Today on Facebook one of my friends decried that “women have tolerated a lot of inappropriate behavior” in the workforce and that the current expulsion of accused men from the workforce is “proportionally understated.” What’s interesting about that? She is a Ph.D.-educated prime working age childless American who quit her career after marrying a rich guy whom she had described as “unattractive.” So she’s passionate on the subject of how women are treated in a labor force of which she is no longer a member.
On a related note, Sheryl Sandberg linked to “Melinda Gates: The World is Finally Listening. Me too. Me too. Me too.” (TIME), noting that “This is such an important piece from my friend Melinda Gates. Stories about sexual harassment and assault … affect women all over the world, from every walk of life.” Here’s what Melinda Gates herself had to say:
2017 is proving to be a watershed moment for women in the workplace and beyond. Instead of being bullied into retreat or pressured into weary resignation, we are raising our voices—and raising them louder than ever before.
What workplace is Melinda Gates in? She is co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (executive team). There is one person at the enterprise who is nominally at the same level, but this is her husband and she may in fact be his supervisor (see “How Melinda and Bill Gates shared school drop-off duty, and changed a community in the process” for how Melinda got Bill, then CEO of Microsoft, to do kid drop-offs and pick-ups (at the time Melinda had no W-2 job)). If there are people at the foundation who are bullying her, why doesn’t she fire them? (or maybe assign them to work with Ebola victims in Africa)
we have been taught that being born female comes with a cost.
What cost did Melinda Gates incur as a result of being female? She was able to gain roughly $100 billion in spending power by marrying Bill Gates, so wouldn’t our first guess be that she would be $100 billion poorer if she’d been born male? Perhaps she is saying that she have obtained more spending power by working if she had been born a man. Wikipedia says that she has a bachelor’s in CS and an MBA. So she thinks she could have earned at least $101 billion with these credentials? Or is she saying that, had she been born as a man she/he would have persuaded Bill Gates to enter into a same-sex marriage so she would still have had the $100 billion in spending power from the marriage plus additional spending power from W-2 labor? (But Melinda Gates got married in 1994 and same-sex marriage was not possible prior to 2004 (Massachusetts).)
[Also, why is sex at birth relevant in our transgender-friendly age? Why isn’t it “identifying as female comes with a cost”?]
Melinda Gates is looking forward to justice in the future:
I hope that her words are this year’s legacy—and that there will always be women to talk to and ears to hear. Because if there are, then justice will finally be served for all of us.
She includes herself in “us,” I think, but doesn’t explain what injustice she has personally suffered.
With Sheryl Sandberg and Melinda Gates as their champions, and armed with a full understanding of their day-to-day challenges, can women all of the world now expect a brave new world of justice?