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Monday, June 2, 2008

My comment about women being patronized at work!

I left a comment for peggy on her blog "Women in Science" On one of her blog entries where she relates this story of a smart female programming geek who automatically  got ignored for the longest time because all the men there assumed that she probably was someone who accompanied a male geek to that gathering.
I myself have experienced similar things at work and therefore,I left a comment there .

Here goes a copy of the comment i left for her there(comment slightly paraphrased down below)
Believe it or not, I have experienced so many such similar situations.Male colleagues start off with talking to me in a patronizing manner and start trying to explain to me how to do MY job.Sometimes it gets irritating when they give me tips and those tips basically suck and they have this demeanour where they present the tips to me as in they are only trying to help the "poor me" out.
Why would they assume that I won't know how to do my job is what I find very sad .It takes extra effort to get over that initial snub and let them know that I know better and can and will and have performed better than them even in most work situations.
Gender has nothing to do with competence.
People, IRRESPECTIVE of their gender, are either COMPETENT  or INCOMPETENT,dedicated to their job OR not!

These PATRONIZING MEN have been socially conditioned to look down upon women in general .
Sometimes Ironically,These are also the same men who have been socially conditioned to OPEN DOORS for women, and PULL OUT CHAIRS for women and TAKE CARE of the women in their lives.
WTF !!
Don't these women have hands? Can't they open their own doors, pull out their own chairs and look after themselves? I would rather have a man who just respects my intelligence and is there for me emotionally and someone who shares all chores , and let me open my own door..I have hands, I can and will open my own doors.

These PATRONIZING men were also AUTOMATICALLY CONDITIONED ,perhaps mostly due to the kind of women they have been used to being around at home during their childhood and all through their formative years.Constantly being exposed to submissive,financial dependant women during formative years allows them to presume that all women are dependant victims.First impressions are such lasting impressions on the mind.

This includes the SUBMISSIVE FINANCIALLY DEPENDANT MOTHER they probably had, or other such adult female figures with submissive qualities  that they came across all through their formative years.These women must have treated the men in their lives like superiors or some such and that EXPECTATION to be treated and talked to like a superior has STUCK in their minds.

As a woman in a society that assumes that "women and children" need to be "protected"(protected from whom and what and how?), I end up needing to go out of MY way to make sure these men respect me rather than just patronize me .

I have to,at times , needed to say out loud ,"Hey, I have the same educational degree as you and I am sure I would know how to do that  job just as much(if not better)than you would know how to do it!" and yet, it is still tough sometimes,needing to defend my talents like that .

But then, let me tell you, such "patronizing reactions" have often happened to me only AT THE BEGINNING of me entering a new place .Once people get to know me, they also end up understanding how talented and smart I am and I have then had Male colleagues often ask for my second opinion in all of their tough cases.Feels good, that, to be respected for what I am worth.

Coming back to SOCIAL CONDITIONING .It paves way for what men think they can or should assume a female colleague can or cannot accomplish,irrespective of what she can ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISH.

As more and more smart women give birth to children and as these children of such smart independent women grow up watching strong smart mothers at their homes, maybe the gender dynamics will change.Both female and male children,when they grow up watching financial dependant smart tough women, they grow up knowing that women can do things on their own.

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