Friday, September 25, 2009

slaying dragons and misogynist dinosaurs


sometimes you just have to slay the dragon.

"we approach every experience hopelessly lost in the fog of our own perspective." said cheeky monkey recently on not really. and it echoed back in my head today, when for the umpteenth time, i experienced a well-dressed (read: in a suit) older norwegian male barging ahead of any women in the area, to push up to the desk at the hotel and demand whatever it was he wanted, because he was obviously very important and his time was far more valuable than mine and that of the woman next to me. and that thing he wanted? it turned out to be the same internet cards i was standing in line, waiting my turn to obtain. rude self-centered jerk.

what is it with these guys? it was first a few months ago that i experienced one of these misogynist dinosaurs firsthand when he told me, unapologetically and to my face that i could not be allowed to go do an interview of a canadian CEO because i was a woman (yes, you read that correctly, a canadian CEO, not a yemeni or saudi one, which i may have been able to understand at least a little bit). i was left so dumbfounded by the experience that i didn't even say anything back. i was that shocked. because i would have thought that nearly a decade into the twenty-first century that otherwise seemingly well-raised, prosperous northern european white males would have gotten the message that it was not ok to discriminate against women for being women. but, i'm increasingly of the opinion that that message hasn't made it this far north.

i know what you're thinking..."you're in a man's world there with shipping, julochka. it's an old boy's club of the first order." and you would be right to an extent. however, with more than five years in this field, i never previously experienced any male person even giving me a hint that they thought i couldn't do my job because i was a woman. nor did i ever feel i wasn't completely accepted and respected in my position. until i came to norway. and it's SO BEWILDERING, i have to tell you. they give the nobel peace prize here, it must be ever-so-civilized, right? well, apparently not.

i think i've been so hopelessly lost in the fog of my own perspective that i couldn't understand this or even believe it.  and honestly, for several months, i couldn't even really admit how disappointing and demotivating it was that this happened to me. i even tried to tell myself that i'd misunderstood. but i'm afraid i didn't. and now i've definitely come to realize that i can't accept it. not anymore. sometimes you just have to draw the line. and i'm drawing the line here and now. so watch out misogynist dinosaurs, i'm going to do my best to see that you are well and truly extinct.

17 comments:

Char said...

prejudice of any sort always gets to me in this day and time. it really does. i'm so sorry you have to deal with this.

rxBambi said...

I think that the biggest difference is that in Norway the m-ds will actually tell you to your face why you can't do something. Here they just hide it behind bureaucratic bs.
You totally have my blessing to go kick some dino ass.

Bill Stankus said...

In their minds you will simply be proving their 'rightness'. The chauvinistic pigs will not nor can they grasp the wrongness of their behavior and beliefs. Be angry, cut them off at their knees - and they still won't understand.

It's been a long struggle against the troglodytes - things are so much better than decades past but there's still too many of these guys.

Meg said...

Go girl!

McVal said...

I understand that the sword has to be very very sharp to kill those beasts...
God speed...

smith kaich jones said...

Good God. I think you just need to do some ass-whuppin' whilst wearing fake fingernails and show 'em what a real woman's made of. I know you could take 'em - they don't sound like real men who aren't threatened by a women.

:) Debi

Snap said...

Good luck. I found (back in the middle ages) that men acted like ____ (fill in the blank) because of their fear. Fear a woman could their job better and do it cheaper. The almighty dollar (yen or whatever). Unfortunately, in my day, women were just as bad. Double Ack!

Goddess Speed.

CatLadyLarew said...

Go get 'em, Julochka! Slay the beasts!

Christina said...

What an arse! Go j., were beside you!

cheekyketek said...

According to a Michael Lewis article in Vanity Fair, the Icelandic men are even worse. So you can, you know, be happy you're not working in Iceland. There's that.

Lorac said...

This is ignorance at it's finest and you know what they say about ignorance and the people behind it.

Elizabeth said...

Good for you.

heidikins said...

Several months ago I had a client tell me over the phone that, and I quote, "if you weren't a woman you would understand." We weren't talking about penile disfunction, we were talking about software for doctor's offices, which I specialized in.

I bit my tongue and closed the deal.

And then I screamed.

Ugh. Some men are pigs.

xox

ADRIAN said...

That's Norway. Don't waste your time trying to enlighten them it's akin to nailing a jelly to the ceiling. Just thought that would be possible in Norway as ceiling is roof. Problem solved, all the best.

Fidgeting Gidget said...

I can relate to how you're feeling--I work in automotive, which is very much an "old boys' club." It's very frustrating sometimes, and I have a lot of respect for any woman who has to work closely with men in a field like yours or mine. I'm just a lowly person here, so I don't get bombarded with the politics, but some of my friends are in positions where they do, and I really admire their (and your) strength. Keep standing up for what you believe in! You may not be able to teach ALL of the old dogs new tricks, but I bet some of them might stop and think about what they're doing.

B said...

I'm really shocked at this. I can't believe is so openly sexist! I don't care what industry it is. You tell them, girl! :)

MissBuckle said...

Sorry Jules, unfortunately I think it's a global phenomena. There are Norwegian assholes, and (insert country here)assholes. I get talked down to constantly in my line of work, also from women.

You tell them how it really is. I confront those bastards every day, and they're all 'now, now, little girl'. Then the paper comes out, and they're scared, shitless.