To ask how to deal with the stupid and sexist comments

(61 Posts)
Charlie97 Wed 03-Jun-15 18:47:06

I work in the office as the only female with five men. The stupid, inane and irritating comments are non-stop and quite honestly beyond irritating.

Todays range from, "I was waiting for a women with big tits to come up and I was going to give her the answer to the quiz", " I can't watch porn on my phone anymore as I have no more space", "women can't reverse park, everyone knows that" and "I'm going to tell the bitch no!"

Now these may sound petty, but when it is five days a week and constant it drives me mad.

They stereotype all men/women as men earn more, have higher sex drives and women just earn "pin money" and never want sex once they are married. They all want to drag men up the aisle against their will. All men watch porn and all women are trying to constantly tame them and their torrid affairs. (All of them are talking rubbish and when with their wives are totally subservient, that make be an interesting fact).

We have a young male graduate started, he is currently learning to drive, is a very nice young man, but he is starting the crap also! Obviously thinking this is acceptable office banter.

Some comment from him last week about women not being able to reverse, from someone that's not even passed his fecking driving test. I was tempted to make him look an absolute dick head by pointing this out and saying once you've passed your test come back and talk to me, but as he was new I decided to spare him the embarrassment.

I am sick of it, it's not funny, it's a constant battle me against the whole office. The main culprits are the partners.........who think they are hilarious.

Do I send an official email saying that enough is enough and stop demeaning me and every women by constantly talking sexist crap, this will be sent all round the office by the partners, which result in much giggling and "oh Charlie is upset" snigger, snigger! Do I come back with some wonderful one-liners? Assuming I can think of some. Please give me some!

Argghhh

Wideopenspace Wed 03-Jun-15 19:01:53

I'd have a couple of gos at calmly saying 'Did you mean to sound so sexist?' then if that didn't shut them up (at least when you are around, I suspect an actual change in views might be too much to hope for), I'd raise it to 'You sound really sexist when you say that, it's not the 1950s, it makes me feel very uncomfortable'. I wouldn't get into witty one liners because it will just encourage the 'banter' - which I am sure is what they would say it was.

Is there a sympathetic manager/head office person you can ask to support you?

Nolim Wed 03-Jun-15 19:07:50

Look him directly in the eye and say this is not funny or do you think sexist comments are funny.

TheChandler Wed 03-Jun-15 19:10:14

I tend to turn it round onto them. e.g. if they say they think women can't reverse/drive, I say its because they are controlling sexists, similar to the Taliban, who are scared of women who are good at normal things. Or if they think women only earn pin money, it must be because they are thick and don't have proper jobs where they meet high earning women. Or they aren't just high enough quality men for successful women to bother with. Or if they think women want to drag men up the aisle/don't want sex after marriage, its because they are closet gays and that's why they talk about stuff like that with other men. etc..

HapShawl Wed 03-Jun-15 19:11:04

This is not petty at all. What a shitty environment they are creating for you to have to work in. I believe it would fall under harassment www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/26

DoJo Wed 03-Jun-15 19:11:09

I assume there is no HR person you could speak to about it? I think you could email the partners and ask them if they realise that the constant sexist comments amount to a fairly hostile environment for you to work in and see what their response is. Either they will give it a moment's thought and realise that they would not want to work in such a situation, or they will compound the problem by ignoring you or responding inappropriately. Either way, you will have made your point and be able to take action based on the knowledge that they know exactly how you feel about it.
I wouldn't get into retorts or similar - that is lowering yourself to their level and condoning their 'banter'. You want to be beyond reproach so that none of the idiots can ever claim that you 'joined in' or were just as bad.

Wideopenspace Wed 03-Jun-15 19:11:44

Not sure about using 'closet gays' in that way TheChandler....

SmilingHappyBeaver Wed 03-Jun-15 19:32:24

Just leave. You will never change the moronic mindsets of these losers. Don't bother trying to expend any emotional energy trying to do so. Just vote with your feet and walk.

In your exit interview you can tell the partners that you were concerned that their organisation was being held back by the low calibre of your colleagues, so you decided to move somewhere with more prospects.

AntiHop Wed 03-Jun-15 22:29:44

This is awful behaviour. You shouldn't have to put up with it. Start keeping a diary of the comments. Complain to hr.

Fatmomma99 Wed 03-Jun-15 23:53:26

I'm also assuming this is a small company and there is no HR/management chain you can escalate to?

