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Damned if you do… My Two Cents

Francie wrote a terrific post on her blog about women in IT (but really it could be any male dominated industry). If you haven’t already, go here and read it. I was just going to put a comment on her blog, but realized I had a little more to say on the subject. Please do read her entry first, as my comments will make a lot more sense in context.

Another side to this issue (besides those mentioned in Francie’s post and the comments, such as being labelled a bitch or having to listen to off-color humor if that bothers you), is behaviour. Why is it okay for several guys to hang out together, drink, smoke and make off color jokes and no one would ever dream of insinuating that said guys are sleeping together? Yet, add one woman to that equation and suddenly her morale standards are in question. Of course, the guys’ morales aren’t in question, just the woman.

Why is it if a woman and a man laugh, joke and smile together they are flirting? Two guys laugh, joke and smile and it means nothing.

Even worse, why do people question a woman’s decision to travel for work if she has children? What business is it of yours how I care for my children. And yes, I have children, which may come a surprise to some of you because I don’t talk about them publicly. And ain’t that a shame? Yet, I feel like I can’t/shouldn’t. Any men feel that way? Somehow I doubt it.

So what do we women do? I choose to act like myself and dress the way I want. Of course, that also means I have to be overly concerned with proving that I am also smart and dressing the way I want is always tempered with wondering if it’s “too much”.

The worst part of it all is there is not a lot else you can do. To me, there is nothing worse than a situation in which there is no course of action. As Francie said “Damned if you do…”. More accurately, Feminist bitch if you do (respond), slut if you don’t.

  • http://www.duffbert.com Duffbert

    Rock on, Kathy… So VERY well said!

  • http://www.epilio.com Carl Tyler

    I have to agree with you, and I have to also add there are some things similar for men. I hope these examples don’t get taken as me trying to belittle your point as that isn’t the intent, I’m just trying to show that we tend to judge lots of things be it men or women. A man sleeps around he’s a stud, a woman sleeps around and nope she isn’t view that way. Yep double standards.

    If a man chooses to stay home and raise his kids, and the wife/partner goes to work, both men and women often view that as the man being a failure when in fact he just making his choice.

    If a man is always hanging out chatting with women at work, more so than with the men, and he isn’t dating any of them, then surely he’s gay.

    Isn’t it true that women are just as quick to make these judgments as men?

    Again, I agree with what you’re saying, just trying to add some other opinions as I think both sexes are guilty. I wish men and women were paid the same, and no one cared what people did in their private lives.

    God I hope I don’t get labeled as some kind of sexist pig now.

  • http://www.duffbert.com Duffbert

    You’re not a sexist pig, Carl… we know you treat the Tyler-ettes well… :)

  • http://http//www.runningnotes.net Kathy Brown

    Carl you are spot on. There are mistakes made against both genders. And I certainly didn’t mean to imply that only men make generalizations against woman. Sadly, it can often be women making these judgements against eachother. Just as in your example plenty of guys make those judgements against other guys.

    How about we just stick to hating users? Emoticon

  • http://www.CaptainOblivious.com Rob McDonagh

    So many responses. I wanna do the “no, it’s too much – I sum up” Inigo Montoya bit, but even that would take all night.

    You don’t need to prove anything – your intelligence is blatantly obvious.

    There are some ^%$^%$&^%$ in our own community, but there is also a solid core of good people who will step up once this issue comes to light. And now that you and Francie have spoken up, light is dawning (onto, often, MarbleHeads, but dawning nonetheless).

    As Duffbert said: Rock on.

  • http://www.bleedyellow.com/blogs/crashtestchix Marie Scott

    Sadly the list of “double standards” is very long – and they don’t only exist with regards to the workplace. And while this may be stating the obvious –in a gathering of “professionals” such as a conference, there is no place for gossip and rumormongering. And shouldn’t the focus be on developing or continuing relationships with colleagues? A few beers, a can or two of the infamous “Booty Sweat”, and a fine cigar? For those who find something wrong with that…GET OVER IT!!!

  • http://http//www.runningnotes.net Kathy Brown

    And another thing…

    (Sorry, I went for a run, that gives me time to think)

    I don’t mean any of this to say that people should watch what they say in front of me. I hope that is obvious. I love a good joke as much as the next guy (literally). To be clear, my problem is when someone sees me enjoying a joke and assumes I am sleeping with the person telling it.

    And I don’t mean to say that being a feminist is a bad thing. I’m just annoyed that if I stand up for myself then I get labelled as one.

  • http://www.bobzblog.com Bob Balaban

    You go, person! Calling bullshit is a VERY important part of raising EVERYBODY’s consciousness, do NOT stop doing it!

  • http://nathan.lotus911.com Nathan T. Freeman

    @2 – I thought it was generally acknowledged that Carl was a sexist pig? He did, after all, introduce us to the ShakeWeight. Emoticon

  • http://www.CaptainOblivious.com Rob McDonagh

    @7 – no worries, the 632Crew are living proof of that… by which I mean, the fact that we’re living. *snicker*

  • Garrett Wolthuis

    @6 The only problem I have with the 632Crew/Booty Sweat/cigar room is that I MISSED it! :(

  • http://http//www.runningnotes.net Kathy Brown

    @10 – You’re living for now. Emoticon

    @11 – There’s always LS10! Emoticon

  • http://http%3A//www.devinolson.net Devin%20Olson

    “If you do xxx, you’re a slut.
    If you don’t xxx, you’re a tease.
    And everybody knows that being a tease is way worse than being a slut.”
    Emoticon

    Seriously though, having grown up with 5 sisters; each one of which would set off the “super hottie” sensor in most mancaves, I’ve seen and heard about most of the shit girls have to put up with. You’re right -it isn’t fair. Nor is it kind.

    My advice that I give to you, and Francie, and all the other super smart super strong women in our “verse” is the same advice I give to my sisters: Be true to yourself, be a good friend to your friends, always do your best at everything you do, and never worry about what people think of you. Those who would judge you aren’t worth your time, and those who are worth your time will never judge you.

    Hope to see you at LS10 -perhaps you can teach this fat man how to smile when running.

  • http://www.runningnotes.net Kathy Brown

    @13 – You rock! 1) I appreciated your use of “XXX”. heh heh. 2) Love your advice and I plan to take it. 3) YAY! Another victim, I mean another person to run with! Emoticon

  • http://www.livingonline.com.au/ Evan

    I’ve read Francie’s post, and yours, and also some other ones that are related to it, and I definitely know where you’re coming from. I also agree with Carl, I think fellas (like me) have it tough too.
    I think as guys we also have it tough when our actions as misinterpreted by women as being lude or sexist. I guess what I’m saying is that I completely agree, which makes it such a hard world to navigate.

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