Last night we went to dinner at our favorite local restaurant. Donovan ordered his favorite dish—gluten free penne alfredo. He is not a great eater. Usually, despite this dish’s “favorite” status, he will eat two bites and proclaim, “I’m full.” Last night, the general manager, who was covering chef duties, decided to have a little fun at D-Man’s expense. Instead of a full plate of pasta, he sent a small dish with two lonely noodles. We howled. Donovan was not amused. We explained that sometimes teasing is an expression of affection, which was the category into which this little joke fell.
I’m happy to report that Donovan got over the good-natured joke, and, for the first time I can recall, cleared his full plate (after it was delivered to the table).
That was funny.
What’s not funny?
- Locking women in your office, via a secret button hidden beneath your desk, so you can make sexual advances without risk of intrusion or interruption.
- Gifting a dildo to a female subordinate, with a note explicitly describing how you want to use it on her.
- Summoning a female employee to your office, dropping your pants to display your (lack of) manhood, and then reprimanding her when she turns you down.
These are just some of the seriously disturbing allegations levied against former Today Show host Matt Lauer, which led to yesterday’s swift and sudden termination of his employment.
Anyone who has been following the news should be very, very angered by the conduct of the male gender that has come to light over the past few weeks.
Men, I want to you listen very carefully to what I am going to tell you.
If you want to stop becoming headlines …
… STOP ACTING LIKE FRIGGIN’ CREEPS!
No one thinks your antics are funny. No one ever did. They were just too afraid for their jobs, or too ashamed, to come forward. Now they are coming forward, in droves. And, now that the finger is out of the dam, this leak has quickly become a flood, and the harassment waters show no sign of abating.
For the sake of all men everywhere, before you lock your door, before you drop you pants, before you give some gift, or threaten someone’s job … THINK.
Ask yourself, would I do this in front of my wife, or children, or mother? Or, would I want any of them, let alone the world via a headline, to find out about what I’m about to do?
Unless the answer is an unequivocal “yes,” DON’T DO WHATEVER IT IS YOU ARE THINKING OF DOING.
No one thinks it’s funny. Everyone is bothered by it. And the days of getting away with it ARE OVER.
Just ask Matt Lauer, or Harvey Weinstein, or John Besh, or Louis C.K., or John Lasseter...
This post originally appeared on the Ohio Employer's Law Blog, and was written by Jon Hyman, Partner, Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis. Jon can be reached at via email at email@example.com, via telephone at 216-831-0042, on LinkedIn, and on Twitter.