Gay media giant Window Media may want to siphon some of its NY Press earnings into a legal fund.
The most juicy story, however, stems from a suits against Atlanta-based gay newspaper Southern Voice.
Former account executive Shannon Holding has lodged an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against SoVo. Holding holds that her coworkers discriminated against her gender, offended her sexual sensibilities and engaged in unprofessional behavior, like crotch grabbing.
Gay City News‘ Duncan Osborne provides the legal details:
The complaint charges two types of discrimination. Holding was denied job opportunities because she is female and she experienced a hostile work environment in that she was “subjected to a constant barrage of graphic sexual language and conduct involving gay male sex.
“Numerous male employees and managers of Defendant discussed in graphic terms oral and anal sex with other men; displayed pictures of men with erect penises on their computers; and, in general, treated the workplace as a place to discuss and engage in gay male sex.”
Holding also alleges that Southern Voice editor Matthew A. Hennie frequently fondled a coworkers crotch “in her full view”. Sounds like quite an eyeful.
Holding isn’t the first woman to lodge such a complaint against Southern Voice. Former employee Christine Solly raised an EEOC flag back in 2005. A Window Media lawyer subsequently interviewed Holding about her experience and Holding admitted to fearing “retaliation” GCN reports.
After that conversation, Holding charged that Steven Guerinni, the head of sales at Window, said the company “was looking for a way to get rid of Ms. Holding because women in general were liabilities.”
An account was taken away from her and she was told “she had no future with Window Media,” the complaint charged.
Well, to be fair to Window Media, one can pretty much expect sexual content at a gay publication. That’s not to say all gays are obsessed with sex, because they’re not, but, for better or for worse, sex remains a central component in gay (male) culture. We’re not saying Holding should be held accountable for putting herself in that situation, we’re also not convinced SoVo‘s entirely at fault in that respect.
As for the crotch grabbing…maybe the staffer had crabs??