Five female anchors recently resigned from Al-Jazeera news network as a result of the harassment they say they were receiving from co-workers. The women claim that several employees, including a senior editor, would constantly insult their appearance, saying the women should cover their hair for their broadcasts and wear less makeup. Things escalated, from employees badgering the anchors to offensive remarks being made about the women’s “total lack of decency.” Losing the five anchors will hurt the company, especially because they were among Al-Jazeera’s most recognizable faces. Along with the walk-outs, complaints have also been filed by female employees of the Qatar station for the same type of harassment. Al-Jazeera has cleared the senior editor of any wrong doing, stating that he had the power to decide “the spirit and principles of the channel and the image it wishes to present.” The network also said that ideological differences, which arise in many different ways, are a consistent issue in their newsrooms. [Newser]
What do you think of all this? I say there is a line between telling someone she should lighten up on the hairspray and harassing an employee to the point where she no longer feels comfortable at work. Have you ever left a job based on the way a boss or other employee made you feel? Keep reading »
The Village Voice has chronicled the long, depressing tale of Debrahlee Lorenzana, an ex-banker for Citibank who is now suing her former employer. It is the story of a gorgeous woman (a single mother who worked long hours climbing up the corporate ladder) who seems to have been hired by a group of men to be the office eye candy. According to the Voice, her two male managers “started making offhanded comments about her appearance,” specifically her makeup, hair and clothes. The attention given to her appearance quickly turned negative, with vibes coming from her superiors that insinuated this hot-to-trot banker babe was distracting the men.
When she complained through the proper channels — her managers, Human Resources, and eventually two regional vice presidents — she says no one took accountability for resolving the problems. In August, Lorenzana claimed she was fired and told she was not a good fit for the culture at Citibank. Her attire was mentioned in the termination discussion; her work performance was not. Keep reading »
I wish America would show stuff like this on television: the Welsh government in the U.K. has released a PSA about sexual harassment. It outlines all the ways dudes think they’re being really suave when they’re actually being totally douchey. I really like that the message isn’t just a blanket “sexual harassment is bad!” but it shows how getting honked, whistled and leered at all adds up. [One Step Too Far, BBC] Keep reading »
Once upon a time, Sarah Palin was just a pit bull in lipstick. But speaking on May 14 to a PAC that finances anti-abortion female congressional candidates, Palin not only called herself “feminist” but praised the “emerging, conservative feminist identity” and the “pro-woman sisterhood.” (Never one to miss an opportunity to inject ferocious animals into the conversation, Palin praised “mama grizzlies,” too.)
Now, it’s not difficult to understand how the estrogen contact high, which surely comes from speaking to a group that finances female congressional candidates, could give one a sense of kinship to the sisterhood. But considering how feminists are generally not considered the type of people who would require women to pay for their own rape exams, you wouldn’t be alone in wondering what the heck was going on when Palin dropped the “f-bomb.” Keep reading »
Caller: Dr. Williams, how the heck are you? My wife just came in and made me lunch after she was mowing the yard.
Walter E. Williams: “Good, good. You have her under control.”
Caller: “Absolutely, absolutely.”
Williams: “I guess you’ve learned a lot from me.”
Caller: “I’ve been listening to you for a long time. She does a lot more chores than she used to, so I appreciate that.”
Williams: “Okay! And I believe in keeping wives under control.”
Caller: “You’re a good man.”
— Radio host Walter E. Williams, who was filling in on The Rush Limbaugh Show and making us vom. [MediaMatters.org] Keep reading »