Sexism is alive and well in the year of our Lord 2019. This we know to be true. But sometimes we stumble upon some sexism that is so on the nose it almost feels like a joke. And this week we have found something that made me feel like I was either reading satire or taking crazy pills. But in reality I was just reading some straight up, unoriginal, by-the-book sexism. Cute!
HuffPost reporter Emily Peck obtained truly shocking information about a training seminar offered to some women at the accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY), which employs 270,000 people globally. A woman who has since left the company was appalled by what the seminar was prescribing (as she should have been) and decided to share details with the outlet in hopes that the company will change. The seminar was taught as early as June 2018, AKA the height of the #MeToo movement, but EY told HuffPost it “is no longer offered in its current form.” The firm told HuffPost after publication that the training included “offensive content.”
The training was called Power-Presence-Purpose or PPP, and focuses on how women need to fix themselves in order to acclimate to a male-dominated world (baaaaaaaarf) and attempting to educate women on how to navigate men’s flawed temperaments while demanding they adopt it themselves. We picked out the most absurd and infuriating parts to share here, but encourage you to read HuffPost’s full report. You’re welcome!
Women’s brains are smaller and dumber than men’s.
You ready for this one? The presentations said that women’s brains absorb information like pancakes and soak up syrup so it’s hard for them to focus, according to the attendee. And men’s brains are like waffles because they are more able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square. L-M-A-O. We got pancakes for brains, ladies!!! This is so beyond offensive and ridiculous, I refuse to even explain how wrong and misguided it is because that is beneath me. Also pancakes are better than waffles, don’t @ me.
“Don’t flaunt your body ― sexuality scrambles the mind (for men and women).”
Lmaooooo. Okay, so look good but not too good, ya sluts! The presentation tells women not to show skin because that will distract people, and by people they obviously mean men. (The document makes no reference to queer women or any gender identity beyond cis het woman.)
I love how it’s implied that men are the smarter, more professional people, but ALSO they cannot be expected to focus or do work if they see a woman’s clavicle. Which is it, boys?! Are you geniuses or horny lil’ toads?! ‘Cause it’s looking like the latter…
Women aren’t as good at speaking as men.
The seminar includes an entire section of “invisible rules” that appears to just be a list of false stereotypes about the differences between men and women in the workplace. It says that women “speak briefly” and “often ramble and miss the point” in meetings. (Again, which is it?!) On the other hand, men “speak at length ― because he really believes in his idea.” It also states that women don’t interrupt effectively like men but instead “wait their turn (that never comes) and raise their hands.” So, this is just a summary of how women are pushed out by arrogant, sexist men in the workplace, but instead of suggesting that women work on deconstructing this kind of toxic environment, it says that they should learn to fit within it. Because if we don’t the men might get uncomfortable which is illegal???
“Don’t talk to men face-to-face.”
As much as I enjoy not talking to men, unfortunately, sometimes it is required at work. However, this seminar told women that if they must speak to men, they shouldn’t do it directly. They should ask to meet before or after the meeting, and not interrupt during. And once they do meet, they should cross their legs and sit at an angle so they are not directly facing them because speaking to them face-to-face is something men see as “threatening.” But again, men are big strong leaders…who can’t handle looking a woman directly in the eyes lololol.
Women aren’t natural leaders, but men are.
Oh cool, some more bullsh*t! The workshop provided women with a “Masculine/Feminine Score Sheet, which had them rate their adherence to stereotypical masculine and feminine characteristics. The “masculine” traits included “Acts as a Leader,” “Aggressive,” “Ambitious,” “Analytical,” “Has Leadership Abilities,” “Strong Personality” and “Willing to Take a Stand.” The “feminine” traits included “Affectionate,” “Cheerful,” “Childlike,” “Compassionate,” “Gullible,” “Loves Children” and “Yielding.” Are we living on the set of The Stepford Wives?!? What is happening? Like, this has to be a joke.
Be “polished,” have a “good haircut, manicured nails, well-cut attire that complements your body type.”
Who are you, my mother? And WTF is a “good haircut”? I can only assume the well-cut attire that complements our bodies is the red handmaid gown from The Handmaids Tale. The presentation also tells women that the most important thing to do at work is to “signal fitness and wellness.” I thought this was an accounting firm not a spin class?!
Well, now that we all know how to adhere to the patriarchy, let’s go burn it to the ground.
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