Beyond Babedom

We're (way) over 40. Deal with it.

(Male) Members Only

You and I aren’t members of this club. And we never can  be. And that’s a shame, because that’s where so much of the networking and gladhanding and atta boys happen. Yeah, I don’t have penis envy, but I DO have Penis Club envy.

What’s the Penis Club? It’s a safe place for men. It’s a world where you can screw up, you can blow a big deal, you can be drunk or harassing or simply antagonistic. You can demand more money and you will still have a job. Maybe not the same job, perhaps but a job, nonetheless. Can I join? No. If I want someone to watch my back, I have to excel and be irreplaceable or at least really, really good. But I can’t be in the club. I just don’t have the gear.

Now, I’m not saying nobody wants  to let us in. It’s just that they can’t let us in. We don’t have the equipment. And this is a club where the equipment counts, big time.  In fact, it’s all that counts. Even those uber- progressive companies where they were soooo fair and equitable. . . until it comes to bending the rules. Because the rules are there for a reason. You use the rules to get rid of pushy, obnoxious people. And you use the rules to make exceptions to the rules. . . for P Club members only.

People get fired all the time for not doing their job, for coming to work drunk, for being pushy or obnoxious or overbearing. But why are they always women? You think the world of Don Draper is gone? You think they still would have paid Joan Harris if she had caused the loss of their biggest client? Hell, no. Not then. Not now.

Look at Jill Abramson, the just-removed Executive Editor of the NY Times. She was too ‘pushy.’ She didn’t ‘fit in’. So they pushed her out. Never mind that in every position she held at the Times, she was paid less than her male counterparts. In one position she actually made $100,000 less than her successor as Washington Bureau Chief. Just the fact that she brought this – and her then-current compensation up – may be exactly why she was fired. Now, if she had been in the club, she would have been told tht her management style was “assertive” and that she “acted like” an executive editor and that she was “a good negotiator”. Or, at the very least, she would have gotten a huge golden parachute instead of a golden shower.

When a guy doesn’t work out in a position, more often than not he’ll get shifted to another one. When a woman doesn’t, she gets the Jill Abramson treatment. . . a kick in the ass.  Women lose jobs all the time because they’re abrasive or domineering or don’t ‘fit in’. Fair. But I’ve yet to see a man who’s lost his job for those same reasons. I’ve seen men shifted into other positions – sometimes even promoted – when they’re not ‘working out’.  I’ve seen the P Club find other jobs for them . . . even if they had drinking problems, sexual harassment problems. . . not simply “not fitting in’ problems.

Yup. The good old Penis Club. Members Only. Male Members Only.

 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 at 8:10 pm and is filed under men. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  1. Don Draper says:

    OK, going to be non PC here..

    Honestly, as a member of the Penis Club, I think the articles complaining about poor Jill Abronson are getting old. She “may” have been fired for being too pushy. She may have been fired for being a woman. She may have been fired for having a third nipple. Most likely, she was fired because she was a bad manager and not working out.

    From what I’ve read so far, the NY Times hasn’t stated why they fired her – and probably won’t. It’s nobody’s business. I watch other woman on the talk shows complain that she got paid less. Why didn’t she negotiate a higher salary when she took the job? Whose fault is that? Other women complaining that she was fired and they didn’t “thank her for her service”. Wah. Wah Wah Wah.

    You posted an article a while back about the woman who was fired for being “too beautiful”. An equally ridiculous non-story.

    Look, I’m all for equal pay for equal work. Obama’s recent pandering to women that “Today is the day that a woman would have to work in 2014 to earn the same amount as a man who worked in 2013″ has really been proven to be an unrealistic comarison (were not equal jobs, equal amount of time put in, etc.). I also think that there are many women who not only GET their jobs because of the female parts, but can sell better and succeed further because of their background.

    At the end of the day, while it may sound fantastic to say “we’re all equal”, we’re not. Our backgrounds, our personalities, our gender, our age, our education, genes, family, friends, etc. all help make us UNIQUE in this world. Is it possible that people didn’t like a “man’s personality on a woman”? Maybe? For all the reasons that women are awesome and empathetic, etc., what would happen if a man came out and tried to act like a woman? If he got fired, what would you say about him being fired for that?

    Instead of trying to be a man, embrace your womanhood, deliver more, and demand every dime you’re worth.

  2. Well, well, yes, Lucille! And if you have Jill Abrahamson to cite, I, as a nominal male but one who seems never to have benefited from the Penis Club – and who seems to have worked for a perhaps majority of women in my working career – I can cite several males with whom you may be familiar who have used and abused their club privileges.

    That’s a horrendous sentence. But, you get the message?

    In the company you and I share in memory I worked for one good manager, who left because he couldn’t trust his manager; his successor who was good and tried to do good by me and give me one of those facilitator type jobs that would ensure promotion – except my son was just born and wouldn’t move. So, did that opportunity ever again present itself? Nope. Ultimately I was working for a manager who not only never sold anything in his life but who felt it a proper use of his time to spy on the e-mails of his employees.

    Clubs work both ways, Lucille! I left to join another company – that went chapter 7 bankrupt in 8 months! and the hegira of my life began!

    I would have loved to climb the corporate ladder – I thought then. Not now. It’s all now down to accept it, deal with it, or chuck it or change it. (chuck-ee-cheeze it!)

