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So annoyed - sexism at work

(23 Posts)
UmYeahLikeTotally Mon 23-May-11 13:02:25

I'm so pissed off!!!

Two (male) colleagues come over and started chatting to the guy that sits next to me about a new (female) colleague. My neighbour started by saying that she seemed nice, well qualified etc. But rather than engaging with that and keeping the conversation professional, the others started talking about the way she looked and her assumed sexual prowess. angry

Comments included:

- she is quite "plump"
- Agreed, she is very "curvaceous" (sp?)
- I bet she is good in bed

There were more, but I couldn't hear very well as they lowered their voices. I heard the word "sexual" amongst the mumblings.

It's not the first time this sort of thing has happened. A few months ago, another new female colleague was about to start work and came for a tour of the office. When she has left there was loads of "phwoars" hmm etc, and I remember a couple of comments:

- She is MY new girl, nice isn't she?
- Aww, why do you get the nice looking one and I'm stuck with old .... downstairs?! <everyone laughs> (referencing older lady, late 50's)

Another time, I was questioned by the same moron colleague as above. The conversation went something like this:

Him - "Mrs UmYeah....oh, actually, are you a Mrs or a Miss?"
Me - "I'm a Ms"
Him - "So you aren't married then?"
Me - "Nope"
Him - "But you have a kid, right?"
Me - "Errr...yes" hmm
Him - "That would never happen in .....(country) where I'm from!"
Me - shock
Him - "How does that work then?"
Me - "What?"
Him - "You not being married and having a kid?"
Me - angry "Do you need me to explain the process to you?! <mumbles> I feel sorry for your wife......."

I'm so fucking sick of all the comments and judgements!!!! It makes me wonder what they say about me when I'm not here, and that's not a nice feeling.

I'm also quite annoyed and ashamed of myself that I didn't stand up and question them this morning when they were talking about that poor woman. It's just so fricking awkward when people are senior to you, and you know you will just get looked at like a stereotypical "hysterical feminist" if you say you are unhappy.

Grr!!

SybilBeddows Mon 23-May-11 14:16:36

grrrrr.
no advice, just grrrr.

blackcurrants Mon 23-May-11 14:26:43

I will double that grrr and add a "Raargh!"

Prolesworth Mon 23-May-11 14:30:51

Message withdrawn

cokefloat Mon 23-May-11 15:11:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 23-May-11 15:14:20

Complain to HR. Esp about personal comment about your marital status.

MadamDeathstare Mon 23-May-11 15:16:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MadamDeathstare Mon 23-May-11 15:17:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MadamDeathstare Mon 23-May-11 15:21:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dittany Mon 23-May-11 15:25:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hogsback Mon 23-May-11 15:27:31

Oh, don't get me started on the "how can you have a child if you aren't married!!!!????" thing. We have a load of guys over from an offshore systems integrator at the moment and asking impertinent personal questions and then commenting loudly on our lack of morals and how this would never happen where they are from is their speciality.

If only they were as good at doing a fucking SAP migration as they are at pronouncing on my immorality.

UmYeahLikeTotally Mon 23-May-11 15:29:16

Thanks for the offer Proles, I might take you up on that! grin

I think we need to invent some kind of bollock-grabber to use in these situations. I'm thinking along the lines of this?? <hmm>

Seriously though, it's infuriating and even more so because I feel powerless to do anything. I'm right at the bottom of the tree (I'm a PA), so whomever I challenge will always be superior to me.

I don't think HR would take it seriously, and tbh I feel a bit like I'm the one in the wrong for "overreacting" to the whole thing (even though my logical feminist brain tells me that is not the case!)

MadamDeathstare Mon 23-May-11 15:58:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BelleCurve Mon 23-May-11 20:47:17

I had a similar situation at work recently. The sales team (men) were discussing a colleague breast enlargement.

I am so past being scared of this type of behaviour that I just went and told them off. Having a toddler is good training for this type of thing grin

HeavyHeidi Tue 24-May-11 13:50:18

Oh I so would have explained the process, in detail, of having children as obviously, in "his country" they have no idea and think they appear as wedding presents or something.

Well, if we ever got that far, I probably would have told him to piss off mind his own business after the "not married, eh?" question and pointed out that this is the exact reason why I have chosen to use "Ms".

weiselburger Sat 28-May-11 17:03:30

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Prolesworth Sat 28-May-11 17:21:51

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celadon Sat 28-May-11 19:42:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UmYeahLikeTotally Sun 29-May-11 23:29:23

Thanks for the input weiselburger, I'll remember that for next time.

Amazing.

weiselburger Mon 30-May-11 18:22:36

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

AyeRobot Mon 30-May-11 18:28:53

Your boss sounds like an ornithologist.

Did he choose the men based on cock size? I suspect so...

TrillianAstra Mon 30-May-11 18:30:20

Grr

chocolatemarshmallow Thu 02-Jun-11 11:48:09

"Seriously though, it's infuriating and even more so because I feel powerless to do anything. I'm right at the bottom of the tree (I'm a PA), so whomever I challenge will always be superior to me.

I don't think HR would take it seriously, and tbh I feel a bit like I'm the one in the wrong for "overreacting" to the whole thing (even though my logical feminist brain tells me that is not the case!)"

UMLT, I TOTALLY understand the impulse - I worked as a PA myself and I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you don't have a leg to stand on but you ARE equal to these men in terms of your rights to a free, unbiased workplace environment in which you should never be made to feel uncomfortable because of this sexist bullsh*t - legally you have every leg to stand on and if HR don't take it seriously (another fear I can TOTALLY sympathise with) then it is again them that is in the wrong- this whole bloody 'overreacting' thing is such an annoying and cowardly defence used by people who don't want to face up to prejudice and hide behind the excuse that other women put up with it as a way to normalise and suggest you are somehow 'uptight' - but remember, you AREN'T, we are ALL behind you and this is totally unacceptable so go for it and make your point! HR should listen.

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