You could be the smartest woman in the room and even the CEO. You will still get judged by how you look, how you dress, whether you are hot or not, as soon as you walk into a room. That’s a fact. As a man in denial, you may deny it, I have always worked in a male dominated set up and have overheard enough conversations to claim this as a fact. When a woman is smart and good at her job, men generally mention that with surprise or like it’s an added advantage. If a woman wears cleavage baring clothes, THAT’s the thing that will be remembered and mentioned before her professional skills.
I am pissed off today but trying not to let me get down. No matter how up I get professionally (and right now, I know only one other woman personally who has been at this position in another organization which was in a female centric set up. THIS is where a glass ceiling has been broken), I will still be a ‘woman’ first and that means different things to different people. For some people, even at the lowest levels and at the highest ones too, you are fair game. So what, if you are X levels above or below or even at the same level, you are a woman. Which means men get to hit on you.
To give a perspective, I asked my best friend ‘A’, “If a woman says ‘No’, what do men interpret from it?”
His reply was “They hear ‘Maybe’. They hear ‘Try harder’. They never hear ‘No'”.
I told him “When I say No, I actually mean NO. And if a man tells me ‘No’, I hear ‘No'”
A is a perfect gentleman and I believe him.
I received a creepy sms last night from a 3rd party employee. “Not again”; I thought. I have been here before and know exactly how to deal with it. His earlier sms was creepy as well and I had been expecting this. My instincts are never wrong about the intentions of someone. NEVER. I KNOW when someone is staring at my legs or boobs or having inappropriate thoughts about me. And so do most women. Many times men’s reactions to creepy messages that I share on social media by strange men are “Maybe he was being friendly”. I KNOW when someone has stepped over the line. You may not be able to see the line, I know where it is. And no, I don’t need to explain or show you that line.
Anyway, I replied to the message saying “I hope you sent the message by mistake”.
Meaning – I am giving you a dignified exit option. Apologize. Move on. Don’t bother me again else there will be consequences.
(Update- He has taken the exit option. Message delivered and received)
I also shared it with my ex-manager because I can tell him these things. His reaction “Speak to HR. He shouldn’t repeat this again with any other woman. I can’t believe his guts”.
Even if this was a mistake (I don’t think it was), you cannot be careless enough to message people randomly at 12.30 am. You just can’t. Not professionally. I have a separate official phone and the only common number in both my phones is KC’s. Nobody else. And I never contact him from my official number. Keeping a 2nd phone is a hassle and expensive, but worth the trouble and money.
I got the final sales numbers at 11.30 pm last night, I waited till morning to congratulate the team.
I may follow this post with a rant on how HR has no clue how to deal with such situations. Next thing I know people will talk about how you cannot message female employees beyond a certain time and how that’s a drag. One more reason to not recruit women. Specially women who refuse to shut up and take shit.
Now I shall get on twitter and read about how women are dominating men and feminism is the reason there is no world peace.