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After the #MeToo movement set the world on fire in 2017, many companies started reviewing their sexual harassment policies. The point of the exercise was to make sure that companies had a proper framework to deal with instances of sexual harassment in the workplace.
But, many wondered if this was done to make women feel safer or to make sure that male employees don’t feel threatened with the possibility of being accused of sexual harassment. A survey done earlier this year showed that instead of trying to understand what behaviour constitutes harassment, men are just avoiding women in the workplace altogether because they are apparently “scared” of being “falsely” accused.
Ernst & Young has taken this a step further and has actually designed a workshop for women employees in order to educate them on how women employees are to behave in order to be “successful”.
What does the workshop teach? Sexism. The training programme, called Power-Presence-Purpose or PPP, consisted of a 55-page presentation on how women should dress, how they should communicate, and how they should respond to male colleagues.
Women were asked not to dress provocatively as it apparently makes your mind go haywire. It read, "Don't flaunt your body: sexuality scrambles the mind". This sounds more like what Sunday School in a conservative Christian church would teach, not a company as big and modern as Ernst & Young.
Some other gems included comparing women’s brains to pancakes and men’s to waffles. Women apparently absorbed information the way pancakes absorb syrup--in a haphazard manner, whereas men’s brains were more organised, like the squares in a waffle.
What is up with comparing women (and people) to random things like breakfast food? Just a few days ago, a Turkish preacher compared women who aren’t dressed “properly” to a peeled apples that rot quickly.
The women were also told not to “confront men” if they wanted to do well at Ernst & Young. Basically, don’t raise your voice if men are being assholes and don’t complain and make trouble for the helpless men at work.
The icing on the cake was a test/questionnaire to see how “masuline” or “feminine” the employees were. Masculine traits included "acting like a leader", being "aggressive and self-reliant", and adjectives like "competitive", "athletic", and"dominant".
You can guess what the feminine characteristics were--"cheerful", "child-like", "affectionate", "shy", and "eager to soothe hurt feelings". Why are grown women supposed to behave like children and why are we expected to soothe hurt feelings? Just FYI, we don’t go to work to mother our male colleagues.
Ernst & Young has confirmed that it has removed this particular course from its training programme but the damage has already been done. This is why the #MeToo movement is necessary because women are taught shit like this and are expected to follow it in order to “succeed” in sexist companies like Ernst & Young.