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AIBU?

AIBU to be sick of privileged, older white men - join my tiny rant!

430 replies

windygallows · 04/11/2018 10:29

Yup I'm probably unreasonable but I just want to put out there how sick I am of working with privileged, older white men - 40 plus and often 'posh'.

They dominate the upper echelons of the organization I work in as well as all the organizations I liaise with. Some are very good but many aren't due their seniority nor are they that smart - but they are well spoken and confident so whatever they say comes across as read. Their smuggery is driven by their high self regard and knowledge that they are 'where they belong'.

And despite their seniority they are often mollycoddled and supported by (usually female) PAs and completely enabled by wives at home who have been supporting them for 20+ years to the point that they take all the support for granted. They are so enabled that all they have to do is go to work and everything else is sorted for them - it's kind of a carefree oblivion they hold and thus they are completely oblivious to the challenges that others (e.g. women) face in their day to day lives.

I see this male privilege everywhere and everyday. In my boss who is completely self absorbed and with a family set up that enables and supports the fact that he is Number one. In other work scenarios, like when I was interviewed last week by a panel of important men + one woman from HR brought in to balance out the panel. I see 'important white men' driving fast in their cars, beeping up behind me in the fast lane as they need to go to their important meeting. Male privilege is everywhere and am sick of it.

From age 50 (my age) the number of women in the workforce starts to drop significantly and I'm wondering if it's because they're just sick of working with the men I describe!

I can't be the only person to feel this way. Please join me in this tiny rant!

OP posts:
1ndig0 · 05/11/2018 13:25

OP, my DH would probably drive you mad for all the reasons you’ve listed, but he’s not white, he’s Asian / Euro. He used to be an options trader where they were a very international (if fairly obnoxious) group. In the businesses he has now, I wouldn’t say being white is an advantage. Yet it is true that although he employs about 1000 people at all levels, of which half are women, he has never had any female directors. He says none apply or that women tend to want part-time work. Wonder why?

The flip-side is, the men are facilitated by SAHMs, but I would say the SAHMs are also facilitated by them so it’s generally a mutually-beneficial arrangement. I don’t think SAH wives are that naive, in the main. It just depends on your priorities really.

lisasimpsonssaxophone · 05/11/2018 13:37

Well it comes back to the fact that these companies were built by white men.

Exactly! So you can understand why it’s so frustrating for those of us who aren’t middle/upper class white men. The posh straight white men of today have nothing to do with the successes of the past but they continue to be over represented because we have all come to see them as the ‘default’ for such positions. You hear it all the time when someone outside of that mould is considered for a position of power: he or she just isn’t the ‘right fit’ or something equally vague. People talk a good talk about diversity etc but what they really mean is ‘as long as nothing changes for me’.

Unfortunately starting my own company is not an option in my industry, and I also don’t see why women should have to start all over again from scratch just to avoid men having to make space for others in their circles.

cheminotte · 05/11/2018 14:11

Totally agree with you OP.
There are an increasing number of senior females in my organisation but they are either childless or have stopped at one. Some are still in their late 20s / early 30s so it will be interesting to see if they have kids what happens then.
So many organisations focus on the recruitment and not enough on the retention.

dorisdog · 05/11/2018 17:40

Yep, completely agree. Happens where I work too. This isn't a dig at those men, either, actually. They're often used to getting heard more and receiving respect regardless of their competence.

You can be part of the change though...start noticing when you're reinforcing these sexist situations too! I make sure that I give the women and non white people in meetings proper attention and listen to and respect what they say. Repeating and reinforcing their ideas, etc. In fact one of the male managers I used to work with would deliberately make the tea for everyone in meetings to help 'disrupt' the sexism that runs as subtle undercurrent through a lot of meetings we had.

You have a lot of fun with 'gender flipping' and disrupting sexist norms in workplaces :-)

SeeTwoTo · 05/11/2018 17:52

I’m going to stop washing the tea-towels...I know, I know.

questabellatreetop · 05/11/2018 18:00

Unfortunately you've just described my husband, people 'enable him' to carry on as the epitome of your description in most areas of his life. Unfortunately he married the wrong woman and I most certainly am not the enabler of white upper middle class men!

My husband is a lot older than me, I'm not sure men my age (early thirties) are quite so bad. Although, I'm sure someone will be along in a moment to disagree....

