For too long, we’ve lauded men’s domination and aggressiveness as a sign of leadership rather than possible red flags
Harvey Weinstein, for example, was well-known for being a bully. He yelled and demeaning the people around him, including men. Leon Wieseltier, formerly of The New Republic, was called “thuggish” and “gleefully mean.”
Roy Price, ousted at Amazon for harassment, wasn’t just accused of sexism in his interactions with women but in the way he chose programming. And Mark Halperin, accused by multiple women of harassment, once argued that there was “nothing illegal” about Donald Trump’s alleged groping.
This isn’t to say that we should only be wary of men who yell or hold explicitly sexist views. NPR is arguably one of the most progressive bastions of media around, yet when senior vice president Michael Oreskes was known to harass women, he was simply given a “father-son talking to” by another editor.
What would happen if we stopped viewing these kinds of behaviors as the remnants of men from “another era,” stopped excusing them as less-than-charming side effects of idiosyncratic brilliance?
It’s true, there’s nothing illegal about being a boor or a sexist jerk. You can’t fire someone for being an asshole. But you can notice particular kinds of bad behavior and flag them as a problem, rather than a boon, for a man’s career