Tag Archives: Slate

Love in the Time of Stupidity…

Love in the Time of Stupidity…

Slate’s Amanda Marcotte writes about a tech startup’s CEO’s experience with sexual harassment.

(Yunha Kim) shares an email she got from a developer she tried to hire, which reads: “I’m pretty happy with current job, but if you’re single I’d like to date you. Perhaps there are some unconventional ways to lure me away from my company (besides stock options) if you know what I mean :)”


Yes, he ended an email with a smiley face, but let’s move on to the other, just as egregious, offenses.

His opening sentence is bizarre, even if you don’t read it aloud, as I do, to the tune of Carly Rae Jepsom’s Call Me Maybe.

Kim already has to work with the obnoxious hipsters in the attached photo but now she has to deal with tired pickup lines from someone she’s clearly interacting with in a solely professional setting. (The guy’s first hint would be that he had no idea if she was single or not. I’m not an expert on women but usually if one is interested in you, she lets you know that she is available and won’t respond to your advances by showering in turpentine.)

Also, and forgive the digression, I dislike the “are you single?” question. There are many reasons a woman might not go out with you. Her being involved with someone else is but one of them. But there’s this presumption that if a woman is single, it’s open season, as if it’s out of the question for her to be single by choice or even wish to remain that way.

Isn’t it possible for two people to meet professionally, hit it off, and then choose to pursue a personal relationship. Sure, but out of basic respect, he should conclude their business relationship in a strictly professional relationship, thank her for her time, and then perhaps later reach out to her in a separate email. And instead of cutting to the tackiest chase possible, he could suggest getting together to discuss some non-business related topic that had come up in the previous meeting. It’s likely no such topic came up because the only non-business related topic raised at the meeting was this guy’s penis.

Frankly, I don’t advise attempting the business associate/romantic interest switch. It’s as fraught with peril as the “roommate switch” discussed on Seinfeld.

Oh, and lest we forget the creepy part.

Perhaps there are some unconventional ways to lure me away from my company (besides stock options) if you know what I mean 🙂

Why do some men think it’s at all flattering to a woman to suggest that she might barter her body for goods, services, or one of the many developers available in today’s economy?

This guy’s come on is not just personally insulting. It is arguably a quid pro quo request, which is classic sexual harassment. The comments, predominately from men, to the Slate piece invariably claim that sexual harassment can only occur if they both work at the same company or if the harasser is in a supervisor position or if it’s flat-out rape, like in the Michael Douglas film Disclosure. I won’t go into the many reasons why these assertions are untrue of why you shouldn’t see Disclosure even for its laughably dated depiction of the Internet.

Even in our “Lean-In” culture, professional women have to deal with not being taken seriously in a business environment or being seen as just a sexual object. There’s also the heterosexual privilege of injecting sexuality into business so freely, while gay men and women, even today, debate whether to display on their desks a photo of themselves and their partners. If a man sent an email like this hitting on a male CEO, it could be a potentially career-ending mistake.

But as the comments to the Slate article reveal, Kim could attempt to blackball this developer but it’s likely that his email wouldn’t keep him from getting another job. Too many men in too many important positions see nothing wrong with what he did.

And the smiley face. Really?

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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Social Commentary


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Ukraine Shenanigans…

Fred Kaplan from Slate on the Ukraine situation.

A Romney administration’s response would have been to shout louder and get tougher (although corporate wheeler dealer versus former KGB agent seems a lopsided battle), which demonstrates to me how bad U.S. foreign policy has become in the past 20 years. It’s no longer whether we should get involved but how poorly we should bungle our involvement.

I also reject the notion that it’s perceived “weakness” that compels another country to defy U.S. interests. First off, Pee-Wee Herman could be president and he would still command the largest military in the world. It’s easy to speak loudly when you’re carrying other people’s sticks.

John Green helps you understand the Ukraine. In my younger and more vulnerable years, this is what I imagined 24-hour news networks would give us.

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Posted by on March 8, 2014 in Political Theatre


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Slate: How The Fed’s Generosity Made $13 Billion For America’s Biggest Banks…

If you’re wondering what the Occupy movement is about, this article from Slate gives you some indirect background.

As Mark Evanier puts it: “Basically, the Fed did everything in its power to help big banks get bigger and to not suffer when they took risks that didn’t pay off. Wish someone would do that for me.”

But no one will. The government will let the bank foreclose on your home because you shouldn’t have been stupid enough to take a crap loan. The government won’t even extend your unemployment benefits.

It’s unfortunate that the public does not fully grasp that not only are corporations “people” in the government’s eyes, they’re riding in the front of the bus.

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Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Capitalism


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How do you end a revolution? PR, insults, and soap…

So, in the truly clueless category is this article from Slate:

A financial services lobbying firm floats $850,000 plan to undermine Occupy Wall Street protests.

That’s a lot of money to stop the efforts of people with no money. That’s about a dozen jobs right there. I’m reminded of the line from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”: “If he’d just pay me what he’s spending to stop me from robbing him, I’d stop robbing him.”

According to MSNBC’s “Up With Chris Hayes,” lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford sent a memo to the American Bankers Association with an outline for the plan, which suggests, among other things, doing “opposition research” on the Occupy movement in order to help construct “negative narratives” about protesters and the politicians who support them.

Meanwhile, GOP presidential candidates are already doing their part. Newt Gingrich said the Occupy protesters need to “get a job” and “take a bath.”

“All the Occupy movement starts with the premise that we all owe them everything,” Gingrich said at the Thanksgiving Family Forum in Iowa, as noted by Igor Volsky at ThinkProgress. “They take over a public park they didn’t pay for, to go nearby to use bathrooms they didn’t pay for, to beg for food from places they don’t want to pay for, to obstruct those who are going to work to pay the taxes to sustain the bathrooms and to sustain the park, so they can self-righteously explain they are the paragons of virtue to which we owe everything.”

As touching a sentiment this is for a presidential candidate to express at the “Thanksgiving Family Forum,” it seems to have a few fundamental problems: There’s the “us vs. them” mentality combined with the misrepresentation of the movement’s goals and the flat-out erroneous assertion that the protesters didn’t contribute to the public parks in which they are encamped. That’s why they are called “public” parks. Moreover, it’s disturbing to think that people can work and pay taxes for years but once they lose their jobs and dare to express frustration at a system that is not the least bit interested in fixing the economy it helped collapse, their so-called leaders will dismiss them as subhuman.

According to Gingrich, they should “get a job right after taking a bath.” It should reassure the unemployed in this country that it’s really that simple. All you need is a punchy cover letter and Dial.

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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Capitalism, Political Theatre


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