Cisgender Straight White Males Need Not Apply

The Democratic National Committee is hiring new IT people. That’s normal and probably good, given their computer problems over the past while. However, Madeleine Leader, the Democratic National Committee Data Services Manager, added a very illegal request to her inhouse email:

I personally would prefer that you not forward to cisgender straight white males, since they’re already in the majority.

I reached out to the DNC to ask for a response and have not heard back. I attempted to contact Ms. Leader directly, but her LinkedIn page has been taken down. (I cannot verify why or when it was taken down.)

So, here’s the thing: You can’t do this. Not legally, anyway. It’s important to note that this is not DNC hiring policy, but one hiring manager gone rogue.

To keep reading, click here: Cisgender Straight White Males Need Not Apply

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16 thoughts on “Cisgender Straight White Males Need Not Apply

  1. Suzanne –

    Wait!? What!!?? Say it isn’t so….

    “…you can advertise for male models to model your male clothing.”

    This can’t be right … surely you’ve gotten some bad, inappropriate, sexist, culturally-appropriating legal advice.

    I’ve been following you for years, and recommend you to others all the time, but I’m afraid you’ve really missed it this time.

    I mean this is 2017 after all.

    So you really believe it’s okay to specifically hire only men to model men’s clothing? Where will the discrimination stop? Next you’ll be telling us that it’s acceptable to hire only women to model women’s clothing … or children to model children’s clothing. By this misguided and culturally-inappropriate reasoning, next you’ll be telling us that we can only hire a black man to portray Martin Luther King, Jr. in a play, or can only hire a male Indian to portray Mahatma Gandhi in a movie – and blatantly discriminate against Asian or Native-American female children who want to play those roles.

    Really, I’m just sitting here shaking my head at all this, and wondering how you got so far off track.

    PS – Nick Corcodilos just gave you a “shout out” on his blog (which would normally be a good and well-deserved thing) but now I guess I’ll have to contact him next and set him straight.

  2. Current Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken the position that discrimination based on sexual orientation is not illegal. Meanwhile, the EEOC that is, ironically, represented in court by Sessions’ Department (now having to file contradictory legal briefs in the same case) takes the opinion that sexual orientation discrimination — say, against “cisgender straight” individuals — is prohibited. The issue will — ultimately — be decided by the Supreme Court. There is no dispute that racial discrimination — so far — remains illegal. So, the legal principles recited in this article are — at least partly — correct. However, I remain highly skeptical that the alleged “inhouse email” upon which it is based — until substantiated — is legit. There’s a lot of fake news out there, intentionally geared toward sowing divisiveness, and this may be a further example.

    1. You’re right that there isn’t universal agreement over sexual orientation, but enough circuit courts have ruled that it is that I didn’t note that this is not true everywhere.

      That said, I would never advocate for hiring based on sexual orientation. And, I think congress should make it clear that this is the law instead of waiting for the courts to pull it together.

      I doubt this is a hoax, Other sites have gotten “no comment” replies from the DNC. If it were fake, I don’t think the DNC would go with no comment.

      I, on the other hand, didn’t hear back from them, but did get added to the DNC newsletter. Seriously PR department?

      1. The only way to avoid being on political newsletters is to keep them from being aware that you exist. You failed to do that. Just mark it spam and forget about it.

      2. You are aware — I assume — that, during the 2016 U. S. Presidential campaign, when WikiLeaks released thousands of emails that it alleged had been hacked from the DNC, the DNC responded to inquiries about the validity of the materials with “no comment”? That’s, consistently, been their default response when asked to confirm leaked information. Now that the DNC’s email system is under scrutiny as part of the Special Counsel’s ongoing investigation — not to mention various Congressional ones — I would expect that to remain their response. I’d be extremely hesitant to read anything into it, one way or the other.

