One of our lady-crew is having a really challenging time at work. I am sure many of us have experienced similar or related situations. My own was different but WRONG none the less. A former boss asked me (while drunk at a client dinner, after the clients had left) what words my husband and I used to talk about my vagina. “You know, while you’re doing it? Like muff triangle?” I was appalled and really frightened about what to do. So I did nothing. Fortunately he was soon fired for unrelated causes but I’ve always been ashamed of myself for not reporting him. Let’s give some love to our lady who is struggling right now.
So, I wanted to present at our last meeting about my career issues because it was a room full of women. I have been dealing with misogyny at the work place for the last year. It’s taken me a long time to obtain my degree and this is my first time in the work place in my new career.
I wanted to share with the other women who are in the work force, who have been in the work force, and in general who may have experienced at one time or another misplaced Male Issues. I have dealt with sexual harassment before but never have I been so blocked in by someone who actively just does not feel it is a woman’s place to be at work.My current project director (a supervisor) has walked a fine line between harassment and “allowed” criticism of my work. He has passive aggressively told me that 1) a woman belongs at home taking care of the house and children 2) that if I had a second child I’d have to quit anyway to raise that child. I’ve brushed these off saying to myself “this is a cultural difference,” buried my resistance, and moved on.Today was the first time I experienced active misogyny. He was being belligerent in critique of my work and I decided it was a good time to have a frank discussion of his supervision style and how I could best work to produce the results he wanted. I informed him that his micromanagement, his (as he called it “pushing me”) demand I work at his pace, was not helping me produce good results as it was stressing me out so much I was making the very minor mistakes he was complaining about. He (and I really want the other women to visualize that pure anger you’ve seen across someone’s face) was immediately angry and told me in a firm, cold, tone that it was not my place – NOT MY PLACE – to tell him that. If I wanted to speak of his approach I was to talk to ANOTHER MAN my MANAGER and deal with it that way. He then proceeded to “instruct” me like what had just transpired was a non-issue. I stood up and told him, “I was not going to talk about this at the moment” and immediately went to speak with my manager who has been aware of the issues between this project director and I for the last YEAR.I was sent home today to allow me space from the toxic environment – not on my asking but suggested to me by my manager as he dealt with it.I’ve never battled such issues before and was wondering if any of the other women in our group have faced hardships from men who have an issue with women in the work force.
Well, I don’t think our friend is alone. Please share your suggestions, feedback and/or similar experiences in the comments so she won’t feel so alone.