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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:

Hollycatberry · 04/11/2018 12:48

After the gender pay gap data came out my company created a diversity team. And appointed a middle class white man to lead it. I fucking despair.

Haha mine did the same. And it’s resulted in no changes or progress. They only did it because of the pay gap report, otherwise they wouldn’t have bothered. There’s a click set of males in their 40s and 50s in middle management. My boss is one of them. He’s critical of the few female execs much more than his male counterparts.
He also said he wouldn’t employ a part time female as working for him is a full time role. How is a female meant to progress when up against that attitude?
Oh and his wife is a sahm. All these men are the same and that’s why there is a problem.


IwantedtobeEmmaPeel · 04/11/2018 12:49

I am a bit older than you Op and I definitely recognise all that you talk about. I have hope that things are and will continue to change and things are definitely better than they were in the seventies when I first entered the workplace, but we still have a long way to go. The entitlement of mediocre males is hard to stomach.


GalateaDunkel · 04/11/2018 12:51

White men built this country and everything in it. They are slowly giving it up and have done to quite an extent, give it a couple of generations.

Who knows, we might even see women digging up the roads too.


pyramidbutterflyfish · 04/11/2018 12:51

I have mixed feelings about this thread. I’d like to wholeheartedly agree, BUT:

In my industry, everyone gets a (shared) PA when they qualify - this is gender neutral and the fact that PAs tend to be female is a separate issue.

In our family we pay through the nose to have totally flexible childcare and do our best to maximum time with the kids around both of our work commitments.

There is a huge amount of sexism at work. However, if you work in a high paying industry and want to get senior complaining that male execs are “enabled” by their PAs makes you sound stupid... that’s their whole point.

And its not the organisation’s job to cater for your family arrangements; get a nanny, get a cleaner. (I fully admit this only applies if you are paid well enough, but it sounds like the OP is).


cucumbergin · 04/11/2018 12:55

pyramid Isn't the issue that those senior enough to have PAs are forgetting how much work those PAs take off their plate, in part because they are so used to the same setup at home?


Ta1kinpeece · 04/11/2018 12:57

And its not the organisation’s job to cater for your family arrangements; get a nanny, get a cleaner.
It is her husband's job
to find a cleaner
interview the nanny
buy the PE kit - and pack it on the right day
check the book bag for flu jab letters
remember the name of the swimming teacher

until rich MEN take responsibility for their offspring it will NEVER change.


rampantbull · 04/11/2018 12:57

This reply has been deleted

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

Neshoma · 04/11/2018 12:58

Yes there is bitterness on this thread. An awful lot of moaning and blaming other people.

Women do themselves no favours if MN is anything to go by. I know this is quite legal but going for jobs when you are 12 weeks pregnant and not telling your new employer isn't a good start. Doing 3 months work and then going off for a year. Going part time on return. Having time off for appointments, school plays, sick days. Then getting pregnant again (rinse repeat).

It's hard work on the woman having a family and a job and they've missed so much time from work - Graduate Tom who started at the same time is now on 4 x the salary, heading for a Directorship and plays golf with the CEO once a week.


DistanceCall · 04/11/2018 12:58

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.

And that's exactly why women should resist taking on those roles automatically.


rightreckoner · 04/11/2018 12:58

rampantbullshit is well worth ignoring.

Someone mentioned male PAs. I actually have a male PA. He is great. And pretty much one of a kind in the PA world.


Ta1kinpeece · 04/11/2018 13:01

Going part time on return. Having time off for appointments, school plays, sick days.
Why do fathers never take on the responsibility for the children they created?
Why are THEY not doing the vomit lunchtime pickup, leaving their wives to work full time ?


PlainVanilla · 04/11/2018 13:02

Trouble is, younger, non-white men are not really providing a viable alternative, are they? Plus corrupted just as easily, but get found out even more easily as they do not know how to play the system?


pyramidbutterflyfish · 04/11/2018 13:03

Re PAs: well yes we should all be grateful to our PAs. But like I said in my industry everyone gets them, there’s not a gender bias on provision.

