Dave Letterman's workplace affairs lead to debate about gender equality in work and love.
The David Letterman affairs-with-female-colleagues scandal has brought the nature of workplace relationships—specifically those with older, male bosses—into the spotlight. And with it, the debate about gender equality, both at work and in relationships.
"Young women in the work force have it rough both ways," writes Michelle Haimoff, who covers the progress of gender equality and "First World feminism" on her blog, genfem.com. "Female higher-ups tend to be so fiercely protective of their place on the totem pole that they refuse to help younger women succeed, and male higher-ups tend to only be interested in helping female underlings if some kind of sexual activity is involved, even if it's just flirtation. So it's not surprising that a female employee will cozy up to her male boss. At least a male boss will engage. Female bosses often won't even do that." Office Dating Rules You May Not Know
Yesterday, Bonnie Fuller (of Star, UsWeekly editorial fame and a YourTango contributor) wrote on The Huffington Post that Dave Letterman's intra-office, screw-happy shenanigans won't likely lose him any female viewers. And why does she say this? Because Dave Letterman is rich and powerful, and this (Fuller argues) makes him a dream catch for pretty young things. We too would've accepted Dave's slimy copy room advances had we been in the same position (literally) as Stephanie Birkitt or Holly Hester. Deep down, she says, us fragile ladies still just want a Prince Charming—and Dave Letterman undressing us would fulfill (at least temporarily) that fantasy. 2 More Letterman Flings Alleged
Fuller back ups her Cindarella-like view of women and men by mentioning cultural references that propogate such fairy-tale notions. Beauty falls in love with the Beast, Pretty Woman, Jane Eyre. Fuller writes:
What little girl doesn't still grow up hoping to be discovered and swept off her feet by a handsome, rich prince? Show me the shrink who says that women aren't still striving to marry "up"—I doubt you'll find one. It's because of this powerful cultural/historical force—this yearning to be rescued by a prince—that ultimately means women will not be able to honestly condemn Dave or turn his show off.
Our first instinct is to throw rocks at this silly, outdated theory. We can't bring ourselves to agree with this fairy tale crap because we have too much pride. But then again, the Sugar Daddy idea is an elephant in the room amongst independent, working women. Who can deny that it's a cruel, expensive world, and who hasn't fantasized that marrying a man of Trump-ian wealth would make life just a tad easier? We all have. But to say women are so beguiled by men with money and power that we'd make inappropriate and irresponsible romantic choices truly stings.
After all, speaking of handsome princes, the most distasteful aspect of this Letterman Sexgate (two words that should never appear together) is picturing him in a prurient manner.
But this grossness is nothing new to us. We'd like to think Letterman won't lose viewers because we've all become jaded about cringe-inducing sex and the entertainment industry, not because we cling to an out-dated notion of fairy-tale romance. In a world where we know more about the canoodlings of Jon Gosselin then we do about our own friends, Letterman sticking his pen in the company ink just makes us shrug, force out the mental image and move on.
Readers, what do you think? Do fairy-tale notions still guide our love lives?