Today a coworker sent me a post on LinkedIn. I read through it, it was by a young woman who will soon graduate from college. She made an analogy about women in business using a recent basketball event as an example. Do I agree with the title or all of the points she raised? No, but that’s ok. It wasn’t the article that bothered me. It was the response she received for sharing her opinion.
People on LinkedIn lost their minds. In the comments they called her an idiot. They called her stupid. They called her immature. They said she should keep her mouth shut. They said she was inexperienced. They told her to never write again. They called her childish. They said there is a time for women to speak up and a time for women to be quiet. They said that she should stop using the word sexist because she doesn’t understand what it means. They told her that posting her opinion meant that she should expect to be publicly roasted and humiliated. They said it was her fault that they were responding the way they were. They said that all women are oversensitive. They said that feminists are all dangerous. They told her LinkedIn wasn’t the place for an article like this, one that was focused on her perspective of women in business. They told her to stop writing until she was a grownup and had something real to contribute to society. They told her to never share her opinion again.
This happened on LinkedIn. Not Reddit, LINKEDIN. A place where companies look for potential hires. A place where your recent activity shows publicly. A place where I could see the name of every single commenter, as well as the companies they worked for, and their positions.
I’m disgusted, and not from a gender perspective—I would have been equally disgusted if the author was a male preparing to graduate from college. I completely support every human’s right to disagree with another person’s opinion. We don’t all have to think the same way, or hold hands and hug and sing songs around a fire. Having differing opinions is healthy. The world would be a horribly boring place if we didn’t. That said, how hard is it to RESPECTFULLY disagree, especially on a professional networking site! I truly feel embarrassed for the companies whose employees joined the commenting fray, attacking a college student.
If this post was a social experiment, she’s more than proven her point. And at least now she knows where to apply and where NOT to apply after she graduates.