Friday, January 15, 2010

Sexism Is NOT Dead - Reverse Sexism is Worse



Sweety Could you call this person s/he won't listen to me and I think it is because I'm a girl/man.

One of the things that amuses my wife and myself is that in a society like Australia
that prides itself on it egalitarianism, is just how many times we come across sexist attitudes.

My wife is a very competent woman and by far and away I would rather she phones people to get things done. She can be quite formidable and it is not unusual for word to get back to me that some bureaucrat has gone scurrying, trying to get away from her when they know they have done something wrong.

With this in mind it is funny that my wife should sometimes come to me and in fact I likewise to her with a statement similar to that with which I started this post. Funnier still is that it is more often than not reverse sexism at work.

By that I mean the request to either of us is usually not because the person on the other end of the phone is the opposite sex but rather the same sex. That is sometimes to get better results from some request it is often more effective for me, a male to be talking to a woman on the phone and for Heather to be talking to a man.

Now once you get use to this it is quite a good trick administratively to get your partner of the opposite sex to call the person you are having trouble with. I remember a time when I was trying to book some airline tickets and I was talking to a man. I was repeatedly told again and again that I couldn't book the ones that we needed. So I got Heather to call.

Miraculously the person on the other end of the phone found a way for us to get the tickets we needed. To be fair it took some manipulation on the part of the ticket representative but never-the-less what was previously impossible became possible because for all intents and purposes there was a woman on the other end of the phone.

This sort of sexism is nothing more than a game and once you know how to deal with it, very amusing. However in my life I have come across much more sinister reverse sexism.

Because I've worked with children most of my life I have often fond myself in a female dominated environment. Fair enough, I am just sexist enough myself to accept that women are dominant in caring roles. But it can be a little rough at times.

For example my current work has female manages. Don't get me wrong I like these young ladies but my frustration levels do reach a peek at times when I'm asked to do something but the female staff are perceptually sitting around doing nothing. Or when one of the female staff are asked to do a clean up job that I have already done (often much to the discussed of the female staff member I might add) , purely because females are perceived to be better cleaners based on no evidence what so ever.

This is all just frustrating and a little unfair but in some instance it can become downright unjust and exploitive. Just as is the sexism we are all familiar with.

When I was running before and after school programs it was not unusual for me to encounter contempt upon meeting a female in a similar or superior role. It could sometimes make getting things that were needed for the children very difficult. I applied for a job one time and when I walked into the interview room it became obvious, after a very few minutes, that even though I was far more qualified and experienced than the other applicants I was not going to get the work. Why because I was a male and the interview staff were all female.

I wonder if we were to confront reverse sexism would we be more motivated to stamp out sexism?

Richard

Popular Posts