Small things that make you angry and you feel you can't mention elsewhere

(584 Posts)
MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Tue 11-Jun-13 17:08:20

I was thinking that maybe we need one of those threads that reminds us we all have much more in common with each other, than any of us does with the misogynistic bigots. smile

I don't know what the feministy equivalent of 'first world problem' is, but I bet there are loads of things you've been itching to point out annoy you, but don't start an AIBU about, or don't moan to your colleague/DH/mates about because it feels insignificant.

Maybe we can all have a good moan here - and maybe back each other up that these things typically aren't so small and insignificant really!

I will go first. I noticed the other day how, when I'm walking down a pavement, I automatically move to the side out of the way of busy men striding along with briefcases. Even when I'm busy. confused Why do I do that? And how come I feel rude - and do get funny looks - when I don't do that?

notcitrus Tue 09-Jul-13 22:15:32

I tried to get round the woman/lady/am I even sure they're female dilemma by referring to people as people or children in front of ds. Which was fine until a couple incidents recently where he's been in a playground, and then says to a playmate "Watch out for that person" or "Mind the little child"

Cue bloke going "OI! I'm a...oh ok you're just a kid I won't argue", and a woman hissing "she's a GIRL!"

Thing is, I think he's almost as bad as me at detecting gender - if someone doesn't have obvious breasts or facial hair, or isn't slathered in stereotypical clothers, I honestly have no clue.

Government legislation has adopted the convention that Ministers and other officials are referred to in legislation as the sex the relevant individual is at the time the law is made. I remember being chuffed to find a sentence reading "When the Chief XXX confirms yyy, the Secretary of State's role is zzz, so she needs to tell her..." and wondering when the first instance of two officials in a legal clause being female was. Since 2000, I'll bet.

Went to a conference last week - sort of field where half the attendees are female. During the only bad speech I counted the speakers - 11, and noted only one was female.

She did a great job though, coming on after lunch, introduced herself, 'apologised' for being more junior than the original invitee, and then also for being the only woman, and said she hoped that being on in the after-lunch slot when people would fall asleep wouldnt mean attendees assuming women shouldn't be invited to speak! Cue some very embarrassed organisers. Will see how many women are involved next year.

I've read that the BBC etc struggle to get women spokespeople and panellists as five times more women say no as men - I find that hard to believe, though.

BartyFottom Tue 09-Jul-13 22:23:02

Oh yes, conferences! I regularly attend academic conferences where the vast majority of attendees are women (at least 90%) and most of the research invovles women. The keynote speakers are more often than not men.

And another vaguely conference related thing ... Attending a pre-conference dinner a few years ago, the restaurant staff referred to all the women as 'miss' - almost all of them were doctors and professors.

greencolorpack Tue 09-Jul-13 22:27:27

I went to buy some scratch treatment when some branches scratched my car. The staff member sold me a great product so no problems there but when I said what I needed he said "my sisters always doing that to my car too, " as if to say, you dear little woman, look at you trying to drive a car! Doh! Of course you will end up getting it scratched being a woman and all."

LRDLearningKnigaBook Tue 09-Jul-13 23:21:50

I can believe five times as many women say no to the BBC. I think panel shows are really hostile.

Don't get me wrong, I love lots of BBC panel shows but I think they are absolutely perfect illustrations of that thing people do, where they mentally skew how much time women talk for compared to men. Women get shouted down a lot. I've noticed some women are successful at it (Jo Brand for example), but often because they are extremely self-deprecating.

kim147 Tue 09-Jul-13 23:25:03

There was a really interesting interview on Women's hour about trying to get women on panel shows. Apparently it's not for want of trying. There were a whole load of reasons given - by female comedians but I can't remember them.

