A dear old college friend of mine works as a Development Manager for a non-profit in Washington, DC. This is a professional woman, with an MA under her belt and an extremely poised and articulate demeanor. There is absolutely nothing about her or her position that would suggest she is not the sort of woman to be taken seriously. She is, however, very very petite and looks damn near a decade or two younger than she actually is and she's not even 30 yet. But if you speak to her for five seconds, you'd know that her impish youthful looks are obviously in contrast with the "content of her character" so to speak.
Aaalll that being said, let me tell you about her day today. She participated in an interview team. They were interviewing a candidate for a Vice-President position... senior level management. The sort of position in which ... oh... say... a minimum standard of professional conduct and non-HR-problem behavior could be expected. Right.
At the end of the interview, the candidate shook everyone's hands. And while he was shaking my friend's hand... GAVE HER A BIG OL' WINK.
Seriously? You WINK at a person INTERVIEWING YOU FOR A JOB? And a WOMAN interviewing your male ass for a job? UGH! I can just hear the inner dialogue. "Awww... hey there, little lady... see how endearing and charming I am? Don't ya just wanna give me a job? I know you gals love a little flirt on the way out! Gets to ya every time!"
I blame Sarah Palin. With one debate she has single-handedly turned a completely inappropriate sickeningly cutesy gesture into something people think constitutes charm.