Tag Archives: Workplace

Bekah

For seven months I worked in a research group at a UK university. The group consisted of just two members of staff, me and my manager. On my second day he shouted at me, telling me how stupid I was. Often he would sit next to me with his hand on my leg while we analysed data together. Once I made a mistake in my experiment and he laughed, but clapped me on the back so hard that it hurt. I was very unwell at the time and felt unable to do anything about my manager’s behaviour. I didn’t know where to look for support from my department as I was very isolated from other staff and I knew that other staff had seen what was happening but not taken any action. I knew I needed a good reference from him to get another job. So I left, and pretended it was due to circumstances outside work. I was unemployed for two months while I found another job in a different city. I now work at the same university again, in a different research group, but I sometimes see him, and hide. I don’t know what the right thing is to do. Confront him? Report him? Hope to successfully avoid him until he retires? If he sees me, be polite? Be honest? I don’t know. I hope he isn’t doing the same thing to anyone else. I don’t want to endanger my position and relationships at my current job, and I am still ill, and feel I don’t have the energy to take on the additional stress of making a formal complaint.

K

The nature of my job means that I live and work on a ship with the same people for three/four months before moving on. It’s coming up to four months now and so I know my colleagues pretty well. I’ve had comments along the lines of “you’re always happy” “people like to be around you because you have a positive energy” “you smile the most out of everyone on the ship.” by various people at different times. Another colleague described me as ‘moody’ today. Why does this guy have such a different opinion of me than the others (all male, I’m the only female)? Because he is the one I get the most objectifying and sexist comments from. And I deal with it by either ignoring him, a sarcastic comment, or if I’m feeling up for it calling him out on his innapropriate comments. Somehow this makes me moody and incooperative.

Clara

1) since being 12 years old men have called out in the street, made inappropriate comments, told me and friends that they want to do sexual things to us etc…. 2) at work as a young teacher being told to walk up and down a classroom so that the students could “admire me ” (by another teacher!) 3) with a long-term partner. I asked him to stop during sex because it had started to hurt. He carried on. This happened a number of times and even when I was crying and pushing him away he didn’t stop. When I was crying afterwards he would say that he didn’t realise. That I hadn’t been saying no loud enough. he didn’t believe he was doing something so wrong, and he will probably never understand the impact it had on me. However this doesn’t excuse his damaging, and violating actions. Angry with myself for letting it happen multiple times, and getting caught in an abusive situation but I understand (years later) that this is not my fault. far too many friends and relatives have told me similar stories, and far too many men have not believed me.

Laura

I work in HR, which means almost 80% of our department are girls. Yesterday, my boss, who is a man, decided to take some employees to play foosball. Guess who he picked? He only picked the men… all of us have been seen playing foosball on our free time.

Paula

While pregnant, one of my colleagueas told me that he was sad for my husband, that since I was pregnant I was unbearable. After giving birth I lost 10kg, and now my colleague keeps making references to my weight and how I look so much better tan before.

Little things

I’ve recently started a new job and have noticed a few things that some of my team members do without realising. The latest one that has upset me more than it should is the correction of my work. I have no issue with being wrong, I’m new, help me please. But the problem piece was corrected by a male in my team, without notifying me of what needed changing and why. How am I supposed to learn the right way to do something if you don’t help me out a bit?

Louise

In my workplace, an all female mental health residential unit. Most of my colleagues were so ignorant and un-pc that when a I met a member of staff who seemed more enlightened they really stood out in comparison. This happened with a male mental health nurse in his ealrly twenties. He was newly married and spoke affectionately about his wife. He had travelled and seemed open-minded. This nurse seemed very inclusive of junior unqualified staff when planning the shift. He actually seemed to listen to everyone and take all views on board in his decision-making. It seemed so refreshing. Sadly all my illusions came crashing down one day at the end of a slightly stressful shift. He was in the office with me and a woman colleague (a MISSsogynist as in a man apologist) so he knew he had one person onside. He starts on this massive rant about the clients saying they’ve all been unbearable today and how they gossip about one another and they do this they do that….and he ends it with “it’s women they’re all terrible, they’re all vile. If it was all men in here it’d be wonderful to work here”. And he wasn’t jokin. The other colleague says “yes i know i love working with men, women are too much trouble”. I could not believe my ears. The amount of times i’ve heard both female and male staff praise male clients and how much ‘easier’ they are to work with astounds me. On previous occasions i have defended wonen saying stuff like I love women they’re ace and been looked at like i’m an alien. I wanted to shut my colleagues down on this occasion I wanted to say. .”Yeah male clients say nothing for 3 years then you find them hung in their bedroom or they hit another client with a chair so brutally that they end up hospitalised or they sexually assault another client or member of staff yep they are so easy.” But i just said nothing and left my job the following week cos all hope for change had evaporated.

Alejandra

I was talking about Mara Castillo (the girl raped and killed by a cabify driver here in Mexico) with a co worker and he said “well she was really hot actually”.I did not know if I should feel ashamed of this world, my country, should I cry , scream or what..?

Gang raped

I was 15. I was rebellious and ran away from home. While gone I partied at a nightclub. Me and a guy I knew went out back to smoke. Next thing I know 3 guys are forcing themselves upon me in a dark parking lot. I tried to fight and scream so they shoved gravel in my mouth. Thank god I was drunk so I can’t remember details. For 10 years I told no one because I thought it was my fault for being somewhere I shouldn’t or for being drunk. I was so ashamed and filled with self hatred. Then in college I took a class in Women’s Studies and the professor taught me that violence is never ok and it is NEVER the victims fault. I got it and everything changed. Especially inside me. I started volunteering at a Women’s shelter and soon after I was hired as a crisis worker. I was good at my job because I really understood where these women were coming from I can’t tell you how many times I told a client that it’s not her fault no matter what it’s not her fault I worked my way all the way to being executive director of that program.

L

Group discussion at work about a team member getting married. My 50 something male boss the says to me, “you must be the last single one in the team”… no, I think you’re forgetting the 4 male members of the team who are unmarried.