Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

Beware the wokeplace romance

I wonder if we are beginning to see the end of assortative mating. For a long while now we have tended to select our life partners from the place in which we work — rather than, as before, from our home towns or places of education. This process began with the long march of women into the workplace in the early 1970s, a development which, while overall being undoubtedly both benign and just, nonetheless slightly widened the gap between rich and poor. Men and women who worked together had a tendency to, if I can put it like this, cop off. This meant we had many more families where both parents worked, and many more families where nobody worked. Assortative mating of this kind was exacerbated by the fact that we were ever more transient and mobile, and marrying later and later.

But new and wonderfully woke employment laws may be starting to reverse this trend, and both men and women may soon be thinking: if we can’t sleep with anyone at work, who actually can we sleep with?

The story of Steve Easterbrook, the now former boss of McDonald’s, is a case in point. Easterbrook, who is British, was fired from his £12 million per year job because he had enjoyed a consensual sexual relationship with a woman with whom he worked. This came to the notice of his bosses and that was it: out. What I found remarkable about this story was the almost complete acceptance it was afforded in the media, as if this was a perfectly just decision taken for decent reasons by a caring and mindful multinational company. Not just the media, either — Steve Easterbrook himself said he agreed with the company’s decision and that it was time for him to ‘move on’.

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