ColdHandLou Wed 10-Jul-13 15:17:42

Interesting point upthread about cats and dogs.
My dog is small, white and fluffy and people mostly assume she's female (which she is). I always remember one woman who got talking to me about her, saying 'it's a good job she's not a boy', i.e. male dogs can't be small, white and fluffy!!
I'm not sure how I replied but I have always thought what a strange comment to make confused

BastardDog Thu 11-Jul-13 21:05:50

About 10 years ago I was temping as a PA to 3 male senior executives. A fourth man joined the company and I was to be his PA too. After about a week I was crumbling trying to cope with the workload. The newly joined man saw I was stressed, made me a cup of tea and came and made pleasant conversation with me for a few minutes until I calmed down. Shortly afterwards I heard him being pulled into the next door office and told by one of the other three men I worked for that making tea and chit chat with the secretaries was not on and that he wasn't to do it again as it was my role to make the tea. shock

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Sun 14-Jul-13 00:04:23

Had a problem with the boiler and the landlord called out a heating engineer he knew. He spoke to me like I was a little girl and then when the boiler leaked water all over him and he used my cereal bowls to catch it (without asking), I asked him what did he think he was doing using my property as equipment. He started shouting at me saying "do you want your bloody boiler fixed or what love?". As soon as I got my stepdad on the phone and forced the guy to speak to him, (older gent, sounds his age), the mans demeanour changed completely and he started on about "residual leaking" and how he'd explained this to me but I hadnt understood. He hadn't explained anything to me, just screamed at me in my face. My stepdad told him off and told him to do his job properly and speak to me properly or leave. He couldn't fix it in the end and didnt look me in the eye or apologise when he left. Absolute dick and my first experience of blatant sexism.

EduCated Mon 15-Jul-13 12:23:08

Eurgh, my latest one:

My reasonably new DP is vegetarian, I am not. If we go out to eat, the waiting staff always go to give the vegetarian meal to me and have to do what we've termed the 'vegetarian shuffle', where they kind of have to shuffle about so that they can give the plate to my DP and not me.

He finds it hilarious, I find it confused Why on Earth would you presume that the man isn't the vegetarian?!

EduCated Mon 15-Jul-13 12:26:30

Although on a positive note I went to an industry conference a couple of weeks ago where 5/6 speakers were women, just because they were the ones with the necessary knowledge/research/know-how. The conference was also chaired by a woman. The audience was probably slightly more women, but probably about 40/60, so not completely skewed.

Was lovely smile

DonutForMyself Mon 15-Jul-13 13:16:23

I was pathetically grateful when DP pointed out how silly it was to have a woman on the cover of his geeky gadget magazine. He said he didn't really understand why they do it, because if someone has a subscription for a gadget magazine they don't need a picture of a good looking woman on the front to lure them in.

He is not a natural feminist, so I was happily shock at his comments and agreed, saying "not only is it insulting to the women whose bodies are being used lure you in, but its also insulting your intelligence that they think that men will be convinced to buy something that they otherwise wouldn't, just because it is shown being held by a sexy woman".

His face went confused and I left it there, but I think my point was made!

GreenSkittles Mon 15-Jul-13 13:55:46

I was on the bus to Oxford Friday morning, sitting behind two hungover middle aged businessmen. I couldn't help but overhear their conversation because it was so loud. They were happily slagging off a female (colleague I think) for no other reason than she was female, giggling about whether they could send her a text saying 'you are a fucking cunt' then blaming it on the alcohol.

The bald one was bragging about 'sexting' his teenage babysitter and complaining that he hadn't even got to snog her yet, he later answered a call from his wife telling her how much of an effort he made to pick up a goodie bag for her from their event and sounding every bit like a devoted husband, then after ending the call was laughing about her believing some lie he told her recently.

The overweight sidekick just kept babbling on about how he needed 'a pair of boobs to sleep on' and enthusiastically agreeing with every piece of misogyny that the other came out with.

Have included potential identifying details in case either twats wife reads MN.

OctopusPete8 Wed 17-Jul-13 11:14:03

That is awful green skittles did anyone glare at them?

GreenSkittles Wed 17-Jul-13 14:03:32

No, the upstairs was half empty, I was just daft enough to sit right behind them instead of at a decent distance!

