Adventures In The Land Of Double Standards: Sexual Harassment At Riverdale High

archie reversed

Nancy Silberkleit, the co-CEO of Archie Comics, has been accused in a law suit filed by her male employees of workplace gender discrimination and harassment because she referred to them as “Penis” instead calling them by their names. The lawyers representing Archie president Mike Pellerito, editor-in-chief Victor Gorelick, and others allege that Silberkleit used the term many times in a degrading manner, as, for example, when she began yelling “Penis! Penis! Penis!” during a business meeting.

This woman needs to work with Bill Maher.

They deserve each other.

For Silberkleit’s part, the attorneys for her defense reject the five employees’ claim that she used her “gender as a weapon,” saying that “Plaintiffs fail to allege that any such comments were directed at any of the plaintiffs in particular, or they could cause extreme emotional distress even if they had been.”

Their argument is essentially that it’s impossible to sexually harass white males in this manner, because they are not a protected class.

I’m going out on a limb here, as someone who trains companies regarding the pitfalls of sexual harassment, and will opine that habitually calling male employees “Penis” creates a hostile work environment for the men in the office, whether they are the targets of the term or not. I could be wrong.

No, actually, I couldn’t be. Moreover, if the allegations are accurate, Silberkleit’s conduct isn’t just harassment and discrimination, it is also unprofessional, disrespectful, demeaning and uncivil. Veronica would never get away with treating Archie and Jughead this way.

_______________________

Facts: NY Daily News

Graphic: Straight Dope

22 thoughts on “Adventures In The Land Of Double Standards: Sexual Harassment At Riverdale High

  1. Their argument is essentially that it’s impossible to sexually harass white males in this manner, because they are not a protected class.

    I’m going out on a limb here, as someone who trains companies regarding the pitfalls of sexual harassment, and opine that habitually calling male employees “Penis” creates a hostile work environment for the men in the office, whether they are the targets of the term or not. I could be wrong.

    Stop mansplaining, you misogynist…

  2. Isn’t there precedent on this? This is more colorful than average, but haven’t there been plenty of cases alleging sexual harassment by female bosses?

    • Lots, and many successful lawsuits. I had a good friend who was the target of one female boss determined to force him to sleep with her. It’s the defense here that’s novel, especially in the face of such damning allegations. It sounds like she doesn’t deny using “penis” as a generic term for men, only that it’s discriminatory.

      • I mean, it IS the scientific term, not like she was roaming the hallways yelling “Cocks and Balls!” So… I guess she’s not QUITE as bad as Maher? I bet I’d still get in trouble for yelling “vagina” in meetings, though, even beyond the trouble I’d get in for spouting random crap in a meeting.

        • Well, if she was shouting “DICK!” and anyone was on staff with that name, she would have had plausible deniability, and even “cock and balls” are ambiguous, depending on the proximity of roosters and spheroids. Not much wiggle room with “Penis!” though, unless it was like a TV drama where someone yells “GUN!” and everyone dives for cover.

          • Perhaps she was simply encouraging hapPINESS with misplaced empahsis?

            And no joking about that last part, I bounced at a college bar where if you heard the word “Penis” yelled you damn well knew some fool had his waggling around. I dind’t get to dive for cover, I had to go extract him from the premises.

              • HAVE to or WANT to? Besides, I worked with a bunch of immature idiots. They were all too grossed out to talk to guys that had penis/ass hanging out, and too immature to talk to girls with their breasts popping out of their tops, so I got to be dress code enforcement. Not my most dignified job, but it usually gave me leverage to get out of puke mopping.

  3. Their argument is essentially that it’s impossible to sexually harass white males in this manner, because they are not a protected class.

    If the statute at issue is as they claim, then it would be a racial classification subject to strict scrutiny under current federal equal protection jurisprudence. See Adarand Constructors v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200 at 227 (1995)

  4. Jack: This is one of your more wasted efforts ever. Who gives a good goddamn WHAT’S happening at Archie Comics? Is this some groundbreaking sexual harassment situation? NO. There are many other examples of female executives harassing male employees which are worthy of interest and analysis. I only hope you were either too tired or too whimsical to even post this. (Or did you just get a kick our of usng the term “penis” so many times because it was funny?) It doesn’t do any good for the reputation of EthicsAlarms; only damage. Honest.

    • Wait what?

      How does it damage ethicsalarms?

      Regardless of the level of fame or notoriety of whichever female superior is harassing whichever male subordinate, the crime is still equal.

      Jack could have written about the 2 employee company of ABC stationery company of Drimmelbit, Kentuckiana and if it was a female boss harassing a male employee, the lesson is the same.

    • I think it’s noteworthy because of her completely lame defense and because of the irony of the co-CEO of Archie Comics being such a (dare I say it?) dick.

    • > There are many other examples of female executives harassing male employees which are worthy of interest and analysis.

      Few of them have the facts so readily accessible, already collected on the Internet.

      Her defense also raises a large and interesting issue about anti-discrimination laws. It must be a settled issue legally (Jack, is it?) but there is plenty of room for argument about the fairness of the law.

      • If the law really excludes white males, then it would be a racial classification subject to strict scrutiny. See Adarand Constructors v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200 at 227 (1995)

          • This is true.

            But I can understand why the argument was made. If there were racial limits, then the law would likely fail strict scrutiny, and the case would be dismissed. due to the fact that courts can not adjudicate claims arising from unconstitutional laws.

            I doubt anyone (aside from Rosemary Barkett or H Lee Sarokin) would read a racial classification into a statute, when it is plain that its authors intended it to apply equally to all races, just to strike it down as unconstitutional,.

  5. This entire question sends a shiver up my spine. I’m not sure because it has to do with some clearly deranged woman, the fact that this derangement is tolerated to the extent it has been or that the entire thing is happening in the offices of what was once (and is no longer) an American institution in periodicals for preteens and tweens. In any case, I’m disgusted. At least, with the Freak Brothers, I knew what to expect.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.