Male CEOs need protection from #MeToo mob & McDonald’s has only hurt itself after firing superstar boss for CONSENSUAL fling
The reason? Like millions of people all over the world, the 52-year-old British businessman entered into a consensual relationship with a colleague.
Yep, that's correct – the divorced father-of-three dared to be human in the place where he was expected to be superhuman.
Apparently, this is an unforgivable offense in 2019 because it contravenes the fast food chain’s strict company policy, which forbids bosses from having personal relations with subordinates, regardless of whether they directly manage them.Also on rt.com French #MeToo trial shows there is no winner in the battle of the sexes
The policy is so draconian that even relationships which predate an employee joining the company would have to be A) abruptly ended or B) be hidden from view like a cheap, tawdry affair.
Clearly, I'm not loving it. Here's why...
First off, the way McDonald’s have treated their star player is utterly undeserving.
Easterbrook joined McDonald's in 1993 and absolutely transformed their fortunes over 25 years. The company's shares nearly doubled in value under his leadership, while he was also personally responsible for expanding delivery and introducing the hugely popular self-ordering kiosks.
Quite frankly, McDonald's would be dead meat without him.
The other reason the company's decision leaves a bad taste in my mouth is because it's cowardly.Also on rt.com Has #MeToo empowered women or castigated men? RT guests debate sexual harassment in America (VIDEO)
It's an overreaction that smacks of absolute fear, which I suspect is what ideologues of the Me Too movement always wanted. A culture in which women can supersede the incumbent men at the top, who are paralysed by the threat of ruination, both personally and professionally, operating in constant fear of being outed as predators and power abusers.
Tell me again about male privilege?
In case today's feminists haven't noticed, this approach is sexist. They cultivate an environment which assumes that male sexuality is always ‘toxic’ and sinister, while female sexuality is forever pure and noble.
As Democratic congresswoman Katie Hill recently proved, this is total BS.
Furthermore, it patronizes women by implying that they're incapable of making grown-up, autonomous decisions. Spoiler alert: contrary to Margaret Atwood's oppression porn, such as ‘The Handmaid's Tale’, women are not operating under a constant cloud of coercive control.
However, it's not just Me Too and McDonald's who are to blame for this sorry state of affairs. There also seems to be a weird, quasi-religious prudishness that runs throughout most American companies. Something which was in place years before Me Too ever came to prominence.
Back in 2015, fashion retailer American Apparel banned relationships between staff – ‘either casual or committed’ – after CEO Dov Charney’s sacking for alleged misconduct.
Not only does this stifle a person's free agency, it also goes against what most employees want.
According to a recent Workplace Options survey, nearly 85 percent of 18-29 year olds would have a romantic relationship with a co-worker – and nearly half of them would date their supervisors.
Why? Probably because they're rich and powerful, just like Easterbrook.
So, even if they don’t look like it when they are boarding their corporate jets in their tailored suits, maybe, just maybe, even white, male CEOs like him need protection.
Peter Lloyd is a journalist and author based in London.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.