Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bastions of maleness

I know this is probably going to offend males. If you're offended, then I'm not talking about you.

In all my years of being in the world, working in places, I have never seen so much stereotypical male behavior as I have in this office.

Larus argentatus - two adults fighting 1

Maybe I just haven't been working in traditional places.

Maybe I haven't spent much time working in the Midwest. (Yes, Pittsburgh is the Midwest.) Except I have worked in offices in this city before.

Maybe I just didn't notice it.

I'm talking about
the cursing
the need to talk loudly
the need to talk all the time
the yelling into the speaker phone when there is a door that could be closed
the need to talk over people
the need to tell other people every single thing you know and be the authority on every single subject
the need to have an opinion about everything

At first I thought it was just one person, but the more people are added to our area, the more people I notice doing this. It's not all of them, not by any means. Probably not even half. But it's starting to wear on me, this need to be on the top of the heap, this need to "win" conversations and top each other and be an authority on every subject.

Peacock terms

I don't want to be part of this world, but when I don't participate, my opinion doesn't get heard. I get stuffed in a corner. I am not going to shout someone down, so whenever I talk and someone else starts talking, I stop. Even though they should not be talking over me.

I know I do this too when I'm excited to share my knowledge about something. But I don't do it all the time. And I really try to be aware of it.

I'm supposed to be myself and value my own opinions enough to share them. But it's so discouraging to be around people who don't even want to allow me to have opinions. Who don't want women to be strong. Who want us to clean house and bear children and be seen and not heard. At least that's what it feels like, when I start out trying to say something to someone, and the whole conversation gets sidetracked into what he wants to say.

The therapist says maybe it's time I stop letting others lead, and do the leading myself. To go ahead and call people on it when they're feeding me bullshit. Still. I've also witnessed people straight up ignoring me when I did call them on it. I guess that's down the road? Maybe it's not waiting for them to listen, but saying it anyway.

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