"It’s the least wonderful time of the year," says New York Times columnist Jennifer Weiner in a recent op-ed. The source of her Scroogey disposition: office Christmas parties (she uses the politically correct term "Holiday" party) because of all the sexual harassment that women face.
According to Weiner, the prospect of the "Holiday" party is a difficult one for women due to the difficult task of "choosing clothes that signal that you are polished without being boring, attractive without being provocative, and that you’re looking to be promoted, not propositioned."
"For women, it’s never easy," she says, adding that men "have it all figured out" when it comes to festive wear.
In an appearance on CBS "This Morning" on Monday, Weiner said that she would prefer it if the office "Holiday" party was canceled entirely so that women could have more money in their paycheck instead of having to stress over what to wear.
"Why are we having holiday parties at all?" Weiner wondered aloud. "Wouldn't you rather have an extra hundred dollars in your paycheck than have to go be social with the guy with the stale coffee breath whose been looking at your backside every time you go to the copier."
Later, Weiner gave some advice on how women can survive the office Christm– excuse me– "Holiday" party, which included a shoutout to Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of attempting sexual assault against her 36 years ago at a pool party.
Do not drink. Have a friend, have a plan, like if that guy who checks out your butt as you go to the copier, corners you, have a friend who will be looking out for you … I joke that like, unfortunately if I was telling somebody what to wear, I would say a body camera at this point … A body camera and the Christine Blasey Ford memorial one-piece bathing suit under the clothes, which is terrible, but here we are.
Since the #MeToo movement broke in the fall of 2017, the office "Holiday" party has been the source of much debate. Some offices have resorted to banning all alcohol to avoid any awkwardness. Vox Media did this last year after firing its editorial director over allegations of sexual harassment. In an email to their New York staff, Vox underscored that partygoers will each receive two drink tickets and after that, only non-alcoholic beverages will be served to avoid potential "unprofessional behavior." Email below:
We invite you and a guest to join us at Vox Media’s holiday party on December 12 at Freehold. Details are in the invite - please click to RSVP by Wednesday, December 6th.
A note on alcohol at this event: This year, at the request of many of you, we will ramp up the food and cut down on the drinks. There will be more passed hors d’oeuvres to keep everyone well-fed. And instead of an open bar, each attendee will receive two drink tickets with which they can get alcoholic drinks if they choose. After that only non-alcoholic drinks will be available.
We recognize that even though alcohol isn’t always the reason for unprofessional behavior, creating an environment that encourages overconsumption certainly contributes to it. We hope that you all appreciate the spirit of this change and we look forward to celebrating with you!
Sincerely, The Experiential Team