"The Glass Ceiling" Parody Board Game Sketch By Comedy Central Is A Painfully Hilarious Look At Women In The Workplace — VIDEO
What if board games like The Game of Life actually reflected, well, life? If Comedy Central's latest sketch, a board game parody called "The Glass Ceiling," is anything to go by, it might be better for board games to continue taking their cues from a fantasy land where women and men are on equal footing. That way there's at least one space where women don't have to deal with sexism in the workplace.
The sketch takes the form of a commercial for a board game aimed at girls that mimics real life, appropriately titled The Glass Ceiling. Unlike real board games, which allow male and female players to follow the same career path regardless of their gender, The Glass Ceiling stacks the cards against players to teach girls what it's really like to be a woman in the workplace. (Spoiler alert: It's the worst.) At first, the three players are eager to begin their careers as an engineer, lawyer, and investment banker, but that excitement quickly turns to disgust as they face obstacle after obstacle throughout the game: Sexual harassment, being passed over for promotions, and the ever-present emphasis on their appearances.
"Your looks are considered too distracting to your male coworkers," reads one card. "Move back two spaces."
When one girl draws the "sexual harassment" card, she's presented with three choices: Reporting the harassment, dealing with it, or sleeping with her boss. "Those are my only options?" she asks in disgust.
When she decides to go to HR about the harassment, she's summarily presented with an "unemployed" game piece. Needless to say, none of the players ever get above the glass ceiling. In fact, they can't even vent their rage in the time honored tradition of smashing the entire game to pieces, although not for lack of trying — The Glass Ceiling's literal glass ceiling proves to be unbreakable.
The sketch closes with a short advertisement for The Glass Ceiling's counterpart, a board game called Privilege featuring piles of money and endless opportunities. You have three guesses about whom it's marketed toward, and the first two don't count.
The Glass Ceiling is obviously hilarious, but the laughs it elicits are rather painful. Even in 2016, women face all kinds of sexism and misogyny in the workplace, especially in male-dominated areas like STEM fields or manual labor. Research has shown that even when they're equally qualified, women are seen as less competent and less committed than their male coworkers, and one study found that men tend to receive better assignments and larger budgets. Furthermore, while women are (often unconsciously) penalized for having a family, there's evidence that having a child actually helps a man's career.
Sexism in the workplace may not be as widely-condoned as it was in decades gone by, but it certainly hasn't gone anywhere — and research has shown that subtle sexism stacks up to be just as harmful as the overt variety. In short, if you identify as a lady, The Glass Ceiling may feel a little too real in parts, but that just adds to the hilarity. Check out the video below.