Quote for the day: sexual favouritism creates a hostile work environment

From a former female staffer on David Letterman’s Late Night show:

There’s a subset of sexual harassment called sexual favoritism that, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, can lead to a “hostile work environment,” often “creating an atmosphere that is demeaning to women.”

And that pretty much sums up my experience at Late Night with David Letterman.

…Without naming names or digging up decades-old dirt, let’s address the pertinent questions. Did Dave hit on me? No. Did he pay me enough extra attention that it was noted by another writer? Yes. Was I aware of rumors that Dave was having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Was I aware that other high-level male employees were having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Did these female staffers have access to information and wield power disproportionate to their job titles? Yes. Did that create a hostile work environment? Yes. Did I believe these female staffers were benefiting professionally from their personal relationships? Yes. Did that make me feel demeaned? Completely. Did I say anything at the time? Sadly, no.

Here’s what I did: I walked away from my dream job.

via Shakesville



Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, relationships

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1 reply

  1. I was watching “The View”, this morning when this situation was discussed. Elisabeth felt that she should have stayed rather than allowing another man to probably be hired in her place thus allowing the environment to become even more hostile. I bring this up because that so many believe that the marginalized body should remain in an environment that is uncomfortable because the larger society dictates that some bodies are necessarily not as valuable as others. I see this as problematic because as it related to POC we know that the daily stress of dealing with racism has negative health consequences and I believe this is transferable to all marginalized bodies. We do not value mental health even though we are quick to demean those that are neurologically atypical. When someone takes a stress leave from their position it is seen as just an extended vacation rather than a conscious choice to put health concerns first.
    It is a shame that this environment cost this woman a job that she dreamed about but her decision to put herself first is one that should be applauded. As women we are often taught to place ourselves last because it is expected that we carry a super human burden. She is lucky that she had the class privilege to make such a decision and leaving a toxic environment is one of the healthiest things that we can do.

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