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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:
GalateaDunkel · 04/11/2018 13:24

undeserved status

Who says it's undeserved ? Who decides ? When you are part of an ethnic group that built the country and everything in it it's natural that you historically enjoy certain privileges.

Fact is you never see women laying cones by the motorway in the pissing rain. Everything that enables women's lives was built by men, from clean water to electricity to hospitals.

White men are actually stepping aside quite gracefully on the whole and are in this country at least happy to share.

HavelockVetinari · 04/11/2018 13:27

I 100% agree with you! I'm pretty senior in my organisation but I look around me at meetings and am frequently the youngest and the only female apart from PAs. I'm 33.

It's a crying shame, and actually I'm glad you've started this thread because it's given me the boot up the bum I needed - I'm going to volunteer as a mentor tomorrow, and hopefully help nurture some female talent in the business.

UpstartCrow · 04/11/2018 13:27

I laughed out loud at that. I used to pick potatoes in the pouring rain. I've also worked in freezing cold factories in menial jobs, scrubbed toilets, cleaned up sick and wiped arses.

Worldwide, women do the unglamorous shit work.

HavelockVetinari · 04/11/2018 13:32

*UpstartCrow has it right re unglamorous work being typically female - when I was at university I worked as an HCA in the holidays, wiping arses and cleaning up vomit, piss and other bodily fluids. There were VERY few males working in such roles, despite it being incredibly tough physically and mentally.

aidelmaidel · 04/11/2018 13:33

When you're junior, you don't say anything because after all, they have more experience than you! And then you level up a bit and you realize that it's mostly not about competence, it's about the ability to bullshit. I see a lot of men in my fieldthey used to be Older Men, but now I'm Older toowho are great at talking up how bad other people are, but pretty ordinary in their own skill sets. But they're so good at slagging everyone else off that they fool everyone.

And I don't have the energy to broadcast that degree of bullshit and slag everyone off because I'm busy mentoring my team and running the household and supporting DHin his irritating inability to maintain relationships at work and habit of bringing his woes home


KickAssAngel · 04/11/2018 13:36

Sometimes I am little more than a walking list of things to do/remember/organise. This work is so invisible and so undervalued by society and by the men who benefit from it. My colleagues have no clue that this other world even exists.

This. This just perfectly sums it up.

It can be so hard to explain, because it ends up sounding so petty, but it's a mountain of tiny little things that take over the time, energy and money of a person. If it's only ever one group of people who have to do these things, then it becomes utterly invisible outside of that group, and so it continues ad infinitum.

It's like those TV shows where the managing director of a company secretly goes back to the bottom of the ladder and has to learn how to do all the basics. Many of them really struggle, and are exhausted by the work. They're often borderline incompetent. I think that any and all people above a certain level/pay grade in a big company should have to spend a month back at the entry level (and on that pay) every couple of years. So many of them then implement changes that make the work easier, and you wonder how much more efficient a company would be if the people at the top knew what the daily work was like for everyone in the company.

Singlenotsingle · 04/11/2018 13:36

I have to go along with Galatea here. Historically, men seem to be the ones with the iniative, the drive and imagination to invent and carry forward almost everything we benefit from today. Roads, buildings, cars, planes, the list goes on and on. Maybe because women have always been biologically responsible for caring for the DC.?

Birdsgottafly · 04/11/2018 13:36

"Fact is you never see women laying cones by the motorway in the pissing rain."

Sexism kept Women out of certain jobs, since they were legislated against at the turn of the Century. Until then, they worked alongside Men, down mines etc. Farming still was done by both sexes.

You will see Women, taking children to school and doing a variety of other jobs, in the pissing rain.

As for the actual building of things, that's been done by a mix of Races. White Men always got better pay and conditions, though.

As for the money to build things, that came off the backs of both sexes, some from white people, but the most from other Ethnic groups.

As for the comment about Women being considered past it by 35, whilst Men are considered in their prime at 55. That's a big issue.

I'm 51, my youngest is 21, I can work as many hours as suits me and I like work. As do my peer group, the issue is being given opportunities.

HavelockVetinari · 04/11/2018 13:37

@aidelmaidel what's worse is those men who take credit for the work their staff should be credited for. 10 years ago I stood back and took it, now I politely but firmly assert myself. I'm consequently known as blunt and "tough", whereas a man would merely be known as confident and assertive.

Ta1kinpeece · 04/11/2018 13:37

White men are actually stepping aside quite gracefully on the whole

Look at the top Brexiteers lining their own nests while selling the rest of the country down the river
scorched earth policy more like

I like to deal with people who are rounded individuals
be that men who do the school run or women who hire male PAs

BlatheringWuther · 04/11/2018 13:39

It's a well-known and very clear fact in the 'female-dominated professions' that the few men in them will immediately and always get to the top. Not because they're better, because they are facilitated by the system. There is reams of evidence showing how such things happen, how recruitment is biased for instance, and how 'female dominated professions' have lowered status because they're female, not the other way around (think computing: here it's male dominated, in Eastern Europe and our own past it was female, and how the wages change as a result!). The messages are all around us: it's constant and it's insidious.

