How Do I Handle 'Idiot' Coworkers?

Dear Bintel Brief,

Some of my male colleagues make tasteless office jokes about women. They focus on something inappropriately sexual in nature, or say they think women should tend house rather than earn a living. This is hard for me to understand — I grew up valuing gender equity, and those values have yet to be challenged like this. I need (and otherwise, enjoy) my job and can’t afford to go looking in this economy. What should I do?

EMBARRASSED IN THE OFFICE

Ariel Levy responds:


New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy has profiled the intersex South African runner Caster Semenya, the fashion designer Marc Jacobs, the director Nora Ephron, and Cindy McCain, wife of former Republican presidential hopeful Senator John McCain. Previously, Levy wrote for New York magazine for more than decade. Her work has been anthologized in “The Best American Essays” and “The Best American Crime Reporting.” Levy is the author of “Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture” (Free Press, 2005).

If you have a question for the Bintel Brief, email bintelbrief@forward.com. Selected letters will be published anonymously. New installments of the Bintel Brief, featuring Ariel Levy, will be published Mondays at www.forward.com..

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How Do I Handle 'Idiot' Coworkers?

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