Tuesday, June 27, 2006

After-Monday Misogyny: The Quote

I was saving this for next week. Tonight I was thinking of a post on the impending return of Egg Fu, how Judd Winick screwed over John Stewart, or why I love Hal Jordan (and no, the main point wasn't his butt -- or any of the other physical parts that Ivan Reis draws so prettily). I changed my mind.

You see, some of the reaction to yesterday's post -- indeed, some of the reaction to the WiR-list, girl-wonder.org, pro-women projects and feminist posts in general convinced me that another learning post was in order.

I'm going to give you a quote this morning. It's several months old. Tonight, after work, I will post the link to where I first saw it.

Most likely I'm especially vicious for lack of a true life target. In nearly every other office there has been "The Woman I Hate." I only work with one other female since I was moved across the hall to actually work again, and she's fun to be around.
Until then, please, discuss.


  1. Interesting how this woman naturally expected to hate at least one female co-worker. It suggests the ingrained mentality that we should always find fellow women catty and hateful, and naturally find friction between ourselves.

    But that's not what struck me most about this quote. What struck me most was that this woman only works with one other woman at her office. Talk about a gender disparity in the workplace!

  2. I'm still trying to figure out how someone can equate feminism to the Hal vs. Kyle debate...

    As to this particular post, my mother is often "The Hated Woman." She's much more vivacious than many her age (she's 78, travels around the world, dates and is extremely active), and is often met with withering glances and derisive remarks.

    I never really understood it, to be honest. Why is this attitude ingrained in so many women?

    (Gosh, I hope I'm not turning into Fan #1 ...)

  3. You should work in publishing. 1 man to every 5 women.

    Without more context, I really don't feel comfortable judging the quote, though it sounds more generally misanthropic than misogyinistic (and since she's being self-deprecating, speaking from personal experience, and acknowledging in this specific case it just ISN'T true, I'd probably give it a pass).

    When you post the link, expect a longer, more judgmental and civil response, with at least one use of the phrase "numb nuts".

  4. I don't get this quote. This is someone who likes insulting people (other women?) and currently feels a void in their life? Please tell me this is a "lightening up" post and it's from a personal ad:

    Lonely Hater Seeks Partner/Adversary. Please Call.

  5. I used to work in the creative side of a web based business where most of the people I worked with were women. My manager was a woman, my nearest peer was a woman, both our programmers were women, our print designer was a woman, and our secretary and most of our salespeople were women. The men were either Network admins, a few designers, or the higher ups in Upper Management.

    It was actually kind of nice working with them as they were all my friends and I went to school with most of them.

    It did seem like the women fought amongst themselves quite a bit though. It seemed like it was because some of the women didn't like taking commands from other women?

    Everyone seemed to come to me and talk about their problems.

  6. Is this some kind of Rorshach test?

    Because I see a bunny.

  7. What I'm really wondering is if it's a woman or a man speaking... And why I might think it's important.

    It might be more interesting to wonder why particular people might "automatically" think it was one gender or another and what reasons might be for that.

  8. "I only work with one other female"

    Without context, I have to assume that means the author works with one female, other than herself.

    Again, why I wanted a little more context.

  9. It's midnight so I'm certain I'm crazy but isn't the quote from the author of this blog?

    ~Anon, a moose.

  10. This, maybe?

    ~ Anon, a moose

  11. Anon -- If you're my ex-boyfriend, you're in big trouble mister.

    But yeah, that's it. Here's a workable link.

    In the interests of fun and fairness I thought I'd throw a little of my own less-than-perfect attitudes to light. Jenn was spot-on, by the way, about the ingrained attitude, and the gender disparity. I work in aircraft maintenance, there are very few women and we expect not to get along when we meet. People explain it away with some stupid "pack mentality" "every girl wants to be the alpha" crap, but I think it's totally human.

  12. "...but I think it's totally human."

    What, misogyny? Not-getting-on-with-coworkers? Please elaborate.

  13. jay -- specifically expecting to not like the only other woman in the office, before you know anything else about her.

    And I've noticed in my career field the women tend to be harsher towards each other than the men. The "There's so few of us when you screw up someone will use it as an example of 'Women can't do this job'" attitude, only the bile is directed at the other girl and not at the stupid guys who use her screwing up as an example in their argument.

