Feminism in the Workplace: Misogyny, Football and Fundraising
I love my job. I work with women and men who are passionate about raising money to help find a cure for the disease that debilitates our patients we see on a day-to-day basis.
It’s challenging work…in the era of the viral Ice Bucket Challenges and walks and runs to raise money for x, y, and z, how does one find innovative and effective ways to raise money to fund disease research in an ethical and meaningful way?
In the past couple years, my nonprofit has been trying a new event where we use a football stadium and people get their friends and sign up as teams. For one day, you get the opportunity to play on real football field with your friends. It’s a great idea and a fun time. Even with this great model, it can sometimes be difficult to hit our fundraising goals.
If we don’t hit our fundraising goals, we don’t have the money to pay future researchers for their work to find new medications and eventually cure this disease.
My boss recently came to us with a dilemma. Other nonprofits have found it effective to have a game for people to come watch. Ideally, one would get some celebrities to play against each other, but our disease isn’t super sexy and doesn’t attract the big names.
Another idea that has garnered support among the board members? Have two bars known for their scantily-clad female servers play against each other…in their work attire.
We all shuddered when my boss told us. My office is entirely staffed by women, and I think we all self-identify as feminists.
But, we’re also career women who want to keep (and succeed) at our jobs. If we don’t raise the goals we set, we’re in trouble. This is a doable fix and is one that will likely help us reach our goals.
But, at what cost?
We’re still debating at our office, and while I’d love to make the big, bold statement that we won’t do this, no one will know that we gave this sexist practice up. They’ll just see that we didn’t do everything we could to hit our goals.
What would you do?