Is this 2010 or 1910?

I shouldn’t be surprised.  I know I shouldn’t feel shock and astonishment.  But I can’t help it – when I encounter blatant chauvinistic behaviour, sexism and misogyny from a man somewhere in my life, it’s like a slap in the face that I didn’t see coming.

I am a woman who works in technology, is noticeable in my job (I have to speak to a lot of people both in my own division and various other areas every day, so a lot of people know who I am) and as you probably have noticed, is outspoken, confident and has good self esteem.  I haven’t always had it, I had to work hard to learn it, but nowdays, I’m able to speak with confidence, know where my strengths and skills are, and won’t take any bullshit.  So in a way that makes me a target for the chauvinists and misogynists out there, because I’m the thing they loathe the most.  I am not what they believe a woman should be.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not hate men, I don’t even believe that men in the majority are like this.  I love men.  Boy, do I love men!  But there is a section of the male population that sincerely believe that men are better/worth more than women, and these men are what ruin it for the rest of the fellas.

The most recent situation I’m dealing with, is alarmingly, from a young man.  Admittedly, it is instigated by his father, but it makes me wonder just how a young man gets to adulthood and holds these attitudes towards women.  Are paternal misogynistic attitudes able to embed that deeply into young men?  How can a young man today get through school and working life (though I’m not sure this young man actually works) holding a chauvinistic attitude?

For these men, the thought that somehow a woman has more experience at something, or a better understanding, or stronger skills is an impossibility.  If they are made uncomfortable by an intelligent, confident woman, it is because there is something wrong with HER, not them.  In my case, these men are not happy that I have rescued them in a meeting where they were losing the attention and respect of someone they are trying to convince to support them.  The thought that a woman was able to do something that they failed to, has absolutely horrified them, and they would rather fail altogether than allow a woman with the right skills and ability to read a situation and adapt to that situation to do so.

What makes it particularly sad is, when I gently asserted that this would not be allowed to happen again, the younger of the two has become insulting rather than accept that sometimes, one needs to change tactic and that god forbid, a woman is able to read a situation better than a man.  In this case, I was told that I a) don’t have the effective communication skills and b) need to discipline myself.  The irony is that those are the two very issues that these men struggled with and that I had to bail them out from.  If it wasn’t so offensive, it would be hilarious.

Of course, when challenged on his attitude, his comeback was the usual for men who don’t like a woman that challenges them – call her immature, emotional, petulant.  Oh for a dollar for every time a woman asserting herself has heard that one!  That’s the standard retort from a chauvinistic man that makes that little bell go off in a woman’s head… “Ding! Dealing with a sexist!”  Followed by some solid “mansplaining” – you know, when a man explains something to the little woman that she couldn’t possibly know without him telling her.

For women are all emotional, whining, immature, petulant, bitter when they don’t agree with a man right?  It’s only men that can be assertive, confident, passionate, forthright in these guys minds.

What has to happen in this world of ours for sexism to end?  Why, after decades of pioneering women who stand up for equality, demand respect for women, prove that women have just the same level of intelligence and skills as men, does this bullshit still happen?  How are young men coming forward with these attitudes in the year 2010?

Answers on a postcard please folks!

Advertisements

February 11, 2010. assertiveness, attitudes, bad behaviour, blokes, chauvinism, communication, confidence, cultural change, discrimination, douchebags, feminism, gender, men, misogyny, prejudice, respect, self esteem, sexism, women, women's issues.

10 Comments

  1. SassyCupcakes replied:

    I think it really is a case either very bad experiences with women or of family values being passed down which should have died out eons ago. *fingers crossed* this latest generation will be rejected by women instead of tolerated and won’t get the opportunity to breed the next generation.

    • sleepydumpling replied:

      See, I thought that would happen with Gen Y and beyond. But I notice more and more that young women are playing up to this crap. They simper and bat their eyelashes, they dumb themselves down, they fail to take responsibility for their own lives, because it makes the boys like them. I don’t think it IS breeding out. I want it to so bad, but I see so much ugliness around gender attitudes that really worries me.