  14. In the spirit of sharing our own biases, I tend to predict I won't get along with women because I generally expect them to be cattier, more emotional, more petty, and more drawn into workplace overdramatics.

    It usually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I'm such a non-feminist right now.
    *hangs head in shame*

  15. Jenn -- There's that one too. :(

    Doesn't make you a non-feminist, at least you're aware of this. A lot of women where I work just consider it a fact of life and not a prejudice.

    A new Sexual Assault Awareness training video came out last fall (It was fascinating, they had a psychologist speaking and it studied the bystanders, their roles in possibly stopping and offering evidence, the perpetrator and his behavior patterns, and the effect on the workplace as a whole) and after the video we had to sit around and talk about it.

    The coordinator, an old friend of mine, had insisted on splitting the male and female groups because she felt it was so graphic (it was lifetime made-for-tv movie graphic). So I sat and watched in an all-female group, and when it was over she asked for suggestions to cut down on the risk. A previous group had suggested that the few women in the maintenance group start to get together and socialize more often, rather than just socializing in your own shop or shift as we tended to.

    Shot down immediately because "women don't get along with each other."

    It's a prevalent attitude. :(

  16. ragnell:
    "Anon -- If you're my ex-boyfriend, you're in big trouble mister."

    Do you mean big trouble as in I-have-memory-loss-during-which-I-lead-another-life trouble or is it big trouble in addition to that? Perhaps you refer to the full body rend my dumpling will give me when green lipstick is found on my collar.

    If your link is workable does that make my link the unemployed thirty-year-old who sits on his mother's couch eating cheetos and watching Donahue all day? I'll have you know he's a struggling author.

    Back to the issue...

    Ragnell, at first, you seem to be suggesting that you expect to not get along with women you meet because everyone will not get along with at least one member of their gender in a social/professional environment because "it's totally human." Then when you reply to J_0, you seem to say that women raised in a certain culture and working in an occupation with a high male to female ratio will internalize the idea that women are inferior when it comes to that occupation and channel their aggression at other women they interact with at the job because... I find I need to guess here... perhaps they've symbolically placed all the 'badness' of femininity at the other woman's feet and thus made themselves the 'good' woman who's 'man enough' to work there.

    I've extrapolated quite a bit from your two posts but if this is the case, I think there's a conflict in your viewpoint. One suggests that your reaction is universal and the other suggests that your reaction is specific to certain women in certain occupations with certain psychological defense mechanisms.

    On to my own thoughts/opinions...

    I am limited to my own experiences in regards to this phenomenon but I've found the more Caucasian, middle-class, and white collar the working environment, the more likely a woman working there will appear to assume this attitude. Conversely, the more racially diverse, lower-class, and pink collar the working environment, the less likely a woman working there will appear to assume this attitude.

    My only real experience of an 'upper-class' profession would be from two female lawyer friends of mine who expressed the attitude that *everyone* was out to get them. Not surprisingly, that overrode any gender specific negative assumptions.

    PS: I'm enjoying your blog. Keep up the good words!

    ~ Anon, a moose.

  17. Anon -- Okay, it's just too damned coincidental you'd know I wear green lipstick (unless I've said it before one this blog, I don't believe I have).

    And I didn't mean to deride your link. It's just cut and paste and people tend to prefer the "clicky" variety of linkage.

    The issue -- You misread my point there, I'm afraid. I was referring to the behavior pattern. My friends were putting it off as an animalistic/evolutionary thing. I think it's a social trait of human beings, the ingrained conditioning I referred to when talking to Jenn.

    And I regret that I implied all women. I merely meant all women I'd encountered. A noticeable majority in my life have this attitude.

    Although your assessment of "laying the badness of feminity at the other woman's feet" sounds like a good analysis to me.

    Your thoughts -- An excellent point, actually. When I worked in High School at the movie theater, this attitude wasn't so prevalent, actually. I had an issue with another co-worker (strangely, she's the sort of person I would love to be around now), but we regarded it as a personality clash and not based on gender at all.

    And I'll refrain from the obvious lawyer joke here.

    (Thanks for the compliment, btw :))