The women of Brooklyn, New York now have the chance to hone their ladylike business skills, and apparently their job prospects, in the hands of a (male) GOP politician. Republican Senator Martin Golden, plans to host a “Business Etiquette and Social Protocol” summit at the end of July in Brooklyn, New York.
The event flyer, mailed out with taxpayer money, states that participants in this summer series will learn “Posture, Deportment and the Feminine Presence.” It would be surprising if Betty Friedan and Phyllis Schlafley, female icons in the 1960′s in the United States, did not come to mind when these phrases are employed as a solution to increasing job placement for women.
Women will apparently not only learn about how to conjure the “feminine presence” at this event but also how to “sit, stand and walk like a model,” City and State New York reports. The whole event is supposed to impart participants with “what’s new in the 21st century as it relates to business etiquette and social protocol,” according to an image of the flyer hosted on Think Progress.
This summer session, which will be hosted at Bay Ridge Manor once owned by Senator Golden, implicitly suggests that job placement for women revolves around their ability to act the feminine role. Women who can create a sense of feminine mystery, sit down gently and shake hands in the correct fashion, according to this event flyer, have what is required in the business world today.
City and State quoted the reaction of Democratic Senator Liz Krueger:
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.
Comedy Central’s Ilya Gerner poked fun at the event stating:
If nothing else, these kinds of workshops are a way for the New York GOP to demonstrate a commitment to women’s issues and simultaneously promote fiscal discipline…Is the SUNY higher education budget threatening to grow out of control? Just replace tuition assistance with a series of Golden-hosted events on “Earning your M.R.S. degree.”
Rather than ameliorating the high rate of pay discrepancy between men and women and the constant fears of sexual discrimination in the workplace, the summer series aims to reinforce gender roles on people in the workforce. Rather than taking aim at the lack of legislation that demands more equality in the workplace, Senator Golden’s summer session for women in the Brooklyn area aims to encourage gender role play in landing jobs and career advancement in the business world.
Senator Golden removed the event page from the New York State Senate page. Links to that site from other webpages now only lead to a “File Not Found” page. Perhaps the removal of the link was an effort at repairing the PR damage for Senator Golden that concocting such an event could cause. In any case, the event was imagined, planned and promoted as a serious suggestion for improvement for women in the workplace.
Photo Credit: George Bush Presidential Library