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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:

Dontfeellikeaskeleton · 04/11/2018 12:23

The point of a PA is to enable their boss, so that point is moot.

I totally agree OP. So sick of seeing only men get to the top. We need more woman who get to the top, hopefully the next generation.


workshyfop · 04/11/2018 12:23

rampantbull thank-you for perfectly illustrating the problem. Those with privelege rarely recognise their privelege. They firmly believe that they are just better.


BigChocFrenzy · 04/11/2018 12:23

Is this tongue in cheek ? 🤔

" I also have a PA. She's a good girl bless her."
Is she really a teen ?

"Women make much better assistants, I wouldn't dream of hiring a fellow man for that role"
You feel man shouldn't be assistants, but make better bosses ?


gendercritter · 04/11/2018 12:23

I reckon the problem here is that some women can't accept that men just may be better at the required job. It's as simple as that. No need to dress it up as sexism or anything like that.

I don't have an issue with saying that certain jobs women are better at. A PA for instance. Women make much better assistants, I wouldn't dream of hiring a fellow man for that role.

Ok now you're just trolling. 2/10 for the effort.


lisasimpsonssaxophone · 04/11/2018 12:25

She’s a good girl bless her

Hahahaaaaa. Jog on.


Cressida89 · 04/11/2018 12:25

Of course OP is right. I fully agree. Can't be arsed to read through all the comments from people falling ourselves to deny the obvious, endemic sexism of our culture.


yippeekiyay2 · 04/11/2018 12:27

I agree this is still a problem and I think it is a step beyond just women in general now to women with caring responsibilities (usually children of course). Where I work are very keen to point out that for management positions they do not follow the trend for the gender pay gap BUT I can only think of one of those women who has children and they are in their teens now. I must admit to feeling some resentment that I M unable to progress career wise because I simply don’t have the time to dedicate to it and the flexibility with work and that’s even with a husband who does share responsibilities because we have one child with a disability and one v young. Just as an example in recent years I lost out in a job within the company that I was asked to train for because I had been on maternity leave prior to it starting and decided not to apply for an internal management programme because I knew I would not be able to dedicate the time to it. I am earning pretty much the same now as when I graduated 15 years ago and I can categorically say it’s because I had children Sad


TSSDNCOP · 04/11/2018 12:28

Haha Bull; you’re over-egging it now.


gendercritter · 04/11/2018 12:29

I see it in my parents' retired friends too op. The women are still running themselves ragged cooking and cleaning and looking after the grandchildren (having already looked after ageing parents) whilst the men take up voluntary positions with charities which at best lead to them getting an honour or eventually an obituary in the Times. Or even at a much smaller level they are on the pcc of their local church and make important decisions while their wives do the church cleaning.

You can't unsee this stuff. Women are still very second class. I get angrier the older I get.


gallicghoul · 04/11/2018 12:29

Rampantbull, why do you think that men are better at their job in these circumstances?
inherent skill and talent?

Or maybe they've had the advantages of being white males all their lives. Encouraged at school, supported at university, wife at home to do the housework while he studies for professional exams, takes on childcare duties so the man can work longer hours at the office, go on training days and networking events.

Yes, the man might simply be better at his job but was it a level playing field in the first place?


Chocolate1984 · 04/11/2018 12:31

I work in a retail buying department and see this all the time. Despite woman making up the majority of any business I have worked in men always dominate the top and they are held up by very capable women. Buyers and merchandisers who take on extra responsibility because their Male manager/director just doesn’t cut it.


GalateaDunkel · 04/11/2018 12:33

The thing is that white men built the country, all the institutions and infrastructure in it. So it's not surprising they occupy most positions of power. Men enable womens life really, by providing electricity, transportation, heating, sanitation, housing etc etc. What would you make of a man saying I'm sick of these whiny bitches who just expect everything around them to work the way they want it with no appreciation of how it happens ? All of these things could be said of many men as well.

No one would think of going to e.g. Indonesia and asking why the white population there doesn't have more power.

White men have actually been quite good at giving up or sharing power in the country they built. Things are changing all be it there is a bit of a backlash with the orange clown in the Whitehouse.


Ta1kinpeece · 04/11/2018 12:33

Totally agree with the OP

When 40 year old men are routinely asked about their childcare arrangements before being offered a job THEN we will be getting somewhere

until then .....


BakedBeans47 · 04/11/2018 12:33


Not read the whole thread but there was an excellent thread some months ago on the feminism board about men whose lives are facilitated by women, may be worth searching for.


Dontfeellikeaskeleton · 04/11/2018 12:33

That’s the thing, we know women are intelligent, organised, can multitask, have stamina etc but it seems to be arrogance that wins out.


