We've had moments of obvious sexism, how about the reactions when you dare point it out?

(43 Posts)

Aside from some of the frankly terrifying responses on MN, I once had to go to one of my line managers to ask why I was getting paid less than a male member of staff. The response? That I was being "deliberately antagonistic" and that I'd lose my job if I didn't drop it. angry

LastMangoInParis Tue 20-Nov-12 23:19:40

Reactions are always defensive - sometimes gaslighty 'stop imagining things', sometimes, 'arf... chill out, that was just banter'. But always defensive, as is to be expected when any sort of discrimination is pointed out.

What was your response to your line manager?

sausagerolemodel Tue 20-Nov-12 23:21:09

I was quite surprised at some responses I got on FB about the "drop the page 3 petition" aimed at The Sun. I consider FB a place for mates, not an open forum. I don't debate or antagonise on there and dont expect FB "friends" to have a go but two did. Both male. I only posted it to my timeline and invited those who wanted to to sign, I didn't invite argument.

I've been quite gobsmacked at the response to the petition from lots of people, or should I say men, who have quite vocally put this down and slagged it off.

The responses have been a mixture of "chill out" and "calm down" to "find a real problem to worry about," to one which I find actually more annoying, which has been some high profile male blogger/writers who decided that an intellectual take-down of the petition/petitioners was the way to go.

All of the ones who did this, did it at the same time as saying "of course I personally don't like page 3, but" which to my mind reads as "I'm not racist but..."

I didn't see any high profile women bloggers do this (even though there were some issues with the petition which could have been played differently). (Although it wouldn't surprise me if some LizJones-esque types did)

What gets me is ITS ALL MEN. All saying "calm down dear", as if its something that they have a right to decide upon. They don't. This affects me, my daughters, sisters, cousins, friends. How dare men tell me to calm down about it when they have no idea what its like to be a woman? It made me mad. You can probably tell. grin

I threatened to quit, and instead got moved into another store (ie. away from the bloke who got paid more) and into a job I'd been asking for. Looking back, I wish I'd dared fight it, but at the time I needed the job and was already worn down. sad

"find a real problem to worry about,"

Oh god yes. Or it's sister remark, "don't worry your pretty little head about it"


babylann Wed 21-Nov-12 10:58:47

"What are you, a lesbian?"

OneMoreChap Wed 21-Nov-12 12:23:33

I got frozen out when I pointed out to my manager that I was personally offended by 2 guys on the team who marked every female member of staff/visitor out of 10, and discussed how they'd like to do them.

They didn't say it in front of me any more, but I doubt it stopped. Oddly, a number of women in the office were much nicer to me afterwards

TheOriginalLadyFT Wed 21-Nov-12 16:06:31

A former boss of mine wrote on my appraisal that I had let caring for my son interfere with my performance at work. To my great shame, nothing could have been further from the truth, as I often sacrificed time with him to be a (very successful, and ground breaking) senior exec at the company. The reality was that he found me too successful, confident and independent minded, and was a dyed in the wool misogynist to boot.

I was utterly furious, and my response (after I had mentally smashed his face in with a shovel) was to request a meeting with him and the HR manager and tell them calmly that he had 24 hours to rewrite the appraisal or I would refer the matter to my solicitor. They did so promptly.

I then left the company three months later and went and made substantial profit revenues for another organisation which I later discovered was no better when it came to attitudes to women so I got real and set up my own business

FastidiaBlueberry Wed 21-Nov-12 20:28:46

Polite horrified silence.

I move in refayned circles doncha know.

HalloweenNameChange Wed 21-Nov-12 20:34:46

Re page three thing. I have been on the fb page arguing with all and sundry.. it really gets way more than its fair share of trolls.. and I just can't keep away.

One really important thing I keep repeating and no one has answered is would it be Ok to have a black man on page 3 in stereotypical dress with a blurb above his head laughing at the very fucking idea that he might have an opinion on current events. No one will answer me that.. It winds me up more than the tits to be honest. It's just so fucking patronizing.

Yes, I have noticed a lot of "well, this is worse" - about some entirely unrelated thing. So an objection to page three, met with "well, what's going on in Syria is really bad" - could someone more experienced give some comebacks?

