McCain's hugs have got to stop
I spent the better part of three years as a young man working for two female cabinet ministers: the Hon. Pat Carney and the Hon. Mary Collins. Different personalities to be sure, but they were certain of one thing. There wouldn’t be any hugging of their male colleagues; either around the cabinet table or back at the office.
When EA Martin Green and I put now Senator (Ret.) Carney on a Challenger to wing back to Vancouver in August of 1988 for the last time as a Minister of the Crown, there was some sadness as we witnessed the end of her elected career — but still no touching.
When I first saw Senator John McCain lean in for a nuzzle with his running mate, I was literally startled. What is he doing?? This is just not kosher. But now, it apparently is. At least according to experts in etiquette that were interviewed by the New York Times yesterday. One “expert” confided that it was okay, as Senator McCain has been the instigator at the outset. I guess that makes Governor Sarah Palin, a Moose-hunter, the recipient. Willing or otherwise.
Now, at most office enviroments in North America, hugging your female subordinate could well be a firing offence. Anything in the category of “unwanted” physical attention and/or touching will suffice as sexual harrasment.
Obviously, if it is welcome, that’s a different story. Just think of all of the people who find their spouses at the office. Stikeman alone has five married couples working for the firm. But the message this visual oddity sends to younger women is what, exactly?
My boss can hug me in front of our co-workers if he wants to? Would McCain be hugging Mitt Romney if he’d been chosen as the running mate instead? Unlikely.
How would the Presidentially-appointed U.S. Supreme Court deal with a civil lawsuit where the defence proffered by a male supervisor was no more and no less than: [President] John McCain does it; I thought it was appropriate to hug my co-worker, time after time after time.
All very strange.