Takinpeace: in our family and most of our friends we take joint responsibility for that stuff. But that’s a discussion within a family; it’s not something which should be raised at work.


Neshoma · 04/11/2018 13:03

Ta1k I don't know, but if you owned a company who would you choose as your employee?


speakout · 04/11/2018 13:04

I ditched my career when I had kids.

I wanted to stay home with them.

I have done the lions share of housework and child care over the years.

It suits me and it suits my family.


InfiniteCurve · 04/11/2018 13:08

rampantbull? rampantbull??
Um,interesting username.........


BigFatLiar · 04/11/2018 13:09

A lot of progression in bigger organisations is as much about being able to talk a good service rather than being able to deliver it. I've worked with teams where we had good managers who knew what they were doing and how to gt it across to the team and with managers who knew next to nothing but could talk all the buzzwords and were seen at the correct functions. You can tell which ones got the promotions usually fast enough to move before it was realised that the team wasn't delivering, or they would move onto another project before it all went to pot leaving others to carry the can and fix the mess. These teflon managers could be of either sex but tbh often female.

As for the top management, we had lots of problems with them again gender was not an issue. Usually they'd arrive from a senior post elsewhere and want to make their mark by reorganising and totally screwing it up.

I think race & gender are not a factor its just that time will be needed for all the older people to move on (more of a problem now theres no need to retire). In a few years we'll have more coloured executives and more female executives but we'll still be complaining because the same sort of people will get the promotions.

Want to be a top exec? Become an MP and afterwards there may be a place for you in industry/finance even if you don't know anything about it.


NameChanger22 · 04/11/2018 13:09

Men on the whole irritate me, but especially old, white men. They think they have a God given-right to tell everyone else what to do and they think they are better than everyone else. I'm so happy I'm single. I could never live with a man. My work team is nearly all women, thankfully.

can anyone explain why this isnt a racist and sexist comment

Because you might not have noticed, but men have dominated the planet since time began; and they still do today. It's time to lower their overinflated and undeserved status. It might hurt a few feelings, but it needs to be done if we are ever going to get anywhere and have equality.


Oliversmumsarmy · 04/11/2018 13:10

I would say women make better PA's as they are have good coordination skills and are better at menial tasks

Never met me then.

I don’t cook. I don’t send Christmas cards and I am that parent who sends her dc to school on inset day.
I usually lost or didn’t read the newsletters.

I have tried office work. It did my head in. I left and now knock down walls etc and do other building work.

I leave all menial tasks to white, male, public school educated dp.


NameChanger22 · 04/11/2018 13:13

Who knows, we might even see women digging up the roads too.

As a woman I would be happy to dig roads when they 'actually' need digging. It looks like an easy job to me, 90% of the day seems to be drinking tea and talking about doing it.


Persiangirl · 04/11/2018 13:14

Great thread - really resonates with me, have met many of these men in various organisations.


placemats · 04/11/2018 13:16

As a woman I'm well able to operate machinery.

Re digging up roads.


guinea36 · 04/11/2018 13:16

It's true that some women do themselves no favours by automatically assuming that they will do pick ups, go part time etc or taking very long mat leaves - 14 months plus for instance
However the logic behind these decisions , IME, is usually because the man earns more in a much more important job so he couldn't reduce hours, take parental leave etc.
The fact that so many men seem to earn more indicates that there are more obstacles barring women getting these roles before children come on the scene. And even when women are free to work 60 hour weeks and are ambitious, being viewed as a credible contender for a top job is that much harder. I've seen women dismissed as being past it at 35 while a 55 year old man is still seen in his prime.


Lichtie · 04/11/2018 13:18

Oliversmumsarmy... Doesn't knocking down walls the definition of menial tasks 😉


YetAnotherSpartacus · 04/11/2018 13:21

I don't have the energy to be part of the debate but YADNBU OP.

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