Gender Equality- or not

Yesterday a (male) co-worker called me ‘woman’ out of anger. Never before in my life have I been reduced to my gender in place of my name.

The situation was not meant to be confrontational. I asked him to clean up after himself and he retorted with, “Jesus woman! It’s just a few dishes. How hard is it to put them away?’ MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY. Just because I am a woman does not mean that I am automatically there to clean up after you. You are more than capable of putting your dishes into the dishwasher, especially since I unload it every morning when I get in. I did not resort to name calling or degrading you in any manner. I didn’t send you an email or act in a passive way because I am an adult and if the roles were reversed, I’d want to know. I’d apologize and take responsibility. I am fair to a fault, even if it meant my own undoing. I admit when I’m wrong, I’ll admit when I was snarky, because two wrongs don’t make a right. But I wasn’t either of those in this circumstance and you lashed out and called me woman and tried to put me in my place which apparently is doing your dishes.

And today I got a phone call from another man asking for the principal of the firm. Being unavailable I asked the caller if I could take a message. Then the caller said, “I’d prefer to speak with a gentleman.” I said, “Excuse me?” and the caller said, “I’d rather deal with a man.”  I told the caller never to phone this office ever again. They could have asked for another discipline and I would have been 100% okay with that, but they had to ask for someone not female. Seriously? What century do you live in? I happen to be the principal’s executive assistant, and chances are he’d pass whatever matter to me anyway.

I am balancing being livid and trying not to cry. There is no crying in the executive world, only on the phone when you need the airline to credit your non-refundable flights.

3 thoughts on “Gender Equality- or not

  1. I had a similar experience today reminding me of the, ahem, awkwardness of being a woman in a man’s world… and then I’m reminded of the people I know, men and women, who don’t think women have a ‘place’, who respect that I’m just as formidable as they are. And then I rise above those ignorant people who made me feel like a woman in a box. It’s their problem, not ours! Don’t cry, sweetheart–you’re showing everybody!

  2. My dear Rochele,

    I am truly sorry to hear this happened to you, and it disgusts me to no end that some people still don’t see women as people too. But I believe the best remedy for this is to show them exactly what you’re made of and just continue being the amazing, powerful and intelligent person you are! Like Carly said, it’s their problem not ours” and don’t ever let someone make you feel like less of a person because of their ignorance and stupidity!

    Cassie xox

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