Not sure if I am just being over analytical (I always get told this by my father), but I am getting really tired and aggravated by all the power play and condensation that comes along with it at work and at home. I am young and will admit I have I lot to learn, but that does not mean my father has to basically “man-xplain” (?) to me what a smart tv is (fyi: I already knew what a smart tv was and how to operate it because we have them at my workplace.) I will also admit that I am not a huge tech person, but I have the skills to learn and am willing to listen to instruction; however, I am getting really pissed when I have a question to just clarify what I am doing is correct and the response from both our tech guys is “It is really logical, but I forget not everyone has the same skill set as me.” Whenever our team (which is all women) ask these tech guys to look into an issue that we are having, there is always this stupid power play that is going on with them just because they can fix a few bugs in the system. It is so normalized that I want to speak up and call them out, but at the same time I don’t wish to be “that” person.
Got some anonymous feedback for an Executive Management course I’m on. One person’s comments said they have ‘significant confidence in her skills and decision making’, and then ‘I think that some people underestimate her and [I] suspect that sometimes this is because she is young and female‘. This makes me angry. I’m grateful to this person for saying it out load, and it really encourages me they don’t think it’s okay and mentally try to dissolve these preconceptions, so at least some others must think the same way. But the fact this is what still women face makes me angry, and demoralised about being in my own workplace.
Looking at catering companies for an event and reading the ‘Meet the team’ section. An employee, John* is described as ‘THE MACHINE’; the glue holding the company together and the unsung hero of the team. Next Emily* is described as ‘the female version of John’ If this was me I’d feel very under valued.
I’m a fully qualified plastic surgeon, a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons . I’ve spent over half my life studying to get to where I am now. I am extremely good with my hands and can honestly say that I’m a better surgeon than many men of my level. However, recently, I was operating with a male colleague who proceeded to ignore my helpful suggestions (only to have to follow them after he’d failed in what he was originally doing), brush me off when I pointed out the relevant anatomy (only to have to concede later that I was right) and generally not permit me to be involved in any meaningful way in the operation. I have seen this same male colleague joke around and take more seriously, male colleagues. I have also had male colleagues act surprised when I demonstrated a particular proficiency in certain skills – ‘oh, you’re good at that’ (a backward compliment when said in a tone of surprise) And I notice I get complaints about being ‘passive aggressive’ on the 2 or 3 times when I’ve made a sarcastic comment (I’m only human) when overworked or overtired whereas my male colleagues who are routinely rude and have on several occasions made people cry, never get complaints because ‘that’s just what surgeons are like’ now And don’t get me started about the number of times a patient has referred to me as the nurse or ask ‘when is the doctor going to see me?’ after I’ve just spent 10 minutes explaining the operation they need/that I’ve performed on them.
As a 11 year old girl selling lemonaid, a man drove up with his penis out and fully erect. As a 13 year old girl, surrounded by a dozen teenage boys who slaped my bottom and cornered me in an unfamiliar yard until I rang the doorbell of a stranger to get help At 13 witnessing my friend have her boyfriends penis shoved in her face because he wanted oral sex and she didn’t In high school having the nickname of the “The Ass” because I had a desirable bottom and a romour spreading that I was good in bed As a 20 year waitress having my bottom slapped by a male customer (he did get a piece of my mind) My husband who thinks it is ok to grope me any time he wants because my body is his.
Several times (I’m guessing around 10) I’ve had emails addressed to me as Stephen in the past year or two. Countless times I’ve had emails/letters addressed as Dear Sir. All my correspondence is clearly signed off from Stephanie. Thinking this continuous misreading is related to having a fairly senior role and people assuming I’m a man. I don’t think a man called Stephen would be mistakenly called Stephanie this many times, or addressed Dear Madam. Might seem small but gets on my nerves at work.
Several years ago I was working for the University of California, where I experienced subtle harassment from my boss. I took my concerns to his supervisor and I was told that while he wished it were the first time he had heard this complaint, he simply couldn’t act on it, because my supervisor brought so much value to the department.
I worked in an office where I was the youngest member of staff (19)at the time and it was mostly men. We had had a work Christmas do in December, where I’d worn a dress which just came down to my knees, and when I came back after the Christmas break some older male colleagues were discussing what I had worn- in front of me and the whole office but not including me. One of them said “I avoid women who don’t wear much on a night out”
This shits me. I’m an Office Manager in a construction company. Today is Wednesday so I process payroll for our 25 employees today. Before I can do that I have a heap of ‘everyday’ things that need to happen to clear my desk to focus on payroll. It shouldn’t bother me but my boss has just walked into my office and said ‘There’s no milk.’ When I looked at him and said ‘You have a car.’ he waved a negligent hand and said ‘Oh, there’s no rush!’ and walked out. Now I’m fuming and I feel like I can’t push back. That’s the everyday sexism of it. I’m 51 and I’m still getting this shit. And I’ll still end up buying milk.
Once when I was 17, I was leaving my place of work and walking out to where my mum was parked in our car. There were a couple of drunk men outside making fun of one of our delivery drivers who had just arrived back at the store. It was nighttime and I knew it wasn’t safe for me to get involved, so I kept walking. They noticed me and started yelling at me. I was scared but I didn’t want them to know, so I didn’t speed up or turn around. They yelled at me, referring to me as the name of the place I worked, and before I closed the car door, I heard “show us your -“. I told my mum once I was in the car and she did not seem surprised or angry at all. It was just another day. That was the first moment I became keenly aware of how normalised sexual harassment is, and it sickens me.