Calling out homophobic jokes at work - yay or nay?

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Thoughts?
Yes, you should say something 79%  79%  [ 11 ]
It's not worth it 14%  14%  [ 2 ]
You could quit 7%  7%  [ 1 ]
Other (please explain) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 14

cyberdad
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30 Sep 2022, 9:25 pm

KitLily wrote:
I noticed when I worked in an office, certain men treated me very differently to the single women in the department. Because I was 'a respectable married woman with a husband.' The single women were viewed differently.


To be fair this tends to happen in male dominated private sector offices. Not government or university where admin is 99% female.

My sister is an architect and she works in a major Melbourne firm where she's the only female. At lunchtime the "boys" crack open the beer fridge sit around the panoramic one-way tinted windows and openly make sexist comments at the pretty office girls walking barely a few feet from where they are mansplaining and drooling. They play games like guess if the girl is "foreigner/not foreigner" but their favourite passtime is guess where they bought their clothes (e.g. guess the SES background) and rate the girl from 1-10. All this is audible to my sister.

All the men in the office are either married or have a girlfriend. The director of the firm does most of the major government contracts in Melbourne and is connected politically.



CockneyRebel
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30 Sep 2022, 11:41 pm

I think it's a better idea to tell a boss or a supervisor when such things happen.


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KitLily
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01 Oct 2022, 6:24 am

cyberdad wrote:
KitLily wrote:
I noticed when I worked in an office, certain men treated me very differently to the single women in the department. Because I was 'a respectable married woman with a husband.' The single women were viewed differently.


To be fair this tends to happen in male dominated private sector offices. Not government or university where admin is 99% female.

My sister is an architect and she works in a major Melbourne firm where she's the only female. At lunchtime the "boys" crack open the beer fridge sit around the panoramic one-way tinted windows and openly make sexist comments at the pretty office girls walking barely a few feet from where they are mansplaining and drooling. They play games like guess if the girl is "foreigner/not foreigner" but their favourite passtime is guess where they bought their clothes (e.g. guess the SES background) and rate the girl from 1-10. All this is audible to my sister.

All the men in the office are either married or have a girlfriend. The director of the firm does most of the major government contracts in Melbourne and is connected politically.


I'm not sure what 'to be fair' means. It shouldn't happen anywhere.

That account of your sister's work life is so, so familiar to women. You are unlikely to find a woman who hasn't had something similar happen to her. The experiences I could tell you!

And I read that architecture is particularly sexist and hard for women...but then what career isn't? Everything is run by men.

When I say, 'I worked in an office', I meant I worked in the photocopying department of a university library. Sorry for the confusion. This was in the late 1990s.

What I noticed was that certain men around were very polite to me, and when I observed how nice and polite they were, my single female friends disagreed. They said the very same men had propositioned them and harassed them. However, other married women said the men were polite. There was a divide.

The only reason I could come up with was that some of us were married and the others weren't. And when an unmarried woman in the department became pregnant, OMG! Some of the men muttered how she was a whore!

Also a young trainee working in the library told me she hated Thursday mornings because she would be working alone in the library stacks, and a particular man would always come and chat her up. She was 18, he was 40 something at least, and married.

So what I did was: I always went into the library stacks every Thursday morning and chatted with her. This soon saw off the creepy man!

Little things we can do to help other women.


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Last edited by KitLily on 01 Oct 2022, 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Lost_dragon
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01 Oct 2022, 7:05 am

CockneyRebel wrote:
I think it's a better idea to tell a boss or a supervisor when such things happen.


My supervisor was in the room when the married man incident happened. He also joins in with the homophobic jokes but to a lesser degree than the others. As for my boss, he did warn me during my interview that the language around the office wasn't going to be all sunshine and rainbows. He likes to hang out sometimes with his employees so he's aware of what it's like. I knew what I was getting into when I took this job, but admittedly I just wanted out of the job search. The main reason I'm sticking around is so I can afford driving lessons. My parents have offered to help with getting a car once I've passed. I don't want to quit with nothing lined up, but having something lined up is significantly more difficult without having a car. Of course, having a car requires insurance and running costs. All the more reason to have a job lined up whilst not burning my bridges here. If I really wanted to leave, I could find something - but the opportunities here aren't great in this area. That's why I want to leave this place when I can, live someone with more opportunities. It's a lovely area to retire to but it's not a good place to be if you're only just starting out.

