“There were a hundred things small and large that stood between us and our jobs every day, ranging from incidental to the nefarious. So when we said that we would prefer not to have to be asked to smile on top of working, we meant that: we would like to do our jobs, please. When we said that we would like not to have someone try to touch us in our office, we meant that: we would like to do our jobs. Please.”
Whisper Network looks at the multifaceted nature of sexual harassment in Corporate America, as well as the complicated balance of work and personal lives. It’s told from the perspective of a snarky third person narrator, meant to represent the collective voice of working women. It follows Sloane, Ardie, and Grace, in-House lawyers at Truviv, a fictional sporting goods brand, as they navigate the challenging boys club that is their office. The story focuses on Ames, general council at Truviv, and all three of their boss’. All three women have complaints about Ames, ranging from commentary to sexual assault.
I think my favorite part of this book was the commentary by the narrator. While I found the plot dragging at points, the wise voice of the narrator kept me turning the page. The narrator, written as a collective voice of women, offered deeply insightful commentary on what it’s like to be a working woman in Corporate America.
While I very much enjoyed this book and its commentary on office culture for women, I was put off by the us-versus-them nature of the book. The only men in the office that are they ever really referenced are predatory. In my experience, for as many problematic men as there are, there’s at least twice as many that are advocates, or at a minimum don’t cause problems for women in the office. I think it does a disservice to the cause to leave out men that help you women in situations like this, even though this is largely a story about women.