My Gender

Image result for scales

“Because of your gender…”

“Because of your gender…”

“Because of your gender…”

It has become a revolving chorus in my head. I have been stubbornly silent for the past month – afraid of what might just spill out if I start ranting. I think I have calmed down enough to finally talk about it.

Basically, it has been a circus at work and I have been trying for a while to make a few horizontal transitions into a new department. I have never quite handled something like the new opportunity and the prospects are exciting as well as challenging.

While the murky politics of the movement played out, I got to meet with the super-duper-head of the new department a few weeks back. We are talking about one of the movers and shakers of the company and I couldn’t believe I was getting to speak to him. I walked into the conference room with my head held high and overwhelmed with what I had prepared to speak with him.

And it went downhill like nobody’s business. Not because he wasn’t happy with my work or my skills, not because he didn’t speak properly with me.

But because he stated precisely four times, that I am going to have tough time adapting to the new role given my gender. Given that I am a female.Β That his advice to other folks is different as they were all men.Β 

Four times.

Without even looking or knowing about my background or the work I have been leading these past few months.Β 

I chose to keep a straight face and not respond during any of those circumstances. I was expected to, I think, but I couldn’t dignify those comments with a reaction. I was afraid of what might spill out. I have never faced such blatant sexism – it is usually equivocal. And it delivered a sucker punch to my self-confidence.

I have cried and vented enough to people and I do not wish to put it writing – I am wondering if it makes me cowardly to want to forget it happened. It has been almost a month and I am trying hard to not dwell on it during those idle moments.

On one hand, I want to prove that any role is beyond gender.

But more than that, I just want to forget the way I felt when I walked out of that room – small, shrunken and insignificant.


58 thoughts on “My Gender

  1. Sadly there sexism is still so rife, especially in some industries. You know that you can do the job and have obviously proven yourself in your field, but it is so annoying being treated and spoken to differently just because of your gender.
    You are not small and insignificant, stand tall and show them who they are dealing with!!! πŸ’–πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm.. while I am sure even people at the highest of positions could be of a reproachful mindset.. i still feel there are some tasks that only people of certain gender can or should do. Do you think there was any possible angle to it which you may not have known ?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perhaps a response could have been a reference to the many women who have successfully run countries, owned businesses, headed up major corporations, and achieved a sports abilities thought impossible 50 years ago.
    Perhaps you should research this, and compose a very polite letter to him covering examples of female achievements. You could then refresh his memory about your experience and qualifications, and respectfully ask him to reconsider your application.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Big hugs to you, my friend. ❀ Never, ever think of yourself as insignificant. It's the small mind of the misogynist that is insignificant, and it's a crime that he's in a position that he is in. You will prove him wrong. Be strong, be you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It is tough to hear men act in this way in this times, we should have now.
    This could mean, that you will need to work double hard to prove, that you can do, what will be expected of you, Prajakta. Just like earlier, when women did fight to get to work at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think it is time to move on for you! No amount of consolation from others would make you feel comfortable there…I wouldn’t have been able to give my 100% too.

    There is not dearth of bad bosses in the world, I have seen a few myself!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think you handled this trying situation very well. Anyone would be upset by those sexist comments. Biting your tongue, as you say, was the best response in the moment since losing your cool would only be detrimental to you. When you left the meeting, you were hurt, but now you’ve had a chance to get angry instead and out of your anger has come determination. Good for you! Since your blog is named perfectionist, it’s not surprising that you’ve been self-critical (“I am wondering if it makes me cowardly”). But I say, to use an American expression, you’ve shown true grit. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’m sorry you experienced this and glad you are writing about it and talking with your support system about it. I’m curious if he was specific about what he was not happy with in your skills and work. That is the job of a good supervisor, to be specific about what he (or she) wants you to improve. Of course, he is obviously NOT a good supervisor, but I hope at least gave you some tangible things to work on since it sounds like you really wanted to be there. Every job and relationship has things to teach us. Thicker skin is something I had to learn in my career, though this was taught more from my addicted clients than supervisors. I understand about staying quiet when feeling strong emotions with a new boss, but I hope some day, you will be able to communicate professionally, perhaps asking for specifics and/or expressing your feelings, once you are more established and comfortable in the position. But then again, maybe there’s another career opportunity in your future where you will have a boss who is more professional and not a jerk. I wish you the best, dear one. Keep us posted!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much, JoAnna… I am learning to become impervious and just let it pass by me – and as you rightly said, a huge learning lesson for me.