FastidiaBlueberry Wed 21-Nov-12 20:58:10

Euphemism - I always say things like "do you tell people collecting for donkey sanctuaries that they should be sorting out Syria, or collecting for refugees that they should be concentrating on the rain forests? It's only women's rights that are supposed to go to the back of the queue, people accept that causes big and small can exist alongside each other and that there's room for both".

Not that it shuts 'em up, but hey, gotta try.

HalloweenNameChange Wed 21-Nov-12 21:04:26

My response, is "you are obviously right, best you get to worrying about Syria and stop wasting your time trying to derail me doing something good.

AnyFucker Wed 21-Nov-12 21:06:45

But women are abusive too

*Yes, I fucking know they can be, but I'm not talking about them"

BlingLoving Wed 21-Nov-12 21:14:19

I put something up on FB pointing out that I had not taken dh' name. Lots of "jokey" comments, all from men.

Thank you for these, I kind of look forward to using them. I have noticed things have been hotting up on Facebook on women's issues, I would say some less political friends appear to be more emboldened lately.

- and when people say "oh it's only a larf" etc etc, I tend to do the po faced "really, well, it's not hilarious..." but does anyone have anything better?

AnyFucker Wed 21-Nov-12 21:29:22

I tend to say "Jim Davidson has nothing to worry about then" if it's a sexist or racist "larf"

Ooh, I like it - and the possible variations; jim Davidson had better watch out, there's a new comedian in town etc etc...
Unfortunately, some people would regard that as a compliment. Sigh.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Wed 21-Nov-12 21:37:33

Have you seen the thread in AIBU where someone is complaining that Cinderella is not a good role model for the OP's DD? It's full of 'FFS', 'Haven't you got anything to worry about' and so on.

Yes yes, plus the classic, accusations of over thinking. That tends to be from other women.

-( fortunately that one is nicely countered with "no, you're under thinking")

AnyFucker Wed 21-Nov-12 21:47:35

"You're overthinking"

"No, you're undereducated"

RikersBeard Wed 21-Nov-12 21:48:58

making out I am just looking for something to make an issue out of really annoys me. Silly over-reacting woman that I am. This was the reaction I got when discussing kids tv with a couple of male colleagues over lunch. I said, in a non-ranty way, that the lack of good female characters in preschool tv bugged me. The response was that I was looking for problems that weren't there, there is no gender inequality these days but women are just looking for an excuse to have a moan (see the irony there?!)

sunny If I'd seen that thread I might have been tempted to start a thread influenced by it wink

I do hate the responses about needing more to worry about, there being worse things, or it's not a big deal. As if you are only allowed to care about a finite number of things. Who knew caring had been rationed?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 21-Nov-12 22:18:42

At the end of a cold call I had no intention of pursuing, and had said so, and been asked why, I said 'also, I do not buy anything from anyone who rings up hoping to talk to Mr Dp'sfirstname Dp'ssurname. Why on earth are you assuming that any woman who answers the phone must be the married wife of the man you want to speak to, and has taken his name and prefers to be called mrs?'

He absolutely didnt get it. 'it's just simpler',', 'it's logical to think its probably the partner' etc,... Yes you fool, I am his partner but I am not his wife and if I was I wouldn't be Mrs Hisname!

What I got in the end was 'I'm sorry if I've upset you' angry

MsGoldblum Thu 22-Nov-12 15:40:53

I was called 'sad and pathetic', again by Facebook friends (strange how it seems to exacerbate this kind of problem), when I pointed out that I didn't like women to be referred to as 'wenches' to be 'smashed' by men, referring to a comment on the Lad Bible page.
(I posted a thread here about it on Friday if anybody wants to share similar stories)

Oh god, I saw your thread, and was actually lost for words!

I see things like that and thank my lucky stars that I don't know anyone like that

slug Thu 22-Nov-12 16:14:25

I tend to get all analytical when I get the "worry about something important" comment

e.g. With respect to "Smash the wench" Just what does this phrase imply? Wench implies a wanton woman. What exactly is a 'wanton' woman? A woman who expresses her sexuality freely? Why then, is it such a pejorative term? What do men mean when they want to smash (a very violent term) a sexually free woman? Are they afraid of women who can pick and choose the men they sleep with? Are they afraid a woman like that wouldn't sleep with them so feel the need to imagine doing violence to them? What does this say about men who use this term? etc

Basically, you bring it all back to their fear of women then raise an eyebrow and wander off.

