Mad Men

Barbara Willits was listening to a fellow school teacher in the teachers’ lounge. He was expounding upon ESPN’s dismissal of Ron Franklin on Tuesday for his remarks to fellow employee, sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards last month.

“Look, Barbara, it’s a generational, geographical disconnect.”

“Is calling someone an ‘asshole’ a generational, geographical issue, Paul? You mean to say that because he was raised in Mississippi back in the 1940’s, he has the birthright to demean women? Perhaps he shouldn’t stop with women.”

“I’m all for equality and all that stuff. I’ve worked with women for years. You and I get along, right Barbara? But women have got to realize that all Franklin was doing was kidding around. I mean, if that ESPN woman-sideline-reporter had any class, she would apologize for making an issue of it!”

“Paul, the remark was in the workplace, and that kind of thing doesn’t belong in business.”

“Business? A woman has no business being on the sidelines, in the locker room, or around male athletes. Barbara, have you ever noticed that there are no unattractive sideline reporters who are female. Why? Because they are only there to look good. Eye candy. The networks are nothing more than whores, Barbara. And, for Pete’s sake, the guy is 68 years old. He comes from a different time and place.”

“Things are different, and for the better. He also had a history. This wasn’t the first time Franklin showed his colors, Paul. He called Holly Rowe ‘Sweetheart’, on the air a few years back, when she was on the sideline, admonishing her observation in a very condescending comment. And now, he calls Jeannine Edwards ‘Sweetcakes’. C’mon, Paul, you know better than to defend this.”

“Barbara, this is a white man being lynched. How degrading this country has become. Blacks with their lawsuits, too. On and on and on. It’s bullshit. The whole world has gone down the goddam toilet. It’s a man’s game. It’s still a man’s world. Women just have to deal with that. They just can’t handle that.”

The other teachers in the lounge laughed when Paul uttered ‘degrading’.

“Apparently Franklin still thinks that way, Paul. The woman simply told Franklin that she didn’t appreciate being characterized in that way, and Franklin responded by calling her an asshole. He brought this all upon himself, Paul. This goes far beyond sexism. This is anger and bullying in the workplace. If a teacher did the same thing in this school, they would be gone as well, and you know it. I mean, if you’re tired of teaching, all you have to do is call me what you’d really like to.”

“I love you, ‘sweetheart’.” replied Paul, with a forced smile while walking out of the room. Barbara thought to herself how tough it is, even in the woman’s world of grade school teaching. She also thought how she’d like to kill the sunavabitch.

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9 responses to “Mad Men”

  1. Uncontainable Spirit says :

    This is what happens when feminism and political correctness are the new dominant religion.

    Here is her version of the story…

    The trouble started, she said, during a production meeting before Friday’s Chick Fil-A Bowl that was also attended by ESPN announcers Rod Gilmore and Ed Cunningham.

    Edwards says she was talking with Gilmore about his wife being elected mayor of Alameda, California. After a few minutes, she said Franklin joined in the conversation and said, “Listen to me sweet baby, let me tell you something… ” with a condescending tone.

    Edwards says she told Franklin not to address her like that. To which Franklin said, according to Edwards: “OK, then listen to me a-hole.”

    Now let’s assume that she’s being 100% honest with this… (while we know that there are three sides to every story)

    Let’s replace Ms. Edwards with a young man and Ron Franklin remains. Mind you… Franklin is 68 yrs old. Ms. Edwards is considerably younger. If the players were two men and the older man said to the younger man, “Listen to me young whippersnapper, let me tell you something…” and the younger man said that he didn’t appreciate being talked to in that manner and the older man said “OK, then listen to me a-hole.” Mind you they’re BOTH men… how would the reaction be? The younger guy would probably say, “Screw you Mr AARP” or probably call him an asshole back… either way I sincerely doubt that they would be on the news about the situation. Also I can almost guarantee that no one is getting fired behind the situation.

