by Julia Crumpleman
PAULO, Santa Vanna – Connor Wesley Services, a.k.a. “Henchmen, Inc.”, has resided in the Caribbean island principality of Santa Vanna under murky legal standing for the past 30 years, but now they’re being hit with dozens of harassment complaints and accusations of sexism in their hiring pracitces.
Founded in 1983 with the good graces of then dictator Carlos Diego Montoya, Connor Wesley Services was initially used for money-laundering purposes by the supervillain community. Residing in the small principality of Santa Vanna allowed it to work outside the laws of most countries, and with the plasma cannons surrounding the nation, the international community hasn’t been able to touch them. Over the years, they turned into a temp agency for henchmen, nicknamed “Henchmen, Inc.”, and provided computer, technical, and administrative support to supervillains. Publically, they claimed to offer legitimate services to non-villains, but they’re still regarded with suspicion by most countries.
Now, it seems that they’ve stepped up in becoming legitimate: they’ve been hit with a public relations scandal and have been accused of sexism.
“Women are always stuck in the administrative roles,” said Juliana Margaret, who brought the initial complaint against her former employer. “We never get the prime hench jobs even though we’re trained just the same as men and can beat our fellow male henchpersons in hand-to-hand combat on a regular basis. Supervillains are still stuck in the thinking that men make the best henchpersons. It’s the 21st century. Come on!”
“I’d love to get a good hench job,” said “Bobbi Bolt,” a current employee using an alias. “But more than anything, I’d just like to not be the sexy bit of eye candy for supervillains. They put me in skin-tight, revealing costumes, make me bend in ridiculous poses for photo shoots and for those videos they send to the good guys. It’s humiliating! I can fly jets, drive tanks, have black belts in ten different fighting styles, and can Tokyo-drift a semi. I’m tired of being sexy eye candy!”
Connor Wesley hasn’t responded publicly to the accusations, but a company spokesperson said they “are looking into it.”
The supervillain community responded in droves for some reason. “They’re called henchMEN for a reason,” said Olaf the Piledriver. “I don’t care how many black belts you have, little girl, but you’re not going to beat your average superhero unless you got brute strength. Men are stronger, that’s just a FACT.”
“I’m as enlightened a man as one can be,” said The Ponderer, “but most women just can’t handle proper villainy. They have too many motherly instincts to be truly ruthless. Sure, there are some good lady villains, but there’s a reason men outnumber the women. It’s biology.”
“All I’m going to say is that I know who my next target is,” said Madame Moriarty. “And I know which henchpersons I’m hiring for the job.”
Juliana Margaret isn’t going to take this lying down. She plans on starting her own henchperson agency. “We need to show the world that women can be just as good henchpersons as men are,” she said. “We’re just as strong and smart as men, and we shouldn’t let Connor Wesley be the sole henchperson agency in the world.” As for funding, Margaret said, “Oh, that won’t be a problem. We’re villains.”
Meanwhile, the world’s women’s organizations were confused on how to respond, seeing as they want to support gender equality but also don’t want to support villainy.