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Feminism: chat

Male colleague won't take no for an answer

71 replies

Yolojo · 13/05/2022 21:57

Working away with two male colleagues I haven't met before. One of them, a much older gentleman and the team leader, keeps asking me to join him for dinner/on walks/for drinks and I keep saying no in a polite way but he asks again and again. FWIW I don't actually think it's sexually motivated, I think he just wants/demands/expects my company whilst we're away and can't fathom why I could have wants or needs of my own that don't include him or whatever role he wants me to play for him. For example, it was agreed earlier in the week that we'd meet up tonight all three of us on the final night, and whilst I'd rather not I accept it as a team exercise (though not being paid for these out of hours meet ups). He orders a wine with the other bloke, I get a diet coke as I rarely drink alcohol, which I've already explained when we met up twice already this week out of work at his (repeated) suggestion. I've also already had to stress that I've had an off stomach and a bad back this week (as well as the period from hell which I didn't tell him about). They order another drink and I'm asked again a few times if I'm going to have a wine, again I have to explain I don't really drink, over and over again, and deal with the disappointed looks when I don't cave in to his demands on what I do with my own body. Anyway, wondering if I'm being a miserable git as he's wanting to be sociable and I'm not, but I don't like colleagues making such demands on my free time and what I put in my body, quite possible he'd just be the same if he was a woman, I've certainly experienced women pushy like this too.

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theprincessofliechtenstein · 13/05/2022 22:03

Urgggggghhhhhh. That sounds like an entitled extrovert problem rather than an entitled man problem per se, but it also sounds incredibly annoying. I’ve had the why aren’t you drinking conversation. Makes me want to scream. They seem to think you’ll change your mind if they badger you enough.

Yolojo · 13/05/2022 22:07

Yes, it always seems to baffle these people why you don't desire constant company because they do - why do they find it so hard to understand that not everyone's the same as them?! I do think there's probably as some male entitlement involved too though.

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alexdgr8 · 13/05/2022 22:10

perhaps if you did tell him that you were having a particularly bad period this week, that would shut him up.
he might be more careful if he judges that you are confident enough to state who what you are, including being female, and not apologising for that.
esp as he is older, he's probably had a lifetime of women deferring to him at work, so just takes it for granted.
if you mention your period it just might jolt him into the realisation that that ship has sailed.
good luck.

pansexualanteater · 13/05/2022 22:12

A bit sinister that he keeps wanting you to have a drink. Some problem drinkers do this because they want you to keep them company/help them feel they don't have a problem. But a man being persistent that a woman has a drink I especially don't like.

Beachbabe1 · 13/05/2022 22:15

That sounds horrendous!!

Yolojo · 13/05/2022 22:18

I thought about it and perhaps I should have, I just felt like I shouldn't have to and he should have taken no for an answer. I'd already mentioned my off stomach and backache, I'd hoped it wouldn't be necessary to detail how I'm also pouring with blood and being stabbed in the womb as well and that is another reason why I don't want to go on a walk with him! Yes, I think he's used to women quietly deferring and expects them to be naturally sociable and bubbly or something.

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Yolojo · 13/05/2022 22:21

He doesn't seem to drink to excess, I think he just expects everyone else to fit in with his plans. Why on earth wouldn't I want to listen to his tedious work stories, after all.

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OurChristmasMiracle · 13/05/2022 22:22

I just tell people the truth. I can’t drink as I take medication (I’m epileptic and feel no shame in sharing that medical info)

soon shuts them up.

you could just say your not able to drink too on the painkillers for your back pain.

MrsBlaue · 13/05/2022 22:26

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Yolojo · 13/05/2022 22:26

I think there's that element of men not accepting women can be ill and is what has bothered me. I got ill with a condition when I was with my ex and it was never clearer that I was just an accessory for his entertainment. He almost seemed angry that I was ill and refused to accept it. Feels like the same thing going on, woman isn't allowed to be ill, woman exists for my entertainment.

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Yolojo · 13/05/2022 22:31

MrsBlaue you wouldn't socialize with someone who doesn't drink? You sound awful, controlling and a bore who expects others to do as it pleases you, I'd be perfectly happy for you not to ask me out thanks. I do drink sometimes, actually, just not regularly and not because other people are trying to manipulate me to for their own enjoyment.

