Anne 🐝 Thornley-Brown, MBA

4 years ago · 5 min. reading time · visibility ~100 ·

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LinkedIn and the Tinder Effect....Knock it off Already!

LinkedIn and the Tinder Effect....Knock it off Already!

I've held my tongue about this one for a LONG time now.  I didn't want to appear to be mean but things are totally out of hand. So I am just going to go for it. If I draw fire.....so be it. I can no longer remain silent.

I almost called this post:

  •  LinkedIn and the Kim Kardashian Effect

                              or

  • The Kim Khadashianization of LinkedIn

..... but I certainly don't want to draw her attention to the platform. All we need to do is have HER show up and things will be TOTALLY down the tubes. They are heading that way much too quickly already.


A while back, I wrote a post on LinkedIn Publisher called:


I noticed that, while posts with solid and relevant business content were being ignored, photos of women showing cleavage or wearing short skirts, bikinis were coming into my timeline with increasing frequency. (This was before I had even heard of Candice so her posts are not what inspired mine.)


These posts were not posted by anyone in my network. Instead, grown men, some with grandchildren, acting like pre-pubescent schoolboys, had "liked" or commented on them and pushed this garbage into my stream. I had a few choice words for some of them and removed a number of them from my network.


As time has gone on, I have noticed more and more posts going totally viral on LinkedIn. If they had merit, I would have no issue with it. They are posted by a group of women, all blonde. (Hey, I am just telling the truth.) In fact, I originally called this:


  • LinkedIn and the Blonde Factor 

I changed it just before I hit publish. (I didn't want people to be so offended by the title that they missed the message.)


For the same reason, I also passed on  the following title:


  • The Bimbofication of LinkedIn

There is something about that word that really upsets people but it's a perfectly valid English word:


Bimbo: noun informal
  • an attractive but empty-headed young woman, especially one perceived as a willing sex object.

Suffice it to say that these women either post photos showing cleavage or "cutesy" shots that would be more appropriate for a dating site or a model's portfolio. They regularly follow up with similar photos on their timeline. They post everything from bikini shots to photos of themselves in evening gowns with SERIOUS slits. If that isn't presenting yourself as a sex object, what is?


They do it to get attention and they attract a LOT of attention. What really gets my goat is that they lead with the sex card and then whine about the fact that men are "hitting on them". Are you kidding me? They say it pays to advertise. You advertised as if you were looking for a "pick up" and that's what you got. Don't complain.


Their posts lack substance and their resumes have even less depth in terms of education and experience. Yet, their posts generate hundreds and sometimes thousands of likes and a whack of comments. Their networks are bursting at the seams. One even complained that she gets hundreds of private messages a day and she can't just can't keep up with it. "Should I hire a personal assistant?" she asked. I ask again, "Are you kidding me?" 


Since the 1950s, women have fought long and hard for educational opportunities and for the chance to be taken seriously in the business world. Women have also fought for recognition based on their achievements. As a Black Jamaican woman, I have to fight for just about every break I get. Recognition just doesn't come easily.


Yet, these women are taking shortcuts to success and it's working. They have resorted to the techniques of Madison Avenue and cheesecake photos reminiscent of the pin-ups of the 1950s to get FAR more attention and generate FAR more money than they deserve based on merit


Now that women who are rape survivors and the victims of sexual harassment at work have been coming forward, these same women who lead with sex to get attention are playing the sexual harassment card. They use it as a weapon whenever they are confronted about their inappropriate behaviour.


Newsflash: A man asking a woman out on a date is not sexual harassment. Now, if it is a business environment or a work setting and he persists on pestering her when she has made it clear that his attention is not welcome, that is sexual harassment. 



Sexual Harassment: Any conduct, comment, gesture, or contact of a sexual nature that is likely to cause offence or humiliation to any employee; or that might, on reasonable grounds, be perceived by that employee as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on any opportunity for training or promotion.
Canada Labour Code


I take sexual harassment and sexual assault very seriously. I have, fortunately, never experienced it. However, I have friends and relatives who have. I am a former social worker and I have worked with women and children who are survivors of rape and sexual abuse. These issues are not to be trivialized, taken lightly, or hijacked by a bunch of attention-hungry women who are low on talent, education, and experience.  


I  usually ignore these posts and mute or break my connection with the member of my network who sent this garbage into my stream. Commenting only draws more attention to the posts and makes them go even more viral.


a1783dde.jpgI am sick of seeing these posts. What finally got me to speak up was Edith's I'm a Barbie Girl post. She complained that people just aren't taking her seriously. People are correctly pointing out that she is getting all of this interaction on LinkedIn because she is "pretty". In North America, long blonde hair automatically equals "pretty". (One can always "bag the face".)  That is why these women always make sure the blonde hair dominates their photos. After all, that is the most important part.

 

So I guess Edith felt the need to mention that she is"pretty" several times in her post. (Frankly, I didn't see it but that is how society defines "pretty" so who am I to argue.) 

Her profile leads with "Fitness Instructor". Her photo would be more appropriate for a modeling headshot or a post on Tinder, Match.com, or any other dating site. 


Other members of this crew list themselves as "Stay-at-Home Mom and LinkedIn-Wife" and "Butt-Buster". So much for credibility. Yet, their following continues to grow.


958d393c.jpg

In addition to running my own companies, I am also a professional actress. I used to be a flight attendant but I don't lead with that on my profile. 

I would never think of posting an acting glamour headshot on LinkedIn. That would not be appropriate and it would not portray the professional image that is needed for that platform.