      • Amy replied:

        I think it will “breed” out, but it will take many, many more generations. We still have people in the workforce who were raised by a culture where men were the leaders and women were the subservient roles and women in leader roles threatened them. Yes, those men many pay lip service to women’s rights, but their brains were formed in that culture- sexism is in their DNA. When the kids of today are grandparents, we might see some changes regarding gender expectations. But, it think it will replaced by other under lying “isms” that are outrigh- and some what accepted- hate today (sexual orientation, size, handicaps).

      • Amy replied:

        I think it will “breed” out, but it will take many, many more generations. We still have people in the workforce who were raised by a culture where men were the leaders and women were the subservient roles and women in leader roles threatened them. Yes, those men many pay lip service to women’s rights, but their brains were formed in that culture- sexism is in their DNA. When the kids of today are grandparents, we might see some changes regarding gender expectations. But, it think it will replaced by other under lying “isms” that are outright- and some what accepted- hate today (sexual orientation, size, handicaps).

  2. Amy replied:

    I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND! I spent 7 years working in VERY male dominated industry (about 98% male). I found that women could be one of three roles: bitch, slut or mom. Many, many times I was told to “watch my temper” when I stood my ground and refused to back down in a conflict or discussion. I was rarely angry in the situation, but they could not handle me doing my job and I was too aggressive for them. What is most frustrating is in most cases you are just acting like them, but when it is reflected back at them, they see it as anger. It was 7 of the hardest years of my career because of how women are treated. It is very hard to verbalize how it feels and I think you did good with your post. The frustration I felt was often visceral, but I could never explain that to anyone.
    I often wondered what it would have been like had I not been a fatty. I think men treat thin woman so differently. I wondered if I would have gotten less respect if I was thin? Or, would I have gotten more?
    BTW, I follow you on Twitter-love your tweets.

    • sleepydumpling replied:

      Hi Amy! I totally hear you – I could have written your comment above pretty much word for word.

      “Watch your temper.”
      “Don’t get emotional.”
      “Don’t take things so personally.”
      “Don’t be so dramatic.”
      “Calm down.”
      “Why are you so crabby?”

      All of these types of things are thrown at women when we attempt to express ourselves assertively. Yet it’s usually no different to how they act, often milder because we women are taught to be nice, be mild, tone it down… so we subconsciously do.

      And yes, I think it is likely that we fatties have even more battle to get some respect as well as being women. We’re not considered fuckable by those types of men, so they dismiss us even more.

      And thanks for the Twitter love – say hello and I’ll add you if I haven’t already!

      • Amy replied:

        Yep, since they have been told that they can’t say “are you on the rag?” anymore, now they try to use feeling words to make us shut up.

  3. Amy replied:

    Oh, yes, being considered “non-fuckable” makes you invisible to that type of guy. But being “fuckable” causes them to stop behaving with their brains and it is all down hill from there- literally. When you are non-fuckable and you force them to deal with you and if you happen to have any authority over them- watch out! But, what really used to mess them up was when I was in a situation with a more alpha male than them and the alpha-male respected my authority in front of the douche-bag man. It was priceless! The douche-bag doesn’t know how to act when they see the alpha acting in a way they don’t understand. Its like you can see the gears turning…”I would not fuck her, but you are listening to her. Huh?”

    • sleepydumpling replied:

      Interesting you mention the “awesome alpha” as I like to call them. I tend to attract them as friends. Those wonderful dudes who have quiet authority, gentle presence and kind hearted power.

  4. Lisa Sargese replied:

    As long as male privilege exist they’re attitude will prevail. Fight ain’t over, yet!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

  • The History of Sleepydumpling

  • Blogs I Dig

  • %d bloggers like this: