Misogyny and LinkedIn — An Unexpected Duo

Telling the world that misogyny is alive and well in this day and age is nothing new; neither is online harassment. What is new, to me, is encountering such Neanderthal behaviors in a public business forum such as LinkedIn.

This is because as a professional with common sense, I have to wonder why another professional would jeopardize themselves and the company they represent publicly. Do these unicorns exist? Well, this week I had the (dis)pleasure of interacting with one. Meet Josh Castro, “cheaf” and misogynist.

I could call him names. I could point out how his misspelled allusion to “chief” instead of “chef” gives him some kind of importance. I could laugh at his lack of imagination or perhaps lack of aptitude for childishly parroting my words instead of engaging in a mature debate. I could critique so many things about this clearly insecure and lost soul, but that would be a waste of time. What I want to do here is what I originally intended to do on LinkedIn: to express an opinion and have a healthy, respectful discussion around it. I want to talk about why a random person, whom I’ve never met in my life — online or offline — and who is not connected to me in anyway, felt entitled to launch a cowardly ad hominem attack against a stranger.

Misogynists prefer to attack women rather than engage them in peer debate. It appears that the aim is to communicate to us that without their approval, our opinions are somehow related to hormones. Period Stigma is a bitch, and thanks to Donald Trump it even made its way into the presidential debates. In my case, Josh Castro brought this classy style of debate to LinkedIn.

<sarcasm>Never mind that my professional perspectives were formed as a direct result of over a decade of experience. Never mind that I am an active member of Seattle’s business community. Forget that I hold a Masters degree, or that I am an educator and a mentor. Ignore my successful career because when I share ideas a sexist doesn’t like, his disagreement couldn’t possibly be a a reflection of his subjectivity and personal feelings, no no, they must be a result of my hormone cycle forcing me to complain.</sarcasm>

Now I know we live in an oversensitive world, and I’m no delicate snowflake. I’m a war refugee, who’s been to hell and back. There is little that offends me, and I’m rarely inclined to take insults personally (even when I probably should), but this nonsense is ridiculous. There are socially acceptable norms in business, and misogyny is not one of them, not in 2016.

So Josh, this is for you: Attacking a woman’s opinions and attributing them to hormones and menstruation because you don’t know how to argue or you don’t like an opinion is cowardly. I pity the women in your life who disagree with you. You should be ashamed of yourself. You publicly aired your bigotry on a professional platform, while representing the business you are affiliated with: 13th Ave Pub & Eatery (Seattle). I sincerely hope you reap what you’ve sown, whether soon or some distant day in the future, and that the experience teaches you to be a decent man. Because our society needs fewer weak men who fear women. Good luck, “Cheaf”.

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