I finally spoke out. Why? When men comment and object to their posts and attention-seeking behaviour, they are bullied by this gang of blondes and labeled as everything from "misogynistic" to being "short" in certain departments. When someone, male or female, calls them on their garbage, they are accused of being bullies.


I suppose I will be labeled racist for posting this. 


2nd Newsflash: (wait for it)  Don't even THINK of going there. I am of mixed race heritage so that won't fly either.


Edith, Michaela, Ingrid, Gretta, Casey, Amanda, Alexandria, and Kersten, if you really want to achieve success and gain the respect of others, there are plenty of positive role models for you. 


So take your pick.  Emulate Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Virginia 'Ginni' Rometty, Heidi Klum,  and Marissa Ann Mayer. Do you see THEM posting glamour shots or showing cleavage on LinkedIn? Do you see them whining about men hitting on them and people not taking them seriously?


Check out these articles (written by White women so you can't insult and dismiss them with some label).



Recent studies have revealed that:


  • 48% of female CEO's at S&P 500 companies are blonde
  • 35% of female senators are blonde

I have had enough of your attention seeking behaviour and especially your whining and pity parties. I am not the only one.

If you are reading this and you are also fed up with their antics, don't comment on their posts, it only makes them go more viral. I have taken the step of blocking them so I don't even SEE their trivial content if some member of my network "Likes" something they post. (I got the idea from a couple of others who have done the same thing.)


6220d4c0.jpg

So, Edith, Michaela, Ingrid, Gretta, Casey, Amanda, Alexandria, and Kersten, knock it off!  


Get over yourselves and do something worthwhile with your lives. 


Go feed the homeless, help out at a shelter for battered women, tutor or be a big sister to a child who has suffered from abuse. 


Most of all stop presenting yourselves as victims.....you aren't. In fact, you are women who are taking advantage of the fact that the playing field is not level and it is tilted in your favour. That's all.


Join in the discussion here and on LinkedIn.

   




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Comments

#11
Jerry she sounds like a very wise woman. Is she still around? It would be worth interviewing her. You nailed it. There is nothing new or innovative about it. It's as old as the pin-up girls of the 1950s. That is why when I heard someone labeled a marketing genius for posting photos of women in skimpy bikinis on LinkedIn I rolled my eyes and then BURST out laughing. Give me a break. Next, we'll have naked photos on there. Hey, they are on Twitter. KK has such a following that she is able to sell out her cosmetic contour kits in less than 3 hours after 1 tweet. What's the lesson for young women? I call it sex tape your way to fame and fortune. Post naked photos and porn flicks and you too will be rich and famous. Is this really the type of society we want to create? The challenge is think before you click. Too many men are reacting with the wrong head as if they are on a dating site or porn site. They react as if they are playing Hot or Not. "She's hot." Click! "She's looks hot!" Add her to my network. I'll bet they don't even read the posts any more than they read the profiles on dating sites. It's about the look. Before we know it, we have women with huge following and klout but little education, experience, or substance. It results in an army of KKs generating fortunes which they really have not earned and do not deserve. The danger is that they are now taking opportunities away from talented, hard-working and experienced women who are truly deserving. They don't play the sex card or lead with their sexuality and they are passed over. This is not to be encouraged.

Jerry Fletcher

4 years ago #7

Anne, agree with your observations but it ain't new by any stretch. I was luck enough to lean how to separate the women playing the sex card from those with real chops early on by woman publisher who stopped me when I tried to pay for a lunch she had invited me to. This tough cookie "splained it to me and said, "any self respecting woman knows she has to know what the hell she is talking about in order to make a sale that sticks and that being eye-candy would not get you through the doors that matter." She was a looker to say the least and told me, " A woman can tell within seconds where a man's mind is at. If you want to be successful in business try being interested in her mind first." I've never forgotten.

It is definitely not new or limited to blondes. The majority of blondes don't engage in this type of behaviour. KK who I also mentioned in the post is definitely not blonde. It just so happens that the pack of she-wolves who are attacking people on LinkedIn at the moment are all blonde. For sure Brian McKenzie. One of my main points is that these women are treating professional networking sites and the corporate landscape like a happy hunting ground. I am not familiar with the article you posted but I will have a look. Thanks for sharing it.

#5
I think you should tell your story. Some of these women have limited education and experience. Instead of taking the time to get an education and "pay their dues", they are looking for a shortcut to success. It disturbs me that they are actually having success with this strategy. It worked for Kim Kardashian and they intend to cash in. It trivializes the whole issue of discrimination and sexual harassment. It is a dangerous game as it increases the likelihood that women will not be believed in future.

The women that play the sexual harassment card make it extremely difficult for the real victims. How unfortunate. Thank you for sharing this post Anne \ud83d\udc1d Thornley-Brown, MBA.

#3
Exactly Phil. The women I am speaking about play the sexual harassment card and use it as a weapon when they are confronted with their inappropriate behaviour.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #2

Anne \ud83d\udc1d Thornley-Brown, MBA, there are women publishing on social media who speak seriously about sexual harassment and abuse. And they do so with an eye to raising public consciousness that may eventually lead to ameliorating the problem. But there are also what I would call "professional victims" -- women who speak of nothing else than their neuroses, anxieties, depressions, and the sexual harassment and abuse which has been heaped upon them by a cruel and indifferent world. I think we need to distinguish between those who write to bring a spotlight of attention to the issues and problems and those who write to bring the spotlight of attention upon themselves. IMO.

#1
Thank you Kevin. Someone had to say it or this will never stop.

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