YES. We need more arrogant women. But it's ingrained at an early age to be docile, coquetteish and to please men. This needs to change.


SeeTwoTo · 04/11/2018 12:33

Is anyone on Twitter? Fancy sharing this thread with Tatty Devine?


corythatwas · 04/11/2018 12:34

I work in academe and it's only recently that there hasn't been an automatic assumption that the junior female academic, not the junior male, will do the mother-of-the-family duties like setting up the meeting, photocopying the handouts, taking the minutes. This may seem innocuous enough, but what it means is that the junior male academic is free to contribute to the discussion and be seen demonstrating his suitability for promotion, while his female counterpart is kept busy writing down the contributions of other people. Any male academic who has been there for more than 3 or 4 years has definitely benefitted from this system.

I remember 2 academics who arrived at the same department at the same time with very much the same qualifications. Both do very interesting research, both are excellent teachers and very good administrators. Now guess which one of them was detailed off to do pastoral/student-related work of a kind that does not lead to promotion? Who was turned down for promotion because the more "nurturing" aspect of their role was not valued as highly? And guess who was given more "masculine" tasks? Whose role (though actually involving very similar skills) was interpreted as showing leadership in a way his colleague's role was not? Guess who is now in a senior role?

Now this is not the fault of the bloke who got his path smoothed all along. He is lovely and deserves to be where he is. But he knows, and we know, that this was never an even playing field.

I also had a conversation recently with colleagues about a more senior manager. It is generally acknowledged that this person has no interpersonal skills at all though these form a major part of his role. But my colleague insisted that he is an excellent choice because when interpersonal skills are needed they just send his junior female colleague in to do that part of the job for him. So here we have a man who is paid handsomely and given high status for a job he is only partly able to perform because there is a female in the background doing part of his job unrecognised. CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT WOULD EVER HAPPEN WITH A WOMAN. Oh yes. Caroline is completely unable to do half her job, but that's not a problem because we just send John in instead- no of course we're not going to promote John to Caroline's position or pay him extra, what do you think?


StrangeLookingParasite · 04/11/2018 12:34

So, rampantbull (how can you use that nick with a straight face, it's cringeworthy), are you married? Do you have children? Do a lot of childcare? Know who their doctor is, how they're doint at school?


ZackPizzazz · 04/11/2018 12:34

You are not at all wrong OP. I used to do in-depth executive assessment and the number of white men who were actually thoroughly mediocre and had their senior jobs basically because they knew the right people and their faces fitted was dismaying. The senior women and BME men I assessed, however, were uniformly sharp as tacks, because they'd have been taken apart at the first slip were they not. They were also frequently better than some of the white men above them.

There is also a big old body of research conclusively demonstrating the pervasive effect of this gender and racial bias at work, beeteedubs, so no, it's not a "you just don't work hard enough" thing.


StrangeLookingParasite · 04/11/2018 12:37

Women make much better assistants, I wouldn't dream of hiring a fellow man for that role.

And why do you think that is?


MarklahMarklah · 04/11/2018 12:37

I have been clearing out the possessions of a relative of mine in advance of selling their house. Among them I found a letter that the wife had written to the husband in the 1980s when she had a hysterectomy. Both of them worked f/t at the time. The letter was basically saying that she hoped that he'd be alright whilst she was in hospital, and that her mother would cook for him - he had to go round at a certain time each day. She would catch up with the washing when she got back but if something was urgent, she was sure her mum would manage. Hopefully he'd be alright to get breakfast ready and she was sorry that he was going to have to have a difficult time...


cucumbergin · 04/11/2018 12:39

Do people really not have any idea about personal lives of those one or two levels up from them? I know who has kids and a SAHP among my peers and among the next level up of management, because we talk. I have no idea about the board's personal lives though because I don't meet them. I'm no gossip hound, I just make polite conversation while waiting for a meeting - kids etc is just something people tend to mention? Maybe I've just happened to work in chatty environments.


Seadragonusgiganticusmaximus · 04/11/2018 12:41


VioletCharlotte · 04/11/2018 12:41

I completely agree OP. I work in the public sector, which likes to think it's very inclusive and diverse, but in reality the people who have the final say are white, middle aged men. Last week I was ready to quit after a number of run-ins with men I senior positions. However I think I'm the private sector it's probably even worse. I have a few friends who are medical secretaries to male consultants. Some of the things they've told me are outrageous!


BakedBeans47 · 04/11/2018 12:42

Yes seadragon thanks - hadn’t realised it was a year ago though!

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