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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:
IWriteCode · 04/11/2018 15:20

Many years ago, I was looking to buy my first flat while working incredibly long days. Estate agents, being the helpful lot that they are, would ask me to go view a flat "this Wednesday at 11am", so I caved in and hired a property search company (best money I ever spent).

I happened to mention this in front of a colleague and he berated me in front of the whole team, telling me I was being lazy and to get off my arse and go do that work myself instead of paying someone else to do it.

I asked him: How did you manage to get to the viewings when you bought your house?

"Oh, my wife did that".

corythatwas · 04/11/2018 16:17

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.

Nothing automatic about it- tasks are assigned, not sought. If you refuse that sets you out as lazy or uncooperative- not a good look for promotion. Point is, the junior male in the room won't have to look lazy or uncooperative because nobody will expect him to do it in the first place.

There is also the factor that when the same job becomes a female domain, it is almost automatically degraded in terms of status, pay etc- even if the tasks performed and the benefits to the community are exactly the same.

GalateaDunkel · 04/11/2018 17:08

I'm afraid that saying another country built by white men is slightly more progressive in your opinion than this one does not make a compelling argument. I knew someone would mention Ada Lovelace but also know that there are legions of white men who have made massive contributions to the field of computer science in the last 50 years that you have no interest in as it does not fit your ridiculous and simplistic world view that white men are bad and deserve no credit.

Aintnothingbutaheartache · 04/11/2018 17:11

I married one and agree he’s a total pain in the arse 😉
Naaaaaa he’s lovely, you just need to learn how to deal with them!

BackToTheFuschia7 · 04/11/2018 17:13

Yadnbu. It’s depressing.

Pickupthephone · 04/11/2018 17:17

I hear you OP.

I work in a law firm. Without exception, all the partners are white, male and 45+. Without exception, every last one of them has a stay-at-home wife (although almost all of them are on to wife number 2 or 3). And of course they all have PAs (while more junior solicitors - usually female - are expected to be ‘self-sufficient’.)

The entire culture of the organisation is set up to benefit white men aged 45+ with stay-at-home wives who do all their shopping, washing, cleaning, cooking and childcare. The best bit is that they accuse anyone more junior who wants to go home before 7pm to do their own shopping or washing as if they’re not ‘committed’.

It’s Jurassic Park.

BlatheringWuther · 04/11/2018 17:17

Where did I say men deserve no credit??
What I am saying is that women built just as much as men, but we do not get credit.
All of the schools that were begun by ladies of the manor. All of the women teachers. All of the hospital staff who are predominantly women. All of the work done to build up the social infrastructure. All of the emotional work to keep up the day-to-day social infrastructure of family. If you want to go back in prehistory, all of the vital textile crafts that were invented and practised by women. All of the food that was gathered by women.

It's men that have never given due credit for "women's work". That phrase alone is intended to dismiss.

LisbonFalls1958 · 04/11/2018 17:22

YADNBU. I agree, OP. It's depressing.

GalateaDunkel · 04/11/2018 17:49

Women did not build as much as men, that is completely false. You may well be right that they were excluded from certain fields or not given enough agency to develop ideas for themselves, but the idea they built and defended or expanded Britain to the same extent white men did is simply not true, look out your window.

Ta1kinpeece · 04/11/2018 17:53

The white men often did not get their hands dirty
they used negro slaves
or chinese coolies
or irish navvies
or indian indentured labour
should we go back to those days ?

penisbeakers · 04/11/2018 17:54

Not even remotely unreasonable. They're complete arseholes.

marvellousnightforamooncup · 04/11/2018 17:55

Ta1kin you beat me to it.

IfyouseeRitaMoreno · 04/11/2018 17:56

Bravo OP

GalateaDunkel · 04/11/2018 17:59

Bullshit. Lots of white men made enormous sacrifices to give you the coddled life you enjoy today.

GalateaDunkel · 04/11/2018 18:02

It's all a bit "what have the Romans ever done for us?"

MrsBobDylan · 04/11/2018 18:03

I am competing against men over 40 in my field and it astounds me how many senior positions are held by them when the lower paid/less senior positions are populated almost entirely by women.

It seems as though they leap frog from unrelated fields into senior positions because they fit the preconceived notion of what the interviewers want.

Pisses me off.

Ta1kinpeece · 04/11/2018 18:05

Did Brunel did the tunnels and build the ships?
No, that priviledged older white man oversaw the hard work of others
and its about time the work of others was recognised

The White Men stood there with the whip making others build the empire
it did not make them better or superior, it made them incumbent.
They no longer are.

Genvonklinkerhoffen · 04/11/2018 18:10

Wholly agree OP. In the army and it's depressing.

Wiggler1 · 04/11/2018 18:12

I agree with you OP. Just deleted a long draft as I realised it was probably outing, but in summary, I’m leaving my current employer for exactly this reason, sick of mediocre, white men taking credit for my work while I take the minutes ‘because you’re so good at them’. Hoping that my new job is a bit more enlightened, but we’ll see. Another female dominated industry where all the people at the top are (useless) men.

Holdingonbarely · 04/11/2018 18:16

I’m pretty sure if women had been given the same male privilege since the dawn of time, that they would have been just of capable of designing a bridge, and we might have advanced slightly further if 50% of sex weren’t kept as chattels. But I’ll guess we’ll never know as the past is the past, so better keep the status quo Hmm

TenForward82 · 04/11/2018 18:19

Ignoring all the ostriches with their heads in the sand...
I agree completely, op. I've had a fair amount of experience with entitled male seniors / directors who couldn't manage a single thing but threw their weight around. Mostly white. I've always been happiest in positions where my direct line manager is female - they get it.

rightreckoner · 04/11/2018 18:19

How were women supposed to build bridges when they didn’t have legal entitlement to education, property, ownership of their own bodies or their offspring. When they were weighed down by 20 plus years of childbirth? Let’s place Brunel in that context and see how many bridges he builds.

CalamityJane10 · 04/11/2018 18:20

Well you’re a racist for a start.

What does the colour of their skin have to do with it? Would the behaviour that’s upsetting you be ok if the men were black or Asian?

Holdingonbarely · 04/11/2018 18:22

Also to add- anyone who doesn’t have the ability to realise their privilege is a dick IMO.
I know I’m white and middle class, and ergo have a huge amount of privileges that automatically go with that.

Therefore I feel empathy for people who haven’t been given the opportunities I have. And I try hard to not look at someone and think “well you should have worked harder, just like me”

The main problem is, most white middle age men have been taught that it’s their inherent right, it’s not necessarily their fault, but it gives one a sense of entitlement which is not necessarily earned.

I would appreciate if they could at least recognise the disparities.

BackToTheFuschia7 · 04/11/2018 18:22

Impossible to be racist towards white people Calamity

Prejudice, yes. Racist, no.

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