          1. I read the Politico article but — of course — have not yet read Brazile’s book. As Chair of the DNC, Donna would have been able to directly confirm whether or not the leaked emails were legit, and yet only claims that — following extensive “detective work” on her part — she realized that part of what the leaked materials suggested was true. Maybe it’s the lawyer in me, but that’s a far cry from verifying the legitimacy of the leaked materials. Even so-called “fake news” — that is, not based on verifiable facts — can turn out to be correct, as can a guess. I had a conversation with Donna last year that — somewhat — appeared to contradict what she is now saying, but will withhold judgment until after reading her book.

  3. Actually they are not the majority – there are more adult women than men out there (although slightly more boy babies than girls are born, the higher mortality rates among males catches up in adulthood).

    1. I took that to mean “they’re the majority in IT work,” which is true. But we’re both making assumptions not supported by the known facts.

  4. Is that true even though she was just asking about forwarding the job description? Can you say “hey I’m open to hiring anybody but I want to focus our recruitment efforts on women and people of color?”

    1. Skeptical, unless it would be okay for her to say she wants to focus on recruiting white men. By principle I am for equality, which means I’m against discrimination, whether in my favor or not.

      On the other hand, if a person *did* want to recruit women and “people of color,” they could easily do that by:

      1) Casting a wider net in where they look for recruits. Obviously, the Eton boarding school for boys is not the place to look for women. But including girls’ schools and co-ed schools in recruitment drives would serve the purpose. Think also of regional populations; if they wanted more blacks or Latinos then Vermont and Maine wouldn’t be good places to look. Texas and California would be.

      2) Taking a look at policies that might discourage applicants. Back in the day, I assumed that lucrative, unpaid internships in pricey cities were intended to weed out students whose parents weren’t in a six-figure income range. My solution was to ignore them and only go for paid internships. If the magazines offering unpaid internships had wanted candidates in my demographic, they didn’t have to discriminate against white guys. They just had to offer a paycheck.

      The Atlantic in 2001 did an article on why the FBI wasn’t hiring black women, and it turned out to do with the FBI’s policies for recruiting law school graduates. They wanted the graduates to work in law first, then come back in their 30’s for a $45,000 salary that may require them to uproot their families. Top law graduates who had established themselves were unlikely to take the pay cut, and black women in that category had better options than what the FBI was offering.

      The obvious solution would be to recruit at graduation, when $45,000 is decent and the women might not have families to uproot at that point. According to the story, the FBI declined to go in that direction.

      Not one of these problems require discriminating against race/sex, etc. as a solution. I don’t buy that she doesn’t know better. It’s more likely to me that she’s pro discrimination so long as she’s on the giving end of it.

  5. I wonder about the practicalities of the cisgender part. Would this Data Services Manager like all candidates to be asked if they are transgender? Does she expect it to be on applicants resumes? Or should her staffers just guess?

  6. She needs to be fired. IMMEDIATELY and for cause. In general, anyone this stupid and with this level of bad judgement should not be in any position that requires more decision-making than “PBJ or cheese sandwich?”

    She’s also created a HUGE liability for the DNC. Obviously any cisgender, straight, white male who will have any employment issues at the DNC is going to look at this a proof that the organization has a bias against them. But, also any person that (apparently) falls into any of the categories she mentions could try to use that in a fight. Who needs this?

  7. This was just dumb. This isn’t any old organization. The DNC is major player in our political landscape. Don’t they train their employees that anything and everything they do will be scrutinized down to the last detail by their opponents – and than put on public display? I worked in politics for 8 years and Lesson #1 is that there is ALWAYS someone lurking around the corner waiting to see if they can catch you in a scandal.

    This was such an easy mistake to avoid making.

  8. Yes and a search into this person comes up with zero results which is a confirmation of sorts that she hails from an affluent background. This is similar to how the men of Duke University in Karen Owen’s F-list thesis maintained their anonymity in light of their detailed sex escapades. This isn’t a war against skin colour it’s a war on social class masquerading as a war on colour.

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