I've just sat in a University course induction day for same and been forced to watch a clip which basically told us that middle aged responsible women with kids are doomed to fail and feckless young twit will succeed because he's male and so will be given extra support. One of the lecturers (male) stands up in front of lecture halls often and tells us that the key to getting a job is lick arse. And there was a conference where 5 senior figures came, 4 male of course and the 1 female of course sorted out the paperwork. We all know, except the men.

Galatea I think most are sensibly ignoring your rubbish. Men say they built the world we see and their word is what counts so women's contributions such as Marie Curie's or Ada Lovelace are ignored. Even so women are often linked with the bulk of the infrastructure of food and textiles, which following the mechanism outlined above, is disregarded, because it is female infrastructure despite both being absolutely crucial to, you know, actual survival.

At least in the 50s/60s it was a well-known saying that behind every man stands a woman, but men are trying to make us forget that and push us back into the homes, just as they did at the end of WWII when the economy tanked then. Forget it.

Birdsgottafly · 04/11/2018 13:39

Singlenotsingle, I think it's more to do with Women not being allowed the education that Men were. Or the jobs.

We couldn't inherit money or property, so we had to do as we were told.

We belonged to our Fathers, then our Husbands and were chattel.

Birdsgottafly · 04/11/2018 13:41

Singlenotsingle, but actually the Wives had the drive to bring about help for the poor and disadvantaged.

The schools, hospitals and prison reforms.

The blueprint for the Welfare state was written by a Woman, Beatrice Webb.

Maidsrus · 04/11/2018 13:45

There is another part to this too. When it comes to caring for elderly parents it’s often daughters not sons that do the lion share. Not always but mostly.

I have much more respect for builders and the like, who do a hard day’s toil and can create something fabulous and definitely deserve a bit of looking after when they get home. Can’t stand the white entitled males you describe

SillySallySingsSongs · 04/11/2018 13:48

I have much more respect for builders and the like, who do a hard day’s toil and can create something fabulous and definitely deserve a bit of looking after when they get home.


Ta1kinpeece · 04/11/2018 13:48

Fact is you never see women laying cones by the motorway in the pissing rain
Having seen quite a lot of that lately, I am unable to tell a person's gender when they are wearing three layers of high reflective waterproofs Grin

UpstartCrow · 04/11/2018 13:57

Women comprise 43% - 50% of the world's agricultural labor force, perhaps if we gave them some tractors they'd have time to build shit.

Why is it that men and women farmers are equally represented in agriculture, but don’t also enjoy equal economic benefits?

GalateaDunkel · 04/11/2018 14:05

I just think that as a society, Britain has a lot to be proud of. In general we are accepting of other cultures and ethnicities and our society has changed quite drastically without the violence often associated with such things.

You might argue that women could have built Britain had they been given the chance, but that's conjecture. The fact is that it was built by white men, which is historically why they were in positions of power.

BlatheringWuther · 04/11/2018 14:07

Did you read anything anyone wrote Galatea? Men did not build Britain.

Dontfeellikeaskeleton · 04/11/2018 14:07

The thing is that white men built the country, all the institutions and infrastructure in it.


Hubby builds a shed, gets a load of praise.

Wifey cooks breakfast, lunch, dinner, ironing, tidying, mental load, chasing after KIDS, works full time, etc ad nauseum and gets... FECK ALL.

Ta1kinpeece · 04/11/2018 14:08

The fact is that it was built by white men, which is historically why they were in positions of power.
But it makes them neither competent, nor deserving, just incumbent

BlatheringWuther · 04/11/2018 14:08

And stuff off with the 'accepting' tripe. When male violence stops against women, when school girls can walk around without harassment, when rape is actually an offence, then Britain can claim to be accepting and tolerant. Women who've been on the end of male violence know the truth. There is no law for us.

Dontfeellikeaskeleton · 04/11/2018 14:15

Agree, blathering.

I live in Canada and can say that there is a very different attitude towards women. Far more inclusive, less misogynistic

lisasimpsonssaxophone · 04/11/2018 15:12

I used to work at a company where ALL the directors were white middle class men who did maths at Oxbridge. When recruiting for graduate trainees they targeted all their recruitment at maths students at Oxbridge and a few other RG unis, and made it clear that you must have at least 3 As at A-level to even be considered for the job. Then they would wring their hands in meetings and lament the lack of ‘diversity’ but insist that there was really nothing they could do because those were the only people who applied Hmm

Ta1kinpeece · 04/11/2018 15:17

I worked for an accountancy firm where partner recruitment decisions were made at the lodge. Hmm

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