Home > Uncategorized > I Enjoy Being a Girl

I Enjoy Being a Girl

As I’ve mentioned before, I work in a male-dominated field.  I’ve been with my company for about a hundred years, and I thought I had gotten a point where my female-ness was no longer an issue.  Not for the first time, I’ve been proven wrong.  One day last week, I had a bit of a conflict with a male co-worker.  I handled the conflict much like I do any problems at work.  I just said what I needed to say, as politely as possible, and nicely asked the man to stop being an a-hole, then carried on with my job.

via zipmeme.com

The following day, he called me at work to apologize.  That was nice of him.  Then he said this.

“You’re so strong all the time.  It’s okay to be female sometimes.  You don’t always have to be strong.”

Excuse me?!  What the (insert your favorite swear)?  I don’t even understand this statement or how it’s supposed to relate to me and my job.  I’m strong??  Why, did I just move a car with my bare hands?  Did someone die?  Am I facing insurmountable challenges?  Does being female equate to being weak somehow?

He took me so completely aback that I could barely form words, so the best I could do in the way of response was this.

“Male or female, it’s my job.  I’m doing my job.”

What I should have said was this.

“Not only am I female sometimes, I am female all the time, because my gender identity is not something that I take off like a pair of shoes.  This is being female, this is who I am and how I behave.  I am not more female if I bend to your will or cower in the presence of your anger or cry when you’re mean to me.  Being female does not equal being a scared little girl.  I am a woman, but you don’t scare me.  I have faced more challenges as a woman than you will ever understand, not the least of which is dealing with your lame-ass flirting and over-the-top compliments, which have no place at work and are condescending and inappropriate.  I am stronger than you because I can conduct myself at work in a way that doesn’t require me to apologize for my behavior.  That’s not because I’m female, that’s because I know how to behave like a grown-up.  The moment you start treating me like a woman instead of treating me like a person, you have dealt me a great insult.  I am female, because that’s what I am.  I have boobs and I wear mascara, but that has no bearing on my ability to do my job.  I realize that it would soothe your ego and your insecurities if I would lose my composure, but it is not the job of the female to boost the ego of the male.  Your feelings about gender do not determine my behavior.  Maybe I can teach you something about what it is to be female.  Maybe I can teach you something about just being a decent, well-behaved person.  Stop waiting for me to start acting like a female and understand that I’m acting like ME.”

This one comment has changed that way I will interact with this person, although I am quite sure he doesn’t realize it.  Now he’s one of those.  My behavior won’t change, because I don’t think personal feelings belong in the workplace, but now I know how he feels.  He thinks I’m less because I’m a woman, and any time I fail to act like less, then he believes it’s a charade.  He thinks I’m steeling myself against the big bad world, because I’m just a girl.  There’s no way I can respect a person like that.  There’s no way that I can look at him and see a well-adjusted, confident person.  I just see an insecure little man who is threatened by women who don’t behave the way he thinks they should.  He’s completely incapable of seeing a female as an equal.  He thinks he’s being courteous, and he hasn’t yet learned that there’s a world of difference between being a gentleman and being a discriminatory and condescending .  He doesn’t know how offensive he is or how pathetic it makes him appear.  He especially can’t understand why he’s single.

Maybe he’d be better off if he would just act a little more female.

via imgfave.com

 

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  1. September 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I’ve ALWAYS felt and said there is femininity in my strength. Preach it! 🙂

    • September 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      Anyone who says any different is just scared of us. 😉

  2. September 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Good for you – I get the same thing too and I’ve someone say to me, stop acting like a guy. Like you said, I wasn’t being a woman or man, I’m being me. It’s sad to think that it’s 2012 and women are still not considered equals, especially when we know we do more before breakfast then they do in a day 🙂

    • September 3, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      Amen! It’s high time for these guys to let it go, already!

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