in Cambridge and saw two lovely young women dressed nicely with done hair and makeup. I got closer and heard them speaking Spanish and it all became clear. Latin women usually don't do hairy legs and Birkenstocks.)
My wife believes her. She is an attractive woman and was hot when she worked in NYC. When she came in to the office, the women hated you and the men just leered. That said, my wife also said I cannot offer her a job. As for the lawsuit, I think she can find a better job. But if she is looking for publicity, this works too. Did you catch the Althouse like picture on Ace (below the fold)? Some of these posed photos fire up publicity but might also back fire.
All legal matters and high-brow scholarly discourse aside...and speaking purely from experience after years in an office environment, there are two indisputable truths about extremely hot women in the workplace (3 if you want to add the rarity of said hotness). 1) It IS extremely distracting to the males in the workplace. This has nothing to do with maturity or anything else other than biology. It's how we're wired. Maturity and experience can mitigate the outward results, but the internal mechanisms are the same. 2) This one is axiomatic. Regardless of whatever men might do (mostly covertly) in hotness situations like this, the women around her will be absolutely brutal. That's brutal spelled B-I-T-C-H-E-S. Don't argue the point, because everyone with even a modicum of experience in the dynamics of woman-on-woman catiness has seen this in action. As men, we're usually shocked at the severity, but that makes it none the less real.
The idea that people are treated badly in the office solely for being good-looking is, from what I have seen, baseless. If there is jealousy, the attractive woman has likely experienced that for a long time and should, by the time of professional life, be adept at navigating and defusing it. In fact, that would be part of being competent.
Maybe she should get a job at an ad ad agency instead of at a financial institution. Lots of very attractive women in that business. Also, agencies tend to be about 50-50 male-female, so she wouldn't be constantly surrounded by guys ogling her (only half the time).
The "must show my sexuality off at all times" mentality of women like this appears to be a strong feature of South American/Latin cultures. I have a good friend/co-worker from Brazil. I have the utmost respect for this woman. She came to the US with her husband, who abused her and threatened at one point to take their son away and return to Brazil without her. Long terrible story. She lives in a woman's shelter for a about a year, learning English, working and saving her money. She works her butt off as a legal assistant, and is a girlfriend with a heart of gold to her current boyfriend. Her views on men are realistic in terms of relationships - no gold digger here - she just wants a nice guy who is a good friend and a good dad to her kid. This woman has many qualities I admire. Yet, when we go out to lunch, this woman is distraught unless she can catch the eye of any of the men sitting in the restaurant. "We are two women sitting here without wedding rings, and NO ONE is looking at us!!!!" WTF? Why is this even relevant? She then puts on more lipstick, eye flirts the room, until she makes eye contact with SOME MAN, ANY MAN in the room. Once she does, her spirits are immediately, and very clearly lifted. This plays out whenever we go out in public. If she was an American woman, I would not tolerate this obsession with securing the male gaze and male attention from a companion. Further, she is also utterly heartless when it comes to criticizing what she feels to be the shortcomings of the sexual appeal of other women. Asian woman are a favorite target as they have, in the words of my friend, "nothing, NOTHING going on.... (gestures to hip and breast area). She simply cannot understand why a good looking man would be interested in a slim hipped, small breasted Asian woman. This ridiculous, 24/7, over-the-top sexual competitiveness is what leaps out at me when I read this article. This woman is saying: "I am a sexy woman FIRST, FOREMOST - and this is the most important aspect of my existence - the fact that I have to provide some type of banking service is merely secondary. Please do not ask me to back down, ever, from this crucial sexual battle I am fighting with other members of my gender" Good lord woman, give it a rest.
Yes, I think it might be important to distinguish between very attractive women and "must show my sexuality off at all times," as ALP described, women. I don't think that being in the first category will hurt one's career at all. Being in the second category, however, might.
The woman is, in short, trying to assert her inalienable right to sexually stimulate all the males in the office and make all the other women insanely jealous. I wouldn't think that to be all that advantageous for the business itself. What will be quite humorous is when, in 20 years or so, maybe even sooner, she is on the other side of this debate. I do think though that women have to decide what they, as a group, want here. Do they want to be treated as androgynous people? Or as sex objects who capitalize on their ability to sexually stimulate all the males around them? They can't have it both ways, since it is close to a zero-sum game. The easy answer would be to make sure that women don't go out of their way to sexually stimulate all the males around (and therefore causing extreme jealousy in all the other women). But, if this woman's law suit succeeds, then that may not be a viable solution (or, maybe businesses like that should just not hire good looking young women who dress to exploit their sexuality). Part of the problem is that female sexuality is a rapidly depreciating asset. It was designed that way, in order to marry off young women and then clear the field for the next batch. And that wouldn't be a problem if women weren't divorcing and delaying marriage at such high rates. But they are, which means a lot of less attractive women on the market, and more Alpha males who can be subverted away from their wives or current girl friends. I do find it humorous though that this is counterposed to the recent lawsuits by Hooter's girls who became a bit heavy for their T-shirts and skimpy shorts, and were let go when they didn't take the weight off. This says to me that women should pick whether they wish to work in a job where male sexual stimulation is advantageous or not advantageous for the business, depending on whether they, themselves, were capable of, and wished to exploit, their capability to sexually stimulate all the males in the vicinity. Then we wouldn't have women working in banks who should be working at Hooter's, and visa versa.