FastidiaBlueberry Thu 22-Nov-12 17:21:13

I like the sound of that...

babylann Thu 22-Nov-12 18:48:24

Yesterday my mum said, "women like you ruin things for women like me who want to stay home with the children instead of working, or like to have men hold doors open for us."

EduCated Thu 22-Nov-12 22:45:03

Just to add a positive one - I recently complained to Wagamama about staff handing to card machine to my DP instead of me when it was my card with sodding Miss EduCated on it and they wrote to me to thank me for letting them know and that they would remind all staff not to make assumptions around the bill smile

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Fri 23-Nov-12 08:45:10

I emailed Made.com about their use of naked women to demonstrate furniture. They didn't respond, but their models are now dressed at least.

Wow, EduCated and Sunny, you are setting a good example!

LastMangoInParis Fri 23-Nov-12 11:18:31

I think it's quite often the case that individuals and organisations do modify their behaviour (for the better) if it's pointed out that they've been discriminatory.
IME the immediate response after sexism is pointed out is defensive or dismissive (unless, as Wagamama probably do, they have skilled customer-facing staff who know better than piss off patrons even more and lose business), but thankfully, it's not unusual to find that the point you've made has been taken on board, and acted on, even if you're made to feel like a whinger at the time.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 23-Nov-12 11:42:42

you must be a lipstick lesbian
feminism has done more harm for women than good (this line sadly from other women and makes me sad and shake with rage)
you are too glamorous to be a feminist
women want it all now
what about the men its hard for them too
women are just as abusive as men - that line comes up again and again, read your stats you are providing in full and no one has said women are not abusive

RichardSimmonsTankTop Fri 23-Nov-12 15:22:30

"women want it all now"

Oh how dare we. hmm

Lottapianos Fri 23-Nov-12 15:33:35

'Just to add a positive one - I recently complained to Wagamama about staff handing to card machine to my DP instead of me when it was my card with sodding Miss EduCated on it and they wrote to me to thank me for letting them know and that they would remind all staff not to make assumptions around the bill '

Oh well done you for complaining! This drives me up the wall. I ask for the bill and they hand it to (male) DP! Then come with the card machine and hand it to DP! HELLLLOOOOO! Really glad you had a positive response smile Did you complain at the time or later in writing?

I get the rage when I read or hear comments like 'is that all you have to worry about?', 'there are much bigger issues'. It's so rude and dismissive. You hear it with the gay marriage debate too - 'I really think the government have bigger things to worry about, like the economy' Um excuse me, they are the government - can't they be expected to do a little bit of fecking multitasking?????? <sits down and takes deep breaths>

I wonder if it's because they don't understand the issue and are too embarassed to say smile

And anyone who ever says 'overthinking' should just write 'patronising twit' in indelible marker on their foreheads

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 23-Nov-12 18:28:21

Here's a handy article with the 5 most common bits of crap and how to respond.

V good. grin


Brilliant fastidia, I shall memorise it!

I never realised some people were at all concerned about the middle east until I started talking about feminism.

AnyFucker Fri 23-Nov-12 19:33:47

yes, v.good

AnnoyedAtWork Fri 23-Nov-12 19:38:40

Haven't read the whole thread but fuckin' well done Original

I work in v male dominated industry, basically it is shit, if you are a woman with kids you are a work shy nob

AnnoyedAtWork Fri 23-Nov-12 19:50:33

Thank you so much Blueberry for that link I have posted it on me Facebook and me twitter grin

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 23-Nov-12 20:16:37

Yes, me too, how concerned all the wotaboutthemenz are about the status of women in the Arab world, how earnestly and energetically they campaign for their liberation... oh, wait...

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 23-Nov-12 21:44:58

How about "Great! Which campaigning group against <"more important" issue> are you in? Happy to sign any petition you've got set up."

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