CaptChaos Wed 17-Jul-13 14:53:07

I work somewhere where the uniforms are crap and often come undone in the chest area, I therefore wear a T-shirt underneath, as I got sick of people making comments about 'letting it all hang out, hur hur hur' or 'giving us a sneak preview are you, love? hur hur hur' etc etc.

My HR manager called me over today to tell me that I am not allowed to wear a T-shirt under my shirt anymore, as the material of the shirt is so thin that you can see the T-shirt underneath. I told her that I would be continuing to wear it and explained why and she said, 'With boobs as big as yours, you'd think you'd want to show them off a bit more, a bit of cleavage never did anyone any harm'

EduCated Wed 17-Jul-13 16:05:16

shock Is there someone you can complain to who isn't the HR manager? If the tops are so thin you can see the tshirt, they're too bloody thin to expect people to wear them, surely!

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Wed 17-Jul-13 16:44:38

And doesn't her comments break some sort of law about sexual comments? Being a woman doesn't mean she can talk about the size of anything on your body or talk about revealing your cleavage.

CaptChaos Wed 17-Jul-13 18:53:58

The thing with the shirts is that usually we have to wear a waistcoat thing over it, so no flesh on display, but it's so hot that it's cooler to wear a T shirt...

Apparently she thinks she's really funny when she makes comments like that. All you need to get on is to be pretty, being able to do your job means squat.

I had honestly never come across sexism in the workplace before this place. I can't make too many waves right now, but we're moving in a couple of months which is when I will take this further. It's a really toxic place to work and I hate it, but, like so many others, we need the money.

SummerHoliDidi Sun 21-Jul-13 10:36:27

Dp annoyed me last night. He told dd2 (3yo) that he couldn't carry her upstairs because he's "a weak and feeble woman". When I pulled him up on it and told him that the implication is that women are weak and feeble while men are big and strong, he got annoyed and says I'm reading things into it that weren't there.

I know he doesn't really believe that women are weak and feeble, but it doesn't really matter because that's the message he's sending dd2. He doesn't think he's sending her any sexist messages but he is, just little things, but constant little comments send a big message over time. All he needed to do was miss the "woman" off the end of his comment and it would have been perfectly fine. He just doesn't get it.

Hamwidge Sun 21-Jul-13 10:42:57

The cleaning cupboard for my workplace is inside the ladies toilet. So if anything is spilt or broken during a shift, the male staff ask the female staff to get the brush/cloth so inevitably the female staff member does the cleaning up.

filee777 Sun 21-Jul-13 10:45:51

The guy in the pub that tells me how 'sorry' he feels for my DH for having to 'babysit' while I'm in the pub

DH fucking HATES the pub and I quite enjoy a drink with friends, what's the big fucking deal? He is not 'babysitting' they are his own fucking children!

Annoys the shit out of me.

blessedwolf Sun 21-Jul-13 14:49:50

Not sure if this has been mentioned - or even if it's the right thread - but my bug bear is that tv/radio/papers all refer to "tennis" and "women's tennis". Ditto for every other sport. Like there's the real game which men play, and then a sideline version for women.
That, and Inverdale.

EduCated Sun 21-Jul-13 18:08:28

Ah yes, like the 'lady doctor'. Not a doctor, but a lady doctor.

Don't know if this has been mentioned but all the posts about food being given to the wrong person made me think of coffee.

I take my coffee black. Always have; can't stand it with even a drop of milk in it just makes me feel sick for some reason. My (recently ex) partner likes milky, foamy coffees like Cappuccino or Mocha (and usually piled high with whipped cream!) Whenever we ordered drinks somewhere 90% of the time I would get handed the big frothy drink hmm

And the other week I was with 3 male colleagues. We ordered 3 coffees and one green tea. You can guess which one was handed to me...

EduCated Sun 21-Jul-13 19:34:40

It's weird, isn't it? I never really thought about food and drink being stereotyped by gender, but after the Vegetarian Shuffle, I've realised that actually certain things I do tend to associate more with either males or females confused

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