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My husband is acting like I am making a fuss about nothing over the way he talks to women.

(86 Posts)
ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 29-Jul-13 09:20:01

I could do with some thoughts.

In the course of his business, he spends a lot of time skyping with people. I bring myself up to speed by reading back through the conversations (this is nothing unusual or covert!, they are business related and I need to know)

I am actually outraged to read him saying things like 'hello young girl, have you read X yet', or 'I know you're a busy young girl', or 'what do you think of x, young girl'.

It is wholly inappropriate and, frankly, makes him sound like a creepy old man.

he maintains that they are quite happy to be talked with like that hmm

I maintain it's unprofessional and patronising, over familiar and flirtatious and that it is an inappropriate way to talk.

And I've yet to read anything along the lines of 'hi there young boy, do you have that report yet...' No, that would be 'hi Bob, have you got that report yet...'

He thinks I am jealous hmm. I am not. I am annoyed that women are being talked down to like this.

Or am I over reacting?

His genuinely baffled and slightly amused reaction has pissed me right off.

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 21:31:24

I hope so too, because it has obviously rattled you. He should get it, as you have made it perfectly clear. Whether he really understands though may be something his individual make-up will never allow to happen.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 31-Jul-13 21:24:11

I don't know, AF. I don't know whether it was for him, or whether it wasn't but his assumption was that I thought it was.

His first thought was to assume that I was jealous because I was cross about how he was talking with women (or even THAT he was hmm ). I think that he at first would not hear anything beyond 'I read your messages with these women'. He decided what it was I was saying without listening to what I was actually saying.

I don't know whether he was being patronising (because he can also be that to younger people - he is nearly 50 for whoever asked, so not that old) or whether he was being flirty. Or whether he thought he was being friendly and informal. [boggle]

But I don't even care what was going through his mind, I just care that he never again is so disrespectful to these women. I feel dreadful to think how they must have felt to read that, it's so belittling. Can you imagine? Settling down at your desk and reading that? I hope that they called over their colleagues and had a good laugh at him and that they weren't angered or upset.

Anyway, like I say, I hope he gets it now.

now I have made it clear and we will see. If he never does it again, then we will assume it was a lost in translation or a misjudgement. If he continues to talk down to women, then, well, god knows. Let's hope he doesn't.

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 21:08:39

I think he just did that "when someone tells you who they are, listen" thing, Hec sad

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 21:07:56

So it is a sexual connotation for him then ?

His first thought was that you objected on a sexual jealousy level ?

Really ?

My benefit of the doubt is slipping fast hmm

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 31-Jul-13 20:05:12


But - I hope - I have put a stop to it and I sincerely hope that neither they nor any other woman will have to experience being treated like that at the hands of MY husband at least!

I think he was surprised at how angry I was.

He couldn't understand that I wasn't angry because of jealousy hmm He started off my saying that he didn't have any intentions etc etc hmm

It took ages to get it through to him that I wasn't jealous, I was furious with him that he had demeaned these women who deserve his respect and professional courtesy.

He thought I was mad because I thought he wanted to shag them hmm

He couldn't get it that I was furious with him on their behalf!

Well, he gets it now.

Caster8 Wed 31-Jul-13 19:48:58

Now seen this thread. So perhaps my point is no longer relevant.

But do these women take it on the chin becuase they want your business? And probably would tell him off about it if it was him that was buying something from them?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 31-Jul-13 19:31:02

Yes, sorry, am fine. This dropped down my list and I didn't realise I was still getting replies blush

Kasey, I am sorry you were subjected to that. I hope that when you told him he was really apologetic!

TheDoctrineOfAllan Wed 31-Jul-13 18:02:21

If he'd said over and over to a male subordinate "I like how white your teeth look against your dark skin" or something then would you think that guy was a muggins?

TheDoctrineOfAllan Wed 31-Jul-13 17:25:33

Kasey, don't feel a muffins - he must have known that was inappropriate, it wasn't your responsibility to tell him.

leastsaidsoonestmended Wed 31-Jul-13 15:29:04

Tis a clip of the Harry Enfield 'Young Man' sketch btw.

leastsaidsoonestmended Wed 31-Jul-13 15:15:04

Showing him this clip might make him realise how inappropriate it is.

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 15:05:29

That was on the wrong thread, but still stands actually smile

AnyFucker Wed 31-Jul-13 15:04:42

Op, you havent been on for a while

Are you ok ?

KaseyM Wed 31-Jul-13 14:50:04

I know! I feel a right muggins when I think of it....

TheDoctrineOfAllan Wed 31-Jul-13 14:46:57

Yikes Kasey sad

KaseyM Wed 31-Jul-13 14:43:39

What he said about them liking it may also be wrong. I've been called things like that before and haven't called it out for fear of being seen as rude or pushy.

I remember it took me years to finally get up the courage and tell my (married!) colleague that I didn't like it when he kept referring to how luscious my bum was!!

He used to send me such messages on a regular basis and I would be anxiously internally debating "shall I tell him? Shall I not? He's such a nice person, I don't want to hurt his feelings!"

