This weekend, Katie Roiphe wrote an adorable little column defending the good old days, back when men didn't have to act all weird because they were worried about some brainwashed bra-burner imposing legal castration for on-the-job sexual harassment. You know, back when a gal would understand that a man didn't mean any harm by appreciating her physical beauty via boob honk in a professional environment. Maybe back then, writing an entire column about how things were better when they were shitty wasn't an embarrassment. Katie Roiphe, as I live and breathe, you are simply precious.
In a plucky op-ed that appeared in Sunday's New York Times entitled "In Favor of Dirty Jokes and Risque Remarks," Roiphe lustily argues that sexual harassment shouldn't be a crime, and that defining it as contrary to workplace productivity is ruining all the fun and spark of a traditional workplace. She argues, coquettishly,
The problem is, as it always was, the capaciousness of the concept, the umbrellalike nature of the charge: sexual harassment includes both demanding sex in exchange for a job or a comment about someone's dress. The words used in workshops — "uncomfortable," "inappropriate," "hostile" — are vague, subjective, slippery.
I would have read more, but was distracted by Roiphe's captivating scent. How's anyone supposed to work around here with a beauty like that sashaying through the pages of the New York Times? Aah-ooga! I swear to God, Katie Roiphe, if I weren't spoken for, I would take you out for a night on the town you'd never forget. In fact, who's to say that we can't do that now? I won't tell if you won't!
What wonders Katie Roiphe's ladybrain dreams up! What other flights of girlishy fancy go on in between those velvety, inviting ears?
The vixen continues, asserting that women are selling themselves short by standing up against sexual harassment and demanding workplaces that promote equality. If women really believed that they'd achieved equality, she girlishly titters, then they wouldn't need laws or rules dictating they be treated as such. They'd be able to stand up for themselves.
If this language was curiously retrograde in the early '90s, if it harkened back to the protection of delicate feminine sensibilities in an era when that protection was patently absurd, it is even more outdated now when women are yet more powerful and ascendant in the workplace.
If we simply laughed and acted charmed when men did stuff like speculate on our cup sizes in front of each other, there would be so many more female CEOs right now. Every board of directors wants a laid back chick who can take a joke at the helm. It is truly an outrage that so many men have been put to death for telling women in the elevator that they're pretty.
Roiphe understands that there's nothing sexier than a woman who knows her way around a strawman, exploring all its delicate crevices with the care that can only come from the soft touch of a lady. We don't live in a world where people are suggesting that an innocent compliment will ruin a woman's entire psyche and constitutes a jailable offense, and we're not living in a world where Herman Cain's attitudes toward women seem incompatible with the possibility that he might be sort of a sexist pig. No matter! Let's argue against that world anyway, and let's wistfully gaze into a past that dehumanized and discounted women in the workplace. It was so much more fun and sexy.