Yes, I think it might be important to distinguish between very attractive women and "must show my sexuality off at all times," as ALP described, women. I think that I can understand Freeman's point here, esp. from the photo she uses. And, I agree. My significant other has spent her life hiding her large chest combined with her thin waist (ok, not quite as thin now that she is in her 50s, but still very noticeable). And pants suits instead of skirts so as not to accentuate her dancer's legs. Female sexuality can be played up or played down. The more that a woman has, the more it needs to be played down in many business settings. It is just to distracting for all concerned. Sure, I can emphasize with the woman's desire to have all the men in heat around her at all times, and all the women insanely jealous at the same time. It obviously makes her feel great. The problem is that that likely comes at a high cost in efficiency to her employer. WV: Trophers - Could we be talking about certain large secondary sexual characteristics in reference to this discussion?
The answer my friends is blowing in the wind. How many roads must a beautiful woman walk down in 3 inch heels and enlarged breasts before you call her a valuable person? The answer used to be show no ankles and neck high tops... and a veil if necessary...but we are not under that restraint anymore. I blame Jane Russell and Farah Fawcett for freeing the women's sex appeal. Now, why do we think it is a problem again? Are the Muslim prayer/chanting Towers being built in the neighborhoods?
A lot of people in this thread are buying Lorenzana's side of the complaint. I think that's a stretch, given Citi's strong denial. Also Lorenzana herself accuses other women at Citi of "dressing equally or more provocatively than she." If that's the case, why would she be singled out? That's not to say Citi won't offer her a settlement, just to make the bad publicity go away.
If that photo slideshow of her is indicative of how she dressed for work then I will say that the morons at Citibank have some serious problems. If she was wearing some cootch displaying Allie McBeal skirt I could probably understand but give me a break.
so many questions.. So can I sue Fox now if they don't hire me because I am not sexy enough and don't wear those cleavage showing blouses? Or if I am a company could I explicitly include no cleavage showing deep neck blouses as part of the dress code so I can answer this woman by saying "I told you not to wear that" or should I pretend, we women feminists have arrived and can show all cleavage we want and then sue the company if they fire me (maybe for other reasons) that they fired me because I was sexy. I never liked this new trend of low cut blouses and would never wear them to work -- imagine standing in front 40 some young men and trying to teach them databases wearing something "hot" and calling attention to myself and not databases. Not even the ardent feminist in me would want to do that.
I wasn't that impressed with her looks. Sooner or later, the issue of competence arises and that's the problem. Can she pull her weight? We had 2 women like that at one point and the one who did her share of the work (in hot pants and snug tops she filled magnificently) was universally liked. The other wasn't. So cattiness may play a part, but, if it was any place like where I worked, someone who's coasting on her looks and always trying to get one of the younger guys to do her work will not cut the ice with anybody for very long.
The idea that people are treated badly in the office solely for being good-looking is, from what I have seen, baseless. I think they are likely to be treated better as they are to be treated worse. Although older women/younger women can be an annoying dynamic. If she was an American woman, I would not tolerate this obsession with securing the male gaze and male attention from a companion. Maybe it has something to do with the way Brazilian men act. When I was in France, for example, men stared all the time. I think we have encouraged American men not to stare like that, or it is just culturally not the same. Maybe when you are used to it maybe it freaks you out not to get it. IDK.
Maybe it has something to do with the way Brazilian men act. When I was in France, for example, men stared all the time. I think we have encouraged American men not to stare like that, or it is just culturally not the same. Maybe when you are used to it maybe it freaks you out not to get it. IDK. Definitely cultural. If you think what you cited was bad, try driving in heavy traffic in a Saudi Arabian city with two blonde American women in your car. It was definitely spooky from an American males' point of view. Especially if a bus stopped next to us.
With regards to my Brazilian friend, I cut her all kinds of slack in the way she relates to the opposite sex - its the way she was brought up. But I wish you could see how emotionally and psychologically charged she gets by the attention. I simply could not imagine having to fish for validation constantly from my environment, from total strangers (disclosure: my introversion is showing). It puts your state of mind and mood in the hands of random people you don't know - it concedes too much emotional power, IMHO. I think in the US there is a time and a place for this type of sexual competition: nightclubs, swank restaurants, parties, ect... we compartmentalize it. The bank or the workplace is not the place, unless you are in the business of selling attractiveness and sex in the first place (fashion, entertainment...)
