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Male treatment towards me at work. Anyone else?

(19 Posts)
User163639 Mon 14-Sep-20 21:16:18

I’m mid thirties, I have worked in an office since I was 26. Quite literally, with each new male supervisor/team I have worked in, I have had some sort of questionable conduct from them.

I won’t list them all but the latest is a male supervisor whose team I have moved to since lockdown as there is more work in his department. This has ALL been done remotely and so we have only spoken via the phone, video call and on the work messenger facility - all of which is used regularly for work reasons across the company.

I work in a profession that is male dominated at the top - though this is slowly changing. I am no oil painting, I don’t believe I give the impression I want this sort of behaviour but the latest message to my work mobile tonight (following me being off this afternoon due to a migraine) has been; ‘hi, how’s your head? Hope you are tucked up in bed ms user.’

Earlier in the day we had discussed meeting for coffee with clients in a couple of weeks, to which he then said perhaps we should stay over? I don’t believe this was said innocently as there is no reason for us to!

This has been a theme throughout my career. I’ve had men suggest things, be overtly sexual around me, make a move at events, list goes on. I am often told by male and females that I am flirty with people...I don’t see this, I enjoy banter at work and generally have a high threshold for offence, so I wonder if I give the impression that I am ok with these things? I don’t see why being friendly and smiley is an invitation to inappropriate behaviour, though.

Has anyone else experienced this? I really dislike it and can’t believe that it has continued into my thirties, it is insulting and makes me feel like women are seen as men’s playthings. I’m almost certain this new supervisor wouldn’t have messaged a male member of staff about their headache!

OP’s posts: |
Bunnymumy Mon 14-Sep-20 21:21:27

Oli would just reply 'I'm curious, if I was a man would you have messaged me about my headache? Yeah, thought not'. And dont be slow to say 'don't be vulgar' or 'dont speak to me like that's in future. It'll take practice as we as women often have it ingrained in us to be accommodating. But practice makes perfect.

trinity0097 Mon 14-Sep-20 21:22:50

The comment about being tucked up in bed sounds like something I would say to a colleague who had been suffering with a migraine. I am a woman but would say something like that to male and female staff who contact me about illness. I often have to tell one guy to go back to bed and stop trying to soldier on when ill.

username501 Mon 14-Sep-20 21:23:25

If others have given you feedback that you can be flirty and you say you have a high tolerance and enjoy bantz, then some men seem to be acknowledging this. I would completely shut it all down. Just act in a polite and professional manner and do what you're being paid to do, your job.

User163639 Mon 14-Sep-20 21:25:15

That’s my personality wherever I am, work or otherwise. I find it a little rude to suggest that because I am chatty and friendly that that’s an invitation to speak to me that way.

Lots of men are chatty in the office and I wouldn’t think I was entitled to message them or invite them to stay in a hotel on the back of it!

OP’s posts: |
roarfeckingroarr Mon 14-Sep-20 21:26:02

Hmm I might say something like that to a colleague - male or female. I agree it's unlikely that he would have said it to a man.

Delbelleber Mon 14-Sep-20 21:26:29

There was another thread recently where this seemingly normal woman kept finding her friends husbands hitting on her was a theme.

pignoramus Mon 14-Sep-20 21:28:09

I honestly wouldn't think there was anything untoward with those comments to be honest

username501 Mon 14-Sep-20 21:29:32

You're asking why it's happening. I've never met you OP, I'm just going on what you said in your original thread:

with each new male supervisor/team I have worked in, I have had some sort of questionable conduct from them.

This has been a theme throughout my career.

I am OFTEN told by male and females that I am flirty with people

I enjoy banter at work and generally have a high threshold for offence

User163639 Mon 14-Sep-20 21:35:00

Yes fair enough I guess! It’s just frustrating I have to shut down part of my personality to ward off inappropriate comments.

FWIW I do think suggesting staying over when it’s not needed is entirely inappropriate and certainly wouldn’t be said to a male colleague.

OP’s posts: |
maisythehorse Mon 14-Sep-20 21:37:19

i'm a fairly quiet woman and I still get quite alot of sexual banter so I guess being extrovert or more outgoing would draw even more attention. Quite honestly I don't mind, I have a laugh back but they know we are not interested in each other, I make it clear i'm attached or dating, if I got a message then I would only respond in a professional way not to lead it into anything further.

username501 Mon 14-Sep-20 21:37:38

So do I and I sympathise with you. They're probably all married sleazes as well but some people will take bantz as a come on, so I would just reign it in a bit. I'm sure you're lovely, but if you're want this to stop then just be polite and professional.

Moondust001 Mon 14-Sep-20 21:45:41

I think if you are flirty and part of the banter (which honestly, I don't think is appropriate office conduct, but that's maybe just me) then it is really hard to judge the men when they also act flirty and indulge in banter. If you don't want them doing it, then sorry - you have to also act more appropriately. You can't have it both ways.

I also work in a mostly male environment, and hand on heart I can honestly say that I have never experienced any of these things. That isn't to say that I don't know that they have sometimes happened to other people, or that such things go on. But not with me. Although that's probably because - my friends tell me - most of them are scared to death of me smile

CoopsMalloops Mon 14-Sep-20 21:52:13

Yes I’ve had this for most of my career. I have a high threshold for banter but sometimes it is just exhausting.
My ex boss came on to me a good few times, very awkward.
It’s a shame you can’t be friendly they always think you’re up for it. 😴

Dobbyhasnomaster Mon 14-Sep-20 22:07:55

This x 1000. Drives me mad that if you’re a female in a male dominated work place and want to join in the banter, you will be a) accused of being a flirt / etc and b) there is always the odd total weirdo that oversteps.

madcatladyforever Mon 14-Sep-20 22:16:39

When I was young yes all of the time.
I'm 60 now and have that don't fuck with me look so people generally don't take the piss.

MadamBatty Tue 15-Sep-20 04:58:10

As madcatladyforever said give it a few years. You’ll become invisible.

ukgift2016 Tue 15-Sep-20 05:09:05

No, I don't think it's normal for every male supervisor/team you worked on to have hit on you/make sexually suggestive comments.

You say others have remarked on your flirty behaviour. Yes, it's not fair but tone it down. I am sure your see a stark difference if you put barriers up with your male colleagues.

PaterPower Tue 15-Sep-20 09:08:54

I wouldn’t take the tucked up in bed comment as flirting, although I can see how it could be. If he was genuinely being solicitous then “hope you’re resting” would have been safer / more neutral.

As for the hotel, do you KNOW he doesn’t suggest this with male colleagues? Half the Sales teams I’ve worked alongside in the past would look for any excuse to get a night away from the family, a few drinks and an expensive meal on the company’s tab.

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