Even though we are now in 2012, NY State Senator Marty Golden (R) thinks that what professional women need most is a class on femininity.
As part of a summer series on career development directed at his female constituents, Golden is hosting a taxpayer-funded event called “Posture, Deportment and the Feminine Presence”on July 24. Golden promises to teach Bay Ridge women “the art of feminine presence,” which includes tips on how to “sit, stand and walk like a model” and “walk up and down a stair elegantly.”
The pay gap still exists, working women are facing insurmountable challenges in making sure that their work is done and their kids are cared for, childcare costs are up the roof, and low-income women with children face losing necessary benefits unless they work large numbers of hours in an economy with few open jobs. And yet…Senator Golden thinks the problem is that women don’t know how to offer a proper feminine handshake. He defended the workshop as way to help women find jobs in a tough job market. Countering this justification, State Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) told City & State:
Rather than passing legislation such as the Fair Pay Act to assist women in the workplace, the Senate Republicans appear to be offering career advice on posture and how to act feminine. Perhaps this would be appropriate on Mad Men, but not in New York in the 21st century.
Wow. Ok so I can agree to a point that some people (regardless of gender) especially those who have been out of the workforce, may need to brush up on business etiquette, protocol, and dress. But to take that fact and dress it up in such a demeaning way towards women totally misses the mark. How about setting up a class like “Business Etiquette for the Beginner” and skipping all the nonsense about “walking like a model?’ You can focus on customs for handshakes, introductions, meetings, etc. that are valuable for all professionals working in an office environment and not just for women.
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