A friend recently brought to my attention that the popular job-seeking social media platform LinkedIn “might be creepy.” “Why do you say that?” I asked her, genuinely curious, because as a creative, the only messages I receive on that site are from dudes telling me their wives love my Bachelor recaps and LinkedIn job recruiters letting me know that my degree in creative writing has qualified me for a job opening in janitorial services. While the latter makes me want to douse myself in lighter fluid and set myself on fire, and the former is a little weird but mostly flattering (fun fact: I need to be constantly praised, so, like, keep it up men), I wouldn’t call either of those interactions “creepy.” But it did get me thinking, is LinkedIn creepy? Was I missing something here? Are men, having been cancelled from every other app, now trying to make LinkedIn their final frontier? I’ve literally investigated claims for less. So, buckle up, betches, because I’m about to call men out on all their bullsh*t. Again.
As I mentioned, my friend, let’s called her “Meg,” originally brought this whole LinkedIn creepy scandal to my attention. Meg told me she was constantly being harassed by older men who would slide into her DMs ON A PROFESSIONAL JOB-SEEKING SITE to tell her she’s pretty and ask her on dates. My immediate follow-up question was did she accidentally tap into her Hinge messages and not her LinkedIn messages? I just couldn’t imagine a world where business betches like myself were having to virtually fend off men.
MEG: LinkedIn is cancelled because men are trash. ME TO THE MEN OF LINKEDIN:
After I spoke with Meg, I checked my recent requested connections. ALL of them were from men. The majority of them looked like they could be my dad’s age or older, and almost none of them were in the same field as me or had any mutual connections with me. Again, it was strange, definitely suspect, but not outright damning.
So I started asking other women in my life about their experiences with LinkedIn. Women I worked with, women I’d lived with in New York City, women I’d gone to college with in North Carolina. Every single one of them could list an uncomfortable encounter. One friend told me she gets DMs at least once a week from strange men asking for her number or sending her messages in all emojis, which is fine if this is Instagram and you’ve posted a fire bikini selfie, but not on a goddamn job site!
I took to Google and found out that last year Buzzfeed published an entire article about women taking to Twitter to ask men to please stop treating LinkedIn like their own personal dating site. Welcome to 2018, ladies, where no place is safe anymore, especially not the workforce! God, I wish I was kidding.
If you have working eyes and ears then you know that over the last two years, the ladies of the #MeToo movement have been out here doing the lord’s work and exposing (pun intended) every Tom, Dick, and Harry for being the disgusting scumbags they really are. They shed light on an issue which every woman with a pulse was already aware of: if you show up to work with breasts, then you’re going to get hit on/be treated differently/have to fight off unwarranted touches/generally be made uncomfortable by men at some point in your career. But it’s chill because that’s professionalism, ladies, look it up!!
Obviously, these are not new issues. For as long as there have been women in the workforce, there has been sexism and sexual harassment, there has been women sacrificing their dignity and, in some instances, their safety for the sake of their careers. And GODDAMNIT it’s got to stop. Women should be able to online shop on their phones, discreetly and under the table, during another useless department meeting without their bosses saying something inappropriate about their outfits. Women should be able to job search and network and see if their ex’s new girlfriend has a better salary than them without being f*cking romantically propositioned in the process. This is 2018, for god’s sake! Men, do better.
So, in conclusion, men are still trash and apparently so is your favorite networking site. Stay vigilant, ladies.
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