    So we have a group of people who ‘say’ that they want to be treated equally… Why is it that for two men to be in the situation they’d probably be pissed at each other and then talk shit to each other… or something like that… but when the other party is a woman the rules change?

    The ONLY reason that this individual was fired was that he said something ‘Not Nice’ to a woman. Had the same been said to a man it would be a non story. Are not we supposed to be equal? Why are we not seeing equal treatment?

    Kinda sad…

    • carlton says :

      Alright then. Let’s say that the woman sideline reporter is black. And Franklin, let’s keep him the white guy he is, called her a ‘nigger’. Or, using your hypothetical, the sideline reporter is a man instead of a woman, and Franklin called him the same name. Perhaps Franklin thinks it’s ok because he is of the view that blacks ‘call themselves that all the time’. Regardless, the object, the black man or the black woman, doesn’t want to be called that name. What would you think then?

      • Uncontainable Spirit says :

        A race / gender comparison doesn’t work in this situation or in virtually all other situations for that matter. Apples and oranges. There doesn’t seem to be an interracial term that could even remotely possibly be construed as a term of endearment. That being said… my point is that he shouldn’t have been let go behind this foolishness. This wasn’t done on the air… it was during a pre-production meeting. This was something that happened between 2 colleagues. Why fire him for it? That’s insane.

        • carlton says :

          I don’t believe for a second that Franklin was using the word “sweetcakes” as a term of endearment, as you imply that he did. Surely you jest.

          Also, no distinction is to be made whether the comment was made on the air or off the air – the comment was made in the workplace.

    • atthejabbok says :

      I don’t think calling a young man “whippersnapper” is equivalent to calling a young woman “sweetcakes.” Given the history of sexual harrassment, condescension, and scorn aimed at women trying to succeed in the workplace, addressing a colleague as a dessert seems much heavier than implying that a young man is eager and energetic.

  2. Uncontainable Spirit says :

    Definition of WHIPPERSNAPPER

    : a diminutive, insignificant, or presumptuous person.

    I don’t think that calling a young woman ‘sweet cakes’ is an offense that is worthy of being fired for. Whippersnapper ‘can’ be construed as a negative just as sweet cakes ‘can’ be construed as a negative. The operative word is ‘can’.

    Contrary to popular belief everyone, including men, has faced and will continue to face sexual harrassment, condescension, and scorn in the work place. The difference is that when it happens to men it’s taken lightly. Again… where is the equality?

  3. Uncontainable Spirit says :

    There was this HUGE push for ‘equality’… equal treatment, equal rights, equal (insert term here). Now when a situation arises in which a man treats a woman in a manner that would be at worst condescending had he treated a man similarly he gets fired. Fired? Basically we’re firing men for being condescending? I find that to be incredible. Either we’re equal or we aren’t.

  4. norcalvol says :

    Based on the comments above, let me throw in factual information and a personal observation…

    According to the press reports I have read, Mr. Franklin was not fired for calling Ms.Edwards “sweetcakes”. He was fired (at the least) for (1) subsequently calling Ms. Edwards an “asshole”, and, after the incident was reported to ESPN HR, (2) refusing to apologize when requested to do so by ESPN management.

    My personal obversation is that at the company where I work, if I called a colleague an “asshole”, for whatever reason, and if that was reported to HR, then I would at the very least be disciplined. If I had a “track record” for such behavior, dismissal would be a likely consequence. There are laws in the state I work that cover this kind of behavior and they can be enforced with costly punitive damages.

    The press reports do not discuss any track record for Mr. Franklin other than the on-air comment that he made to Holly Rowe a couple of years ago.

    • Uncontainable Spirit says :

      Hmmmmm… so he called her an asshole and refused to apologize and was thus fired even though he’s been there for 25 years, has no record of behaving this way in the past (the asshole part), is one of the best in the business and the person he was referring to may very well be an asshole? lol! Incredible.

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