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Woah, Lady: That’s Not Sexism, That’s Good Old Fashioned Corporate America

B000059HAM.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgLast week, a judge threw out a sexual harassment suit a woman brought against her former company, a suit that alleged that making a female receptionist serve coffee to her male supervisors was, in and of itself, sexist.

Ummm. Really?

This is a tough call, actually. I can vaguely see her point — that being asked by men to serve them coffee is demeaning. But then again, she’s a receptionist, and male or female, that’s what a lot of receptionist do — they serve coffee. It’s no more demeaning, I’d argue, than most of the other receptionist duties (believe you me; I’ve been a secretary at a law firm before, and every fucking second of it felt demeaning, and I never served coffee).

Anyway, aside from the claim that serving coffee was grounds of sexual harassment, there was another item in support of her case, which I find absolutely ludicrous:

After just a few weeks on the job, Klopfenstein claims that a male co-worker invited her to lunch in an e-mail that said “I feel bad you have been working here for a couple of weeks and we haven’t gotten to know each other yet.” In her deposition, Klopfenstein testified that she found the invitation “very offensive” because “there is no reason why a man and a woman should go out to lunch together without any other party around. To me that’s a date.”

Well, that’s a fucked-up definition of a date, I’d say. It sounds like this woman was looking for reasons to claim sexual harassment, and this particular allegation was extremely weak. Besides, if her boss was trying to get in her pants, asking her to get coffee is no way to butter her up.

| Comments (6)


Having worked for attorneys for 20 years, starting out as a secretary and now 10 years as an attorney, it is demeaning in all respects. Attorneys are assholes, pure and simple. Think hard and tell me one who isnt.

My youngest daughter is talking about joining the Peace Corps before law school. When she told me this, I got pissed. Her goal in life was supposed to get her JD and spend her career defending me from baseless allegations. (and of course the other kind) Now I'm thinking " What the fuck, do I really want her in that sort of enviroment?". And yeah, I know, it's her life, not mine. Whatever you do Dustin, don't let your kid develop an independent mind. That's when they turn on you!

I had to get coffee (and doughnuts and lunch) all the time when I was a receptionist. All my bosses were female. Some of them took me out to lunch individually to get to know me better, too. Would this bobblehead have claimed they were lesbians trying to get in her pants? C'mon, sugar- what did you think a reception job entailed?

I was a legal secretary before law school too, and I thought it was demeaning, too (all female support staff, all male attorneys, support not permitted to have internet access because we couldn't be trusted to do our work if we could check our email too! But I digress...), which made me go to law school. Now I'm saddled with mortgage-size school loans and a job I (mostly) hate. Should've stayed in the demeaning job making more than I do now (only practicing 2 years and big firm life SUCKED) rather than prove to those asses that I could get that piece of paper too!!

RymesWithSilver: I'm purchasing a hot dog truck. Want to go partners??

Maybe I am not clear on a receptionist job. If it is an assistant, then getting coffee seems normal. But in any job besides waitress or barista that seems strange. Why don't people get their own coffee?