(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.