So I also assume that the workforce is all white and (apart from you) male?

I would suggest meeting informally with the owners (who, if my interpretation is right, are around) and pointing out that they hired YOU because you think that you have something to contribute, so do people of colour, of ethnicity and generally people who make sexual choices different to those who are the majority in the office. And while this culture abounds, they are writing off all those great people.

If the culture continues, just leave!

Good luck!

Charlie97 Thu 04-Jun-15 05:41:51

You are 100 percent spot on fat momma!

The problem being it is coming from the top downwards so everyone including new guy thinks it's ok to do.

The other thing is that anyone that works for them (apart from me) never stands up to them, they dictate ridiculous rules and all the men say is yes sir.

As some say I maybe do need to vote with my feet.

cailindana Thu 04-Jun-15 06:32:35

Yeah I'd quit if possible. But first make sure they'll really struggle without you.

Charlie97 Thu 04-Jun-15 06:57:40

Oh they would have a massive issue if I left!

Let's see what today brings .......

cailindana Thu 04-Jun-15 07:00:34

Every time they say something sexist, write it down, word for word. Then copy it all into your resignation letter.

eosmum Thu 04-Jun-15 07:07:15

Could you go in today call a meeting and say the "banter" ends now. It's making you uncomfortable and says more about them than women. You will be logging all future comments and they may form part of any legal proceedings you may pursue?

2boys2girls Thu 04-Jun-15 07:10:44

Is it done in jest ? Im not agreeing but can you just tell them you don't like that kind of banter in the work force?
Me personally would play them at their own game if they think its banter,please don't start jumping down throat I'm not saying what's right/wrong I'm just saying what I'd do...
If its constant "bully boy" behaviour rather than banter then yes I'd go to the top and complain ....

2boys2girls Thu 04-Jun-15 07:14:35

If no top I would record and threaten to go public x

cailindana Thu 04-Jun-15 07:16:33

If the OP was black and they were making racist remarks, would you also ask if it was 'banter' too 2boys?

dostopdroningon Thu 04-Jun-15 07:43:52

"God you lot don't half talk a load of sexist shit. Listen to yourselves! You're making me feel crap here too. Knock it on the head would you".

2boys2girls Thu 04-Jun-15 07:47:18

Re reading I'm of the understanding you either want some one liners or to complain? Again I would either record and threaten going public (in mean time looking else where for another job)because even if stops it could have an adverse effect
Or come back with remarks NOT sexist etc like bring potty/nappy in and comment that they talk so much shit they may as well have somewhere to put it or give them some imodium tablets for their verbal diarrhoea,

Rafterplease Thu 04-Jun-15 08:00:04

Don't bother trying to change them. They won't change.

This is definitely a hostile environment and not petty at all.

So:

1. Write down everything. Complain to the highest level, write that down too. Then see if anything changes. (It won't.) Keep writing down the comments.

2. Find another job.

3. Threaten to sue. Get a lawyers letter. Get them to settle out of court.

4. Pocket money. Enjoy new job. Teach them a lesson about acceptable behaviour in a language they understand.

2boys2girls Thu 04-Jun-15 08:02:33

Send email from TV/paper claiming to do show/write up on sexism in the work place or send from solicitor About a complaint.. Even get friend to pose as someoneover phone/in person etc

Stanky Thu 04-Jun-15 08:18:41

I have some of this sort of "banter" at my work too. It's a very male work environment, but I am not the only woman. We tend to call them on their bull shit, but it is easier when you are not the only woman. My favourite is when they slag off a woman in the paper, and say that she is fat and ugly. The person sitting there saying this is fat and bald with rotten teeth. I always look at him and say "Oh, sorry Johnny Depp. " It always shuts them up. grin

Charlie97 Thu 04-Jun-15 09:57:12

Even before the start of working day,

Comment 1,

New kitten was misbehaving last night,kept running up the curtains...well obviously they are not my curtains they seethe wife's!

Comment 2
I wasn't moaning about standing up for the expo, that was XXX. He was whinging like a girl!

Comment 3
New boy then pipes up, oh I am learning some valuable life lessons regarding soft furnishings and it being a woman's job!

ami being over sensitive?

cailindana Thu 04-Jun-15 10:00:30

No of course not! If nothing else it's very exclusionary for people to make remarks that indicate you are not "part of the gang" - it's nasty childish behaviour. What do they expect you to do, join in and agree that women are shit?

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