Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Confounding World of Snowflakes

Years ago, sexual harassment meant the boss came up behind you and grabbed your derriere, or cornered you in a supply closet and tried to kiss you. This occurrence was fairly commonplace for any reasonably attractive woman dressed in the style of the day, which was basically miniskirts and knee-high boots. I had my share of unwanted attention from male superiors and co-workers alike, but I never sued anyone. I was never raped or traumatized in any way and, except for one time when I was 17 and had to call my father to rescue me, I always managed to handle the situation on my own.  

Times certainly have changed. The lead story in today's Wall Street Journal concerns the forced ouster of Uber head Travis Kalanick from his own $70 billion company for sins related to being a bad guy. I read the article carefully but still never learned the details of those sins. Intrigued, I plunged into the veritable ocean of information on the subject available online. Turns out Uber's "bad culture" has several prongs, the worst being its male-dominated management team that regularly engages in sexual harassment of the company's female snowflakes -- oops, I mean employees.

One reported example of sexual harassment at Uber circa 2016 was a woman being alerted by a female co-worker that their male department manager had admitted he "could not look her in the eye" whenever she wore a sleeveless tank top at work. As I see it, she had three options: Never wear sleeveless tank tops at the office, not care if the guy looked her in the eye as long as she was paid for doing work she enjoyed, or quit the job at Uber.  She did none of those, instead choosing to stay put and blog about the horror of working there.

Do not wear this to work....
Another female Uber employee was upset because her male manager had sent her several chat messages inferring he would like to have sex with her. Rather than feeling flattered that he found her attractive while calmly rejecting his unrequited interest, she found his suggestion "vile and reprehensible" and filed a harassment claim with the HR department, then was upset when all they did was give the man "a stern talking-to." In my day, when women were not snowflakes but rather snowplows, the offended party would have personally delivered the "stern talking-to" to the offender, and in no uncertain terms.
.... at Uber.
 
My son, 29, explained recently that the term "snowflake" was born from the fact that "every one of them is unique." Others have suggested harsher definitions, inferring that today's young adults are as delicate as snowflakes and melt at the slightest touch. I am not endorsing either definition, just presenting the facts as I have heard them. And I'm shaking my head in bewilderment over today's young women who are so squeamish when it comes to sexual attention, but worship sexually explicit celebrities like Britney Spears and Beyonce, who performs half-naked and spits out lyrics like these:

“BLOW”
I love your face You love the taste That sugar babe, it melts away
Can you lick my skittles That’s the sweetest in the middle Pink that’s the flavor Solve the riddle
When you’re thirsty and need love I give it up ’til I’m empty babe
Bringing work up on top of me I’mma let let you be the boss of me I know everything you want Give me that daddy long stroke
Ooh get a glimpse of this candy paint Don’t slip off when it drip off on top of ya right

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