    Hope you’re well!
    Bill

  3. David Alexander says:

    While I agree with the tone of the article, recognize there are clubs within the club. If your penis is the wrong color, or didn’t go to the right college, or doesn’t hang out with the right penises, you are on the outside looking in. Most men are smart enough to not categorize women and their “clubs.” My guess is most women recognize the same thing happens to men. As Groucho Marx once said, “I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have me as a member.”

  4. Judy Herring says:

    Women have always been treated differently than men in the work place. I’ve seen women who are better educated than their male counterpart, but work longer hours and still make less money. Although, I think there are some professions where women are treated a bit more equally. For example, sales. That is a numbers game. Those with the highest numbers make more money because commissions are equal to both men and women. I agree with what you say about the club Lucille, but I still prefer to be in the vagina club!!!

  5. Don Draper says:

    I call bullshit again..

    Judy — Do you really want us to believe that “ALL things being equal”, women are (on average) getting paid less or (at best), paid equally? I personally question what you claim to have “seen” in that there are women who are more educated and work longer hours and still make less money. Not sure how you’d ever have that information (or if you’re just making it up).

    But, even if ALL you said was true, I would believe there are MANY more variables that are driving the salary differential. What about the results of each manager? Their style? Their ability to negotiate a higher salary? My understanding of Jill Abranson was that she was a rude bad manager (male or female). Success and salary goes far beyond your education and the number of hours you work.

    Percentagewise, I agree that it’s noticeable that the lion share of CEO’s are male. While I’m sure there is SOME sexism (along with racism, religious bias, etc. etc.) that influences decisions being made and salaries being paid, I’m not sure how whining about it helps (unless you’ve got solid proof that women are being turned down because of their sex).

    I see many many women in very high levels in my company. Those that succeed ignore the “what can’t be done” and just go do it. They deliver and then demand more money. Should I complain because there are younger women in more senior positions that me?

    I still think that there are as many advantages from being a woman as there may be disadvantages…. We’re all different. Embrace those differences and use them to succeed.

  6. Lucille says:

    Oh, “Don”. You are so sweetly naive. Read the research – there is tons of it- and I’ll respond in full when I return from Paris.

  7. Don Draper says:

    Lucille,

    Hit me with your research.

    Here’s an article I found which addresses this pretty fairly:

    http://www.payscale.com/gender-lifetime-earnings-gap?cm_mmc=Email-_-2012-05-Salary+News-_-NA-_-Do+Men+Really+Make+More+Than+Women%3F

    Bottom line, I think it points a few things:

    1) Women typically choose careers that pay less.
    2) The decision to have kids DOES impact a woman’s rise in a company and salary.

    Now, I found this article / study which seems to back up your argument:

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/04/08/3424043/gender-wage-gap-myth/

    which pointed to this:

    http://www.aauw.org/files/2013/02/graduating-to-a-pay-gap-the-earnings-of-women-and-men-one-year-after-college-graduation.pdf

    Here’s my question…

    If women are truly equal in all ways (including their ability to negotiate salary, deliver results, grades, etc. etc.), why wouldn’t a company hire ONLY women? It would result in a savings of 10-20% per year and could destroy the competition. Right? If there is this obvious discrimination going on against women, why not use that intelligently and discriminate against men?

    Bluntly, I don’t question that there is some gap in what women make vs. what men make. I DO question where people say the blame lies. For every woman who is fired or paid less that feminists will lose their minds over, I’m sure there are 10 guys who are paid less or have also been fired for other behavior.

    I’m all for equality. Equality right to vote, get married, get a job, etc. etc. But, I (you can say naively) do believe that the market will drive many of these things. If a company could deliver huge results from a female executive, they’d hire her — and 10-20% salary difference is not typically a deciding factor. I don’t believe that a software company hiring programmers goes, “ok woman, we’ll pay her $35K and now, a man, $45K).

  8. Don Draper says:

    I thought I’d share two other articles I found:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jillian-berman/yes-by-any-way-you-measur_b_4725356.html

    I read that and still think that the “reasons” that women are getting paid less are still due to decisions that the women are making. “Hostile environment for women???” I wanted to be a pro football player when I was in high school, but I wasn’t good enough. Was that due to a “hostile environment against my abilities”? I’m not saying that women should have to put up with illegal harassment, but these claims about “rampant sexism” seems overblown to me. Many of these places ARE male dominated. If you don’t want to be in a male dominated field, create your own or overtake it with women? The other arguments in that article are equally silly. “School don’t enlighten women?” or “fields that are typically more attractive to women pay less?” Finally, the “mommy penalty” is a sad reality. If I wanted to take a 3-9 month break from my job every 2-3 years, do you think it might impact my career path?

    Again, if you want to be a man and join the “penis club”, you CAN do it (even without a penis) . Don’t have kids. Don’t whine about a “hostile environment: (I’m not talking about the military type sexual harassment or attacks that occurring, but the belief that women are somehow pushed away from science careers”.

    To prove this point, look at this study:

    http://content.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,2015274,00.html

    Single women who choose not to have kids are actually making MORE money than their male counterparts in many cases.

    Again, accountability and willingness to show and define your value is key here. You don’t “deserve” a salary any more than you “deserve a certain job”.

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