Call me a prude, say I have no sense of humor, but isn’t there something wrong with this picture? See the slide show here. It seems that Richard Branson picks women up like this on a regular basis as a media exercise, but one wonders where this is coming from. Sure it looks like fun and the women seem to be OK with it, but is he also picking up older women like this and is he picking up men as well? And what does it mean to pick up someone like this when chances are you barely know them? I think it means he is attracted to them on some level and thinks that they are not his equal, so compliant. Can’t see him picking up Hilary Clinton can you?
It says to me that he see’s these women as objects, trophies, prizes and something that he can have and do with as he likes in the name of advertising. Possibility the most disturbing is the way that he picks up his female staff! If you or I did that or had it done to us by one of our co workers or managers it would be assault. I think there is a little sexual thing going on with this picking up stuff as well. You see men pick up women in movies and take them into the bedroom, men used to pick women up in this way to take them across the threshold when they got married so I think there is some sort of sexual/ownership stuff going on here.
Ok, Ok, so you think I am being over the top? Let me tell you about the time when I was about 26 and worked for a guy that looked a lot like Tom Selleck. Big tall good looking guy who could have any women he wanted. Was good at his job, ex army and an in control type of guy. Great guy. Problem was that I had to work with him but didn’t report to him. Even so, he thought it Ok to tell me to get coffee for him and shout orders at me like I was his slave. Well I was having no of that and refused, and told him way in no uncertain terms. One day, he couldn’t get me to do what he wanted me to so he picked me up in the same way as Branson is pictured picking up these women and held me over the stair well to the dock floor – a good 15 feet below. He was basically (in a good natured way, ha!), trying to get me to do what he wanted. Basically, he was bullying me to do what he wanted by using his physical strength to try and dis-empower me,and force his will on me. I told him that he was assaulting me and if didn’t want a court case he had best put me down pronto.
He did, but the other guys in the office who were truck drivers thought the whole thing incredibly funny. Of course it was not and I made my point known in no uncertain terms. This was about 1982 and things have changed slightly, but then maybe Branson has some cave man in him still?