Start with this, the first in my apparent ongoing series of legal discussions.
A press release came out that said a shocking 90% of waitresses experience sexual harassment. This is horrible, and BEYOND unacceptable. As a guy, I don’t think I could understand what this would be like. I am trying to find an analogy because that is how I best communicate, and process information. How about this? A close guy buddy that you have known for 20 years has tickets to see Motley Crue. Your both guys, and have been going to shows for years. You both have wives. So, your buddy says:
“wanna go see Crue? I got an extra ticket.”
“fuck yeah! That would be awesome, let’s do it!”
“Cool, sounds like a plan. Just … uh … show me your dick.”
“What? Are you kidding?”
“Dude, we are bros, and I am super straight. So, it’s not a big deal. Even better, lemme touch it and I’ll buy all your drinks tonight. Don’t be weird about this”
That is likely a poor analogy. I can’t even fathom the shit women have to go through. I honestly had no idea how serious or horrible it was. Look at this quote from the study:
“Tipped workers in $2.13 states reported that they were three times more likely to be told by management to alter their appearance and to wear ‘sexier,’ more revealing clothing than they were in states where the same minimum wage was paid to all workers,” said the report.
Now, you have been reading me long enough to see this next sentence coming. > That isn’t what I wanted to talk to you about it today. I want to talk about their response. How you do you defend yourself if you are the restaurant association? I imagine it will look like this:
This is an egregious concern, and we are going to take all the necessary steps to make sure all women are treated with appreciation and respect. We appreciate bringing this to our attention, and I assure you we will make it our life’s work to right this wrong.
Did they say that? That woulda been swell. I probably woulda said something just like that. The thing is, they didn’t say that. Well… then… maybe they said this:
You find me the motherfucker playing grab ass and we will arrest him, charge him, beat him, and kick him in the balls. Then, tell his mother what he did. What the fuck is wrong with you guys that you think you can treat women like this?
Sure, maybe an overreaction, but I would have liked it. They didn’t say that, either. So, how about this?
Nope, they didn’t even say that. Soon, you will see they should have just said nothing. Now, how did the restaurant association answer the concern? Ok, cue the lawyer up.
You guys read the wrong report. After reading the study’s concerns, I read the big picture as “there is a big problem that was worse than we thought. Men are taking advantage of women and sexually harassing them in the restaurant workplace much more so than comparable workplace environments. There is a grave concern that sexual harassment in the restaurant business is both inevitable and unavoidable.” **** That was my take away from story breaking.
That was what I heard. Here is what the people who most needed to hear the story – the Restaurant Business and lobby – heard instead: “listen, we got a bunch of well financed thugs being hired by Big Waitress and the Big Waitress Lobby to make us all look like jerks and pigs. Worse, they probably did it so that we will be guilted into giving them a raise.” Do you see that? Am I being to sensitive here? Really, that is their angle of this. It is so troubling. This isn’t about money, or a campaign, or unions. It is about awareness. It is about being respectful to fellow human beings. We are talking about civil and human rights in the work place. You don’t get to call Marcy ‘sweet tits’ and more than you would call Daryl ‘blackie’.
Sorry, this is getting long winded. I want to be fair and allow both sides to breathe. Maybe this isn’t as stupid and pernicious a response as I think it was. So, I left this story alone for several hours and went about my day. I came back and read two different articles about the same story. The message they had in common was this: Hey all, some folks got together and observed this: women are being disproportionately sexual harassed in the restaurant business. It is even worse if you are in a tip dependent aspect of that business. That is the point, right? In two sentences. Someone brought this up to the major trade union and the fat cats. A reported said “hey, are you guys concerned about this? Did you know about this?” and their answer to that question was to say:
In their (the restaurant association people) reply, here is what I take away:
- Sexual harassment is not an issue
- If it were an issue, it certainly isn’t the issue here
- You are all over-reacting
- This is trumped up by big restaurant waitress power structure and the big restaurant waitress lobby
- Which then proves this is a total lie driven by greed
Also, you placing this one ‘big lobby’ money is funny…. because you are the ‘big lobby’ and the ‘big lobby money’! That would be like Pfizer saying “Well, we are trying to get this cure to market, but we are getting pushed around by ‘big Pharma’!” I am confident that the study was not a machiavellian move by the ‘big waitress lobby’, secretly pulling the strings of the sociologists here. In fact, I am quote sure of that. Know why? They only make $2 fucking dollars an hour.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the choice of verbiage there. The ‘attacks against the industry…’ There was no attack. Someone asked a waitress “how’s things?”, and she said “Well, pretty sucky, actually. Everything thinks they can play grab ass with waitresses.” That wasn’t an ‘attack’. It’s a factual observation, and an unpleasant truth. To call these ‘attacks’ is akin to the whole “you can’t fire me, I quit!”.
**** Were it Don King, he might then ad it is “pandemic, systematic, didactic, prophylactic, and unAmerican!