This epic nastygram — courtesy our former sister site Above the Law — is one of those cringe-worthy company events you never want to be a part of. Mostly because it only serves to perpetuate this idea that women are catty and will take any opportunity to be catty to one another. Come on, aren't we better than this? Apparently not.
In the memo, helpfully entitled "Presentation Tips for Women," a member of the Women's Committee at one firm distributes tips for speaking effectively. Well that sounds great… in theory.
Instead, these "tips" read like condescending reminders not to be a stuttering slut. Not joking.
[W]e took a peek at the five-page document to see what kind of “tips” the powers that be at Clifford Chance were doling out to their women attorneys. Our tipster was correct in that the vast majority of these words of wisdom aren’t tips for “women,” but rather, tips for “human beings.” (Though to be fair, some of these tips might actually have been helpful to the people who bought into crazy things like the “power cleavage” phenomenon or the unspoken “shorter skirts, bigger bonuses” movement.)
We’ve listed some of the most ridiculous “tips for women” here, along with our commentary:
“Like” You’ve got to Lose “Um” and “Uh,” “You Know,” “OK,” and “Like.”
– Um, Clifford Chance, do you think that women associates are like, uh, valley girls?
Use a relaxed, open throat, breathe from the abdomen & keep your mouth open.
– Ladies, please remember to thank your firm for these excellent blow-job tips.
Think Lauren Bacall, not Marilyn Monroe.
– Because the goal in Biglaw is to sound like an older woman dripping with sex, not a younger one.
Don’t giggle; Don’t squirm; Don’t tilt your head.
– Don’t act like a teenager. Don’t act like a four-year-old. Don’t act like a confused dog. Got it.
Practice hard words.
– Wrap your tiny female brains around this one (or consult with George W. Bush if you’re having difficulties).
Watch out for the urinal position.
– We thought these were tips for women, but it’s best to avoid looking like you’re pissing on your audience.
Wear a suit, not your party outfit.
– In case you’ve forgotten, there’s no such thing as work/life balance. Their suits are their party outfits.
No one heard Hillary the day she showed cleavage.
– Similarly, no one heard Bill the day he waved his dick around.
Really, as bad as this is, I'm surprised no one suggested female speakers should offer to fetch sandwiches for their male counterparts at any speaking engagement.
Full memo (warning, there are 6 whole pages of this crap) here.