Since the Harvey Weinstein allegations broke, some powerful men have wavered about privately interacting with women for fear of impropriety; many women don’t think that’s right
Samantha Bee went Full Frontal.
The comedian dedicated a segment of her TBS show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” yesterday to the fallout from a New York Times report alleging longtime sexual harassment by Hollywood powerbroker Harvey Weinstein. Since news of Weinstein’s reported behavior emerged, some men have publicly declared their reluctance to privately interact with female subordinates.
Proponents include Sebastian Gorka, a far-right academic who was previously counselor to President Donald Trump. Gorka tweeted recently that if Weinstein had followed Vice President Mike Pence’s reported stance of never meeting alone with females—the only exception being Second Lady Karen Pence—the entertainment executive wouldn’t have the opportunity to sexually harass them.
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) October 11, 2017
That’s a stance that Bee noted is often counterproductive to women’s careers—and through no fault of their own. Indeed, there is a growing pile of evidence that having a mentor is crucial to career advancement. A recent report by Sheryl Sandberg’s LeanIn.org and McKinsey found that about half of 222 major companies they polled have mentorship programs for women and underrepresented minorities, who often lack access to the social circles that lubricate the process of getting ahead. Thus, hesitation on the part of predominantly male senior execs to take women under their wing is likely to hinder Corporate America’s slow march to gender equality.
That said, here’s simple advice from wise women about how to interact with females without being accused of sexual harassment.
1. Don’t conduct sex acts in public. “Everyday, I wake up, get dressed, take the subway to work, and then don’t masturbate in front of anyone,” Bee said on her show Wednesday, ostensibly in response to journalist Lauren Sivan’s claim that Weinstein trapped her in a closed restaurant and ejaculated into a nearby potted plant. “Next time you get the urge to masturbate, just ask yourself, ‘Am I in front of an employee or a colleague?’ And if the answer is yes, don’t. Just don’t.”
That’s a piece of advice repeated by veteran news anchor Soledad O’Brien, who tweeted: “Do not masturbate into a potted plant. See–easy, clear rules.”
Sage advice from wise women — like Samantha Bee — on how not to sexually harass them https://t.co/hHAKJLgJ0C
— Moneyish (@Moneyish) October 12, 2017
2. By all means, mentor a junior female colleague. Just don’t show off your genitalia—even if she, for some strange reason, asks. “Don’t masturbate in front of people who haven’t specifically asked you to,” Bee counsels. “Even then, stop and ask yourself ‘what is our power dynamic?’ Is there a chance in hell that the person might only be agreeing to see my hideous [genitalia] out of fear for their career? If so, make a good business choice and keep your business in your pants.”
3. Treat all your female colleagues like the Rock. Yes, all 250 pounds or so of the former pro wrestler-turned-actor, according to a viral Medium essay penned by “Saturday Night Live” contributor Anne Victoria Clark. Attractive colleague asking you for a coffee to discuss a project? Fine! But imagine her as a battered Dwayne Johnson walking out of a crime scene. Subordinate wearing makeup and a skirt? Cool, just imagine the Rock planting his bloodied leg in front of you and asking you to stitch it up. You get the point.
The above advice is, of course, applicable to men as well. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor Terry Crews recently revealed on Twitter that he was once groped in the genitals last year by a Hollywood exec that he declined to name,
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