Few would say that despite the advances of feminism over the past three decades, women still face double standards when it comes to their behavior. While men’s borderline inappropriate behavior is often derided as “boys will be boys”, women face higher standards of conduct, especially in the workplace. That is why it is essential that, as women, our behavior at work is irreproachable.
Small cities and large states
To prove the double standards, we don’t need to look beyond Arlington, Oregon, where Mayor Carmen Kontur-Gronquist was removed in a 142-139 vote after city dwellers discovered the mayor’s MySpace page was featured. photo of her in lingerie. Although Kontur-Gronquist denounces the election fraud and questions her claims, and although her mayoral position was unpaid, no one claims that her MySpace page left her.
Compare your situation with that of David Paterson, the new governor of New York. After Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned amid allegations of hiring the services of a prostitute, Paterson was sworn in and admitted to having extramarital affairs and experimenting with both cocaine and marijuana in his 20s. It seems strange that the mayor of a small town in Oregon has a higher standard than the governor of New York.
With computers, the private can become public
The moral (so to speak) of the story is that, as women, our behavior must be flawless, both in and out of work. Yes, we may have private lives, but we unknowingly make those private lives public when we start a computer, use e-mail or go online.
To protect yourself in the workplace, the first rule of thumb is never to conduct personal business with your employer’s equipment. You have no right to privacy, and your employer can have full access to your computer usage log, internet history, and email. Resist the urge to shop online, check the news, or browse the internet while at work. Don’t forward this joke or motivational email to your coworkers. And don’t email your friends or family.
The second thing to keep in mind is that the internet niche you’ve carved out for yourself using your home computer is also visible to your employer. Potential employers are increasingly using tools to detect the presence of candidates on the Internet. That hysterical YouTube video of dancing with a lampshade on your head at your best friend’s bachelorette party may be stopping you from getting your dream job. Before making a bold speech on your blog or uploading a questionable image to a social media site, think about the impact it could have on your career.
It cannot be argued that computers enrich our lives and provide us with options that our mothers would never have imagined. However, as women, computers can also be our downfall at work. It may be acceptable for men to visit the Sports Illustrated website while at work (even swimwear editing!), But women need to meet a higher standard … Ask Carmen Kontur-Gronquist.