Now that I’m about 6 years into post-college life, I’ve gained a few life experiences out in the “working world.” (I don’t like the expression “the real world.” It’s just something unhappy, narrow-minded people say to feel better about their life decisions.) I’ve had to adjust my expectations of decent human behavior many times. And I’m still adjusting those expectations. Well, just learning not to expect too much from people.
So when I found this BuzzFeed video, “This is what it would be like if Men were Treated like Women in the Workplace,” I began to reflect on my own workplace experiences with sexism and stereotyping. I won’t get into the wage gap right now. And, yes, I know many Southern women are taught from a young age that being agreeable and passive are attractive traits. (Traits which will get you ignored, run over, and undervalued in a not-so-progressive workplace.)
But I’m not going to talk about those issues this time. I’m going to talk about the one thing that continues to frustrate the shit out of me–above all of the other things that frustrate the shit out of me when it comes to spending 40-50 hours a week with almost complete strangers in a place that smells like old chairs and spilled coffee.
How women treat each other at work.
I’ll just get right to it.
Ladies, if you want sexism and stereotyping in the workplace to go away, stop objectifying your female coworkers.
If you find yourself about to say any variation of the comments below, tell yourself to shut the fuck up.
“Wow, you actually put on make-up today. You do care!”
“That shirt looks good on you. I didn’t realize you liked colorful clothes.”
“You’re so skinny. Why should you worry about what you’re eating?”
“You’re so negative all the time. That puts people off. Just be positive.”
“Oh, you gained weight? I guess you know how it feels now!”
“They just expect too much of you. I mean, that’s really not your job either.”
Any variation of the above. Stop. And shut the fuck up.
In any or all of those sentences, you will have devalued the female human being you are speaking to at such a level that you would be less insulting if you said, “I really think you’re inferior and a waste of space as a person.”
When you say something like that to anyone, not just a female, what you are really saying is that to you that person is nothing more than an object to criticize. In your view, that person does not have thoughts, feelings, accomplishments, talents or even a valid reason to make decisions for their own self.
That is indecent human behavior.
And when one female says it to another, it opens the door for a male to objectify and criticize a female. You want equality of the sexes, right? Well, there you have it.
Stop being assholes to each other.
And you know, I may come off as a bit self-righteous. I’m not perfect. Trust me, I have names and words for the women or men who have pissed me off at any job. That’s why I’m saying this. I spent a little time reflecting today, and I realized I contribute to it too. I hold on to anger and insult and become bitter too. But being angry doesn’t change the person who I feel wronged me. So I just try to let it go.
Just let it go. And stop being assholes to each other.