Nearly47 · 05/11/2018 18:11

Not just old white men. Some young white men too. Over confidence will argue their point with the woman expert in front of them with no base whatsoever and the boss that also knows nothing will nod and agree.... Makes me want scream. Fed up of having to prove I am right, as if explaining to children so not hurt their fragile little egos

SamFoxBigTits · 05/11/2018 18:19

Completely agree OP
I have experienced (and still experiencing) this over my 25 yr career.
I recently sat and listened to a panel of the most senior leaders in my organisation discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in front of the whole UK team (this is one of the worlds biggest companies)
Every single one of them was white and middle aged. The irony completely went over their heads!
I also worked side by side with a white middle aged male (less experienced than myself) who was given a exceptional mid year pay rise because he was the father of 3 kids and his wife didn’t work so he needed a higher salary.

Kewcumber · 05/11/2018 18:20

Someone wiser than I once said - I'll know when there's true equally when you get mediocre women at the top.

Suggs44 · 05/11/2018 18:38

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

windygallows · 05/11/2018 18:46

I also wanted to echo what others have said about the importance of class, which I should have put in my original post. It's so important and not only breeds entitlement but there just seems to be a natural tendency to lean towards those who are mc/upper class.

Also, If private education does one thing, it makes people speak well - even if they aren't bright, they will sound like they are.

Given that our primary way of assessing people - F2F interviews - are all about the candidate's ability to talk about their work/how great they are, rather than demonstrate that they can do the job, it's no surprise that the smooth talkers come out on top. I really think that the process of recruiting through verbal interviews really needs to change.

However that might be a moot point because posh smooth talkers are able to get on at work by winning over the Board with their accent and elocution, even if what they're saying is complete pants.

OP posts:
Willofthesimpletons · 05/11/2018 18:47

I've fallen into the trap of being a facilitator for my husband and tbh, I'm really quite resentful. He can go to work and stay until any hour he feels without ever worrying about the kids or being fed. He can go to a conference and not have to arrange childcare. He gets his brain challenged every day and I'm stuck at home. I can't go back to my previous career at the same level because I'm now too old and out of touch and who would carry the mental load and the children's needs. Still me. I could scream. Everything is set up for men.

windygallows · 05/11/2018 18:47

Unbelieve Suggs. Am reporting you now!

OP posts:
Earthakitty · 05/11/2018 18:47

I think your post is disgraceful.
You sound like a misandrist....and what's wrong with being white and male ?
You need to have a long hard word with yourself.

windygallows · 05/11/2018 18:49

I think your post is disgraceful.
You sound like a misandrist....and what's wrong with being white and male ?
You need to have a long hard word with yourself.


Haha! Time to get 'woke', Earthakitty.

OP posts:
46LivinglifeintheFastLane46 · 05/11/2018 18:50

Bore off with your 'privileged white men' attitude!
Most of them have likely worked their way up from the bottom and you see it as privilege 😂
Maybe try working harder and you can be privileged to

windygallows · 05/11/2018 19:00

Ugh, this is what happens when the post appears on the MN Daily list of highlighted posts --- all the trolls click on the post to yell at us women about hating men.

OP posts:
TAMS71 · 05/11/2018 19:03

Here here OP!

SuzieCath · 05/11/2018 19:06

Strongly agree. Unfortunately white men rule this world.

RomanyRoots · 05/11/2018 19:07

So stupid question, but all those who have facilitated their husbands, why?
I can see if it's something you really want to do, but why do it and become bitter?
There's nothing stopping women from doing this, but obviously they are choosing not to.
Maybe this is what needs to change, women find yourselves a sahd, the men seem to manage it ok.

PanGalaticGargleBlaster · 05/11/2018 19:14

Maybe this is what needs to change, women find yourselves a sahd

“What I am really looking for is a not terribly ambitious man who just wants to be a stay at home dad while I work full time and finance the whole set up”

Said no woman ever.

RomanyRoots · 05/11/2018 19:16

No, but men seem to find partners to do this and reach the top. You can't have it all ways.

Singlenotsingle · 05/11/2018 19:16

Yes but if a woman finds a sahd so that she can go and earn the money and let him care for the DC, she then gets resentful because he isn't out earning! She doesn't like to think that she's keeping him, funding his lifestyle while he's at home with his feet up, going to the gym and picking the DC up from school!

RomanyRoots · 05/11/2018 19:20

If women finally realised that they can't have it all, not that having it all is desirable to everyone, they may think of themselves as equal to men and make different choices.
Too many times I hear women say their career took a back seat because their dh could earn more. There's nothing wrong with both working pt and treating the careers/jobs as equal.
Discussing finances and career should be the first discussion when choosing whether to ttc.

SamFoxBigTits · 05/11/2018 19:35

I strongly recommend reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book ‘Lean In’
It’s not about women needing to work harder and not are we imagining it.
Tonnes of research cited and a very sobering read all round.

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