“What was all that about on LinkedIn ?” Dorothy asks me incredulously.
“I know. I called out this pork for outing sexist behaviour. So I posted a screenshot of the comments he made on LinkedIn. His words weren’t exactly praising. He called my profile picture a Barbie doll.”
“What a pig ! You’re a renowned Digital Analyst. How dare he post comments of the sort. His behaviour is horrendously politically incorrect.” Dorothy rants.
“He definitely wins the prize for the most misogynistic bloke on LinkedIn I have ever seen.” I confirm.
“Darling I am so sick and tired of violence against women and girls, in all its forms. I liked that you responded by telling him you found his message offensive and explaining that you are using LinkedIn for business purposes, rather than to be approached about your physical appearance ‘or to be objectified by sexist men’.” Dorothy pours over the conversation again.
And I add to that: “The eroticisation of women’s physical appearance is a way of exercising power over women. It silences women’s professional attributes as their physical appearance becomes the subject. I wish men were properly educated to think twice before sending women such sexist messages.”
“You’re the best though, sweetie darling. You posted screenshots of the comments on Facebook, Twitter ànd LinkedIn, asking how many other women have had similar experiences.” Dorothy sounds happy.
“Most people post pretty unprofessional pictures on LinkedIn, unfortunately. I’ve always advocated to update your profile with a professional picture each year. If people were to comment on the the professional quality of the picture, that would be another issue.” And I have said this before, your profile does matter.
“You are clearly highly respected. I’m pleased that so many people took your defense and sent you private messages of encouragement.” Dorothy remarks.
“That’s right. I have received much praise by other Social Media users, including women who said they had similar stories to tell.” I point out.
“I actually link this incident to a wider problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. There is also a general issue with some people using LinkedIn as though it were a dating app like Tinder.” Dorothy is referring to the recent WhatsApp creep.
“I’m actually surprised by the positive response my actions had elicited in others.” I continue.
“In some regards I think you might have been expecting a backlash, but the women that have come forward have been very encouraging and I think it follows on from campaigns to show up sexism in the workplace.” Dorothy answers.
“I think it’s important that we collectively call out this sexism and I think that is what this Social Media post has done. My LinkedIn profile is professional. It is a headshot photograph and yet people seem to think that this is an invitation to make advances or discuss my physical appearance, which is unacceptable.” And it is just that, unacceptable.
“The pork could at least have apologised for the offence caused instead of making further comments. But no…” And Dorothy looks up this Mr. Didier Buffet’s LinkedIn profile. “Huh, he doesn’t even have a picture. Probably means he’s ugly as hell.”
If god had created Eve first
“Sweetie darling, if god created Eve first, we would all be feminists.” I know we’ve already had this conversation numerous times, but it’s one of my favourite rants.
“Unfortunately, man was created first. And then man created god.” Dorothy adds reluctantly. “But he got it all wrong. He should have put the men under a bourkha. They’re the uglier sort of our species.”
“No no no, Dorothy darling. You’ve got it all wrong.” I shake my head. “It’s a question of education and things being passed down generation by generation.”
“Uh, I thought we’d agreed about the Jedi mind trick…” Dorothy trails off.
“What I mean is, we need to educate our sons properly. We need to bring them up as fervent feminists. Teach them the importance of treating women correctly. And in turn give our daughters the right example of respecting ourselves ànd others. We mirror towards others in which way we esteem ourselves.” And this darlings, is the pearl of my wisdom for today.
“Such a pity that matriarchal society didn’t work. I wonder what went wrong with the Amazones.” Dorothy wonders.
“I think auto-mutilation brings us full circle there.” And that is the end of a wonderful and deeply philosophical conversation.
What do you think ? Which measures need to be taken to guarantee safety and dignity to all girls and women in our society ? Let me know in the comments below.