#rapeculture | #TheWomenAreSpeaking What: "Rape in the storage room. Groping at the bar. Why is the restaurant industry so terrible for women?"↱ Who: Maura Judkis and Emily Heil (The Washington Post) When: 17 November 2017 One of the things we need to remember is that business is business; the unspoken part is that some of this only goes as far as necessary to get the business through. That is to say, note the implications of the word, "After", at the start of the second paragraph of this excerpt: Women are vulnerable in just about every inch of a restaurant. Behind the bar. The hostess stands where patrons are greeted. Behind stoves and in front of dishwashers. From lewd comments to rape, sexual misconduct is, for many, simply part of the job. After the public toppling of Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein, it seems every industry is looking to identify its bad actors. In New Orleans, a blockbuster report by the Times-Picayune felled uber-restaurateur John Besh, who resigned after two dozen women said they had been subjected to sexual harassment within his empire—some of it by Besh himself. But the culture of widespread sexual harassment and abuse in kitchens and dining rooms from Washington, D.C., to Portland, Ore., can't be pinned solely on a few celebrity chefs or the rare, singularly powerful gatekeeper. It takes place in suburban chains and in dazzling three-star Michelin restaurants, and its perpetrators might just as easily be owners as lowly barbacks. The reasons are many, and they're complicated: Many kitchens are boys' clubs, dominated by machismo and flashing knives; many women rely on pleasing their male customers and managers for tips or good shifts; human resources departments might be nonexistent or toothless; and restaurant staffs are often hard-partying posses that blur professional lines. The Post interviewed more than 60 people across the country who either claimed they experienced such treatment while working in restaurants or witnessed it. Men are not immune from abuse, but the vast majority of victims we spoke to are women. Their stories show that how women experience sexual harassment depends on their place in the restaurant ecosystem. Cooks are harassed by other cooks, servers are harassed by everyone. And immigrants and young people—who make up a large percentage of the workforce—are particularly vulnerable. (Judkis and Heil↱; boldface accent added) That last sentence in the excerpt, by the way, will eventually start to seem thematic. This is about empowerment. And it is also about business. After a disaster, everyone moves to cover their exposure. Businesses will only sacrifice so much profit, only dedicate so much more overhead, according to their perception of necessity. Rape culture is not a business proposition, except when business needs it to be.