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OurChristmasMiracle · 13/05/2022 22:33

@MrsBlaue some people like myself can’t drink for medical reasons. I am sure I am a lot more fun sober than I would be on the floor having a seizure!

Yolojo · 13/05/2022 22:34

What's your solution then, MrsBlaue, I cave in to his demands and go hiking while I'm in agonizing pain with diarrhea, nowhere to change my flooding tampons?

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godmum56 · 13/05/2022 22:41

I used to work for a woman who was like this. She was head of department in the NHS. Her expectation was that she would invite the team to her house and we would all go. There was this silence when she did the group invite for the first time in my employment and I said thank you but sorry I can't come. I got the "but why? we all always go? you'll love it" and later privately a heads up that the manager didn't take refusal well. I stuck (politely) to my guns but fortunately i was only going to be there for a short time and didn't need a reference.

Yolojo · 13/05/2022 22:46

Good for you for sticking to your guns. Yes, women can be like this too, but I think they're usually more sympathetic if you're (genuinely) ill.

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WildHorsesRunInMe · 13/05/2022 22:58

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Crimeismymiddlename · 13/05/2022 22:59

Drinkers who may drink more than they should are always like that, ether they can’t fathom why anyone would not want a drink or they need company for the extra drinks they want to order.

WimpoleHat · 13/05/2022 23:14

I think he just wants/demands/expects my company whilst we're away and can't fathom why I could have wants or needs of my own that don't include him

When I did a lot of business travel (20 years ago) the unwritten rule was that the team had a drink and dinner together.
I suppose it was so that nobody was left out - and it was a way of the older people taking a
bit of care of the youngsters.
If he’s out of this mould, it won’t be that he demands your company, but feels like it is expected that he keep you company, if you see what I mean? (My boss once went apeshit at a more senior colleague for taking a seat on an earlier flight and leaving me at the airport to take the planned flight.
I was fine; didn’t particularly want to sit and talk to the colleague and was much happier reading my book on the way home.
But no amount of “I’m a grown woman and I had no problem at all with it” did any good; leaving a junior female at an airport was clearly some egregious breach of etiquette.)

I think a very direct and firm but kind “Would you mind awfully if I excused myself tonight, Paul?
I’m really not feeling that well and I think a bath and an early night would be better” would do it. You’re both “off the hook”’ then.

lottiegarbanzo · 13/05/2022 23:23

Working away with people, I'd probably expect to eat and socialise with them in the evening. Depends how long you're there I suppose.

Rainbowshit · 13/05/2022 23:34

lottiegarbanzo · 13/05/2022 23:23

Working away with people, I'd probably expect to eat and socialise with them in the evening. Depends how long you're there I suppose.

Hmm yeah me too. I'd think it pretty rude if my coworkers were doing things without inviting me.

Notaneffingcockerspaniel · 13/05/2022 23:47

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HollowTalk · 14/05/2022 00:10

I agree with @Notaneffingcockerspaniel. You don't have to explain why you don't want to spend the evening with them! Just say right, I'm off now, see you tomorrow and go.

MissConductUS · 14/05/2022 01:23

I don't drink at all and have experienced similar situations. After the first time I say no, if asked again, I simply ignore the question.

Yolojo · 14/05/2022 05:06

Working away with people, I'd probably expect to eat and socialise with them in the evening. Depends how long you're there I suppose.
Really? Every evening for the whole week, even though you're having to pay out for it yourself and aren't on a very good wage? We've already met up three evenings in the week, isn't that enough? I just wanted to avoid drink and do some yoga stretches in my room to try to make my back feel better, but I haven't had time so am still in pain.

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Yolojo · 14/05/2022 05:32

I've also had diarrhea and have told him my stomach is off, would you still consider me rude for just wanting a rest in the evening so I'm able to do my job properly the next day? When I said I'd hurt my back he said 'at least you're not in pain though' erm, yeah, I am that's the whole point! It's like he couldn't accept it. Perhaps because I've just been getting on with my job as normal and not being overly dramatic like men often are they haven't realised the extent of it, because if it was them they'd literally be dying and demanding lots of sympathy and attention.

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