As a man in today’s post #MeToo business environment, it has come to my attention, via HR complaints, that I apparently need to put more than zero effort into maintaining professional working relationships with women employees. I am up for this difficult task. Unfortunately, it seems like no matter what I do, I’ll never be on the same page as the women I work with, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no one to blame for that except the women. Every time I try to better myself, my female employees are cock-blocking me at every turn.
I am a staunch supporter of women’s advancement in the workplace. I would be more than happy to have a woman working underneath me and my other male colleagues as a front-line supervisor who deals with all the touchy-feely personnel issues that women are more suited to manage. I’ve always said that as soon as I find a woman whose intelligence doesn’t threaten me in any way, I intend to immediately promote her (without a pay raise, of course). But, when such an exciting position came open in my department, not a single acceptable woman applied for the job. The only candidates I received were either overqualified (in that they had more experience and/or education than me) or not attractive enough. How, exactly, am I supposed to learn how to better manage gender diversity? C’mon, ladies, throw a guy a bone of personal growth, won’t you?
And even when I am able to interact with a female employee, such as when I stick my foot between the doors on the elevator to prop them open as she is frantically pushing the button to close them, it seems like I just can’t do anything right. I get it, we’re not supposed to touch a woman without permission. This makes total sense. But then when I ask permission to tell her that her ass looks really nice in those slacks, I’m somehow still the bad guy? Why won’t these women help me out? As the party that feels offended by my actions, it’s so obvious that the onus falls on the women to show me how to better interact with them.
I’m really a very progressive guy! I even acknowledge that there are some women who know things, and whose knowledge, while still inferior to my amount of knowledge, may contain pieces of information that I need. I occasionally may ask a female colleague for an opinion, or exhaustive instructions on how to execute the job that we both do but that she is paid less to do than I am. I will sometimes even ask these women questions when they are not showing any kind of welcoming body language. This demonstrates my willingness to accept the value of women as resources to be used for my benefit, and my ability to ignore clear communication signals in order to further my own success. But, just yesterday, I asked a woman how to convert a document to a PDF, and then she refused to listen to me when I talked over her, corrected her, then asserted that I’d known the answer the entire time. What a missed opportunity for her to engage in an informal learning event. I learned about that in my (all-male) MBA program.
I am never going to improve my leadership skills in managing female employees if these women don’t stop being such stupid bitches. I have tried to take several women under my wing, offering helpful tips for success in climbing up the corporate ladder. I’ve told them to smile more, I’ve let them know that they shouldn’t cut their hair so short next time, and in the case of one woman who I considered my protege, I even offered to take her out to Buffalo Wild Wings at 9 p.m. when my wife was out of town to “discuss marketing strategy.” This is exactly the type of mentor-mentee relationship that I know these women crave, and who could they look up more to than me, a middle-aged man who got my position through a potent blend of sexism, nepotism, and a severe shortage of more qualified applicants? It’s like these women don’t want me to start respecting them or even treating them with a modicum of human decency at the office!
And it’s not like I haven’t tried to change whatever it is that I’m allegedly doing wrong. I make herculean efforts every day. Every time I blame women for all of my personal shortcomings, I make sure to start the sentence with “I’m not saying anything bad about women,” so that anyone listening knows that I’m not a horrible misogynist even though I sound and act like one. When I got my blow-up doll out for Larry’s birthday party, I put a “The Future is Female” T-shirt on her. I signed off on an astronomically expensive ($15 per quarter) proposal for free, er, feminine hygiene products in the ladies room. Hell, one time I even said that Ayn Rand–a woman!–was one of my favorite authors. Honestly, with the exception of treating female employees like people, I’m at a loss for what I can do to better my skills in this fraught area. Apparently nothing I do is good enough.
I’m disappointed that all of the women in corporate America conspired to make it impossible for me to grow as a person, but here we are. It’s tragic, but until these women get their act together, I have no choice but to continue living in my outdated, reductive, patriarchal mindset while zooming upwards through the company organizational chart with tremendous velocity. Someday, maybe I will be capable of change if women mature enough to put in 100% of the effort. Until then, all of these catty little bitches need to quit their yapping and go get me a cup of coffee. Is it their time of the month or something?