Karma really is a bitch

Especially if "Karma" happens to be the name of that Manic Pixie Dream Girl type in the corner cubicle at work who absolutely will get your ass fired if you say the wrong thing to her. What would be "the wrong thing"? Open your mouth to find out:
Male executives are too afraid to help their female colleagues in case they are accused of sexual harassment, a new book claims. 
In the book, Sex And The Office, US-based research scholar Kim Elsesser says women are missing out because their more senior male colleagues are reluctant to befriend or mentor them in case their actions are misinterpreted. 
She says this 'sex partition' prevents women from reaching top corporate positions, with male bosses fearful of even holding a one-on-one meeting with a woman in a more junior roles in case they 'slip up'. 
'They’re afraid that an offhand remark will be misinterpreted as sexual harassment or that their friendliness will be mistaken for romantic interest,' her book's description states. 
Dr Elsesser, who lectures at University of California, Los Angeles, says as a result, women are missing out on networking opportunities enjoyed by their male peers. [Didact: this may also have quite a lot to do with the fact that the male idea of "networking" involves bars, golf, and strip clubs- things which women are notably disinterested in, as a general rule.]
The academic, who has also worked as a quantitative equities trader at Morgan Stanley, says attempts to increase awareness of sexual harassment over the last 20 years have left male workers fearing they could be accused of harassing female colleagues, so instead only befriend other men in the workplace.
Welcome to what feminism hath wrought, yet again. The Law of Unintended Consequences has this nasty habit of slapping idiots in the face with a wet mackerel, and this is certainly no exception.

First, feminists demanded workplace equality for women- even though women work fewer hours, take fewer risks, take more time off, and are far less interested in taking on hard or dangerous physical jobs than men are. They got what they wanted, in most cases, yet professional women are unhappier than ever.

That unhappiness over having to choose between career and family meant that women still weren't achieving parity in the workplace and weren't getting to the highest levels of management at anything like the rates of their male colleagues. So feminists then demanded that quotas be put in place to ensure that, one way or another, women would get into the C-suite positions.

But that still isn't working. Young women today are finding that they aren't cut out for the relentless grind of office work. I see this all around me, every day, at work; pretty young women come in and find that they don't actually enjoy having to prepare endless PowerPoint presentations, schedule innumerable meetings, and plod through spreadsheets for eight hours a day. They don't like the hours, they don't care much for the work itself, and they rarely stick around long enough to secure truly lasting careers in their industries. The truly good ones possess a rare combination of skill, intelligence, grit, and no small amount of willingness to sacrifice everything else in their lives for their careers, but they are few and far between.

So feminists have now begun demanding that men do everything they possibly can to make women's careers as friction-free as possible- by preventing said men from expressing anything that a woman might find "hurtful" or "offensive" or "sexist".

And then they're astonished to find that men are actively avoiding having to deal with women precisely because doing so will destroy their careers faster than you can say, "feminism is idiotic".

It sure is a messed-up world when an emotionally incontinent woman can land her male colleague, boss, or mentor in soup just because he looked at her the wrong way.

There is much truth to what Dr. Elsesser is saying about male-female dynamics in the workplace. If you work in an office job, you know full well that your every action is being scrutinised. If you say the wrong thing, even once, you can be anonymously accused of bigotry or sexism, you can be hauled in front of HR, and you can be fired forthwith.

Now, in more sensible eras, it was recognised that people who spend a huge part of their lives in each other's company will, on occasion, say things that are intemperate, ill-considered, and downright rude. That is what happens when you spend eight, ten, or twelve hours a day working beside the same person for five or six or even seven days a week. Just ask any married couple, ever, about how quickly an innocent remark can be misconstrued or taken the wrong way.

The key difference between then and now is the fact that men and women were adult and mature enough to recognise such comments for the inconsequentially stupid remarks that they were. It was rare that people needed to go crying to HR to sort out accusations of "objectification" or "verbal bullying" or, God help us, "triggering"- whatever the hell that last one means. Trips to the HR manager's office were, at one time, made for serious reasons- not because someone got "triggered" in the break room by an off-colour and otherwise incomprehensible joke about "dongles".

I have seen this happen- and not too long ago, either. During the last corporate reorganisation, a team that I know of got landed with a bunch of desks that some of their members didn't much care for. One of them took this up with the HR people in charge of these relocations. I have no idea what he actually said, but apparently it upset the woman in question (yes, it was of course a woman) enough to very nearly get him fired. He escaped disciplinary proceedings by the skin of his teeth, and almost certainly had to go through a humiliating apology to the young lady involved, as well as her boss. (Another woman, to nobody's surprise.)

Well done, feminists. You've turned adult working women into a bunch of hypersensitive crybabies, who have within their reach the ability to completely torch a man's career.

Men have responded precisely as we always have: by adapting, reacting, and overcoming.

If you are a man working in a modern corporate environment, you know damn well that if you walk into a meeting room with a woman, without at least one other person present, you are potentially taking a huge risk with your career. You know that the mere act of looking at a woman could land you in a very sticky situation. You know that the biggest threat to your career is giving a female subordinate a bad performance review.

So male mentors spend the absolute minimum amount of time with the women that they are supposed to be teaching. Men at work spend as little time as possible around their female colleagues, either in the office or socially. No interaction is done without at least one other person present. The simple act of going to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee for an informal chat about the current status of a project is verboten. Every conversation has to be self-censored and monitored.

As a consequence, women are finding it harder to get hired, harder to stay interested and motivated at work, and harder to advance in their careers, precisely because they themselves have created conditions so hostile to their male colleagues that we choose to simply walk away.

Occasionally, a rare young woman comes along who is a true and genuine pleasure to work with. I've had that experience myself. I wish there were more women like that, who were so easy and fun to work with. But if women themselves insist on interpreting every word from a male colleague's mouth through a prism of irrational self-delusion, then they have only themselves to blame when their career aspirations turn into so much dust.


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