Modern Professionals

Why I refuse to keep politics out of the workplace anymore – Fashion Journal

“I cannot in good conscience profess to be a politically enlightened person if I only speak out in safe spaces.”

As a 21-year-old in a corporate environment where all my colleagues are at least 10 years my senior, I’ve always lived and died by the sword of professionalism. I’ve engaged in corporate doublespeak, using ‘as per my last email’ while screaming into my computer.

I’ve hidden my crippling depressive episodes under thinly veiled mystery illnesses. I’ve bristled when asked about my dating life and side-stepped questions about my sexuality. Most of all, I’ve patently refused to engage in political water-cooler chatter – so much so that I’ve had a boss confuse my political ambiguity for apathy, even though I’m actually highly engaged. 

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This sort of behaviour might seem somewhat deranged or excessively closed off, but I’ve always found leaving my personal life at the door of the office has made it easier for me to concentrate on work and compartmentalise my stress.

More than that, I’ve realised that I’ve been buying into a very specific flavour of respectability politics