I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I have some urgent news: an old white guy is telling women how to live their lives.
I know exactly what you’re thinking — “Which one, though??”
Well, today it looks like it’s ~*esteemed*~ LinkedIn member Bruce Hurwitz, an Executive Recruiter and Career Counselor, who is currently getting his certification in Professional Mansplaining.
Hurwitz published an article on LinkedIn earlier this month which advised female interviewees to take of their engagement rings during job interviews, claiming that it caused a distraction by signaling to employers that the prospective employee was “high-maintenance.”
So you better stop polishing that rock, y’all. Hurwitz is about to jewelry-shame your ass right out of this damn interview.
Let’s break this down. In his piece, Hurwitz shares an anecdote about telling an interviewee that her engagement ring puts her at a disadvantage when compared to other possible hires:
When a man sees that ring he immediately assumes you are high maintenance. When the woman at the office who has the largest diamond on her finger, sees that ring, she will realize that if you are hired she will fall to second place and will, therefore, not like you. Lose the ring!
Look guys, I don’t know if you realize this, but Bruce Hurwitz is an expert in sociology. Sure, he has no qualifications to speak of, but through his mere association with a company’s hiring process, he is well-equipped to analyze the delicate and nuanced correlations between a person’s self-presentation and their ability to earn a job offer. He’s basically a scientist.
Hurtwitz reasons that employers don’t deserve to know your relationship status anyway, and that it’s “none of [their] business.” So don’t worry about sending out the wrong impression, ladies! It’s probably best for your superiors to assume you’re single unless proven otherwise. That’s what leads to all the fun sexual tension (read: harassment) anyway!
Not wearing an engagement ring is not lying. Being engaged is not a “protected class” like gender, religion, or even marital status. After all, just because you are engaged does not mean you are actually going to get married. So not telling an employer that you plan to get married, is fine. It is none of her business. It would only be relevant if, let’s say, you needed some time off in the not too distant future.
Hurwitz goes on to state that his method of advising women to remove their rings during interviews has resulted in job offers a grand total of six times.
WOW. Six times. That is definitely a number of times that a thing could happen, ostensibly! If you’re searching for a reliable sample size, look no further!
Hurwitz claims that the job offers were a direct result of the Hide-Your-Rock lifestyle change (under his advisement, of course), and that there is literally no other possible explanation for the hiring of all these engaged weirdos.
The sweeping conclusion? Dump that ring, y’all! Throw it in the trash! But also find a way to let male interviewers know you’re engaged, so you can earn their respect (female employers are frigid assholes though, so be wary of them).
So lose the rock! And, if you don’t have one, but got engaged by signing a pre-nup, find a way to let male interviewers know that. They’ll respect you. (Women may as well, but I’m not certain that this is the case.)
Hurwitz conveniently glosses over the possibility that these companies were, perhaps, simply the right fit for these particular prospective employees — or the notion that a woman becomes more attractive to the more piggish variety of male interviewers when she presents herself as “on the market.”
Not surprisingly, Hurwitz’s HIGHLY INFORMED (read: purely speculative) piece has garnered the attention of media outlets everywhere as a result of its controversial advice. Hurwitz even capitalized on his fifteen minutes of fame by publishing a followup piece advising both sexes (SEE, IT’S FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, SO IT CANNOT INHERENTLY BE SEXIST, BOOM) on which jewelry pieces they should avoid during job interviews. Hurwitz told his male readers that they should not wear a Rolex, as it gives off the impression that they are too wealthy and successful for a frugal company. Meanwhile, women were still advised to not wear their engagement rings, because having one is considered (by Hurwitz) to be “high-maintenance.”
I will now take a brief moment for you to giggle at the idea that this followup article somehow negates any notions of sexism.
You done? Cool.
If all that weren’t enough, Hurwitz followed up with a third LinkedIn article, this time advising his readers on “How to Write a Viral Article on LinkedIn.”
Aren’t we lucky that Bruce Hurwitz has so much good advice for us and our tiny, high-maintenance female brains??
Hurwitz responded to the widespread criticism he (inevitably) received by telling Time,“I honestly don’t understand what the fuss is all about. Interviewers have eyes; they look at the applicants. They see what they wear; they note their hygiene; they look at their behavior … I don’t give advice based on a perfect world but rather based on the real world.”
While the whole ordeal is pretty laughable, Hurwitz inadvertently proved an ugly truth: there are a multitude of factors outside of the realm of competency which determine a (female) applicant’s hiring status. While his advice is alarmingly misogynist, the fact is that it echoes the unspoken sentiments of more than a few male employers and interviewers. While it’s satisfying to shut down a sexist man on LinkedIn, the larger, discriminating problem still looms in the background.
But, I’ve decided that the only way to put this matter to rest is by allowing Hurwitz to experience the discriminated side of the equation. So, without further ado, I would like to ask Bruce (I feel like I should call him by his first name now):
BRUCE, WILL YOU MARRY ME?
Please say yes. I have already picked out a lovely ring.
And no, you aren’t allowed to remove it, so don’t even fucking ask.