"Not included in this photo shoot is a photo in an office power suit that clearly shows her as not only hot and curvaceous, but also not wearing a bra." Yea, I caught that one, too. Fuck her. Couple her lack of seriousness with the guys' brain-dead va-va-va-voom attitude and the whole thing is nothing more than an attention-getting farce. I asked it before and I'll ask it again: Who cares? Oh yea: Instapundit. That means it must be important, or interesting, or (here's the truth) insulting to my intelligence. Some people can't help but be part of the problem.
I think this "causing extreme jealousy to all the other women" assertion is what's a little extreme. I take exception to it anyway. The last time I was an employee, I worked with a young woman (I'll call her T.) who was very hot and flirtatious. She worked as a product manager in a high-tech industry with other product managers (all male), whereas I was a lone technical writer, writing white papers and application notes. I sat next to them and often worked with them, so I observed it all. The men were definitely aroused and distracted by her--she really did flaunt it--but she was extremely good at her job. She caught on technically very quickly (no easy feat), and was far better than any of them at communicating, presenting, and writing. I'm just average looking--nothing spectacular--and I don't dress up for work. I got along with T. just fine. In fact, I really appreciated her. She was smart and competent, and it made my job easier. I'm not aware of any other woman in that office who was bothered by her, either. If they were, then they kept it to themselves. If T. made them feel insecure about their own femininity or attractiveness, they handled it privately. Nobody was ever mean or "catty" to her. We were all professionals, rooted in our own lives, careers, relationships, and families. And it's not just at that company. I'm now a contractor and since then have worked in dozens of other high-tech companies. There's almost always some young woman in any large office who flaunts her sexuality, but I've never once witnessed her female co-workers being "brutal" or anything but polite to her. We all live and work in the real world and we're real people, not SATC characters. I'm not saying it doesn't happen. I'm sure that some women at work are jealous and catty towards women who flaunt their sexuality, just as I'm sure that some men make crude and cruel sexual jokes about them. But this kind of bad behaviour is certainly not so ubiquitous as to be axiomatic. And I suspect that, unlike T., the woman in this article was more of a distraction than an asset to the company.
"Calypso Facto said... Maybe Trooper's got a position available for her at his shop?!? Just reward us with occasional photo journal updates!" Funny you should mention that because I am looking to hire someone but I am not having any luck. As anyone who owns a small business can attest, hiring and firing is one of the hardest parts of owning a small business. Every single employee I have ever hired has been a problem in one way or another. The first girl I hired was a big time flirt and always dressed very provocatively. I guess much like the subject of this article. So the UPS and Post Office guy and eventually cops would show up to flirt. You have to love throwing cops out of your store when they can write you tickets if there is a candy wrapper outside your store. Plus the customers hated her. Another girl always came to work looking like an unmade bed. She wore winkled clothing and proudly said "I love hats. You can wear them when you don't feel like washing your hair." Plus most of the customers scieved her. When you look horrible how can you advise someone on how to look good? Plus size models often shop in the store and ask if they can pick up some hours between gigs since they are sometimes few and far between. So we gave one a chance. She spent more time looking in the mirror than helping customers. When we had a trunk show she was so busy networking and not working that I had to fire her on the spot. Plus the customers hated her. One of the workers I have now has never been on time. Not once. She is never been less than ten minutes late and her record was four hours. She has been with me since day one and is a loyal employee. She does a lot of the physical work in the store like steaming the garments and stocking the racks. So I let the lateness slide more or less and only bark at her when she is more than an hour late. She also sucks at selling but listen you can’t have everything. Working hard without complaining is surprisingly rare. Doesn’t that seem strange in this economy? I know a lot of you are gonna say you gotta do this or you gotta do that. But you can’t replace something with nothing. Often the change is worse than what you had in the first place. You fix one problem and then you get a new one. So when Popo talks about how they want to change the “at-will” provisions, it scares the shit out of small business people. You have to be able to fire people without going to court every freaking time. Otherwise you won’t ever hire anyone, just as Pogo said. So I don’t think I want to hire this girl. Sorry
I don't understand the business rationale of firing the hot chick instead of the douchebags who can't function around said hot chick. They work in a commercial bank branch, yes? In that case, hot lady bank reps are always an asset. If I need to do business at a bank, I don't mind walking a few blocks out of my way to go to the branch that has the really nice but smoking hot chick. Really, it makes all the difference in the world during a stressful day. Also, how do these guys operate? When a hot woman customer comes in, do they just stare at boobies and drool? Shouldn't the bank be concerned that it has male employees who are incapacitated by hotness? It reminds me of when I was at a big law firm. Every summer my buddy and I would take out the new summer associate class and get them hammered at some bar. The point wasn't just to show them a good time--We wanted to see who could drink and still maintain a professional demeanor. It's a business necessity in a world where you drink with clients. An attorney who can down four drinks and still converse normally is an asset. One who starts taking off his shirt is not. Similarly, I would think that the ability to function around hot girls is an asset, whereas incapacitation is not.