It's pathetic how we're brought up to avoid conflict at all costs, or looking like we're being a pushy feminist crying "harrassment" at the drop of a hat.

So, when your DH says the women like it/ don't mind it, he really has no idea if this is true of not.

maja00 Tue 30-Jul-13 19:57:48

The only man I accept being called "girl" by is my 90 year old grandfather - and that's only because he has too many grandchildren to remember everyone's names hmm

I'd be really irritated about it in a work context.

specialsubject Tue 30-Jul-13 19:49:04

clueless and patronising.

I had someone do this to me around my fortieth birthday. I politely told him that it was not appropriate, he said 'fair enough' and has hopefully stopped!

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 30-Jul-13 18:21:04

Hec I think it might have been you who (aaages ago) contributed to a thread I started about my brother who I thought may be on the Aspergers spectrum. Your life sounds so very like his - he has to learn everything, like it's a foreign language. Ironically he is amazingly good at actual foreign languages - social interaction, not so much although he is getting better and better (and happier) all the time.

You are splendid and not being "a natural" at social stuff doesn't make you any less excellent. You give great advice and are hilarious, and I bet your friends/family get to see the great side of you in person as well.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 18:16:30

Erk @ Roman Polanski

Hugh Hefner would be another one that came to mind. Or Benny Hill. You get the picture...

Hec, you type how you feel so evocatively. You should write about this. I have gained a lot of understanding after reading just that one post.

I used to mentor a young woman who was struggling in her (our) chosen career that involves a shedload of face-to-face, frontline contact with people in a variety of situations, some of them very difficult. I remember her saying how she felt that everyone else (but her) "had already read the book", "knew the script" and that she was "like a bystander to her own life, dissociated from it somehow". It was years ago, but it really stuck with me. I asked her (gently) why she chose a profession that forced her to deal with that all day, every day and she said that she thought it was something she could learn but was slowly realising it actually wasn't.

Oh, I feel very melancholy now sad

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 30-Jul-13 18:05:11

Ooh good on you Hec smile

Sorry this is a bit grim but the only other person I've heard of using the phrase "young girls" was, er, Roman Polanski. It sounds a bit pervy tbh. Thankfully nowadays most of us are used to being treated as people in day to day life that it really jars when someone irrelevantly refers to our sex/age in day to day life. As if every time he thinks of "Barbara" he's not thinking what a useful and effective person she is, but of her physical attributes - slight thigh-rubbing connotations.

How old is he, out of interest? I've noticed my dad, in the last decade or so, having an almost Father Ted-like "lovely girls" way of talking about young women sometimes. I think he feels he's so ancient (he isn't, really) that he's not a "threat" and can be avuncular in this sort of detached way. I have impressed upon him numerous times that you're never too old to be considered a creep.

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 30-Jul-13 10:57:08

I bloody luffs you woman!

MadonnaKebab Tue 30-Jul-13 09:45:50

Maybe you should quit playing by the rules and unleash the real Hec
I think you'd be sensational!

Anyway, glad he's seen sense at last

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 30-Jul-13 09:25:59

(scroll down to bottom if you don't want to trawl though my over sharing to find out what I've done about his insulting turn of phrase)

I find face to face social stuff very troublesome. On here I am awesome wink cos me comes through my fingers in a way I just can't master verbally.

You'd have to spend time with me in order to know what I mean grin. Or if you didn't notice (because I prepare for you coming by coming up with lots of things I can say, and I act the part as best I can), then listen through the door after you've gone while I plague the life out of my husband disecting every moment wink

At this point I am so full of anxiety about it, just waiting to screw up that it has probably become a self fulfilling prophecy.

That's why I love it on here. I don't have to look at you. Which is a massive problem for me. I can walk away any time I like. I have only those conversations I want, for as long as I want and when I want to walk away - I do. This is who I am when I don't have to worry about looking at you, about whether it's my turn to talk, about keeping conversation flowing, about any of that stuff! It's why I come across as I do on here. Because it's me without all the stuff that I find so hard.

Has anyone other than him told me that I am socially akward?

No. It's never been put like that. grin My children's home visiting teacher was the first one who advised me to get assessed for ASD (my children both have autism) and that was over 10 years ago. Their paed discussed the same thing. My own gp. etc. It's on my notes. (which you could use to beat a whale to death!)

It is very difficult to describe exactly what I am like without sounding like a fruitcake and/or the most arrogant person on the planet! But here goes - I feel like I stand slightly to the side of the human race in my little white lab coat and I watch you. I understand exactly why people do the things they do, because it's so obvious. It is just stupid. (I mean that in a nice way grin ) It isn't logical and it's weird. When I was a kid, I used to say that I felt like I was surrounded by cardboard cut outs. I still do. I also feel like I am a mask I wear. cos I fake my every interaction in order to play by the rules. I analyse everything to death and understand it and act it but never feel part of it. It never feels real.

But, you're not my therapists grin and this was about him and his patronising way of talking to women.

Anyway, we had a long chat about it and he has said that he will not do it again.

I will be keeping an eye!

TheDoctrineOfAllan Tue 30-Jul-13 08:11:39

Can you get him to ask a woman he knows in a professional context, maybe someone he used to work with?

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