Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why your article on office "bromances" is sexist

I don't often like to use this blog to take a public stance against something.  I have done it once before though and today, I felt the need to do it again.  I don't expect anything to come of it, however, it makes me feel a little bit better to know that I have a place where my voice can be heard and my opinion can be stated.

Today, I was forwarded an article from a colleague with whom I play on a work soccer team with.  The team is part of a co-ed league and I am one of 3 females on the 25 person team (I know, it is a lot, but not everybody shows up to every game!)   The article was sent to all members of our team, which I find makes the content even more ironic.

The article was posted on by Medidith Levinson, who apparently writes a blog on "Insight and advice to help you carve your way in the cut-throat business world."

However, maybe the subject like should read, "Insight and advice to help heterosexual males carve their place in the cut-through business world."  The article I was sent is titled, "Why You Should Develop an Office 'Bromance'" and was published on July 5th.  The article talks about how "bromances" or platonic relationships between two heterosexual men in the workplace can improve productivity and morale.  She goes on to say that corporations should promote and encourage "bromances" by offering outings to sporting events and breweries.  Because heterosexual men love nothing more than sports and beer.

I find this article appalling in a number of ways.  It does not allow commenting, so I chose instead to send a Tweet to the author, write her an e-mail, and publish both of those here.

Please let me know... am I crazy to react this way to the article?


E-Mail text: 

Dear Meridith,

I just read your article "Why You Should Develop an Office Bromance" from and truly wish that the site had commenting so I could publicly comment on this.  I am appalled and baffled that a female author who writes about "insight and advice to help you carve your way in the cut-throat business world" could write an article that completely fails to mention that there are women in the workplace as well!

I get the point.  And I agree.  It is important and extremely valuable to have a "best friend" in the workplace.  Or at least to socialize with colleagues outside of the work environment.  I believe that you can be much more productive on a day to day basis if you know your colleagues beyond the realm of the projects/reports you are working on.  Studies show that retention is higher and the work force is happier when employees report to have a "best friend" in the work place.

However, the sex of both you and your work best friend or friend, shouldn't make a difference!  I cannot believe that a female writer could have even put together this article without feeling like a hypocrite not mentioning friendships between women in the workplace.  Or between a man and a woman.

And on another note, you've displayed an incredibly narrow-minded view of the activities that men enjoy.  "And that's why I believe corporations should actively encourage office bromances.  They can do so through mentoring programs, corporate softball teams, company outings to sporting events and tours of micro-breweries."  Really?  Are all men sports-loving beer drinkers?

I honestly do see the point you are trying to make.  And I agree with it.  You were writing from your personal point of view and using your husband as a personal example.  You used a term in your headline that you thought might drive traffic and spark some interest, maybe gaining you a few extra clicks.  However, your article paints a narrow-minded picture of yourself, which distracts from the point you were trying to make.

I suggest you open your site up for commenting.