Jeez, what a bunch of jerks. There is nothing wrong with the clothes she wears in the photos. "Flaunting her sexuality"? "Must show my sexuality off at all times"? Jealous much? It's her body and she has every right to dress in fashionable clothes. If she looks better in them than most, go see a psychiatrist if it gives you conniptions. The problem is in you.
Jeez, what a bunch of jerks. There is nothing wrong with the clothes she wears in the photos. "Flaunting her sexuality"? "Must show my sexuality off at all times"? Jealous much? It's her body and she has every right to dress in fashionable clothes. If she looks better in them than most, go see a psychiatrist if it gives you conniptions. The problem is in you. No, the problem is the other employees, male and female, as well as customers - though I might concede that if her looks and sexuality bring in more customers (and, in particular, more deposits), then that may be sufficient to overcome the costs of her on the employee side.
In the pictures, she appears to exude a strong confidence in her sexuality and physical attractiveness. I would consider such confidence to be an asset if it were balanced with awareness and respect. If her job required her to engage with the public as a representative of Citibank, then it might have been wise for her to determine what image the company valued or regarded to be work appropriate if she wished to remain in their employ. There are lots of different ways curves of all kinds can be artfully, attractively and professionally presented.
No, the problem is the other employees, male and female, as well as customers - though I might concede that if her looks and sexuality bring in more customers (and, in particular, more deposits), then that may be sufficient to overcome the costs of her on the employee side. Speaking as a man, papers are always more fun to sign when a Homeric set of busoms are resting on them.
Shit... You New Yorkers must be plagued with a lot of ugly women! She's a typical office worker down here in Miami. Actually, in a lot of upscale offices, she'd be below the average. Dime a dozen down here. Yo amo Florida! WV: "crevi." It was thinking about "crevice," but then thought better of it.
What's more of a social problem? Men who sexually harass women and male bosses who tell women "If you don't have sex with me, you're fired", or women working to make there are laws that make that harassment illegal? What's worse? Men raping women (some men raping some women: white men are 80% of the rapists of Native American women--you know that, right? And that one in three Native American women will be raped? See the Amnesty International report for the gross details)or women fighting to stop rapists from getting away with it? What's worse? Men beating up women to the point of breaking their bones and requiring hospitalisation, or women striving to make men doing that accountable? What's worse? White men traveling to many places in Asia to "have sex" with children, trafficking children, enslaving children--mostly female--or feminists fighting to stop this practice? Methinks the problem is the abuses and atrocities against women men have wrought for centuries and millennia, that men don't care about stopping and pretend aren't going on "as much as feminists say it is". Because women's speech is always more dangerous than men's actions, right? (Wrong.) And because it happening as much as it does isn't worth working to stop, right men? (Wrong.) Why don't men stop one another from raping women--and men and boys and girls? From battering women? From street harassing women? From harassing women in offices and factories? From incesting girls? From trafficking and sexually enslaving millions of girls and women? Are you collectively not smart enough to figure out how to stop other men from committing these crimes against humanity? You sure know how to organise when women try and stop you from doing whatever you want wherever and whenever you want to, that violates women's human rights. I realise not ALL men do these awful things. I'm talking about the millions of men who do and the men who don't call other men out for doing it. (In my experience, that combination amounts to at least 95% of men.) Boys, have you got smart answers to those questions? Or just smart-ass ones? Or do you just want to keep on pretending that the social problem is women fighting for women's human rights to not be treated in obnoxious, harmful, domineering, disgusting, and dehumanising ways by men? No, not ALL men. Just the men who do some or all that AND the men who don't, but who bash feminists online and offline, and who blame feminism for your woes, rather than calling out heterosexual brothers, fathers, step-fathers, heterosexual male neighbors, and the heterosexual male friends who DO rape, batter, incest, traffic, pimp, procure, and harass women. What's stopping you all from holding other men accountable? Oh, right: you're too busy pretending the problem here is one woman who effectively legally fights men's assumed right to sexually harass women. Grow up, boys. Grow a brain, grow a heart, and grow some courage. You make very good wizards in making social harm disappear, but you make terrible human beings unless and until you call out other men who mistreat women in deplorable ways that women DO NOT treat men in ways that are "a social problem".