      In this case, he was just being very generic – he had no clue about my background or anything. Just the repeated suggestion that “I may not be mentally strong given my gender” and all that. Which ticked me off – but now I am just hoping to let my work do the talking.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Even Mrs Sudha Murthy faced similar situation but convinced JRD Tata who finally appointed her as Trainee Engineer on shop floor in Telco Pune.

    Never get disheartened. Opportunities keep coming
    The upcoming break will help you to forget & forgive the super duper head.


    Liked by 1 person

  10. It is awful to have to listen to those remarks about “your gender.” I think I would have been too stunned to speak. I always think of a good comeback after the fact. It would be uncomfortable working for someone like that. It is terrible that this kind of bias continues. We have it here in the US as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Powerful and all too familiar. For me, this has never gone on to get better. Getting better is working for women. So sorry this happened to you. Please keep your chin up and remember the work you’ve done.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hey, you got the job and other people didn’t. Make the most of this opportunity and don’t throw it away because you don’t like how you are treated. Rise high in the organization and make the place better for others when you get the chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is terrible! I had that sexism still exists. You are likely not the only woman who this person has made feel small and insignificant. And sadly you probably won’t be the last. But you can make changes and that’s by rising in the company and taking on a more powerful position and by not treating others like that. Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is the plan – and what I have noticed is, there are rarely any women leaders in organizations around me. From mid-manager and above, they just trickle away!


  14. i Suppose A biggest
    Problem may actually
    be because
    now surely
    over your Gender
    my friEnd Prajakta.. now..
    For Because is a stereotype
    and reality NoW is full of potential
    away from because and ignorance
    of potential same.. Because told me many
    things in life mostly you’ll never amount to anything
    because you
    are different
    Because means nothing
    to me now my friend for i
    that is the director of ‘I’ is
    the Leader of my Band without
    even purpose or goals as True Will
    Dances and Sings with WinGs When Free..
    But it’s true as the highest so-called office of the
    Free World does now prove Because has no reason
    is A
    Fool my friEnd..
    But sure it’s true for where
    you work Because is your Boss
    my wishes for you is to one day be Free of that Because..;)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Just heard a pretty crazy number: A study on girls attitudes in 2016 shows that 86% of 7-10 year olds think that boys and girls have the same chance of being successful in their future jobs. But only 35% of 17-21 year olds agree with this…
    Time to do something about it and empower women, starting with the little girls with dreams. Because they become women with confidence! (I heard someone say this and had to share it here as I think it’s spot on!)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hard to believe that this attitude is still out there…ugh. I fought against some of these issues back in the 70’s and 80’s. I didn’t bite my tongue, and it affected my opportunities. But, I believed there was improvement, so it was worth it. We have come so far, but still have a long way to go. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Prajakta, you are an amazing human being and I have so much respect for you. I am sincerely sorry you have had to deal with this crap.

    In Canada we have made some great strides towards gender equality, but we still have a ways to go. A lot of times it varies from company to company, and many times from different profession. My youngest daughter was seriously considering firefighting (a male dominated profession) until she heard about the stereotypes, sexism and harassment that run rampart there. Instead she is going into nursing.

    I tried to encourage her to follow her firefighting dreams. She is confident about the firefighting part, but having struggled with mental health issues and self image she does not feel she can handle the other.

    This is really sad. My hope is that things will get better for you, my daughter and the countless billions of females who face sexism on a daily basis.

    Thank you for sharing my friend! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Try & choose to forgive, if & when possible. Glad you chose silence instead of getting carried away by the moment. That itself speaks volumes about you. Your work will invariably speak for yourself & hopefully that’ll be a catalyst leading him to self-realise consequently leading to a change of perspective! You may, then or otherwise, even want to write to him about it! Meanwhile, if the thought disturbs you- try & remember this beautiful quote- ‘Thoughts may come, thoughts may go; don’t serve them tea.’
    On a lighter note, you’re almost a Scorpio (sorry, indulging into a bit of judgement with due respect to all the Scorpios) & that’s about it! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Unfortunate that blatant discrimination is still practised. I can only say that the boss was too weak/ timid/ scared to openly put out a “male only” requirement, and resorted to underhand tactics to get what he wanted. He should be ashamed, not you.


Share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s