Cyberdad's description sums up my workplace quite well. Except instead of looking out the window at women, it's looking a thirst traps on Tiktok or Google images and rating the women there. I don't know how their girlfriends, fiancées and wives feel about that. Depends on the relationship. The talk about what they do in the bedroom with their dates and partners definitely crosses a line though, I don't need to know that and I don't think your date wants me to know about that either! 8O

I know relationships where the woman is bisexual and her boyfriend is straight and they check out female celebrities together. Personally I know a bisexual woman and we talk about women together sometimes and her boyfriend doesn't mind as he's secure in their relationship. I was hanging out with this woman recently playing video games together. One of our mutual friends joked that we should stop flirting but we were just having a friendly conversation about video games. I think it's because our mutual friend knows that I used to have a crush on her ages ago and just wants to annoy me. Anyway, I'm going a bit off topic here.


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kraftiekortie
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01 Oct 2022, 8:11 pm

I hope you are able to stay at this job for at least a year.

It would make your CV look pretty good.

I’m sorry you have to experience typical office crap.



cyberdad
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01 Oct 2022, 9:50 pm

The point of the case study is to illustrate that male dominated private sector companies develop an internal culture that promotes open mysogyny, homophobia and racism.

Despite legislation, many of the actions of staff (particularly in fortune 500 companies) go unreported. If you are a young female intern in a major firm (let's pick a law firm) and your "handsy" male boss hits on you then what are your options??

Every new intern knows that the moment they cry #metoo word of mouth will get around and nobody will employ them again. The same happens with workplace bullying.



KitLily
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02 Oct 2022, 6:47 am

cyberdad wrote:
The point of the case study is to illustrate that male dominated private sector companies develop an internal culture that promotes open mysogyny, homophobia and racism.

Despite legislation, many of the actions of staff (particularly in fortune 500 companies) go unreported. If you are a young female intern in a major firm (let's pick a law firm) and your "handsy" male boss hits on you then what are your options??

Every new intern knows that the moment they cry #metoo word of mouth will get around and nobody will employ them again. The same happens with workplace bullying.


I understand that, all your examples are VERY familiar to me, as a woman.

I was saying that it's not just male dominated private sector companies that develop that culture. It's many more than that e.g. my example of working at a university library. I think it was the portering/delivery department that behaved like that- because it was mostly male.

I thought a university library would be safe from misogyny but it wasn't. Such as my example of the 18 year old student and the 40 something man cornering her in the library stacks.

Women have to be aware of misogyny everywhere. Even walking in the street, on the bus, etc. And definitely in those 'in between' areas- e.g. travelling from home to the office and vice versa, going to an unfamiliar location, getting a lift in someone's car, taking a taxi. Those areas where we're alone with no one to turn to. Ugh.

In fact any time we're offguard/ alone/ distracted. We have to be constantly alert.

Anyway, I'm sure I'm telling you what you already know, it just needs to be said sometimes.


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02 Oct 2022, 2:53 pm

One of the area managers in the company I work for seems to have something against one of the most hardworking people there who happens to be black. The area manager seems to belittle him and try and seek trouble for him even though he's a very efficient worker and is always nice to everybody. I don't think that is fair and I believe the area manager is being racist. One time the black guy got tested positive for covid and was advised by the boss not to come in, so he stayed home. But the area manager saw that as a chance to get him into trouble by saying the safety checks weren't done and he suspended the poor guy for a month. That is clearly unfair to treat anybody like that, but because he is the only black guy there, it is racist behaviour and shouldn't be allowed to go on. I think the black guy is a good person as well as a good worker, while a lot of the white employees there seem to slack in their work.

So targeting someone personally due to their skin colour or sexuality or whatever is unacceptable. I don't like it when things get personal. But I believe that a group of colleagues making jokes about nobody in particular but just a group of people is something that's best ignored. But if your colleagues were laughing about or badmouthing or targeting an individual (another worker there) for being homosexual or anything like that then it shouldn't be allowed. Like I say, I do believe in free speech but not targeting people personally.


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