Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What’s Wrong With Women Working on Wall Street

I’m a self-respecting female, so when I saw the Yahoo headline, Trader exposes sexist horrors of the Wall Street ‘frat house,’ I got righteously indignant pretty darn fast.

And I didn’t get any less indignant reading the first several paragraphs of the actual article, which read:

“When Maureen Sherry resigned from Bear Stearns after 10 years, she was given a going-away party, a sizable check – and a nondisclosure agreement.

“‘The legal department gave me this document to sign,’ she says, and the money was a bribe: Don’t ever talk about the things you’ve seen here, or the way you were harassed, dehumanized, humiliated.

“Sherry refused to sign and declined the check. ‘Me taking money,’ she says, ‘wouldn’t help anyone coming up after me.’

“Her forthcoming novel, ‘Opening Belle’ (Simon & Schuster), a thinly fictionalized account of her 11 years on Wall Street, is the result.”

Sounds inspiring, right? A rallying cry for all women to declare we’re not just another piece of you-know-what!

And then I saw the featured cover of said book, which features two simplistically drawn but still clear business men, six utterly indistinct male figures, and one single female figure wearing a black skirt with a slit up to her you-know-what.

With that, my righteous indignation dropped a few notches.

Don’t get me wrong, because the rest of the article was filled with some horrifying stories of sexual harassment in the workplace, all of which I fully believe. They’re entirely inexcusable and the men who committed them should be castrated.

Seriously. If they’re going to leave unwrapped condoms in female coworkers’ pizza boxes or moo at them if they’re lactating, they don’t deserve their equipment. End of story.

But women should be managing their sexuality in more mature ways too.

The article’s author, Maureen Callahan, asks, “In our post-post-feminist, politically correct culture, sensitive to race, gender, sexual orientation and all manner of micro-aggression, how could men possibly behave like this?”

I have a few different answers to that, but since I’m trying to stay on topic, let’s go with this: Women aren’t doing themselves any favors. If we don’t want to be treated like sex objects, we need to stop portraying ourselves as sex objects.

Until we do, we’re just as guilty as men of keeping our society sexist.

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